Karen Lewis is stepping down as president of the Chicago Teachers Union, the union confirmed Friday.
She has submitted retirement papers to the Chicago Board of Education. Lewis recently underwent brain surgery for ongoing cancer treatment.
“It’s just the health situation,” Lewis told the Chicago Tribune. “I can’t do it at my best.”
“I want my members to know first that I’m not abandoning them, I just will be an emerita,” Lewis said told the newspaper. “I will be around to help do things, I’m not disappearing anywhere and I’m going to be here for whatever people want to do with me.”
A statement from Lewis or the union is expected Friday afternoon.
Source: WGN News
The nation's capital will have some interesting guest in August. The National Park Service has approved an initial request for organizers to hold a second "Unite the Right" rally. The rally will take place across the street from the White House. The first "Unite the Right" rall was held in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The park service has given initial approval to an application from Jason Kessler to hold a "white civil rights rally" on Aug. 11 and 12, as first reported by WUSA9. Kessler, along with white supremacist Richard Spencer and others, organized the 2017 rally, during which a woman was killed. The park service has not yet issued a permit for the event.
Last year in Charlottesville, white nationalists and supporters faced off in clashes with counterprotesters. A self-described neo-Nazi drove a car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others.
President Trump drew fierce backlash after blaming "many sides" for the violence. Protesters came out in cities across the country the day after his remarks to condemn white supremacists.
Canada has legalized recreational marijuana use after the country's two legislative chambers approved the Cannabis Act Tuesday, the CBC reports.
The bill will allow Canadian provinces to control and regulate how marijuana can be grown, distributed and sold, and it's likely that sales will begin by the end of the summer. The Cannabis Act makes Canada the first Group of Seven nation, and the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize marijuana for adults nationally.
The Cannabis Act still needs Royal Assent – the final step the Canadian legislative process – to become law, but that is expected to happen later this week. Built into the bill is an eight-to-12 week buffer period that will allow provinces to prepare for the recreational sale of marijuana. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet will set the official date on which the law will actually go into effect.
The Cannabis Act will make it legal for anyone over 18 to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, while adults will also be allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants at home. While the bill establishes a national framework for how the cannabis market will operate, each province will be allowed to set their own system of licensing and regulation.
President Donald Trump declared Monday (June 18) that he will move to make a new branch of the military. This branch be focused solely on defending US interest in space.
"I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces," Trump said during a meeting of the National Space Council.
"Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security," Trump said.
The idea of a "Space Force" isn't new for President Trump. He floated the idea during a March 13th speech detailing his national security strategy. The president described then how he had originally coined the term as a joke, while discussing U.S. government spending and private investment in space.
"We have the Air Force, we'll have the space force," Trump said in March.
In the National Defense Authorization Act, the House Armed Services Committee proposed last June the establishment of a space corps, a new branch of the military that would fall under the command of the Air Force. This branch's relationship to the Air Force would be similar to the Marine Corps' ties to the Navy. The space corps would have an area of responsibility that encompasses the vast expanse outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
At the time, the White House, the Air Force as well as Secretary of Defense James Mattis disapproved of creating a sixth branch of the military.
While the legislation passed the House, the space corps bid did not make it into the final defense authorization bill in November.
The addition of a service branch would be the first in 71 years. The Air Force is the nation's youngest branch and was added shortly after World War II.
LONDON (Reuters) - The voice of Stephen Hawking was beamed into space with a message of peace and hope on Friday as the British physicist, who gained international acclaim for his work on black holes, was laid to rest during a service at London's Westminster Abbey.
The wheelchair-bound scientist who died in March aged 76 after a lifetime spent probing the origins of the universe, suffered from motor neurone disease which forced him to use an electronic voice synthesiser.
His ashes were interred between major British scientific figures Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at the abbey, a 1,000-year-old location made famous worldwide for generations of royal coronations, weddings and funerals.
Members of the public from over 100 countries, selected by a ballot, joined friends and family for the service which included a reading from actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a 2004 BBC film.
The physicist's voice set to a piece by Greek electronic music composer Vangelis, who created the soundtrack for the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, was sent from the European Space Agency's Cebreros station in Spain.
The sound was beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star, his daughter Lucy Hawking said in a statement.
"It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet," she said.
"This is a beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father's presence on this planet, his wish to go into space and his explorations of the universe in his mind."
Hawking will rest between Newton, who formulated the law of universal gravitation and laid the foundations of modern mathematics and Darwin, whose theory of evolution was one of the most far-reaching scientific breakthroughs of all time.
Interment inside Westminster Abbey is a rarely bestowed honour. The most recent burials of scientists there were those of Ernest Rutherford, a pioneer of nuclear physics, in 1937, and of Joseph John Thomson, who discovered electrons, in 1940.
Around 25,000 people applied to attend the Service of Thanksgiving, according to the Hawking family.
Just about two and a half years ago, a 55 year old grandmother opened the door to let the Chicago Police into her residence. Little did she know that it would be the last time she would ever have the chance to welcome someone into her home.
Jones died the day after Christmas 2015, when a police officer opened fire on a neighbor of hers during a domestic disturbance call on the West Side. The neighbor, Quintonio LeGrier, 19, allegedly charged the officer with a baseball bat. She was just an innocent bystander cooperating with CPD, and for that her life was taken.
Yesterday (June 11), Betty Jones' family got a small piece of justice for their loved one being taken from them. It is being reported that the city of Chicago has tentatively agreed to pay $16 million to the family. Any settlement must be approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee and the full council.
The settlement with Jones’ family, if approved, staves off a wrongful-death trial that was set to get underway. It is the latest high-figure payout the city of Chicago is forking over in the wake of deadly police actions that have been questioned.
A lawsuit filed by LeGrier’s family is set to begin trial. That police-involved shooting is controversial, but LeGrier, unlike Jones, was allegedly acting in a threatening manner when the officer opened fire.
Robert Rialmo, the police officer who killed Jones and LeGrier, is on desk duty and faces potential firing.
As the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers prepare for game four of the 2018 NBA Finals, they will have one less thing to worry about once a champion is crowned. Which ever team wins the NBA title (probably the Warriors at this point) won't have to worry about planning a trip to Washington D.C. to visit the White House.
Earlier today (June 8) President Trump announced that neither team will be invited to the White House, should they win the championship. This is the second time in a week that the president has uninvited a professional sports team to the White House. On Tuesday of this week (June 5), President Trump revoked the invite to 2018 NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles after learning that only a handful of players were willing to come. This time, Trump is saying that neither NBA team would be invited after both LeBron James and Steph Curry said they would most likely skip the visit.
The WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx never received an invitation to Trump’s White House. The team chose instead to commemorate its 2017 championship with a day of community service in Washington D.C.
Members of last year’s NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Major League Baseball champion Houston Astros attended White House ceremonies over the past eight months. At least one member of the newly crowd NHL champion Washington Capitals has said he will not accept an invite from Trump.
“The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly said.
Trump also dis-invited the Warriors from a White House visit that was never planned following their NBA title victory last season, one day after Curry declared, “I don’t want to go.” A handful of players, including 2017 Finals MVP Kevin Durant, were also on record saying they would not attend if invited.
The world of entertainment was rocked this morning after learning about the death of award-winning chef, writer and television personality Anthony Bourdain. He has passed away at the age of 61 in an apparent suicide.
Bourdain was found dead on Friday morning in his room at a luxury hotel in the tiny village of Kaysersberg in the Alsace region of northeast France. He appeared to have hanged himself, according to Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel, the prosecutor of Colmar in Alsace region, southeast of Kaysersberg.
The exact cause of death is under investigation.
Bourdain was the host of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," which has aired on CNN since its premiere in 2013. The travel and food series, which features cuisines and stories from around the world, has won several Emmy Awards as well as a 2013 Peabody Award, according to CNN.
He leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Bourdain.
In February of this year, just after the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Trump administration established the School Safety Commission. Today (June 5), Education Secretary Betsy Devos has announced that the commission won't be looking at guns role in school violence, despite the over 20 school shooting this year so far.
DeVos was questioned Tuesday by lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee about the commission.
"Will your commission look at the role of firearms as it relates to gun violence in our schools?" Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked DeVos.
"That is not part of the commission's charge, per se," DeVos responded.
"I see," Leahy responded. "So, you're studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns."
"We're actually student school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school," DeVos said.
When President Trump established the Federal Commission on School Safety in March, he said that the group would "study and make recommendations" on a variety of topics, including age restrictions for certain firearm purchases. His directive also said the Justice Department would help provide firearm training for school personnel.
Leahy also pressed DeVos on whether she thinks 18-year-olds should be able to purchase AR-15 style rifles.
DeVos avoided answering the question directly, saying instead that Congress should continue to debate the issue.
DeVos said in March that "everything is on the table" for the commission's investigations.
The commission met for the first time last month, one day before the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting that left 10 people dead. The group is comprised of just four Republican members: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and DeVos.
Fashion designer Kate Spade has died in an apparent suicide, according to law enforcement officials. As reported by the Associated Press, Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment Tuesday morning. She was 55.
According to officials, a housekeeper found Spade hanging in her bedroom in her Park Avenue apartment. A note was reportedly found at the scene, but officials did not reveal any further details.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri as Kate Noel Brosnahan, Spade is widely known for her eponymous brand, which she founded with her husband, Andy Spade (the brother of actor David Spade), in the 1990s. The couple, who married in 1994, have a 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.