The Rundown: A hotline for abortion patients

Plus, K-pop’s big moment at Lolla. Here’s what you need to know today.

The Rundown: A hotline for abortion patients

Plus, K-pop’s big moment at Lolla. Here’s what you need to know today.

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.

Good afternoon! It’s August already? This summer is flying by faster than me hitting “no” on an invite for a late Friday meeting. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Illinois creates a hotline for abortion patients as Indiana severely restricts reproductive rights

Indiana today became the latest state to ban almost all abortions, with exceptions for rape or incest and if the life of the patient is at risk.

At the same time, Illinois this week again expanded abortion services as almost every neighboring state has restricted access to the procedure, my colleague Tina Sfondeles reports.

A hotline, known as the Complex Abortion Regional Line for Access or CARLA for short, will be launched this month and help patients with complex medical needs schedule appointments at hospitals across Illinois.

Gov. JB Pritzker also wants to create a separate hotline to help patients — including ones from out of state — find abortion care in Illinois. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, the ACLU of Indiana asked the state’s highest court to pause Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion as it challenges the law. [AP]

2. Are Black CPS principals being removed unfairly from their schools?

Chicago Public Schools has removed nine principals pending discipline or investigations into “serious misconduct” in the last four years.

Six of the principals were Black men and one was a Black woman, according to a joint investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ.

Black men in particular are already scarce among principals. And recent removals have sparked complaints that CPS is targeting Black principals.

“Give these Black leaders a fair proceeding where they can show that they have been falsely accused, and they can exonerate their good names, and they can get back to doing what they love to do, and that is educating our children,” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has represented the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. [WBEZ]

3. Chicago’s interim police superintendent was accused of domestic abuse in 1994

Fred Waller, the temporary head of the Chicago Police Department, was accused of domestic violence by his then-wife in 1994, my colleague Dan Mihalopoulos reports.

She ultimately stopped cooperating with an internal probe into the incident, and the department soon concluded that her complaint was “not sustained,” according to department records.

A spokesperson for Waller declined to comment when asked about the case by WBEZ. Waller’s ex-wife could not be reached for comment.

Waller was also the subject of at least 58 internal investigations during his 34-year career with the Police Department, records show. He retired in 2020 but was selected by Mayor Brandon Johnson to lead the department until a permanent police superintendent is announced. [WBEZ]

4. Northwestern hires former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate its sports programs

As the number of lawsuits against the university grows, Northwestern today announced it hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the culture of its athletics programs and review the school’s abuse reporting mechanisms.

Lynch will begin her investigation immediately and her findings will be made public, the university said in a statement.

“Hazing has absolutely no place at Northwestern. Period,” Northwestern President Michael Schill said in the announcement. “I am determined that with the help of Attorney General Lynch, we will become a leader in combating the practice of hazing in intercollegiate athletics and a model for other universities.”

Northwestern has been at the center of hazing and sexual abuse allegations that have been described as a #MeToo moment for college sports. Several lawsuits have been filed by former players, many of whom played on the university’s football team. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. Lollapalooza is having a K-pop moment

The music festival for the first time will feature a K-pop boy band as a headliner — TOMORROW X TOGETHER, which performs on Saturday.

And girl group NewJeans, a global phenomenon in their own right, plays during the festival’s opening day.

Until now, Chicago wasn’t a must-stop destination for Asian music, my colleague Mendy Kong reports. But Lollapalooza is changing that reputation with a lineup of K-pop performers.

“I think that it’s very nice to finally be recognized not as a flyover state, which a lot of K-pop [tours] kind of treat Chicago as, but it is the third-largest city in America,” said Jin Alonzo, who works at KPOP NARA, a local K-pop retail store. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Political committees for former President Donald Trump are burning through cash amid mounting legal bills. [Washington Post]
  • President Joe Biden faces a tight race in a possible rematch with Trump, a New York Times/Siena College poll found. [New York Times]
  • An Arabic-language summer camp connects children of refugees to “the memory of the country.” [WBEZ]
  • If you look up at the sky tonight you may see a supermoon. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

Chatbots can sometimes hallucinate, which is not providing very much comfort to anyone who took away anything from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ex Machina or Pixar’s Wall-E.

The problem isn’t close to bringing about the robot apocalypse, but “it’s now a problem for every business, organization and high school student trying to get a generative AI system to compose documents and get work done,” The Associated Press reports.

Some major developers say they’re working to make chatbots more truthful.

“How long that will take — and whether they will ever be good enough to, say, safely dole out medical advice — remains to be seen,” the AP reports. [AP]

Tell me something good …

I’m genuinely sad to hear about the death of Paul Reubens. In honor of the legend, I’d like to know what TV shows you loved as a kid.

Maggie Geppert writes:

“When I was younger I loved He-Man and She-Ra so much. I even had a He-Man lunch box, which was incredibly subversive for a girl to have in 1986. When one of the boys in my class taunted me for that, my witty response was, ‘My grandma gave me this lunch box!’ ”

And Alison writes:

Captain Planet was my favorite show as a kid. I used to pretend I was one of his Planeteers, shooting my fist into the air and calling on whatever element I needed in that moment of imagined crisis. I can still remember the theme song. It was surprisingly catchy.”

Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter.