Good afternoon. The weather forecast for the rest of the week is looking pretty good. Here’s what you need to know today.
This Memorial Day weekend was the most violent in seven years.
By early Tuesday morning, at least 12 people had been killed and another 48 wounded since early Friday evening. The level of gun violence was the worst since 71 people were shot over the 2016 holiday weekend.
Heading into the weekend, Mayor Brandon Johnson and Interim Police Superintendent announced they were canceling days off for officers to boost staffing over the weekend, a controversial strategy that critics say has helped sink morale at the Police Department. [Chicago Sun-Times]
In addition to more police officers, dozens of state-funded “peacekeepers” hit the streets to help de-escalate fights in areas known for a high level of gun violence.
My colleague Andy Grimm followed some peacekeepers as they worked to prevent violence using hard-won street smarts. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The phenomenon known as shrinkflation, when companies quietly shave off a product’s weight or size while keeping the same price, is still hitting store shelves even though inflation has been easing for 10 straight months, reports my colleague Stephanie Zimmermann.
Shrinkflation has hit everything from paper towels to shampoo to diapers. And some products, like Kellogg’s Corn Pops, have hit shoppers with both a smaller product and a price increase. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Many big companies have continued to raise prices and don’t plan to reverse course, decisions that could have steep consequences for the broader public, reports The New York Times.
Higher prices could continue to feed inflation, potentially causing the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates and raise the likelihood of an economic recession. [New York Times]
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend forged a deal to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling, coming just days before the U.S. would run short on cash on June 5, reports The Associated Press.
The House plans to vote on the deal tomorrow and send it to the Senate, where leaders are laying down the roadwork for a quick passage before the end of the week.
The deal includes things that both Republicans and Democrats are unhappy about. Conservatives say the plan falls short of their goal of deep spending cuts, while liberals bemoan new work requirements for food aid programs.
But if no deal is reached in time, a default would “almost certainly crush the U.S. economy and spill over around the globe, as the world’s reliance on the stability of the American dollar and the country’s leadership fall into question,” the AP reports. [AP]
A cluster of cases in Chicago, many of them from people who were fully vaccinated against the virus, has caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a health alert to U.S. doctors, reports The Associated Press.
National cases are currently nowhere close to last year’s summertime peak.
But the CDC warns some U.S. cities remain vulnerable to outbreaks because many people in high-risk groups have not been vaccinated or do not have natural immunities from previous inflections.
“At the top of the list are Jacksonville, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; and Cincinnati — cities where 10% or fewer of the people at highest risk were estimated to have immunity,” the AP reports. [AP]
Does anyone else get extremely nervous when handed the TV remote and being tasked with finding something to watch?
Well, you’re in luck, because NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour created a handy tool for upcoming movies and TV shows. You can sort the list by what genre you’re in the mood for and where you’d like to watch, from in the theater to various streaming services.
Among the movies and TV shows I’m looking forward to catching is a documentary on comic book legend Stan Lee, Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which is “a terrifying historical portrait of the nuclear arms race during World War II.”
And, of course, I’m going to take the nephews to see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. [NPR]
Here’s what else is happening
- Illinois lawmakers passed bills on book bans, abortion rights and other issues over the weekend. [WBEZ]
- Disgraced Silicon Valley superstar Elizabeth Holmes began her 11-year prison sentence today. [NPR]
- Activists in the LGBTQ+ community are calling for new strategies after Target pulled Pride-themed products. [AP]
- A suburban Chicago baseball team won a miracle game following the tragic death of a former pitcher. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Oh, and one more thing …
I finally got to watch the Succession series finale last night after spending a nervous 24 hours avoiding any potential spoilers. (Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this section so long as you don’t click any links.)
A series high of 2.9 million viewers watched the show’s ending. [Deadline]
Actor Jeremy Strong provides some insights into the final moments of the series. [The Hollywood Reporter]
And consider yourself a diehard Succession fan? Good luck with this quiz from The New York Times. [NYT]
Tell me something good …
Beach weather is here, and I’d like to know what’s your favorite “beach read.”
I’d get kicked out of the Parliament of Gays if I didn’t mention Valley of the Dolls. I’m not super into romance novels, if you can even call it that, but I was so completely engrossed by the book that I neglected to people watch at the beach.
My husband and I do our best impersonations of David Attenborough and narrate the peacocking that goes on at some of the city’s beaches.
Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter this week.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that this past Memorial Day weekend was the deadliest since 2015. Further reporting showed that last year’s holiday weekend was in fact deadlier. The story has been updated with the new information.