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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.

Nov 5, 2014

Illinois Democratic Governor Quinn concedes election to Republican Rauner

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Democratic Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday conceded the election to Republican challenger Bruce Rauner after a $100 million mud-slinging race that has put a wealthy political newbie in charge of the financially troubled state.

Unofficial results show Rauner took 51 percent of the vote with close to 100 percent of precincts reporting. Quinn trailed by about 157,000 votes, taking some 47 percent. Libertarian Chad Grimm took 3 percent.

Nov 5, 2014

Illinois prosecutors probing election-disrupting robocalls

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois state prosecutors are investigating robocalls that targeted Chicago election workers, causing voting snafus that have led Democratic Governor Pat Quinn to refuse to concede he lost his race to wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has launched a criminal investigation, her office said on Wednesday.

Nov 3, 2014

Chicago-area teen tried to take siblings to join Islamic State

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday ordered pre-trial detention for a Chicago-area 19-year-old accused of trying to fly with his two younger siblings to the Middle East to join the militant group Islamic State.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan of suburban Bolingbrook was arrested a month ago at O’Hare International Airport as he tried to board a plane to Turkey, and later charged with attempting to provide material support to a group the United States has designated a terrorist organization.

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.

    • 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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