Stories by Paul Caine

Bitcoin Price Soars Ahead of Launch of Futures Trading In Chicago

(Antana / Flickr)

The Chicago Futures Exchange is set to start trading bitcoin, which has seen its value rise more than 1,000 percent since the start of the year. Just what is bitcoin?

Exploring the Technology Behind IIT’s Microgrid

A new mini power grid supplied by wind and solar helps the Illinois Institute of Technology meet its 21st century power needs.

Putin Playing a ‘Long Game’ to Restore Russian Pride, Influence


As evidence mounts that Russia did meddle in the 2016 election, we speak with a Russia expert about what Vladimir Putin’s strategic goals might be.

Voice of America Still Mission-Driven at 75

The Wilbur J. Cohen Federal Building in Washington, D.C., where Voice of America is headquartered. (PersianDutchNetwork / Wikimedia Commons)

It began as an effort to combat Nazi propaganda, but in these highly partisan times can the taxpayer-funded Voice of America remain free from bias?

Democrats Hoping for ‘Blue Wave’ In 2018

(Public Citizen / Flickr)

A year after what for many Democrats was unthinkable—losing the presidential election to Donald Trump—there are signs they may be getting their mojo back.

Family Tragedy Prompts Local Woman to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Prescription pain pills are dumped out on a table. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration / Tech. Sgt. Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner)

The opioid epidemic in Illinois is more acute than in many other states, according to the National Safety Council. We discuss the crisis and a new memorial that highlights the human toll of opioid addiction.

First Frost Signals Time to Put WTTW Garden to Bed

This week, Chicago will see its first hard frost of the season—and that means it’s time to prepare our WTTW garden for winter. Organic gardener Jeanne Nolan leads the way.

Are We Alone? Giant New Telescopes Could Spot Alien Life

(NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope / Flickr)

Thousands of planets orbiting alien suns, giant new telescopes coming online: Could we finally answer the question “Are we alone in the Universe?”

City Steps Up Environmental Protection Efforts As EPA Hobbled

(Trey Ratcliff / Flickr)

After cutbacks at the EPA and skepticism within the Trump administration about climate change, the city of Chicago has made clear its intention to step up efforts to protect the environment.

Tribune Finds Poorer Black, Latino Communities Pay Most for Water

(Daniel Dionne / Flickr)

An investigation uncovers a disturbing gap in how much local communities charge their residents for water. We discuss the findings with Chicago Tribune reporters Cecilia Reyes and Ted Gregory.

Trump’s Former Campaign Chair, Associate Indicted for Money Laundering

Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates are indicted on money laundering charges, but the White House says it has nothing to do with President Donald Trump.

Scathing Criticism of Trump Fails to Undermine Base Support

Blistering attacks against President Donald Trump coming from members of his own party. Local Republicans give us their take on the turmoil dividing Washington.

Study: Tiny Mammal Survives Winter by Shrinking Skull, Brain

(Hanna Knutsson / Flickr)

University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin returns for another review of stories making headlines in the world of science. 

Going Cashless May Be the Future, But Not Soon For Most Businesses

Why accepting cash could become a thing of the past. The growing trend for businesses to go cashless.

Deadline Day for Amazon HQ2 Bids

Chicago is reportedly pulling out all the stops to try to entice the e-commerce giant. But just what is Amazon looking for, and how strong a contender is Chicago likely to be?

Is Spending on Statewide Elections Going Too Far?

Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker introduces his running mate, South Side state Rep. Juliana Stratton, on Aug. 10.

With more than a year to go, the three richest candidates for governor have raised a combined total of more than $102 million. Have we reached a point where only millionaires and billionaires need apply when running for statewide office?

Jonathan Eig’s ‘Ali: A Life’ Portrays Complex, Flawed, But Humble Icon

Ali loved a crowd, and often found one on 79th Street in Chicago, near the offices of Muhammad Speaks and the popular Tiger Lounge. (© Lowell K. Riley)

A Chicago author tackles the complex life of Muhammad Ali in a new biography with some fascinating revelations.

GOP Senator Warns Trump’s Recklessness Could Lead to World War III

Cryptic comments, contradictory statements and tweets: President Donald Trump’s foreign policy approach has some members of his own party on edge.

From Gerrymandering to Gay Rights, Supreme Court Faces ‘Blockbuster’ Term

(Joe Ravi / Wikimedia Commons)

“Blockbuster” and “epic” are the words being used to describe the cases on the U.S. Supreme Court docket this term. We discuss the key cases.

Republicans and Democrats at Odds Over Trump Tax Plan

President Donald Trump recently said the heart of his tax proposal “is a giant, beautiful, massive – the biggest ever in our country – tax cut.” We take a closer look at the plan.

Unseasonable Heat Wave Ripens Last of Summer Crops

It may officially be fall, but for the past week Chicago has been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave. Jeanne Nolan joins us in the WTTW organic garden.

Conservationist Pioneer Helps Zimbabwe’s Rhinos Bounce Back

(Courtesy of Clive Stockil)

Meet Clive Stockil, a conservationist being honored in Chicago who is helping Zimbabwe’s rhinos bounce back from the threat of extinction.

The Little Rock Nine: Remembering Extraordinary Courage 60 Years Later

Elizabeth Eckford walks to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Sixty years ago, on Sept. 25, 1957, nine courageous African-American teenagers changed history. We revisit our 2015 interview with the Little Rock Nine.

Better Batteries Hold Promise for a Sustainable Future

(Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr)

Scientists around the world are working to develop the next generation of batteries. We speak with one who is leading the charge at Argonne National Laboratory.

Mueller Probe Intensifies as Former Trump Campaign Manager Targeted

The pressure rises on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as the Russia investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller heats up.