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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.

Jun 25, 2014

Spain’s Princess Cristina faces trial on corruption charges

MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish court on Wednesday upheld corruption charges against Cristina de Borbon, sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI, and her husband in one of the last steps before a trial that could cloud the monarchy’s bid to rebuild its reputation.

The rulings by the Palma de Mallorca court come barely a week after King Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son, who sought to repair the royal family’s scandal-worn image with a promise of honesty and transparency when he took the throne.

Jun 25, 2014

Obituary – Cervantes winner Matute: A child’s view of Spain’s Civil War

MADRID (Reuters) – Prize-winning novelist Ana Maria Matute, who spent a literary lifetime exploring the crushed innocence of her childhood during the Spanish Civil War, died on Wednesday of a heart attack, her son told Reuters.

She was 88 years old and lived in Barcelona.

Her novels spanning the 1940s to the 1960s depicted the devastation of rural, war-torn Spain from a child’s perspective.

Jun 25, 2014

Cervantes winner Matute: A child’s view of Spain’s Civil War

MADRID (Reuters) – Prize-winning novelist Ana Maria Matute, who spent a literary lifetime exploring the crushed innocence of her childhood during the Spanish Civil War, died on Wednesday of a heart attack, her son told Reuters.

She was 88 years old and lived in Barcelona.

Her novels spanning the 1940s to the 1960s depicted the devastation of rural, war-torn Spain from a child’s perspective.

Jun 18, 2014

Spain’s popular prince must charm Catalonia as king

MADRID (Reuters) – Many Spaniards are hoping for a lot more than polish and glamour from new King Felipe VI when he takes the throne on Thursday after his father’s surprise abdication.

The new monarch faces daunting expectations that he can help resolve some thorny political problems – especially a surging independence movement in wealthy Catalonia in northeastern Spain – even though his role as head of state is largely symbolic.

Jun 4, 2014

Exclusive: Catalan leader says independence vote must go ahead

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Catalan President Artur Mas said on Wednesday his people have the right to decide on breaking away from Spain and he is forging ahead with plans for a Nov. 9 vote on independence that the central government vows to block on constitutional grounds.

Mas, leader of the northeastern Spanish region of 7 million people, told Reuters in an interview he is seeking a legal formula for a non-binding vote although Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said any format is illegal.

    • 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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