Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Oct 31, 2014

‘Tis the season: to tour Halloween light displays

, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Breathtaking
purple-and-orange light displays, zombie graveyards, mutilated
mannequins and singing inflatable pumpkins are just some of the
front-yard Halloween decorations that Americans are expected to
spend $7.4 billion on this year.

In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, the displays got so
elaborate that Annette Wehrli decided to set up a tour.

Oct 30, 2014

Apple’s Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle

By Dan Levine and Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – In his essay coming out as gay, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook criticized an Arizona proposal that would have given private business owners the ability to deny services to gay people on religious grounds.

Cook on Thursday became the most prominent American corporate leader to come out, saying he was trading his closely guarded privacy for the chance to help move civil rights forward.

Oct 30, 2014

Illinois releases prisoner, bringing wrongful conviction full circle

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A celebrated Illinois wrongful conviction case went full circle on Thursday when authorities freed a man sentenced for a 1982 double murder and said they believe another man exonerated 15 years ago is probably the murderer after all.

Prisoner Alstory Simon, who in 1999 confessed to shooting and killing teenagers Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard on Chicago’s South Side, was released from the Jacksonville Correctional Center in Central Illinois.

Oct 29, 2014

Catholic Church to close, merge a dozen schools in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Catholic Church will close or merge a dozen of its 240 Chicago-area schools due to falling attendance in some areas of the country’s largest parochial school system, the Archdiocese of Chicago said on Wednesday.

“We will not be able to maintain all schools in their current form,” outgoing Cardinal Francis George said in a letter posted on the website of the archdiocese, which has a deficit of millions of dollars.

Oct 26, 2014

Top U.S. health official warns of risks from Ebola quarantines

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Quarantines imposed on travelers coming from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa are a “little bit draconian,” a senior U.S. health official charged on Sunday, saying they could discourage American health workers from going to the region to help fight the epidemic.

But the governors of New York and New Jersey, two of the states that have imposed the measures, defended the measures.

Oct 23, 2014

Reporter quits Chicago newspaper, says governor candidate influenced paper

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A veteran Illinois political reporter quit his job at the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday and accused the newspaper of bowing to pressure from Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner by removing him from the campaign beat.

Dave McKinney, a 19-year veteran of the paper who covered the state capital, said in his resignation letter that the paper reassigned him after the Rauner campaign accused him of a conflict of interest, which he denies.

Oct 21, 2014

Chicago corrections officer charged in pot smuggling attempt

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A corrections officer in Chicago’s Cook County Jail was arrested on Tuesday and faces a federal criminal charge for allegedly trying to smuggle two sandwiches packed with marijuana into the jail last year, federal authorities said.

Three inmates, two civilian women and a police dispatcher have also been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in the case.

Oct 14, 2014

Police arrest 50 protesting shootings of blacks in St. Louis area

By Fiona Ortiz

FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) – Hundreds of people demonstrated in the pouring rain in the St. Louis area on Monday, staging a series of rolling protests in the latest show of anger over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in August.

At least 50 protesters were arrested in civil disobedience acts in Ferguson, the suburb where Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead. Other groups occupied St. Louis city hall, where they tried to hang a banner, shut down a local Walmart, and chanted outside a fundraiser for a local politician.

Oct 14, 2014

Protesters demonstrate in St. Louis area over police shootings of blacks

By Fiona Ortiz

FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) – Hundreds of people demonstrated in the pouring rain in the St. Louis area on Monday, staging a series of rolling protests in the latest show of anger over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in August.

Several demonstrators were arrested in protests at the Ferguson Police Department where protesters sang “We Shall Overcome,” an anthem of the civil rights movement of half a century ago, and others chanted: “No justice, no peace.”

Oct 14, 2014

Ferguson protesters struggle to keep focus on slain teenager

By Fiona Ortiz and Kenny Bahr

ST LOUIS Mo. (Reuters) – Young black protesters from Ferguson, Missouri, want to keep their anger focused on the fatal police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown as their movement takes on a national dimension that threatens to dilute it.

During a weekend of demonstrations marking the two-month anniversary since Brown, an African American, was killed by a white police officer, protesters challenged the outsiders who arrived in Ferguson pushing an array of agendas.

    • 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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