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Mayor Rahm Emanuel gives encouragement to Nicole Perez, a Benito Juarez High School student, at Malcolm X College in Chicago on Dec. 10, 2012. Emanuel plans to guarantee free tuition at a City College to Chicago Public School students who graduate from high school with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times

CPS students with good GPA might get free ride to City Colleges

President Barack Obama’s escalating military campaign in Iraq and Syria has drowned out the economic pitch he hoped would help salvage a midterm election that has been favoring Republicans. | AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Obama seeks traction on economy amid foreign tests

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's escalating military campaign in Iraq and Syria has drowned out the economic pitch he hoped would help salvage a midterm election that has been favoring Republicans. But the airstrikes against Islamic State extremists have also introduced a new complicating factor into the fall campaign, forcing both sides to reassess their closing political messages.

Airstrikes against ISIS launched amid intelligence gaps

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is grappling with significant intelligence gaps as it bombs Iraq and Syria, and it is operating under less restrictive targeting rules than those President Barack Obama imposed on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen, according to current and former U.S. officials.

What if Supreme Court rejects gay marriage cases?

WASHINGTON — The fastest and surest path to marriage for same-sex couples in some parts of the United States would be for the Supreme Court to surprise everyone and decline to get involved in the issue right now.


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.

Michelle Obama in new ad: 'Barack and I' are voting for Quinn

WASHINGTON — A new radio spot for Gov. Pat Quinn, released Wednesday, features First Lady Michelle Obama who plugs Quinn, saying, "Barack and I Are Casting Our Votes for Pat Quinn." The ad comes out the day before President Barack Obama headlines a fundraiser for Quinn in Chicago and appears with him at Northwestern University in Evanston, where Obama will deliver a speech on the economy. Mrs. Obama will underscore her message next week, when she rallies Democrats for Quinn in Chicago on Oct. 7.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick leaves Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit in 2008. | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Rauner's biggest strength proving to be his greatest weakness

His track record as a businessman should be the strong point of Bruce Rauner’s sales pitch for the governor’s office. Instead, it’s become possibly the greatest liability for the wealthy Republican nominee. While Rauner and others at the GTCR private-equity firm he started in Chicago have never been charged, executives of companies they backed financially have ended up in legal trouble. Another hit to the Rauner campaign comes from Detroit, where a high-ranking executive for a GTCR-controlled company was at the center of a massive City Hall corruption scandal.

John Theis (center), lawyer for Barbara Shaw, the former director of Gov. Pat Quinn's Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, says his client will answer questions next week from a legislative panel investigating the governor's failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative and won't assert her Fifth Amendment rights. File Photo. | Ashlee Rezin/For Sun-Times Media

Lawyer: Key witness will answer questions from panel probing NRI

SPRINGFIELD — The former head of the state agency Gov. Pat Quinn put in charge of his failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative anti-violence grant program will answer questions from a legislative panel next week, her lawyer said Tuesday.

A US Park Service worker blows leaves away from an added security fence in front of the White House on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

White House intruder tip of iceberg

He is a threat assessment expert who has worked with high U.S. government security agencies for many years. He is an expert on how the Secret Service operates to protect our top leaders. He is not a happy man. “There has been a leakage of the best and most balanced agents from the Secret Service,” he told me. We need boots on the ground. At the White House. And I don’t mean military boots. I mean the boots — OK, shoes — of Secret Service agents armed with new thinking and new supervisors.

Who is benefiting from the Lawndale Diabetes Project?

Gerry Allen, a resident of North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side, suffered for years with unmanaged diabetes. But, thanks to an expanded community health initiative launched in April 2012 between a local hospital  and an insurance provider, he did something he thought he’d never do.

A criminal convicted of murder under French law is led to the guillotine in 1929. As was customary in France, the execution was held at 5 a.m. in the open street. | Sun-Times archive

Beheading shocks us, but we’ll get used to it

News this week told of a fired nursing home employee in Oklahoma who threatened to come back and behead his former co-workers, inspired no doubt by the atrocity that happened days earlier and 20 miles away. Is this going to be a trend? You could argue it already is.