The must-read news stories of the day from around the Web for February 15, 2013.
Ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, were charged on Friday - Jesse over campaign finances and Sandi with improperly filing taxes. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
The Jackson two
Jesse Jackson Jr., who the Sun-Times had reported was in plea deal discussion with the feds over his campaign finances, was charged Friday afternoon with conspiracy, making false statements, and mail and wire fraud. In a surprise double-punch, wife Sandi, the recently former alderman, was charged with filing a false tax return. [CST, Tribune]
President Obama made his long-awaited return to Chicago, to a warm welcome, but not in a victory tour. Obama was in town to talk the economy and, more importantly, gun violence. After invoking Hadiya Pendleton's name in the State of the Union, the calls intensified for him to come back and meet the city's murder and gun violence problem head on. Meanwhile, Steve Bogira has the speech Obama should have given. [CST, NBC5, The Reader]
The sky is falling ... or isn't
Perhaps the only thing more stunning than a meteor crashing through the Earth's atmosphere late Thursday night was the apparent number of people in Middle-of-Nowehere Russia who routinely travel around town with rolling video cameras. More than 1,000 residents of Chelyabinsk were injured when the meteor's sonic boom shattered windows across the town, an event caught inexplicably on numerous YouTube clips as it happened. This had nothing to do, however, with an asteroid passing an uncomfortably close 17,000 miles from Earth today. What's the big deal, it's 17,000 miles away, you say? That's within the ring of communications satellites that surround our blue dot of a home. No danger here, says renowned rocket scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, but a reminder that space is a frontier with plenty of undetectable finality.
[CST, CST, Today]
Please, God, no presidential election talk yet. We're barely out of the last cycle. But there you go, Daily Beast, starting a ruckus with reporting that Rahm Emanuel is gearing up for 2016 and the White House - according to unnamed Democratic big wigs. A report, by the way, that everyone near Hizzoner scrambled quickly to their nearest mountaintops to shout down. So it's probably true - that's the way these things work these days. And there was the now requisite Not Safe For Work sendup of Rahmtalk on Twitter around the #PresidentRahmSlogan tag. In the meantime, Lynn Sweet has some takeaways to ponder while the rumors swirl. [Sweet blog, Storify]
Not well and good
About those rapidly shrinking water levels in Lake Michigan ... it's not just drought or global warming and Asian carp or Michigan and Wisconsin taking what's rightfully ours in Illinois. It's about your wells, People! [BackTalk]
Iron Mike! (Sorry, not Ditka)
Mike Tyson is in town to put on his one-man show this weekend. This caused quite a bit of buzz in the Sun-Times newsroom when he stopped in for a chat in our studio this morning with Mary Mitchell. There were no tigers, no craziness and no drama. Very quiet, humble guy. Hedy Weiss will have a review of the show later tonight. In the meantime, a short take on his interview. [CST]
Enthusiasms ... enthusiasms ...
Yesterday we told you about the Mexican drug lord who would be No. 1 in Chicago. Today we remember the man who's name he evokes, Al Capone, and where that giant in the land of gang violence rates in regard to gang hits - a late bouquet after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre anniversary. [Chicagoist]
College credit (default)
A new website established by the Obama administration tells you college is expensive. You knew that already? Did you also know there's a lot of college education floating around Chicago financed by defaulted student loan debt? Or that Columbia, DePaul and Loyola have the highest average monthly loan payments? Study up, kids. [DNA]
Gotta be the shoes
Derrick Rose, won't you please hurry back. Not because we're worried about the Bulls' record - though we are. No, we just want the crazy train of speculation around the most important knee in Chicago to go away. Today's installment: If you had been like Mike and worn Nikes, we'd be hoisting trophies right now. [Deadspin]
The Bright One
Speaking of like Mike . . . happy 50th birthday, Michael Jordan! It had to be the shoes, right? [CST]