Proposed law would classify attacks on police as “hate crimes,” and other Chicago news

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Fourteenth Ward alderman Edward Burke at the Chicago city council meeting in late June. - JAMES FOSTER/FOR THE SUN-TIMES
  • James Foster/For the Sun-Times
  • Fourteenth Ward alderman Edward Burke at the Chicago city council meeting in late June.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, July 7, 2016.

  • Weather: Humid, with evening thunderstorms

Yesterday's stormy weather continues, with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms during the day transitioning to a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms in the late evening. The late-night storms may bring heavy downpours, damaging winds, and even hail, so brace yourself for rocky Thursday. [AccuWeather]

  • A proposed ordinance would classify attacks on law enforcement officers as "hate crimes"

Fourteenth Ward alderman Edward Burke has put forward a bill that would add "past or current employment as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or an emergency medical services provider" as a protected class under hate crime legislation. Police accountability groups and the American Civil Liberties Union oppose the bill; at a City Hall demonstration Wednesday morning, Black Youth Project 100's Immanuel Sodipe raised concerns about whether any "interactions with police" could be penalized under the ordinance, making it more difficult to hold officers accountable for misconduct. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Drug company Pfizer works with Chicago to address opioid addiction and abuse

Pfizer has agreed to acknowledge the risks of opioid use in its promotional materials, along with aiding the city in its lawsuit against other pharmaceutical manufacturers. Two years ago, Chicago sued five manufacturers—including Purdue Pharma and Endo Health Solutions—for using "deceptive" tactics when marketing addictive narcotic painkillers. The city alleges that by overstating the benefits and understating the risks of opioids, the five companies have contributed to the rise in addiction and abuse seen in Chicago and across the U.S. [Washington Post]

  • Chance the Rapper discourages fans from visiting WhirlyBall in Bucktown

After his friends were refused entry to WhirlyBall due to their attire, this year's Best Chicago ambassador took to Twitter, saying that the center's dress code makes it "very inaccessible if you're black or friends with black people." The dress code included rules like "all hats must be properly worn, either straight forward or straight back" and "pants must be worn at the waistline with a belt tightened properly," according to a photo posted by a Twitter user in early December. At present, WhirlyBall's website lists a similar, but shortened, dress code. [Tribune]

  • The Onion's satirical celebrity gossip site StarWipe folds after nine months

The Chicago-based publication that brought you headlines like "Which Celebrity Should We Arbitrarily Hate Next?" and "TrendWatch: Strappy Sandals That Are Strappy, But Not Too Strappy" has come to a close, following almost a year of "low traffic and uninterested advertisers," according to the online magazine Paste. StarWipe's former editor-in-chief, Sean O'Neal, returns to another Onion venture as the A.V. Club's senior editor. [Paste]

  • Manufacturer contracted for Chicago's "next generation of metro cars" faces quality issues in Singapore 

Train cars intended for use in Singapore are being sent back to their manufacturer in China after developing structural cracks. The train cars were made by CSR Sifang, a manufacturer contracted to create the newest set of rail cars for Chicago's own CTA. CSR Sifang has been accused of various quality issues in Singapore, from "exploding batteries to cracked passenger windows," according to Quartz. That could be worrisome for Chicago passengers and factory workers; CSR Sifang is supposed to build a south-side factory as part of its deal with the CTA. [Quartz


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