Correspondent, Milan
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Jun 17, 2015

Washington subway has serious safety shortfalls, regulators say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington’s troubled subway system suffers from serious safety lapses and needs to improve immediately, the Federal Transit Administration said on Wednesday, six months after a tunnel fire in the U.S. capital killed one person.

The agency found 54 shortfalls at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or Metro, with all but 10 in its subway, the second-busiest in the United States, it said in an inspection report.

Jun 17, 2015

Baltimore light rail project gets new impetus after Freddie Gray death, riots

BALTIMORE (Reuters) – Maryland officials are eyeing a $2.9 billion light rail project long in the works for Baltimore as a way of combating the crushing poverty that fueled rioting in the city after the police-custody death of Freddie Gray.

Backers say the proposed Red Line light rail project could speed city residents to jobs and help end the isolation of poor neighborhoods, some of which still bear the scars of race riots in the 1960s.

Jun 16, 2015

White House intruder sentenced to 17 months less time served

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House fence jumper Omar Gonzalez was sentenced on Tuesday to 17 months in prison, less the time already served for bursting into the executive mansion with a knife last year.

Gonzalez, 43, an Army veteran from Copperas Cove, Texas, has already served nine months in jail. He also will face three years of supervised release following his time in prison under the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer.

Jun 16, 2015

White House fence jumper to be sentenced in U.S. court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Army veteran who burst into the White House with a knife in September is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.

Omar Gonzalez, 43, of Cooperas Cove, Texas, pleaded guilty to charges that he climbed over the White House fence, pushed past a Secret Service agent guarding a door and entered the executive mansion.

Jun 12, 2015

White House fence jumper seeks sentence of time served

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army veteran who entered the White House with a knife should be sentenced to time served followed by supervised release, his attorney said in a court filing on Friday.

Omar Gonzalez, 43, of Cooperas Cove, Texas, is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for breaching White House security in September.

Jun 4, 2015

Retrial granted in death of Washington intern Chandra Levy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A District of Columbia judge on
Thursday granted a new trial to the man convicted of killing
federal intern Chandra Levy in 2001, a case that contributed to
a politician’s downfall.

Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher ordered the retrial for
Ingmar Guandique, 34, after prosecutors dropped their opposition
to defense lawyers’ request for a new trial in the case, which
had riveted the U.S. capital.

Jun 2, 2015

Obama awards posthumous Medals of Honor to World War One soldiers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama awarded posthumous Medals of Honor, the highest U.S. award for bravery, on Tuesday to two soldiers for gallantry during World War One, cases that were dogged by concerns over discrimination.

Obama awarded the medals to Sergeant William Shemin of Bayonne, New Jersey, and Private Henry Johnson, of Albany, New York, 97 years after they saved comrades on French battlefields.

Jun 2, 2015

ACLU, others bid to reopen suit over Baltimore jail conditions

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – The Baltimore jail remains filthy and dangerous to inmates despite a court settlement to improve conditions, the American Civil Liberties Union and others said on Tuesday in seeking to reopen a lawsuit against the state of Maryland.

Seven inmates have died at the vermin-ridden Baltimore City Detention Center in the past 2-1/2 years, possibly through lack of medical care, a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore said.

May 29, 2015

Missouri, Kansas students co-winners of National Spelling Bee

By Ian Simpson

OXON HILL, Md. (Reuters) – Eighth-graders Gokul Venkatachalam of Chesterfield, Missouri, and Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, were co-winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.

Gokul ended a tense standoff before a packed hotel ballroom and an ESPN television audience by spelling “nunatak,” an Inuit word for an exposed ridge in a glacier.

May 28, 2015

Youthful contestants at U.S. Bee not just whizzes at spelling

By Ian Simpson

OXON HILL, Md. (Reuters) – The youthful contestants at the U.S. Scripps National Spelling Bee boast a lot of interests in their lives besides spelling, with athletes, musicians, actors and writers among the almost 300 competitors.

Shiv Lamba, 14, juggles being one of the best young spellers in the United States with playing soccer for the national developmental squad. The eighth-grader from Centreville, Virginia, said he studies spelling constantly, including while traveling to and from soccer practices.

    • About Ian

      "Ian Simpson covers Italian equities from Milan with a focus on banks. In a 30-year career, he has been based in Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Washington, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Portugal and Italy. He has reported from more than 20 countries."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, some Dari
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