Hey there! It’s Wednesday, and this will be me, a spinster who lives alone with my cat, emerging from my apartment once the pandemic is over. Here’s what you need to know today.
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Chicago’s police accountability agency today released videos that show 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez had a gun in his hand — and his back turned — when a police officer fatally shot him during a foot chase last month in Portage Park, WBEZ’s Patrick Smith reports.
The killing, which took place in the early hours of March 31, came just two days after police shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo during a chase in Little Village.
In the wake of Toledo’s death, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown promised new guidelines on when and how police officers engage in foot chases.
Today, Brown said the Police Department had developed a draft policy and was soliciting internal feedback from officers. “We hope to roll out and implement the policy within the next few weeks,” he said. “We are obviously proceeding with a sense of urgency.” [WBEZ]
A new investigation from Block Club Chicago and the Better Government Association reveals the cash-strapped West Side medical center paid nearly $4 million to companies tied to Sameer Suhail, a friend and business partner of former Loretto exec Dr. Anosh Ahmed.
Ahmed, who served as the hospital’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, resigned last month after Trump Tower workers and employees at a high-end jewelry store and steakhouse were given early access to coronavirus vaccines.
Tax documents and court records show that between July 2018 and June 2019, Loretto paid $2.1 million to One Health Billing Co., an independent contractor headquartered in Suhail’s Trump Tower condo that isn’t registered to do business in Illinois.
Another company awarded a contract is partially owned by a Loretto psychiatrist facing a malpractice lawsuit, and yet another is linked to a man charged with shooting a relative in March. [Block Club Chicago]
President Joe Biden will speak to a joint session of Congress for the first time tonight at the site where rioters tried to stop him from being confirmed as president.
Scheduled on the eve of his 100th day in office, Biden is expected to use the speech to tout his administration’s early accomplishments, including a ramped-up COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the passage of a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. But the main focus is expected to be his American Families Plan, which seeks to invest billions in everything from child care to community college to paid leave.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is slated to give the Republican response. [NPR]
For live coverage, tune in to 91.5 FM starting at 8 p.m. CT.
The Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would reinstate Obama-era regulations on methane — a greenhouse gas linked to climate change.
The revival of the methane rule will rely on the Congressional Review Act, a once-obscure law previously used by Republicans to overturn 14 Obama-administration policies. If Democrats in both the House and Senate can scrounge up a simple vote majority, they’ll be able to send the legislation to President Biden’s desk.
At a global climate summit last week, Biden pledged the U.S. would reduce its greenhouse emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
“Once the president signs [the methane bill], this will be the first move by Congress and this administration to actually put climate policy back on the books,” said Dan Grossman, director of legislative and regulatory affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund. [NYT]
A catastrophic surge in COVID-19 cases in India continued today with more than 357,700 new known cases and 3,300 deaths. Some local doctors and media are blaming a so-called “double mutant” variant for sickening children and reinfecting the vaccinated, but scientists say other factors could be to blame.
Some researchers think the rapidly spreading variant first discovered in the U.K., India’s low percentage of fully vaccinated residents and recent large public gatherings for events like political rallies are more likely the culprit. [NYT]
In the U.S., cases are again dropping after a plateau earlier this month. New infections are down 24% compared to two weeks ago, and 43% of the country has now gotten at least partially vaccinated. [NYT]
Here’s a fascinating look at how Pfizer makes its COVID-19 vaccine. [NYT]
Here’s what else is happening
Little League is dropping its lawsuits against Jackie Robinson West’s coaches, but the team’s 2014 championship title won’t be reinstated. [Chicago Tribune]
Federal agents executed a search of Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment. [Washington Post]
The Food and Drug Administration wants to ban menthol cigarettes. [Politico]
Chicago’s vaccine rollout didn’t prioritize Chinatown residents, so the community opened its own vaccination sites. [WBEZ]
Planning a summer road trip? Good luck finding gas. [CNN]
Oh, and one more thing …
Prancer, the “haunted Victorian child” dog whose brutally honest adoption ad went viral this month, has found a new home with a Connecticut woman.
Described as “a chucky doll in a dog’s body,” the 2-year-old, 13-pound Chihuahua mutt had failed for months to land a permanent owner. As his adoption listing put it: “There’s not a very big market for neurotic, man hating, animal hating, children hating dogs that look like gremlins.”
But New Haven resident Ariel Davis wasn’t fazed by the pup’s peculiarities.
“I’m a single woman, I’m a single lesbian, I live with another woman, I don’t have any men in my life, I work in a women’s rehab, I don’t have any other animals. It just felt like a perfect match,” she told Today. [NPR]
You can check out Prancer’s Instagram account here. [Instagram]
Tell me something good …
Next Monday marks the 50th anniversary of NPR’s All Things Considered. To celebrate, I want to know: What’s your favorite NPR memory?
A. Ann Holcomb writes:
“I love hearing the historical replays of Studs Terkel’s passenger train interviews of persons in route to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It reminds me of my first march in Washington, D.C., “HOUSING NOW!” in 1989 which rallied folks around ending homelessness.”
Willard A. Fry writes:
“Years ago on a Saturday morning I remember Scott Simon interviewing Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt at the time of their release of their record Trio. I somehow got the feeling that it was a live interview with the four of them. The singers were giggling and sometimes breaking into song. Although it was pure audio, I could visualize Scott Simon simply dissolving into a pool of joy. Those three singers had him in the palms of their hands. I think that they all enjoyed it.”
And @duve tweets:
“My absolute favorite NPR memory is watching @lizzo’s Tiny-Ass Desk Concert over and over. After her amazing performance, the tradition may as well be retired.”
What’s an NPR moment that sticks out to you? Feel free to email or tweet us, and we might share your responses here this week.
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