Editor's note: Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert faces sentencing today at 11 a.m. ET after previously pleading guilty to two counts of banking violations. Prosecutors say Hastert, now 74 and ill after suffering a stroke in November, sexually abused five students when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach decades ago in Yorkville, Ill. He is accused of using illegally structured bank withdrawals to pay out "hush money" for his misconduct. Hastert cannot be charged for sexual abuse because the federal and state statutes of limitations have passed, but one of his accusers, identified only as "Individual D," is expected to testify at today's hearing. The Chicago Tribune notes that this testimony could prove crucial in determining whether Hastert gets prison time. We'll be following the proceedings and will bring you updates. - Rebecca
Chicago (/ʃᵻˈkɑːɡoʊ/ or /ʃᵻˈkɔːɡoʊ/) is the third most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the state of Illinois and the Midwest. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10 million people and is the third-largest in the U.S. Chicago is the seat of Cook County.
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and grew rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century. The city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation: O'Hare International Airport is the busiest airport in the world when measured by aircraft traffic; the region also has the largest number of U.S. highways and rail road freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. As of 2014, Chicago had the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States at US$610.5 billion.
In 2014, Chicago had 50.2 million international and domestic visitors. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, gospel and house music. It also has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues. Chicago has many nicknames, the best-known being the Windy City.