Afternoon Briefing: Justice Department launches Chicago gun intel center

Good afternoon, Chicago.

Despite widespread understanding of the health and environmental damages caused by forever chemicals, manufacturers continue to win federal approval to synthesize new versions of the toxic compounds with little, if any, government oversight.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants to begin shutting off the tap by outlawing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, unless they are used in medical devices or other essential products.

Legislation introduced today by the Illinois Democrat would give manufacturers a decade to phase out most uses of PFAS and eliminate air and water pollution that for now is largely released from factories without limits.

Here’s what else is happening today. And remember, for the latest breaking news in Chicago, visit and sign up to get our alerts on all your devices.

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Justice Department ramps up efforts to reduce violent crime with Chicago gun intel center

The Justice Department is ramping up its efforts to reduce violent crime in the U.S., launching a specialized gun intelligence center in Chicago and expanding task forces to curb carjackings. Read more here.

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Shedd Aquarium employees launch union drive

In a public letter, 60 people — or about 20% of union-eligible employees at the aquarium — said they’ve faced work-life imbalance, high staff turnover, financial struggles and a lack of communication from management, with “little tangible response.” Read more here.

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3 takeaways from the Chicago Cubs’ West Coast trip, including Kyle Hendricks’ struggles and Christopher Morel’s stellar defense

A depleted Cubs bullpen was bolstered by much-needed reinforcements Wednesday. Read more here.

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Review: PinkPatheress vibes with an adoring crowd at Metro

During some of PinkPantheress’s early-career shows she performed by herself. For this tour, she’s accompanied by a full backing band and a DJ. Read more here.

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2 jurors dismissed from Donald Trump hush money trial as prosecutors seek to hold ex-president in contempt

Two jurors in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial were dismissed Thursday, one after expressing doubt about her ability to be fair and impartial and the other over concerns that some of his answers in court may not have been accurate. Read more here.

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