Illinois Briefs: Chicago cabs to remove ads targeting Islam

A Chicago cab company says it’ll remove controversial ads targeting Islam from a fleet of taxis.

Chicago cabs to remove ads targeting Islam

CHICAGO — A Chicago cab company says it’ll remove controversial ads targeting Islam from a fleet of taxis.

The ads are sponsored by Stop Islamization of America, which claims the U.S. is under attack by Islamic law. Some depict women allegedly killed by their Muslim fathers for not agreeing to forced marriages.

The ads appeared on about two dozen cabs. They’ve also been on New York and Detroit buses.

Yellow Cab CEO Michael Levine says the fleet owner was paid by an independent advertising company. The ads were to be removed weeks ago but some were still running Tuesday.

Levine says those will be taken down.

He says the company has the right to remove ads if they offend drivers or the public.

Stop Islamization of America claims it helps people interested in leaving Islam, but advocacy groups say they’re discriminatory.

Chicago pilot program to lengthen school days

CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools has started a pilot program at five elementary schools that will add 90 minutes of math and reading time to the school day.

School officials and Mayor Richard Daley on Tuesday announced the program. It is to begin at the five schools in November and ten more schools will be added in January.

The program is mandatory for first to eighth grades at participating schools. The extra learning time goes from 2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. each day. It includes 35 minutes of reading, 35 minutes of math and a 20-minute snack and recess.

Community groups will be recruited to manage facilitators who will monitor students. About $5.5 million in federal stimulus money will fund the program.

Students who have parental permission may be excused for medical, family hardship or religious reasons.

McDonald’s names first-ever global brand chief

OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald’s Corp. said Tuesday it named Steve Easterbrook, current CEO of its U.K. division and president of Northern Europe operations, to the newly created role of global chief brand officer.

The world’s largest burger chain said Easterbrook will oversee marketing, menu innovation, consumer insights and other brand assets.

Easterbrook, a 16-year McDonald’s veteran, assumes the post Sept. 1.

Jill McDonald, current chief marketing officer for Northern Europe, will succeed Easterbrook in the U.K. and Northern Europe roles.

McDonald’s has outpaced many of its competitors in recent years, particularly in the U.S. where its value menu helped insulate it from much of the economic weakness that’s hurt rivals.

From Associated Press reports