Former White House strategist Steve Bannon leaves a House Intelligence Committee meeting where he was interviewed behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Welcome to the Reader‘s briefing for Friday, January 26, 2018.

  • University of Chicago defends Steve Bannon debate invitation citing freedom of speech and academic freedom

The University of Chicago is defending its invitation to former key Trump strategist turned adversary Steve Bannon. Bannon has accepted the invitation from Booth School of Business professor Luigi Zingales to speak about immigration and globalization, but no date for a visit has been set. Students and other activists gathered outside Booth to protest the invitation Thursday. “When the administration says that Steve Bannon is welcome at this campus, what they’re saying is that people of color are not, they’re saying that queer people are not, they’re saying that everyone who Breitbart News and who the Trump administration has been attacking is not welcome here,” Sam Joyce, cochair of a student chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America, said at the protest. The university is standing behind Zingales—who says he does not personally agree with Bannon—citing academic freedom and free expression. “I firmly believe that the current problems in America cannot be solved by demonizing those who think differently, but by addressing the causes of their dissatisfaction. Hate cannot be defeated by hate, but only by reason,” Zingales said in a statement. [Sun-Times]

  • City Hall agrees to comply with Department of Justice request for immigration documents

The city of Chicago has agreed to hand over the immigration documents requested by the Department of Justice under threat of subpoena, according to the Sun-Times. “We have seen too many examples of the threat to public safety represented by jurisdictions that actively thwart the federal government’s immigration enforcement—enough is enough,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. When the city does give the DOJ the documents, they will include a recent order by a federal judge siding with Chicago on the issue of sanctuary cities, according to Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins. [Sun-Times]

  • Rod Blagojevich, Drew Peterson publicist killed in Taliban attack

Publicist Glenn Selig, who worked as a spokesman for Drew Peterson and former governor Rod Blagojevich, was killed in a Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the weekend. Selig “handled both positions with more dignity than either client probably had a right to expect,” according to the Tribune. As recently as last week, he was offering Chicago reporters interviews with Patti Blagojevich. Selig was working for a Kabul-based client promoting the Afghan government’s work fighting extremism when he was killed. [Tribune]

  • Dave Duerson Act would ban tackle football for kids under 12 in Illinois

A new proposed law would ban children under the age of 12 from playing tackle football in Illinois. Called the Dave Duerson Act, the proposed law is named after the former Bears player who took his own life after suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by football concussions. Duerson shot himself in the chest so he could donate his brain for research into football-related brain injuries. “Thanks to increased attention and research on brain trauma, we know that part of the solution is to guard young children’s developing brains from the risks of tackle football,” his son Tregg Duerson said. “This bill honors my family’s hopes and my father’s legacy to protect future athletes and the future of football.” [Tribune] [Associated Press via ABC News]

  • Emanuel declines White House meeting with Trump

Mayor Rahm Emanuel skipped a meeting with President Donald Trump and other mayors at the White House for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Wednesday. Hanover Park mayor Rodney Craig might have been the only Illinois mayor to attend the Trump meeting, according to CBS Chicago. [CBS Chicago]

  • The best Chicago Restaurant Week deals for each type of eater

Chicago Restaurant Week starts Friday and run through February 8. Eater Chicago has created an interactive map of the best deals for each type of eater, including vegetarians, cocktail lovers, picky eaters, and more. [Eater Chicago]