Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Dec 18, 2014

Missouri attorney general sues cities over predatory traffic ticketing

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a civil lawsuit on Thursday against 13 St. Louis suburbs for predatory traffic ticketing, saying the cities were depending on traffic fines for too much of their budgets.

Black residents in some municipalities around St. Louis have complained they are unfairly targeted by frequent police patrols on highways, and have pressured politicians to make it more difficult for cities to earn revenue from traffic fines.

Dec 5, 2014

Neighbors of Chicago’s O’Hare airport amp up noise complaints

CHICAGO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Retired engineer Ed Phillips
lives almost seven miles (11 km) east of O’Hare International
Airport, but conversation at his home is often interrupted by
the roar of low-flying jets landing at a new runway at one of
the world’s busiest airports.

Across a broad swathe of northern Chicago, people who never
noticed planes before now say their houses shake, they can’t
sleep and and their property values have dropped.

Dec 3, 2014

Trial nears for white Chicago police officer who killed black woman

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A judge is expected to set on Wednesday a trial date for a white Chicago police officer who shot and killed a young black woman in 2012, in a case that has gained notoriety in the national uproar in recent months over policing and race.

    Dante Servin is the first Chicago police officer in 17 years to face criminal charges over a shooting death. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other felony offenses in connection with the off-duty shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd.

Dec 1, 2014

Chicago police to adopt body cameras, other post-Ferguson changes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The head of the Chicago Police Department, the second biggest in the United States, said on Monday its officers will start wearing body cameras and it will make other changes after a fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, in August set off a national debate on race and policing.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy said body cameras will be in use by late January by police officers who volunteered for a pilot program, as soon as the department works out how to store the camera recordings.

Nov 24, 2014

Mexican drug trafficker sentenced in Chicago to 22 years

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge sentenced a Mexican drug trafficker to 22 years in prison for shipping 276 kilos of cocaine to Chicago hidden in railway cars in a case that highlighted the city’s role as a hub for distributing tons of cocaine throughout the United States from 1998 to 2008.

Judge Ruben Castillo said there was no proof Alfredo Vazquez Hernandez, 59, was a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa cartel, as prosecutors alleged. But in handing down a long sentence for a first-time offender who had pleaded guilty, he said he had trouble believing Vazquez had never dealt drugs previously.

Nov 24, 2014

Alleged Sinaloa cartel logistics head to be sentenced in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An alleged top member of the Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel will appear in court for sentencing on Monday in a case that has highlighted Chicago’s role as a hub for distributing tons of cocaine throughout the United States from 1998 to 2008.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of up to life in prison for Alfredo Vasquez Hernandez, 59, who pleaded guilty in April to one count of drug distribution but who denies he was part of Sinaloa.

Nov 18, 2014

Indiana releases details on unidentified serial murder victim

CHICAGO (Reuters) – She was in her 30s or 40s, likely Hispanic, 5-feet 6-inches tall and has healed fractures in her nose. That is all authorities know about the woman believed to be a serial killer victim, whose skeletal remains were found a month ago in Gary, Indiana.

The Lake County coroner in northwestern Indiana released the scant details on Tuesday, hoping the information will lead to the identification of one of seven victims of Darren Vann, who has been charged so far in two murders.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. veterinarians issue guidelines for handling pets exposed to Ebola

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An American veterinary group issued guidelines on Wednesday on how to handle and potentially quarantine pet cats and dogs that may have been exposed to humans with Ebola.

Dogs and cats are not known to be capable of getting or spreading Ebola. But Spanish health officials killed a dog belonging to a nurse who got Ebola, stirring widespread protest. U.S. authorities quarantined the dog of an American nurse with the virus.

Nov 6, 2014

Appeals court upholds gay marriage bans, reversing trend

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, reversing the trend in federal courts to strike down such bans and piling pressure on the Supreme Court to take up the matter.

The ruling by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is the first ruling by a federal appeals court upholding bans on same-sex marriage.

Nov 6, 2014

U.S. appeals court upholds gay marriage bans, reversing trend

Nov 6 (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld
gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee,
reversing the trend in federal courts to strike down such bans
and piling pressure on the Supreme Court to take up the matter.

The ruling by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is the
first ruling by a federal appeals court upholding bans on
same-sex marriage.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is Reuters' chief correspondent for Spain. She has also lived and worked as a journalist in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Portland, Oregon."
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