Another Link To Russia - News With Mary DixonThe Associated Press reports President Trump's former campaign chair secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Vladimir Putin and undermine anti-Russia opposition in the former Soviet republics. This would contradict Paul Manafort's and the administration's assertions UPDATE: Manafort confirms the story, but complains it unfairly casts the work as inappropriate ... President Trump is warning Republicans about the political consequences of voting against the GOP health care bill ... Chicago police are searching for a group of people seen raping a 15-year-old on Facebook Live ... A man is held without bond on charges of posing as an Uber driver and kidnapping and raping two women in Skokie ... NASA and SpaceX are looking for a place on Mars to land a spaceship ... The provocateur who created The Gong Show has died. Chuck Barris was 87 ... The architect of the Bulls' six-championship dynasty, Jerry Krause has died ... the Bulls and the Blackhawks lost in overtime last night ... It'll be windy and cold today with high temperatures in the upper-30s.
FBI Confirms Russia/Trump Campaign Probe - News With Mary DixonThe FBI is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian agents to influence the 2016 election. FBI Director James Comey made this extraordinary announcement during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in which Comey also debunked Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that President Obama ordered wiretaps at Trump Tower. The White House and the Kremlin dismissed Comey's testimony ... President Trump heads to Capitol Hill to lobby Republican support for the Republican House leaders' health care bill ... Senators continue confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ... The U.S. is restricting some electronics from being carried on U.S.-bound flights on foreign carriers from a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa ... The Tribune reports the Chicago Board of Ethics is reviewing e-mails from Mayor Emanuel's personal accounts and whether they expose lobbying activity ... Drivers in Chicago will get a fraction of a second more to beat red light camera tickets ... In the NIT -- The U of I advances while ISU is finished. The Bulls and Blackhawks play tonight ... Partly sunny and high temperatures near 50 today.
Russia Hearing Begins - News With Mary DixonFBI Director Comey is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today on the Kremlin's interference in the US election. It's expected congressmembers will ask whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and whether President Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that President Obama ordered wiretapping at Trump Tower is valid ... Senate confirmation hearings begin today on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ... Chicago police are warning North Siders in the Ravenswood, Uptown and Sheridan Park neighborhoods about a recent round of armed robberies ... A Chicago man is being held without bail on charges that he kidnapped and assaulted a Wrigleyville woman earlier this month ... Bears legend Gale Sayers has dementia. His wife tells the Kansas City Star that Sayers was diagnosed four years ago, and his family believes football contributed to his condition ... The Blackhawks beat the Avs ... Michigan and South Carolina stage N-C-Double-A upsets ... DePaul is out of the women's N-C-Double-A dance ... Kinda rainy today, with temperatures in the mid-50s ... cooler near the lake.
Senate Hearings On Russian Interference Begin Today - News With Mary DixonUPDATE: Senator Lindsey Graham says FBI Director Comey did not promise to reveal today whether the bureau is investigating the Trump team's connections to Russia. Graham's Judiciary subcommittee will open hearings today on the Kremlin's interference in the election ... The White House is releasing some details of President Trump's 2005 tax returns - as they were being released last night on MSNBC. They show Trump paid $38-million in taxes on more than $150-million in income after writing down $100-million in business losses ... The Federal Reserve today is expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year ... Billionaire J-B Pritzker is exploring a run for Illinois governor. Fellow Democrats Chris Kennedy and alderman Ameya Pawar are already in the race ... Yesterday's big snowstorm hit New England pretty hard. The snow's moved past Chicago ... and a mother and baby are doing fine after she went into labor and delivery in a stuck car yesterday on South Lake Shore Drive ... The Blackhawks won in Montreal ... The Illini got a first-round win in the NIT; ISU plays tonight ... It'll be sunny with temperatures in the upper-20s today.
Trump: Russian Stories A "Total 'Witch Hunt!'" - News With Mary DixonRussia's foreign minister Lavrov says the scandal over Trump administration members' contacts with the Russian ambassador looks like a witch hunt. President Trump Tweeted the same words, "witch hunt," as he defended his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, last night. Sessions has recused himself from any investigations into allegations that the Kremlin interfered with the US election ... The Indianapolis Star reports Vice President Pence used a private AOL e-mail account for some public business while he was governor of Indiana -- and that it was hacked last summer ... A Brighton Park Little League coach is charged with sexually assaulting two young cousins who played on his team ... The Peoria headquarters of one of Illinois' largest businesses, Caterpillar, was raided by federal agents yesterday ... Chance the Rapper plans to meet with Governor Rauner this morning, to discuss funding for the Chicago Public Schools ... The Bulls beat the Warriors ... It'll be sunny and in the low-30s today.
AG Sessions Met Russian Ambassador During Campaign - News With Mary DixonAttorney General Jeff Sessions spoke twice with Russia's ambassador to the US while he was a senior adviser to the Trump campaign. The Justice Department confirms it; Sessions did not disclose this during confirmation hearings. UPDATE: Sessions now tells NBC he never met with Russian officials to discuss any political campaign. Top Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign; some Republicans - including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz - say Sessions should clarify his testimony, and recuse himself from investigations relating to President Trump's ties to Russia ... The New York Times reports officials in the Obama White House spread information across the government on Russian interference in the US election. Their goal was to make sure it didn't happen again, and to leave a trail for investigators ... A second person has died of injuries from this week's tornadoes in LaSalle County ... Illinois lawmakers are pulling the plug on a budget compromise, and Democrats blame Governor Rauner ... Chicago's Cardinal Cupich is telling priests to not allow immigration agents into churches without a warrant ... The Blackhawks beat the Penguins ... Northwestern's men beat Michigan in basketball ... The city's snow trucks are being deployed for the first time this year. We'll get up to an inch of snow today, with high temperatures in the mid-30s.
NYT: Trump Campaign Aides Talked With Russian Spies - News With Mary DixonThe New York Times reports at least three members of the Trump campaign were in repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials before the election. President Trump is complaining on Twitter this morning that the quote, 'fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred.' He was watching CNN and MSNBC, which are reporting on the Times story quoting four current and former American officials say there's no evidence so far of collusion with the Russians to influence voting ... UPDATE: Southbound Lake Shore Drive is reopened, after a fatal shooting at Fullerton ... Three children have been shot in Chicago in three days. Police are looking for the killer of a 2-year-old boy and a man yesterday, while an 11-year-old girl shot over the weekend died. UPDATE: Chicago police have charged a 19-year-old man with Takiya Holmes's murder. A 12-year-old girl remains in critical condition ... Governor Rauner plans his budget address as Illinois closes in on two years without a full budget. Chicago Public Schools are suing Rauner over the state's funding of education ... Humana is pulling out of Obamacare for 2018 ... People are returning home after crews patched up the Oroville Dam in northern California ... The Bulls beat the Raptors at the UC ... It'll be partly sunny with temperatures in the mid-30s.
Pre-Teens Among Chicago Shooting Victims - News With Mary DixonTwo young girls are hospitalized after being hit by stray bullets in separate shootings in the South Side Parkway Gardens and Englewood neighborhoods. They are 11- and 12-years-old. Chicago police are investigating 2 dozen shootings from the weekend ... The Oroville Dam in northern California is fixing to burst, and they've evacuated nearly 200-thousand people from eight cities ... The UN Security Council plans to hold an emergency meeting today on North Korea's ballistic missile test ... President Trump's policy adviser won't say whether Trump still has confidence in National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn is admitting that sanctions may have come up when he talked to the Russian ambassador while the Obama administration was imposing penalties on the Kremlin ... Adele, Chicago's Chance the Rapper, and the late David Bowie were among the biggest winners during last night's Grammy Awards ... The Bulls lost in Minnesota ... Northwestern's men beat number 5 Wisconsin ... and spring training begins this week for the Cubs and White Sox ... Sunny today, with temperatures in the mid-40s.
Trump Travel Ban On Hold - News With Mary DixonPresident Trump is reacting testily to a federal appeals court's refusal to restore his travel ban on people entering the US from seven majority Muslim countries. The case appears headed for the Supreme Court ... Trump spoke last night to China's President Xi, and affirmed the US will honor the One China policy on Taiwan ... The Washington Post reports National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did discuss sanctions with Russia's ambassador before the inauguration ... Chicago's Independent Review Authority is recommending a police officer be fired for shooting and killing a man during a traffic stop and then lying about it ... Mayor Emanuel is touting plans for high-speed rail service to O'Hare ... At least nine people are homeless after a three-alarm fire in an Oak Park apartment building ... The Blackhawks play tonight in Winnipeg. The Bulls are in Phoenix ... It'll be partly sunny and windy today, with high temperatures in the low-40s.
Inauguration Day - News With Mary DixonTens of thousands of supporters and protesters are gathering in Washington, DC for the inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th president. He will be sworn in at about 11 a.m. Chicago time ... with the Obamas leaving Washington for a vacation soon after Trump's inaugural address ... American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are looking at intercepted communications and financial transactions as they probe links between Russian officials and Trump's associates, including his former campaign chair ... according to the New York Times ... In Chicago, demonstrators plan to be in Daley Plaza this afternoon and at the Trump Hotel this evening. Tomorrow, tens of thousands are expected for the Women's March at Jackson and Columbus. The CTA and Metra are adding longer trains for the day ... An off duty Chicago police officer charged with murder has been released with an electronic monitor - no bail. A Bolingbrook officer has died in a one-vehicle crash ... The Mexican drug lord El Chapo has been extradited to the US ... Rescue crews have found some survivors in that central Italian hotel buried by an avalanche ... The Bulls' Jimmy Butler will be a starter in the All Star game. The Bulls play in Atlanta and the Blackhawks are in Boston tonight ... Patchy fog, light rain and drizzle today and tomorrow. High temperatures today in the low-40s.
Day Of Reckoning - News With Mary DixonThey're announcing the findings of the Justice Department's civil rights investigation into the Chicago police department - and it's being reported investigators have concluded that police routinely violated peoples' rights, and were not trained or disciplined properly ... The Justice Department will investigate whether FBI Director James Comey broke the rules when he discussed the probe into Hillary Clinton's e-mails ... The US House votes today on the first step toward dismantling the Affordable Care Act ... Vice President Joe Biden will fly to Ukraine on Sunday. Russian leaders are complaining about the US troops now in Poland ... They're bracing for an ice storm from Texas to Missouri and parts of southern Illinois ... The Bulls lost to the Knicks ... It'll be cloudy and in the mid-20s today.
Senate GOP Moves To Repeal Affordable Care Act - News With Mary DixonEarly this morning, senators voted 51-to-48 to draw up the budget blueprint that will dismantle President Obama's signature health care law. Democrats staged an unusual floor protest as they voted 'no' ... More of President-elect Trump's cabinet nominees begin confirmation hearings, while Trump's plan to put his sons in charge of his business is under fire from the Office of Government Ethics, which calls the workaround "meaningless." ... In yesterday's news conference, Trump conceded that Russia influenced the election, but angrily denounced the unverified intelligence reports that the Kremlin had collected compromising personal information on him ... Chicago police believe an assault rifle was used to kill one man and injure others in the Brighton Park neighborhood ... The Justice Department will announce changes in how Baltimore's police department deals with racial minorities today; Chicago's report is due tomorrow. The AP reports investigators have found a pattern of the CPD violating residents' rights ... Japan reports a 70-percent die-off this year in its largest coral reef ... The San Diego Chargers are moving to LA ... Freezing rain is making things kind of dicey out on Chicago-area roads this morning.

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