Chicago Ends a Bloody Year With 762 Homicides

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE)

Chicago Ends a Bloody Year With 762 Homicides

Residents And Activists Hold Anti-Violence March After Deadly Year In Chicago
Scott Olson—Getty Images The Rev. Jesse Jackson (L) and Rev. Michael Pfleger carry crosses as they march with other residents, activists, and family members of victims of gun violence down Michigan Avenue to draw attention to the city’s rising murder rate on Dec. 31, 2016 in Chicago.

There were nearly 300 more homicides than the previous year

(CHICAGO) — One of the bloodiest years on record in Chicago ended with 762 homicides and more than 3,500 shooting incidents.

Police released crime statistics on Sunday that reveal rampant gun violence. Not only were nearly 300 more homicides and more than 1,000 more shooting incidents than there were in 2015, but the total number of homicides was the highest since 1997.

The statistics also show that the bulk of the homicides were in five of the city’s poorest neighborhoods on the South and West sides, where violent street gangs are most active.

The police department has long lamented the flood of illegal guns into the city. Sunday’s statistics show that the 8,300 illegal guns recovered in 2016 represents a 20 percent increase from the year before.

Is President Putin Telling U.S. Politicians They Need To Grow Up, Lose Their Ego’s?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG NEWS)

Putin Says U.S. Isn’t Banana Republic, Must Get Over Itself

October 27, 2016 — 11:06 AM EDT uupdated on October 27, 2016 — 11:47 AM EDT
1477581074_Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting of political scientists in Sochi on Oct. 27.

Photographer: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP via Getty Images

Vladimir Putin dismissed U.S. “hysteria” over alleged Russian interference in its presidential elections, saying it was impossible to influence voters’ choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people?” President Putin told the annual Valdai discussion forum of international analysts and academics in Sochi on Thursday. “Is America some kind of banana republic? America is a great power. If I’m wrong, correct me.”

Amid rising confrontation with NATO, Putin insisted that Russia isn’t planning to attack anyone and said it was a “myth” that it poses a military threat. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has outlived its usefulness, while Russia wants all nations to have equal security and isn’t striving for global domination, he said.

Putin spoke as tensions have spiraled between Russia and the U.S. over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and allegations that he’s seeking to sway the outcome of next month’s presidential vote. The Kremlin’s role has become one of the dominant topics in the campaign, amid U.S. charges that Russian-backed hackers were behind e-mail leaks from Democratic National Committee servers that have dogged Clinton’s campaign. She and Trump clashed over which was Putin’s “puppet’’ at last week’s debate. The Republican candidate has said repeatedly that he’ll seek good ties with Putin as president.Trump behaves “extravagantly, we all see it” though it’s not without purpose, since he represents a “significant” section of society in the U.S. “that’s tired of the elite who’ve been in power for decades,” Putin said.

It’s “complete rubbish” to say that Trump is the Kremlin’s preferred candidate, which was an idea invented by supporters of Clinton, Putin said. Russia doesn’t have a favorite candidate and is “by and large indifferent” about who wins the election because it’ll work with any U.S. president who’s prepared to offer cooperation, he said.

Complaints of Russian influence on the election are among “fictional, mythical problems that have created hysteria in the U.S — I can’t call it anything else,” Putin said. While the U.S. faces many “acute and urgent problems, from its colossal state debt to the rise of gun violence,” it appears “the elite have nothing particular to say” about them in the elections, he said.

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