The Jan. 6 hearings begin tonight. Here’s what to know. – Chicago Tribune

Good morning, Chicago.

The Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol played out for the world to see, but the House committee investigating the attack believes a more chilling story has yet to be told.

“We need to see this as an effort by our political leaders to have a conversation about what is threatening our democracy, and to have it as a national conversation,” said University of Chicago political science professor Robert Pape, director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats.

Pape estimated that around 18 million to 21 million Americans “harbor the radical sentiments” that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president and that use of force is justified to restore Donald Trump to the presidency, based on a series of surveys executed by NORC at the University of Chicago. To Pape, it’s critical that the hearings be televised for a broad audience — and that the public pays attention.

Here are five things to know about the Capitol attack and the prime-time hearings.

And in other news from Washington, the House passed a gun control bill Wednesday in response to mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds. The vote came after a House committee heard wrenching testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including from 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, who covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot at the Uvalde elementary school.

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An upbeat Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended her record on crime and economic development during her first full day as a candidate for reelection, telling reporters she doesn’t have an “uphill battle” as she seeks a second term. “Haters are gonna hate. Haters are going to hate,” Lightfoot said during a campaign stop at Brown Sugar, a renowned bakery on the South Side.

The mayor also hit back at campaign rivals who have called for the termination of police Superintendent David Brown, saying he’s the right man for the job and violent crime has decreased from quarter-century highs in 2021. Four of her five rivals for mayor have called for Brown’s ouster, to which Lightfoot scoffed, “Spoken like people who don’t know anything about public safety.”

The city of Aurora has revoked the special event permit for the Aurora Pride group to hold the Aurora Pride Parade Sunday.

The revocation is based on “the inability of the Aurora Pride board to retain the number of law enforcement officers required to ensure the public health and welfare of participants and spectators” at the Aurora Pride Parade, according to a city statement Wednesday afternoon.

The statement went on to say the Aurora Police Department, which was providing 70% of the security force for the parade, recommended the parade be canceled because of the inability to satisfy safety requirements.

As the number of riders on Chicago-area public transit remains below pre-pandemic levels and transit agencies look to adjust to changing ridership habits, a planned new pass will allow some Metra customers unlimited rides on the CTA and Pace.

The new Regional Connect Pass would be available to Metra monthly pass holders for $30. It would replace Link-Up and PlusBus passes, and eliminate restrictions under those systems on the time and day riders could transfer to CTA.

The Chicago Bears were back at practice Wednesday at Halas Hall after the NFL stripped them of Tuesday’s practice for violating league rules that prohibit live contact.

Along with explanations from players and coach Matt Eberflus about those violations, here are four things we heard as the Bears wrap up their third week of organized team activities.

Fred and Perteet Spencer launched AYO Foods, an array of West African frozen meals and hot sauces, in July 2020. In two years, they’ve expanded into stores nationwide, including Chicagoland Mariano’s, Heinen’s, and The Fresh Market stores. Frozen options range from jollof rice to cassava leaf stew, egusi seed soup just begging for some doughy fufu to sop up all the rich flavors, and chicken yassa, a popular dish of slow-braised chicken thighs with lemon and caramelized onion.

“We’re talking about an entire continent not represented in grocery stores,” Perteet Spencer said with an incredulous tone. “It’s not a monolith; we’re talking about 17 different countries (in West Africa). Every tribe, every country, they all have their unique way of doing things.”

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss gave a master class in the art of listening Tuesday at Pritzker Pavilion, Bob Gendron wrote for the Tribune.

The duo’s expert concentration and willingness to put the needs of the whole above any individual concern — coupled with their innate chemistry — defined a 100-minute concert as majestic as the beautiful early summer evening that greeted the large crowd.

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