Correspondent, Milan
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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.

May 27, 2015

Few easy words to be had as U.S. Spelling Bee begins

, May 27 (Reuters) – Youthful contestants in
the Scripps National Spelling Bee reacted with a combination of
shock and awe to some of the words they were assigned as the
annual competition began on Wednesday.

Jeremy Ortmann, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Hobe Sound,
Florida, recoiled and laughed in disbelief when asked to spell
“gesamtkunstwerk,” a German word for a perfect work of art.

May 27, 2015

U.S. Spelling Bee gets under way, easy words draw smiles

, May 27 (Reuters) – The Scripps National
Spelling Bee got under way on Wednesday with some of the 285
contestants vying for the title and $35,000 in prizes happy to
get easy words in the starting round.

After preliminary rounds, the finals on Thursday night will
be televised by ESPN. The winner receives $35,000, savings bonds
and other prizes.

May 26, 2015

Maryland lawmakers take up police reform after Baltimore unrest

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Baltimore rioting over the death of a black man from injuries in police custody is spurring Maryland lawmakers to take action on criminal justice reform after legislation stalled in the statehouse.

Legislators hope that the death of Freddie Gray, 25, can galvanize the Democratic-controlled state Assembly after bids for reforms, especially one that would alter a state law giving police special rights, went nowhere in the last legislative session.

May 22, 2015

Washington quadruple slaying suspect apprehended

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The suspect in the killing of a Washington businessman and three others found in a torched mansion last week has been taken into custody, police said late on Thursday.

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police said just before midnight local time that the man, identified as 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint, had been apprehended. Police did not immediately provide additional details.

May 21, 2015

Baltimore grand jury indicts police in death of Freddie Gray

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – A grand jury has brought charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of a black man who suffered fatal neck injuries while in police custody, a case that touched off angry protests and a day of looting and arson in the Maryland city.

The charges, including a count of second-degree murder against one of the officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, were announced on Thursday by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

May 21, 2015

Man who flew gyrocopter to U.S. Capitol pleads not guilty

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Florida man who flew a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of aircraft violations and breaching some of the world’s most restricted airspace.

Douglas Hughes, a 61-year-old mail carrier from Ruskin, Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday. His April 15 stunt was aimed at drawing attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

    • 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:
      1990
      Languages:
      Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, some Dari
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