Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Oct 7, 2014

Gay marriage opponents pick new battleground of religious freedom

CHICAGO (Reuters) – With the U.S. gay marriage battle looking increasingly like a lost cause for conservative opponents, a last battleground may be their quest to allow people to refuse services to gay men and women on religious grounds.

Some conservative groups have seized on what they consider religious freedom cases, ranging from a Washington state florist to bakers in Colorado and Oregon who are fighting civil rights lawsuits after refusing to provide goods and services to gay couples.

Oct 6, 2014

Appeals court says Wisconsin voter ID law constitutional

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court in Chicago said on Monday that Wisconsin’s 2012 voter identification law is constitutional, allowing the state to put the new rule into effect at midterm elections on Nov. 4.

The ruling from a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was expected because it follows a rush order made by the same judges on Sept. 12 giving a temporary green light to the law requiring voters to present photo identification at the ballot box.

Oct 6, 2014

Chicago-area man charged in attempt to join Islamic State in Syria

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago-area man was charged on Monday with attempting to support a foreign terrorist organization after he was arrested on Saturday at O’Hare International Airport allegedly on his way to Syria to join the militant group Islamic State.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, of the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Susan Cox in U.S. District Court in Chicago where he was advised of the federal charges against him.

Oct 2, 2014

Syria Kurds say American joins fight against Islamic State

BEIRUT/CHICAGO (Reuters) – A U.S. citizen has joined Kurdish forces fighting against Islamic State militants in northern Syria, a spokesman for the main Kurdish armed group in the country said on Thursday.

The Kurdish official said that Jordan Matson had joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are mainly battling advances by Islamic State close to Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq.

Sep 29, 2014

Spurred by Ferguson, Chicago families want police shootings reviewed

By Fiona Ortiz

HARVEY Ill. (Reuters) – The national uproar over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager near St. Louis has prodded families and activists in the Chicago area to ask for investigations into what they say are similar incidents in the crime-ridden U.S. city.

Since the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, families of victims have held rallies across Chicago, where more than one person a month is shot dead by police. The Ferguson protests started in August when a white police officer shot to death 18-year-old Michael Brown, who witnesses say was trying to surrender.

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.

    • 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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