The Doomsday Clock sends a message: The world is closer to catastrophe than ever since World War II

By Henry Ren
Medill Reports

The hands of the Doomsday Clock moved to 100 seconds to midnight on Thursday, indicating that the world is closer to catastrophe than ever since The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists debuted the symbolic clock in 1947.

The Bulletin announced the move to 100 seconds from a mere 2 minutes to midnight in the annual resetting of the clock based on the threats of nuclear disaster, climate change and disruptive technologies.

“We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin.

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Cancer mortality rate records largest single-year drop ever

By Sally Ehrmann
Medill Reports

Cancer survival rates are climbing with early diagnosis and new therapies, according to the latest annual report from the American Cancer Society released earlier this month. The report documented the largest single-year drop ever in cancer deaths.

The 2.2% decline in cancer deaths from 2016 to 2017 falls in line with a greater overall trend, which has seen the death rate from cancer fall a total of 29% in 26 years.

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LGBT center taps new security firm amid activist pressure

By Adam Rhodes
Medill Reports

The Center on Halsted LGBT community center in Boystown tapped Quantum Security LLC as its new security provider on Wednesday, ousting a security firm owned by a police officer who investigators found had assaulted a black security guard in a racist attack in Lake View in 2013.

The Center said in a statement that Quantum Security will replace its previous security provider Walsh Security effective Feb. 17. It said it chose Quantum Security because it “most closely meets the Center’s comprehensive selection criteria.”

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Chicago’s Kansas City Chiefs bar fans erupt during playoff win

By Leah Vann
Medill Reports

Professional and collegiate team flags hanging from sports bars decorate many streets in Chicago. Outside, it’s Bears, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls country. But inside, each bar shelters a haven of raucous sports fans avid to share the spirit for hometown teams that may be far away.

The AFC divisional rounds of the National Football League playoffs featured the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans on Jan. 12. As a football fanatic with no team in the playoffs, I decided to see what it was like inside these clandestine cocoons that weren’t my own. Would the true believers accept a stranger who was merely there to observe as a reporter?

The Chiefs kick off at 2:05 p.m., and as I approach Toons Bar & Grill on north Southport Avenue, the bouncer warns me that they’ve met capacity. But if I was on my own, I was more than welcome to come in. He says there might be more room in the back, so naturally, I weave my way through the red, yellow and white jerseys to order a Stella at the front. Continue reading

26.2% resilience, 73.8% stupidity: an essay

By Caroline Kurdej
Medill Reports

I arrived at the start line trembling — from the cold and the nerves — ready to vomit.

“Hello, marathoners! Are you ready for the 42nd Bank of America Chicago Marathon?” The announcer’s voice boomed from the speakers off LaSalle Street.

The crowd roared. Runners started stripping, tearing off their clothes and exposing themselves to the temperatures in the mid-40s. No! I panicked. I haven’t run in weeks. My doctor prescribed physical therapy and a “slow” return to weight-bearing, impact exercises. I was supposed to defer my race until 2020. I disobeyed. And I’m going to wreck myself.

“Corral E! You’re up next!” Oh, no.

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Coffee & Incubation: How Chicago’s Little Village plans to fight youth displacement and gentrification

By Justin Horowitz
Medill Reports

Authentic Mexican restaurants, clothing stores and bodegas line Chicago’s historic 26th Street in the Little Village neighborhood. Beautifully colored murals brighten buildings, and flags of Mexican independence hang from storefront windows. Street vendors and patrons chat on the busy sidewalks that make up one of the most profitable commercial corridors in Chicago, often considered the city’s second Magnificent Mile.

Businesses owned by Little Village residents are part of the community’s economic success, but recently the neighborhood has been struggling with rising storefront vacancies, concerns of gentrification and youth displacement. To curb these complications, a three-story abandoned storefront off 26th Street will be transformed into Xquina Café, the community’s second coffee shop and its first neighborhood-focused business incubator. Thanks to a $250,000 grant from Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, the neighborhood will now be able to advocate for small businesses.

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Riders shed their pants on the Red Line for annual celebration

By Yun Hao
Medill Reports

Shocked commuters watched other riders on the “L” begin to shed their pants Sunday. But shock turned to laughter as it became obvious that it was part of an annual organized event.

The 14th annual Chicago No Pants Subway Ride kicked off Sunday  afternoon with 172 riders pulling off trousers or skirts. But the boxer shorts and skivvies beneath the outer layer stayed put. Continue reading


By Roderick Diamond II
Medill Reports

Louisiana State University Tigers celebrated a glorious victory against the Clemson Tigers in the 2020 College Football Playoff finale in New Orleans Jan. 13.

Though the university is in Baton Rouge, a good 80-mile drive from New Orleans, that didn’t stop the LSU community from rejoicing. People and places all over the country were celebrating the Tigers fourth national championship in football.

It’s to the point where fellow Chicagoans joined in on the festivities on a chilly Monday night. Over 900 miles from New Orleans, the Standard Bar and Grill in Wicker Park bleeds purple and gold yearlong. The LSU-themed bar filled with fans who showed their support the night of the game.

Kayla Howard, a law student at DePaul, was one of the many people inside Standard Bar and Grill Monday night.

“ I’m from North Carolina but it’s fun and my friend’s sister goes to LSU for grad school and that’s how I found out about it,” Howard said. Continue reading

Northwestern women’s basketball fights off Purdue to lock in 14th season win 

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Northwestern University women’s basketball hosted Purdue Sunday evening, emerging victorious after nearly squandering an 18-point lead.

The Wildcats grabbed their first win against the Boilermakers since 2016, squeaking out in a 61-56 nail biter. It marked the second straight game where NU head coach Joe McKeown’s team won by five points or less.

“In the locker room, we were disappointed,” senior Abbie Wolf said. “It really should’ve been a 15- to 20-point game at the end. We let them back into it.”

Senior forward Abbie Wolf goes through pregame warmups prior to winning the game against Purdue Sunday night. The powerhouse player scored double-digit points. (Jake Meister/Medill Reports)

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