Stories by paul caine

Chicago Afghan War Veterans Express Anger, Despair at Chaotic Withdrawal

On Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley echoed President Biden’s comments that the administration didn’t think the Taliban takeover would happen so fast. (WTTW News via CNN )

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and chaotic withdrawal by U.S. forces are weighing heavily on the minds of veterans who fought in America’s longest war.

Refugee Agencies Scramble to Bring Afghan Allies to US

Chaos at the Kabul airport as people try to flee the country. (WTTW News via CNN)

Officials are trying to help Afghan allies who supported the American mission to leave the country as Taliban checkpoints spread across the country and its capital, Kabul. But how many Afghans can safely be evacuated and settled in the U.S.?

Are Vaccine Mandates the Answer to Lagging Rates Among Nursing Home Staff?

(WTTW News)

While 84% of nursing home residents in Illinois have received the COVID-19 vaccine, just 62% of the workers who care for them are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Millions of Americans Support Use of Force to Restore Trump to White House: Report

An American flag and Trump campaign flag fly at a Proud Boys rally ahead of the 2020 presidential election. (WTTW News via CNN)

An estimated 21 million Americans believe that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president and that Donald Trump should be restored to the White House by force, according to a new report from the University of Chicago. We discuss the findings with political science professor Robert Pape, who led the survey.

Vaccine Mandates on the Agenda for More and More Businesses

With the delta variant of the coronavirus raging across the country, President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration will require almost all federal employees to get vaccinated or face stringent testing protocols. (WTTW News)

More and more employers are now mandating vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of returning to the office. Among them are some of the largest and best-known corporations in the country, from Walmart to The Washington Post and Tyson Foods to Twitter.

Great Lakes Pollution Puts Plastic in All of Us

Nurdles found washed up on the beach at Dawlish Warren in Devon, England. (Partonez / Wikimedia Commons)

Each year, 22 million pounds of plastic finds its way into the Great Lakes – the source of potable water for more than 30 million Americans. We take a look at what can be done to limit plastic pollution.

Biles Was Right to Withdraw from Competition: US Olympic Team Doctor

Gymnast Simone Biles cheers on her teammates at the Tokyo Olympics. (Credit: NBC)

One of the leading doctors for the U.S. Olympic team says star gymnast Simone Biles was right to withdraw from competition after a bout of what gymnasts call the “twisties.” Dr. Mark Hutchinson joins us from Tokyo to share his impressions of the Games so far.

Global Shortage of Computer Chips Hits US Manufacturing

A global shortage of computer chips is causing major headaches for American manufacturers. (Jeremy Zero / Unsplash)

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the disruption of supply chains and manufacturing the world over. Manufacturers of computer chips in Asia have been especially hard hit. And that means companies that make products that rely on such chips are feeling the pinch.

UChicago-Led Team Discovers Way to Dramatically Boost Crop Production

A photograph of rice plants in a study performed by a team from the University of Chicago. Researchers found that by adding a gene that encodes for a protein called FTO both rice and potato plants increased yields by 50%. (Courtesy of University of Chicago / Yu et. al.)

In a potentially world-changing discovery, scientists led by a team from the University of Chicago have discovered a way to manipulate RNA to dramatically boost crop production. 

Paralyzed Man’s Brain Waves Turned Into Computer Text

Researchers have developed technology that enabled a man unable to speak because of paralysis to communicate by translating his brain waves into text on a computer screen. (Courtesy of UC San Francisco)

Researchers have developed technology that enabled a man unable to speak because of paralysis to communicate by translating his brain waves into text on a computer screen. Rabiah Mayas of the Museum of Science and Industry has details on that story and others making headlines.

Study: Diaphragm Damage in COVID-19 Survivors Can Lead to Long-Term Symptoms

A patient performs COVID-19 rehabilitation exercises under medical supervision at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. (Courtesy of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab)

Many survivors of COVID-19 experience long-term symptoms including shortness of breath and fatigue. A new study finds damage to the lungs may not be the only cause.

Flamboyant Billionaire Branson Reaches the Edge of Space

On Sunday, July 11, 2021, Richard Branson became the first person to fly into space on a self-funded ship. (WTTW News via CNN)

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson on Sunday became the first billionaire to ride his own rocket ship to space. But beyond being the ultimate joyride for billionaires, will commercial space travel take off as an industry accessible to the rest of us?

Latinos Have Greater Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s, But Less Likely to Get Help

An image of the brain of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease. (WTTW News)

The degenerative brain disease, for which there currently is no cure, takes a terrible toll on both patients and caregivers. By the year 2060, some 3.5 million Latinos are expected to be afflicted with the disease.

Anti-Violence Workers in Chicago Say More Resources Needed

Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses Chicago’s violent holiday weekend on July 6, 2021. (WTTW News)

Following a violent holiday weekend in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said young people need to “put down the guns.” Community organizations fighting to stem the rising tide of violence talk about their efforts and the root causes of violence in the city.

Russian Researchers Revive Tiny Creatures Frozen for 24,000 Years

A magnified image of a rotifer (Bob Blaylock / Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers in Russia revive creatures frozen in Arctic permafrost for more than 20,000 years. A new vaccine for malaria. The powerful connection between music and memory. And how “laughing gas” is being used to treat severe depression.

Northern Illinois Farmers Facing Worst Drought in 30 Years

(Chris_LeBoutillier / Pixabay)

After record floods in 2019, northern Illinois farmers are now contending with severe drought. According to state data, this spring was the third driest on record — and those records go all the way back to 1871. Two area farmers join us to share their insights.

Fed Forecasts Strong Economic Growth, but Inflation Concerns Rise

(NikolayFrolochkin / Pixabay)

The Federal Reserve has revised its forecast for inflation this year, predicting that core inflation — which doesn’t include the cost of food or gas — could rise to 3.4% by the year’s end. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that while the economy is growing strongly, the U.S. is still down 7 million jobs.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Work with European Space Agency to Design ‘Moon Village’

A vision of what a permanent human presence on the moon could look like. (Credit: SOM / Slashcube GmbH)

The Chicago-based global architectural powerhouse designs everything from train stations to high-rises to airports. But it also has its sights set beyond Chicago — and even beyond Earth. We learn about a design for a lunar colony grounded in science fact rather than science fiction.

ProPublica Report Exposes Tax Strategies of America’s Super Rich

(Steve Buissinne / Pixabay)

A trove of leaked IRS tax returns analyzed by ProPublica reveals America’s richest billionaires — including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — often pay little to no income tax.

Experts: ‘Reopening Anxiety’ is Real, Widespread and to Be Expected

(WTTW News)

Starting Friday, Chicago and the state of Illinois will fully reopen. It’s a day that many people have longed for, but if you’re experiencing anxiety about a return to something like normal, you’re not alone.

Clean Energy Bill Stalls, But Supporters Still Optimistic for Passage

(Andrey Metelev / Unsplash)

A deal on Gov. Pritzker’s big push to make Illinois a green-powered state has reportedly been close for weeks. But the bill stalled in the Illinois Senate earlier this week. 

Lawyers and Activists Blast Mayor, Police for Lack of Consent Decree Progress

Protesters and police officers wearing riot gear have a standoff near Daley Plaza on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Community activists and lawyers engaged in efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department have blasted Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD leadership for failing to move quickly on implementation of a court-mandated consent decree that is supposed to ensure change.

Economy is Bouncing Back, but Food Insecurity Persists

The Greater Chicago Food Depository supplies food pantries across the Chicago area. (WTTW News)

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which supplies food pantries across the area, says in its more than 40-year history it has never seen a hunger crisis like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the issue as part of WTTW’s Firsthand initiative exploring poverty.

Chicago’s Top Doctor Says If in Doubt, Keep Wearing That Mask

(WTTW News)

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, talks about the city’s updated mask guidance and what’s now safe for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

NU President Says He Knew ‘Optics’ of Hiring Polisky Would Be Tough

Northwestern University (WTTW News)

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro has faced intense criticism over his handling of sexual harassment allegations involving cheerleaders, donors and Wildcat fans. He joins us in discussion.

Northwestern Team Develops Wireless Monitors for Pregnant Moms

A team of researchers at Northwestern University has developed a suite of wireless pregnancy monitors. (courtesy Northwestern University)

For pregnant women, fetal monitoring devices are a cumbersome array of wires and tape that require constant adjustment and, quite literally, tether the patient to a hospital bed. A team of researchers at Northwestern University is working to change that.