Chicago Council limits gun-sale locations

The Chicago City Council, forced by a federal judge to allow gun sales in the city, approved an ordinance Wednesday that dramatically limits where those stores can open and puts owners on alert that the city will be looking over their shoulders every time they sell a gun.

During their discussions, aldermen and Mayor Rahm Emanuel made it clear that the only reason they were voting to permit gun stores after a decades-old ban was because a federal judge, following a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the city’s handgun ban, ruled earlier this year that the ban on stores selling guns was unconstitutional.

The ordinance, which passed by a 48-0 vote, requires that all gun sales be videotaped and prohibits gun shops in 99.5 percent of the city.

— Associated Press

FDA warns about acne treatment side effects

Federal health officials are warning consumers who use popular anti-acne treatments about rare but potentially deadly allergic reactions that can cause swelling of the face and difficulty breathing.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday the problems have been reported with gels, face washes, pads and other products that contain two ingredients: benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. But the agency says it’s unclear whether those ingredients trigger the reactions or whether some other combination of ingredients is to blame.

The over-the-counter treatments are sold as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Aveeno and other brands.

The agency wants consumers to stop using the products immediately if they experience tightness of the throat, breathing problems, light-headedness or swelling of the eyes, face or lips.

— Associated Press

Tax-fraud architect gets 15 years in prison

A Chicago-area lawyer and accountant labeled by the government as history’s most prolific and unrepentant tax cheat was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison, and the judge bemoaned the “incredible greed” of some of America’s wealthiest people for taking advantage of the tax shelters he peddled.

The lawyer, Paul M. Daugerdas, 63, was ordered to pay nearly a half-billion dollars in restitution and forfeit $164 million in cash and property.

Daugerdas, of Wilmette, Ill., earned more than $97 million as the architect of a two-decade fraud that relied on sophisticated tax shelters to shield some of the country’s richest people from paying taxes on nearly $8 billion in gains, said U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III.

— Associated Press

Groups appeal to U.N. to help restore water shutoffs

Several groups concerned about Detroit residents who had their water shut off for nonpayment have taken the unusual step of appealing to the United Nations for support in an effort to force the restoration of service.

The organizations sent a letter last week to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights saying mass water shutoffs are leaving poor people and families at risk in the city, which is attempting to emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Three U.N. experts responded Wednesday that the shutoffs could constitute a violation of the human right to water. The U.N. officials can make recommendations, but they have no enforcement power.

The groups that wrote to the United Nations — Blue Planet Project, Food & Water Watch, Detroit People’s Water Board and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization — are also concerned about any possible privatization of the city’s water department.

— Associated Press