Midwest Correspondent
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Mar 30, 2015

Chicago National Guardsman to appear in court in plot case

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A National Guardsman charged with plotting an attack on an Illinois military installation as part of a conspiracy to support Islamic State was due to appear in federal court on Monday for a hearing on whether he should remain in jail pending trial.

Chicago-area resident Hasan Edmonds, a 22-year-old Army National Guard Specialist, was arrested on Wednesday on federal charges.

Mar 30, 2015

Indiana lawmakers pledge to clarify religious freedom bill

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Republican lawmakers in Indiana pledged on
Monday to clarify a religious freedom bill that was slammed by
businesses and activists for sending a message of discrimination
against gays after it was passed last week.

Companies ranging from pharmaceuticals to retailers said the
law – passed overwhelmingly by the Republican-controlled Indiana
General Assembly – was bad for business because it sent a
discriminatory message. San Francisco and Seattle banned
official city employee travel to Indiana.

Mar 23, 2015

Chicago police use stop-and-frisk excessively: ACLU report

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Chicago Police Department, the second-largest in the country, uses excessive stop-and-frisk searches even though other cities have curbed the practice, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report published on Monday.

The ACLU said that its study of a four-month period last year showed “that African Americans are disproportionately subjected to stops when compared to their white counterparts. Black Chicagoans were subjected to 72 percent of all stops, yet constitute just 32 percent of the city’s population.”

Mar 19, 2015

Racism, nude photos, vandalism and a death rock U.S. college fraternities

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Cases of racism, hazing, nude photos, vandalism and a death have rocked U.S. college fraternities this week, with one of the country’s biggest groups pledging on Wednesday to root out discrimination and five frats shuttered over bad behaviour.

The 160-year-old Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity – with 15,000 student members – said it would try to wipe out racism and beef up its small minority membership through diversity training and swift punishment of inappropriate behaviour.

Mar 18, 2015

Racism, hazing, nude photos and vandalism rock U.S. college fraternities

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Cases of racism, hazing, nude photos and vandalism rocked U.S. college fraternities this week, with one of the country’s biggest groups pledging on Wednesday to root out discrimination and three colleges shuttering other frats over bad behavior.

The 160-year-old Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity – with 15,000 student members – said it would try to wipe out racism and beef up its small minority membership through diversity training and swift punishment of inappropriate behavior.

Mar 18, 2015

Fraternity pledges to root out discrimination after racist chant

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The fraternity whose members were videotaped singing a racist chant pledged on Wednesday to root out discrimination and try to diversify membership in its hundreds of chapters across the country.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has 15,000 undergraduate members in 237 chapters, will appoint a diversity director and establish a hotline for members and non-members to report unacceptable behavior.

Mar 16, 2015

Mayor Emanuel pulls ahead in Chicago race, Garcia gets backing

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has opened a 10 percentage point lead in his re-election bid against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, an opinion poll on Sunday showed, though his challenger received a hard-won labor union’s endorsement that could bring in campaign cash and volunteers.

The Chicago mayor’s race went to an unprecedented run-off when well-funded Emanuel, mayor since 2011, failed to clinch the 50 percent of the vote he needed for an outright win on Feb. 24.

Mar 13, 2015

Renewed violence threatens fragile recovery in Missouri city

By Edward McAllister and Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – The violence that returned to Ferguson, Missouri, on Thursday threatens to trample a barely perceptible recovery as the town of 21,000 people struggles to rebuild after two spates of race-related unrest last year.

The shooting of two police officers and a subsequent manhunt in Ferguson on Thursday have relit tensions that erupted in the St. Louis suburb after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white policeman Darren Wilson in August.

Mar 4, 2015

Union backing elusive as Garcia seeks to unseat Chicago Mayor Emanuel

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is struggling to round up support from labor unions as he seeks to unseat pro-business Mayor Rahm Emanuel, even though he bills himself as more progressive.

Garcia’s surprisingly strong showing in a first round of voting on Feb. 24 prompted some big unions to see him as a viable challenger to the well-funded Emanuel and to rethink their neutral stance in the race for mayor of the country’s financially troubled No. 3 city.

Feb 25, 2015

Rahm-Rauner ties likely to survive Chicago mayor’s re-election battle

CHICAGO (Reuters) – As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel struggles to get re-elected, one of his biggest problems will be how to deal with Illinois’ new Republican governor Bruce Rauner, whose proposed budget would slash hundreds of millions of dollars of state funding for the city.

The strains have led to a deterioration in the relationship between the two politicians, referred to in Illinois political circles as “Rahm-Rauner.” Though Emanuel is a Democrat and Rauner a Republican, the two have been close friends and even political allies, with Emanuel appointing Rauner as chairman of the city’s tourism agency soon after he became mayor in 2011.

    • 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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