Good afternoon, and happy Monday! The White House unveiled its 77 trees and other holiday decor today, making my single, one-foot-tall tree feel pretty lame in comparison. Here’s what you need to know today.
Today is the deadline for Chicago mayoral candidates to turn in their nominating petitions, and Lightfoot’s campaign submitted more than 40,000 signatures, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The election now enters a new period, with candidates trying to knock each other off the ballot by challenging each other’s signatures over issues like forgery, fraud and more minor technicalities. [Chicago Tribune]
As of Monday morning, seven candidates — including Lightfoot — had filed signatures, and two others were expected to do so before the end of the day. [WBEZ]
After being accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife, Hastings will lose his powerful position as chairman of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, Dan Mihalopoulos reports for WBEZ.
Senate President Don Harmon says he will not appoint Hastings to lead any other legislative committee when the General Assembly’s new session starts in January.
Harmon added that he and Senate Democrats are divided over how to deal with Hastings after he won another term earlier this month.
“The voters are one thing — the Senate and the Senate Democratic Caucus is something else,” Harmon said. “I think that Sen. Hastings’s road to rehabilitation within the caucus is likely to be long and rocky. I think he’s lost the trust of a significant number of members of the caucus.” [WBEZ]
A woman and her four youngest children were among 10 people killed in an apartment fire in which many of the building’s entrances were blocked off because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in China.
The deaths and frustration over lockdowns and other restrictions boiled over into massive protests in China’s biggest cities over the weekend, including Shanghai and Beijing, NPR reports. [NPR]
Demonstrators criticized the pandemic policies, confronted police and even called for President Xi Jinping to step down. Demands for Xi’s resignation could be deemed sedition, which is punishable by prison, The Associated Press reports.
These protests are the largest China has seen since the student-led, pro-democracy movement happened in 1989 in Tiananmen Square.
National leaders haven’t made any indication their overall pandemic policies would change. [AP]
Unlike with previous words of the year, there wasn’t a big news event that drove people to search for “gaslighting” on merriam-webster.com.
“It’s a word that has risen so quickly in the English language, and especially in the last four years, that it actually came as a surprise to me and to many of us. It was a word looked up frequently every single day of the year,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, told The Associated Press.
Gaslighting involves making a victim question their perception of reality and is often used by abusers in relationships. It can happen between romantic partners, among family and friends, through a politician misleading the public and medical professionals dismissing patients’ symptoms. [AP]
In a city as diverse as Chicago, it’s not hard to find fans of many different teams competing for the World Cup.
As the best players competed in Qatar this past weekend, members of ethnic groups across the Chicago area wore the colors of the old country, chanted in their native tongues, ate, drank and watched the world’s biggest sporting event.
My colleague Dan Mihalopoulos took a look at the raucous, standing-room-only gatherings for fans of Argentina, Croatia and Germany. [WBEZ]
Here’s what else is happening
The white gunman who killed 10 Black shoppers and workers at a Buffalo supermarket pleaded guilty to state murder charges. [AP]
The WHO renamed monkeypox as mpox, citing racist stigma. [NPR]
River North restaurants cut hours more than any other area in the country, an analysis shows. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Want to see the city’s best Christmas traditions? This Chicagoan offers in-person and virtual tours. [Block Club Chicago]
Oh, and one more thing …
If the thought of watching another sugar plum fairy glide across the stage doesn’t give you a warm-and-fuzzy holiday feeling, don’t worry: You have options.
Whether it’s a Christmas tale told by drag queens or running a charitable 5k surrounded by Santas, there are lots of unique ways to enjoy the holidays, whether you want to bring along the kids or see something more suited for adults only.
Here’s our list of musicals, game nights, classes, charity events and fairs that offer at least a modicum of holiday cheer but also promise a unique twist. [WBEZ]
See something we missed? Tag us on social media #HolidayFun or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your suggestions could be included in a reader suggestion roundup in our weekly Rundown newsletter.
Tell me something good …
I spent most of my long weekend watching comforting holiday movies from my childhood, such as the original, animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. That got me thinking, what are the movies you watch at this time of year no matter how old you get, and why do you love them?
Feel free to email me, and your recommendations might appear in the newsletter this week.