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Chicago carnage: 500 murders

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Chicago has won the race nobody wants to win. In one bloody weekend, the windy city has recorded its 500th murder.

While the murder rate is lower than it was last year, that’s no comfort to the ten people killed last weekend, including three gang members shot with a high-powered rifle, and two pregnant women. More people are killed every month in Chicago than U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2015.

Perspectives

2 Pregnant Women Shot in Chicago in Less Than 36 Hours – NBC Chicago

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/pregnant-woman-shot-park-manor-chicago-445067983.htmlA pregnant woman was injured in a shooting on Chicago’s South Side early Saturday, according to police, the second pregnant woman shot in less than 36 hours of violence across the city.

A woman expecting a child was one of four people found dead in a vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds in the city’s Brighton Park neighborhood Friday night.

As violence persists, CPD murder ‘clearance rate’ continues to slide | Chicago Sun-Times

http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/as-violence-persists-cpd-murder-clearance-rate-continues-to-slide/Seven months into 2017, the city’s police department had “cleared” fewer than 20 percent of murder investigations involving homicides that had taken place since Jan. 1, adding to a recent dip amid a decades-long trend of unsolved homicides in the city, according to the police data studied by crime analyst Jeff Asher.

A homicide is considered cleared when an offender is arrested, charges are filed, or when the suspect is dead or has fled the country. Asher’s figures are based on cases closed in the same calendar year in which they occurred.

 

Chicago marks 500th homicide of the year: ‘It’s never over’ – Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-500th-homicide-tribune-data-20170917-story.htmlA 20-year-old man became the 500th homicide victim in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2017, when he was shot at the intersection of West 24th Street and South Western Avenue. The shooting victim was later pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital

Karen Leahy, who lives down the street, had just driven through the intersection from shopping at a local grocery store. She was stunned to find out that she had missed the shooting by a few minutes.

“I’m freaking out because I just went through here,” she said.

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Final thoughts

It’s really unconscionable that a city like Chicago, with some of the strictest gun laws in America, can’t keep gang members from self-destructing in spasms of violence. Perhaps Mayor Rahm Emanuel should talk to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani about the best way to clean up his city. President Trump may be correct: sending in the feds might be just what Chicago needs to stem a flood of violence unseen since Prohibition.

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Foreign Affairs

Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Foreign Affairs

Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

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Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

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