Midwest Correspondent
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Sep 17, 2014

Police chiefs pledge more transparency after Ferguson

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Dozens of police chiefs meeting in Chicago this week said a notorious fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in August had been a defining moment for law enforcement and pledged greater transparency over such incidents.

Speaking to Reuters in a group interview, the heads of police of Dallas, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Elk Grove, California, Boston, and Toronto, Canada said that every police shooting since Ferguson has been followed by protests.

Sep 12, 2014

Wisconsin asks appeals court for urgent green light on voter ID law

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Wisconsin on Friday asked a U.S. appeals court in Chicago to urgently give a green light to a 2012 law requiring voters to show photo identification, so that it can be in place for the November mid-term elections.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court was hearing an appeal after a federal district court in Wisconsin ruled in April the law was unconstitutional, blocking its implementation even though it was upheld in a separate ruling by the state’s Supreme Court.

Sep 9, 2014

Professor seeks reinstatement after losing job over Gaza tweets

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – A professor who lost a promised job over his tweets on the recent seven-week Israel-Palestine war demanded on Tuesday that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) reinstate him, citing free speech and academic freedom.

But the university said it was standing by its decision to withdraw Steven Salaita’s professorship over his pro-Palestine anti-Israel tweets, which it has said were uncivil and demeaning.

Aug 27, 2014

Chicago pride swells over champion Little League team

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people lined Chicago’s streets on Wednesday to cheer on an all-African-American Little League baseball team whose U.S. championship has brought pride to a city struggling with crime and budget problems.

The Jackie Robinson West team of 11- and 12-year-olds from Chicago’s South Side beat a team from Las Vegas, Nevada, last week to become the top U.S. team in the World Series played in Pennsylvania, but lost the international final to South Korea on Sunday.

Aug 26, 2014

U.S. appeals court challenges states on gay marriage bans

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court in Chicago appeared ready to strike down gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin after vigorously challenging the two states’ attorneys at a hearing on Tuesday.

The oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals come at a crucial stage in the legal fight over same-sex marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up the issue in its next term.

Aug 25, 2014

U.S. murder suspect in Bali denied private legal consultations: lawyer

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago-area teenager detained in connection with the death of her mother on the resort island of Bali is not being allowed to meet privately with her legal team in Indonesia, her U.S.-based lawyer said on Monday.

Michael Elkin, Chicago-based attorney for 19-year-old Heather Mack, called on Indonesian authorities to allow her local legal advisers and investigators working on her case to meet with her in a private setting.

Aug 25, 2014

Kidnappers free American missing in Syria since 2012

Aug 24 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda-linked militants in Syria on
Sunday freed an American writer missing since 2012 following
what officials said were efforts by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar
to win his release.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that
Peter Theo Curtis had been held by Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s
official wing in Syria whose rivalry with militant group Islamic
State has fueled war among the insurgents themselves.

Aug 5, 2014

Chicago-area ex-doctor gets prison for swapping drugs for sex

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A former doctor who worked at hospitals in the Chicago area was sentenced on Tuesday to 70 months in federal prison for swapping Vicodin and other prescription medications for sex through advertisements on Craigslist.

Joshua D. Baron, 40, who was a pediatric neurologist, pleaded guilty in March to providing some 149 prescriptions for drugs such as Adderall, Xanax, Percocet and OxyContin to 16 people, in exchange for sex or cash, the United States Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Aug 1, 2014

Chicago police say homicides fall to lowest level since 1963

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago’s police superintendent said on Friday the number of homicides had fallen to the lowest level in five decades so far this year as he sought to dispel the notion that America’s third-largest city reigns as the nation’s murder capital.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy, appearing at a City Council committee hearing, said crime has been dropping in recent years in Chicago. He also disputed allegations that his police department has been manipulating crime statistics to make it seem like Chicago is safer than it really is.

Jul 29, 2014

Minnesota woman who lost husband to Ebola urges aid to fight virus

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Minnesota wife of a Liberian-American man who died last week in Nigeria from the Ebola virus said on Tuesday she wants to use his memory to spur efforts to fight the disease, which has also infected two U.S. relief workers in Liberia.

Decontee Sawyer, a 34-year-old counselor for sexual assault victims and mother of three small girls, said Minneapolis’ large and tight-knit Liberian community has woken up to the problem of Ebola after her husband’s death. She added that she hopes to encourage them to donate funds and equipment to relief workers risking their lives fighting the disease.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is a general news correspondent for Reuters Americas based in Chicago and covering the Midwest. Previously, she was Reuters' chief correspondent in Madrid, where she covered political and economic news and ran a bureau of some 25 correspondents who wrote about everything from the debt crisis to sports. Fiona has been with Reuters since 1996 and has had assignments in Guatemala, Mexico, Chile and Argentina."
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