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The appointment of former independent Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) to lead become the Chicago City Council's first-ever financial analyst — at a salary of $107,000 a year — has been stalled in an aldermanic power struggle. | Sun-Times Library

Emanuel urged to resolve stalemate stalling council budget office

Obama pardons Naperville man, Brian Sledz

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama granted a pardon on Wednesday to, among others, Brian Edward Sledz of Naperville, a former trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange convicted in the early 1990s of wire fraud and violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.

Christianity under siege

During this season of joyous religious celebrations and especially the holiday cheer enjoyed with family and friends during Christmas time, we should not forget that in too many corners of the world Christianity is under siege with Christians abused, brutalized and murdered.

Peter King: Ted Cruz is 'one big self-inflicted wound'

A day after the White House said Sen. Ted Cruz's 'shenanigans' on Friday helped confirm nominees, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, went after the Texas Republican, saying he's “one big self-inflicted wound” and "the Democrats’ best friend."

The government claims Leon Dingle, 77, and Karin Dingle, 75, steered grant money intended for AIDS- and cancer-awareness campaigns through a web of organizations and into their pockets, using it to buy two Mercedes Benzes; renovate vacation homes in Savannah, Ga., and Hilton Head, S.C.; pay yacht-club expenses and $97,000 on their son's mortgage. Four others in the alleged scheme have pleaded guilty. | Associated Press

Jury begins deliberations in fraud trial of Chicago couple

Leon Dingle, 77, and Karin Dingle, 75, are charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering for allegedly steering grant money intended for AIDS- and cancer-awareness campaigns through a web of organizations and into their pockets. If convicted, they both could face decades in prison.

Alan Gross, alongside his wife Judy, arrives to speak during a press conference after being released by Cuba. | Getty Images

Home from Cuba, Alan Gross says freedom is not free

WASHINGTON — Alan Gross says he learned the lesson during five years in Cuban captivity that freedom is not free.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

10 things to know — good and bad — about Jeb Bush

With his announcement of plans to "actively explore" running for president, former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush is now — in the minds of many Republican donors and other party leaders — an early front-runner for the GOP's next presidential nomination.

Erana Jackson (left), of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, was among the protesters who gathered outside the new Chicago Public Schools headquarters in the Loop on Wednesday morning. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times

Protesters want elected Chicago Public Schools board

The group — a coalition of neighborhood groups and members of the Chicago Teachers Union — boasted it had collected enough signatures in 37 wards to pose a non-binding question to Chicagoans on their February ballots, asking if residents want an elected school board.

Three Ways ACA is affecting Business

More often than not, when healthcare reform is brought up, the impact and the interests of businesses are lumped together, as if each faces with the same challenges as the next.

Cubans work at a Havana harbor in November. | Getty Images

U.S. travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday of plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with the Caribbean nation doesn't mean that the island will suddenly open for tourism. It does, however, give hope to airlines, hotel chains and cruise companies — all which have been quietly eyeing a removal of the travel ban — that they soon will be able to bring tourists to Cuba.