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State Rep.Derrick Smith (right) talks to the media about his successful re-election in 2012 despite being under federal indictment for allegedly taking a bribe. With Smith is former Ald. Ed Smith (28th), (left) making a point. File Photo.| Dom Najolia~Sun-Times

Judge rules jurors can hear that Smith admitted he 'f----- up'

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second from right) talks with President Barack Obama at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. | Getty Images

Obama offering Japan security, economic assurances

TOKYO — Facing fresh questions about his commitment to Asia, President Barack Obama will seek to convince Japan's leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges, even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere.

Former Black Caucus chairman blasts Ryan for racial 'ignorance'

When Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) meets with the Congressional Black Caucus next week, former chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said he will bring up Ryan's previous comments about inner city poverty. While Cleaver insisted the meeting with Ryan will be more "light than heat," he did provide a preview of it Wednesday on MSNBC.

Clean Energy: A Very Chicago Enterprise

Earlier this month I attended the Clean Energy Trust’s Clean Energy Challenge, where teams of entrepreneurial students pitched a series of ideas that could set the world on a better path by using the free market to attack serious problems looming

On second attempt, earlier Sunday liquor sales get committee OK

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Council floor leader tried again Wednesday to extend the hours of Sunday liquor sales in Chicago—and succeeded by appeasing colleagues concerned about exacerbating an outdoor drinking problem that creates a breeding groun

Carla Oglesby, pictured in 2011. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Former Stroger aide gets 6½ years for theft, money laundering

An ex-aide to former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was sentenced to 6½ years Wednesday for steering more than $300,000 in phony county government contracts to her own company and her pals.

Michelle Obama announcing one-stop job site for vets

WASHINGTON — Aiming to streamline employment resources for people leaving the military, the government is creating an integrated website that can help job-seekers create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database of veterans and their spouses for companies to mine for skills and talents.

Cook County Clerk David Orr | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

David Orr has been irritating mayors for 35 years

In honor of his 35th year as an elected official, Cook County clerk David Orr did what he does best: he irritated the hell out of a powerful mayor.

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) | Sun-Times files

Restaurants and small independents exempt from plastic bag ban

Chicago retailers would be prohibited from putting their merchandise in plastic bags, but restaurants and small independents would be exempt, under a groundbreaking compromise hammered out by the City Council.

Why police recover more guns in Chicago than any other city

It’s not news that Chicago has a gun problem. But that doesn’t make it any more palatable for Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, a firm believer in systems management and improved gun laws as he works to reduce crime in the city.

WATCH: Jon Stewart goes on rant about sexism in politics

Last night on the "Daily Show," Jon Stewart took a pretty hard shot at our political system for its rampant sexism, and focused on many media pundits who are now wondering if Hillary Clinton won't run for president now that her daughter, Chelsea, is pregnant. And if you are only going to watch one video clip today, this one is it.