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Chicago City Council to vote on minimum wage increase to $13

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The Chicago City Council on Tuesday is expected to vote on a proposal by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to raise the minimum wage in the nation’s third-largest city to $13 an hour over four years.

Emanuel’s measure to boost the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour follows similar actions by other cities, including Seattle and San Francisco.

The mayor felt the need to move on a minimum wage proposal now to get ahead of possible action by state lawmakers, who could vote to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. A state law could prevent cities from passing higher wage increases.

Emanuel’s support of a minimum wage hike could help him counter challengers in the February election, who claim that he favors business interests over working people.

The proposal would affect about 410,000 city workers in the city and add $800 million to the Chicago economy, according to a mayoral panel appointed to study the issue.

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The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce hike has opposed the increase, saying the state already has a higher minimum wage than that of neighboring states, but has lagged in the economic recovery.

A group of Chicago aldermen, including mayoral challenger Bob Fioretti, had offered a rival proposal that would raise the wage to $15 an hour, which would match the level approved in Seattle in June. But the council’s workforce development committee on Monday evening recommended Emanuel’s smaller increase.

Several states have approved increases in minimum wages this year, including Michigan and Minnesota.

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(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)


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Morning Joe panel brutally dismantles Lindsey Graham for doubling down and backing Trump’s extreme racism

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough was left speechless by Sen. Lindsey Graham's impassioned defense of President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen.

The "Morning Joe" host sat in stunned silence after rolling video of the South Carolina Republican defending Trump's tweets, and doubling down by hurling his own slurs against the first-year lawmakers.

"You call Americans in Congress communists?" Scarborough said, after gathering his thoughts, "and you say they hate America? And then your punch line to that is aim higher?"

Scarborough, who served alongside Graham as a Republican congressman, said the episode was a shameful new low for the veteran lawmaker.

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The Pacific leatherback sea turtle, at up to 2,200 pounds the largest turtle on earth, could disappear from our oceans, yet Trump regulators have OK’d a type of fishing that could wipe out the massive animals.

Pacific leatherback sea turtles are one of eight turtle species the Fisheries Service has identified as most at risk of extinction. The number of West Pacific leatherback sea turtles declined about 6% a year from the 1980s through 2011.

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Storm may force Army Corps to flood thousands of acres of farmland

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The Army Corps of Engineers could flood 130,000 acres of farmland in southeast Missouri by blowing up levees on a floodway on the Mississippi River if the remnants of Barry or other storms this summer dump too much rain.

The Coast Guard has posted plans to halt barge traffic if necessary on the Mississippi from the junction with the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill., to downstream of New Madrid, Mo.

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