What to know about the ‘kraken’ COVID subvariant – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Good morning, Chicago.

Medical experts say the new COVID-19 subvariant dubbed “kraken” is the most contagious version of the virus to emerge since the pandemic began — and it’s becoming the dominant strain in the United States.

As cases of this latest subvariant, known as XBB.1.5, surge across the northeastern section of the nation, local physicians are urging Chicago-area residents to get their booster shots and stock up on COVID tests. They are predicting that a wave will soon hit the Midwest.

While the “kraken” variant only accounts for about 7% of cases in Chicago, the city’s top doctor forecast that its prevalence will likely be increasing here in the coming weeks.

Read the full story from the Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos.

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Roger Krahl, owner of R-Guns, at his store in Carpentersville on Jan. 11, 2023. “There’s not a whole lot left that will be enough to support a business. I think that the state has just put a lot of hardworking people out of business and on the unemployment line,” he said.

The business landscape for gun sellers across Illinois changed with the stroke of a pen Tuesday night as Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, in one of the first acts of his second term, signed into law a sweeping ban on the sale of a wide range of semi-automatic firearms.

Business owners who sell guns and ammunition that’s now banned were predictably angry.

President Joe Biden talks with reporters before he and first lady Jill Biden board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Jan. 11, 2023.

House Republicans opened their long-promised investigation into President Joe Biden and his family, wielding the power of their new majority to demand information from the Treasury Department and former Twitter executives as they laid the groundwork for public hearings.

The Republican-led committee sent a series of letters requesting financial information from the Treasury Department about financial transactions by members of the Biden family that were flagged as suspicious activity.

An electric vehicle charges at an EVgo fast charging station.

Aurora, Glencoe, Oak Park and Skokie are among the local communities selected to participate in a new program intended to assist municipalities meet future needs for electric vehicle usage.

Late last year, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus revealed a list of 16 municipalities selected to participate in a new Electric Readiness program intended to either create or enhance policies and then install top methods for safe regional transportation electrification.

Chicago Bulls guard Coby White and forward DeMar DeRozan embrace on court late in the second half of a game against the Utah Jazz at the United Center in Chicago on Jan. 7, 2023.

With 41 games under their belt before Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls were hovering just below .500 at 19-22 and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. But things have been looking up for the Bulls, who recently hit a hot streak as scoring improved behind All-Star Zach LaVine.

Here’s a look at where the Bulls are — and where they could go in the second half of the season.

Jessie Buckley in a scene from "The Lost Daughter."

“‘Women Talking’ is one of those collaborative gems, screen division,” writes Michael Phillips.

“Now in theaters, director-adapter Sarah Polley’s beautifully finessed version of the 2018 Miriam Toews novel was born out of a galling real-life account, that of the ‘ghost rapes’ victimizing the women of a Bolivian Mennonite community. Those committing the serial sexual assaults were, in fact, the men, preying on the women, then blaming their memories on the influence of demonic spirits.”

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