The Rundown: What’s next for the Jan. 6 committee?

Plus, the world’s biggest bounce house is coming to the Chicago area. Here’s what you need to know today.

Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. John Minchillo / Associated Press
Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. John Minchillo / Associated Press

The Rundown: What’s next for the Jan. 6 committee?

Plus, the world’s biggest bounce house is coming to the Chicago area. Here’s what you need to know today.

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Happy Friday! After a week of temperatures hitting 90 degrees, we’re finally expected to cool down starting Sunday — and I can’t wait. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. What’s next after last night’s Jan. 6 committee hearing?

The primetime hearing about former President Trump’s actions — or lack thereof — on Jan. 6, 2021, was the last scheduled committee hearing of the summer. More hearings are expected and a full report will eventually be issued.

As the Washington Post reports, the summer hearings added pressure on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to decide whether to bring criminal charges against a former president for the first time in our country’s history.

“Whatever Garland decides — indictment or no indictment — will rile the country, which is already in flames over the former president’s conduct in office,” the newspaper reports. “For the attorney general, there is no safe harbor. Indictment would not guarantee conviction, and conviction would not bring peace to the country, as satisfying as criminal charges would be to those who believe that the evidence against Trump is so convincing that they must be brought.” [Washington Post]

The hearings’ impact on public opinion remains to be seen, but a new NPR-PBS NewsHour Marist poll shows nearly six in 10 Americans are paying at least some attention. [NPR]

TV ratings for the hearings grew as they went along despite July typically being a low point for television viewership. Most of the major TV networks — except for Fox News — have been airing the hearings. [AP]

2. Gas prices are falling across the country. Will it last?

Gas prices now average $4.41 a gallon across the country, down from a peak of more than $5 per gallon last month, the American Automobile Association says.

The drop is thanks in part to lower oil prices amid fears of a looming recession. The impact of sanctions against Russia has also been less than expected, Vox reports, and supply has increased as demand has fallen.

“But energy prices are highly volatile, making it difficult to make any predictions,” Vox reports. “Energy analysts and economists say it’s probably too soon to say whether prices will continue to fall in the coming months, and there are reasons to believe the downturn might not last.” [Vox]

In Chicago, gas prices indeed fell to $5.37 per gallon this week, but still remain well above the national average. [EIA]

3. Ukraine and Russia have signed a food crisis deal touted as a ‘beacon of hope’

Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN signed a grain deal today in Istanbul, which will allow Ukraine to resume exporting grain through the Black Sea, BBC reports.

Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports had reduced grain supplies and increased prices around the world, and tens of millions of people were facing hunger as a result.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the deal will help address the global food crisis. European Union and United Kingdom officials called the deal “a step in the right direction,” but also urged caution.

“The UK and our allies have been pushing hard to reach this point,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said. “Now this agreement must be implemented, and we will be watching to ensure Russia’s actions match its words.” [BBC]

4. Frustrated CTA riders have created signs and stickers seeking better service

Long wait times and ghost buses and trains — which show up on trackers but not in real life — have led a frustrated group of riders to take a new approach to put pressure on the CTA, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The group, Commuters Take Action, has been putting up mock customer-alert flyers in stations and stickers saying, “Tired of being ghosted by the CTA?”

P.S. Sriraj, director of the University of Illinois Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center, told the Tribune many riders choose to take the CTA but could just as easily drive or call a ride-sharing service.

“It will be very easy to alienate that (rider) base if problems become very systemic and long-standing,” he said. [Chicago Tribune]

5. Check out the world’s biggest bounce house in the Chicago area this weekend

The Guinness-certified “world’s biggest bounce house” is making a stop this weekend and next in the Chicago area — and it’s not just for kids.

Head to Rolling Meadows’s Busse Forest Park for “The Big Bounce America” and its four inflatable attractions, each with its own theme, including space, sports and an obstacle course.

Sessions will be available for various age groups, with admission split into different time slots. Tickets start at $19. [NBC Chicago]

Here’s what else is happening

  • President Biden’s COVID symptoms overall are improving, his doctor says. [NPR]

  • A Chicago family creates sanctuaries for monarch butterflies. [Chicago Tribune]

  • A federal jury found Steve Bannon guilty on two charges of contempt of Congress charges. [NPR]

  • The FCC is cracking down on ‘auto warranty’ robocalls. [CNN]

Oh, and one more thing…

Florence Price was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century — but she was overlooked until recently.

Price was the first Black woman to have a composition performed by an orchestra back at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater in 1933. The concert was an event for the Chicago World’s Fair — a Century of Progress, my colleagues at WBEZ’s Curious City report.

The Fair’s theme of innovation and progress inspired the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director Frederick Stock to “look for music that reflected a new American experience.”

After her CSO performance, she received a standing ovation and roaring applause. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good…

I need some movie recommendations. What’s a film you enjoyed recently?

Jill C.T. says:

“I enjoyed the heck out of Everything Everywhere All at Once. It’s many movies at once—sci-fi, family/relationship stuff, comedy, drama, martial arts. You have to stick with it because at first it might be a little confusing. But it’s SO worth it! Amazing performance by Michelle Yeoh—she is on screen virtually the whole movie—as well as the rest of the cast. Astonishing visually too. Highly recommend!”

And Matt Huppert says:

“I think of myself as a big movie fan, but it wasn’t until I needed to burn a few hours on Saturday while in Three Oaks, MI that I heard of and caught The Phantom of the Open at the Vickers Theatre. The movie tells the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a British shipyard crane operator in the ’70s who decided there was no good reason he shouldn’t be in the British Open despite having never played golf. Far from a rote biopic, the story is told with imagination and wonder (it’s written by the screenwriter of Paddington 2 and shares a similar spirit). Mark Rylance plays Flitcroft without any winks or irony, making his portrayal feel less a caricature than a loving tribute to a dreamer. It’s the perfect movie if you’re looking for some low-stakes, heartwarming fun.”

Thanks for all your responses! I’m sorry I couldn’t get to them all, but it was great hearing from y’all.