<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Political News and Chicago Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Fri, 27 Nov 2015 22:07:05 -0600 Fri, 27 Nov 2015 22:07:05 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Politicians Call For Reform In Wake of Laquan McDonald Shooting]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 18:10:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+mccarthy+laquan.jpg

Politicians, community leaders and key activists joined a Black Friday protest along Michigan Avenue to call for reform in the wake of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald's fatal shooting. Many of them said they see this as a defining moment for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's leadership.

Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia, who forced Emanuel into the first-ever mayoral runoff, thinks there would have been a different outcome for that election had the video of Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times been released sooner.

"We talked about the need for openness and transparency," Garcia said, "and having honest conversations about how we change the grim reality that we live in Chicago, where there's too much violence."

Father Michael Pfleger, one of the leading voices for the Michigan Avenue protest, also urged change.

"Economics is what this country listens to," Pfleger said. "The only thing they listen to is what affects them economically and moneywise."

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she joined the call to fire Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

"I called the mayor this morning to tell him that I was going to join my former colleagues in the City Council and call for the resignation of Garry McCarthy as well," Preckwinkle said.

"Who held up the tape for 13 months?" Rev. Jesse Jackson asked.    

In response, McCarthy said, "I've never quit anything in my life."

"I'm 56 years old," he said. "I don't expect that to change. What I will tell you is the mayor has made it very clear, he has my back."

Anger also has been directed toward Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. One of her opponents in the state's attorney primary election marched in Friday's protest.

"I'm a former state and federal prosecutor," candidate Donna More said, "and I can tell you most murders that come through that office are indicted in 24 hours."   

Tensions remain high, and many at the protest promised this won't be their last stand.

"We are going to continue this protest until McCarthy is gone, until we get wholesale change in the police department," Commissioner Richard Boykin said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ben Carson to Visit Syrian Refugees in Jordan]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:18:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Carson-AP_843823648598.jpg

Ben Carson will visit Syrian refugees in Jordan on Friday, campaign officials said Thursday.

Officials confirmed the trip on Thursday night, after the New York Times first reported that the Republican presidential candidate plans to visit a refugee camp in northern Jordan.

"I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression," Carson told the Times before his departure.

A recent poll shows support for Carson in Iowa has dropped 10 points since October, when he stood in first place.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Slammed After He Appears to Mock Disabled Reporter]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 11:59:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_608044254548.jpg

Donald Trump has come under fire again. The New York Times has slammed the Republican presidential candidate after he appeared to mock a reporter with a congenital joint condition that limits movement in his arms, NBC News reported. 

Addressing a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday, Trump defended his widely discredited claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center came down on Sept. 11, 2001. He then appeared to impersonate reporter Serge Kovaleski, one of the authors of a 2001 article in The Washington Post that Trump has used to support his claim.

"Now, the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: 'Uh, I don't know what I said. I don't remember,'" Trump said, as he appeared to imitate Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis.

Kovaleski told MSNBC on Monday that he did "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating." 

"We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters," a spokesman for The Times told NBC News. Kovaleski is currently an investigative reporter for The Times.

Trump's presidential campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rauner Faces Challenges in Move to Block Syrian Refugees]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:32:07 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/gov-bruce-illinois-AP266390360618.jpg

Gov. Bruce Rauner says his moratorium attempting to block Syrian refugees from resettling in Illinois is simply a request for the Obama administration to "take a deep breath" and tighten the review process to make sure Washington shares necessary information with the states.

Refugee-resettlement groups say Rauner has no authority to stop incoming Syrians. They say U.S. screening is exacting and there's very little chance a terrorist will sneak through.

An Associated Press analysis of state records shows that since 2012, the federal government has allocated $55 million to Illinois for refugee services. The state has spent 60 percent of it.

The state Department of Human Services says 169 Syrians have settled in Illinois since 2010.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton, Sanders Speak Out About Laquan McDonald Video]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:38:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Clinton-Sanders.jpg

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders preached messages of reform and accountability Wednesday after people across the country watched the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer after the video was released to the public on Tuesday.

In her statement, Clinton referenced a meeting she had earlier this month in Chicago with mothers whose children were victims of gun violence. She also called for more accountability and asked police officers to learn from their coworkers who perform their duty honorably and without use of excessive force.

"The family of Laquan McDonald and the people of Chicago deserve justice and accountability," Clinton said in her statement. "As criminal charges proceed in this case, we also have to grapple as a country with broader questions about ensuring that all our citizens and communities are protected and respected. The mothers I met recently in Chicago are right: we cannot go on like this. All over America, there are police officers honorably doing their duty, demonstrating how to protect the public without resorting to unnecessary force. We need to learn from and build on those examples. The loss of so many young African Americans taken too soon should reaffirm our commitment to press forward for progress." 

Sanders called for "fundamental reform" in the criminal justice system and asked activists to take action beyond chanting "Black Lives Matter." 

"All Americans should be sickened by the video of Laquan McDonald's murder," Sanders said in his statement. "As a nation we must do more than just echo the phrase Black Lives Matter. We must put actions behind these words. Actions that will bring about the fundamental reform that is needed in the face of this crisis. Criminal justice reform must be the civil rights issue of the 21st century and the first piece must be putting an end to the killing of African Americans by police officers." 

The dash-cam video footage, which was described as "graphic" and "chilling," was released Tuesday, hours after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times in October 2014.

Dan Herbert, Van Dyke's attorney, has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald, though he has described the footage as "graphic and violent" and "difficult to watch." He said outside the courtroom Tuesday that the case needs to be tried in a courtroom, "not in the streets or in the media." 

Photo Credit: Noticiero Telemundo]]>
<![CDATA[Calls for Mayor's Resignation Flood Social Media]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:15:01 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+mccarthy+laquan.jpg

Chicago residents and activists have taken to social media following the release of the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald to call for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has come under fire recently for his stance on the release of the video.

On Wednesday morning, the hashtag #ResignRahm was trending on Twitter in Chicago. More than a week before the video was released to the public, Emanuel said it would be premature to release it due to the ongoing FBI investigation.

Critics attacked Emanuel, along with Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, for the 13 months it took to file charges against Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot McDonald 16 times, and release the video to the public.

Alvarez defended herself and Emanuel on Tuesday after first-degree murder charges were filed against Van Dyke, saying the mayor's plea to keep the video away from the public eye "was in the best interest of the investigation." Alvarez added that the reason it took 13 months to charge Van Dyke is because investigations into police shootings and misconduct are "massive and labor intensive." 

Minutes before the video was released, Emanuel said he hadn't seen it yet and was waiting until the rest of the city could see it, too. He added that he hoped the release of the video would help "build bridges of understanding" in the city instead of inciting unrest.

"I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding," Emanuel said. "I understand that people will be upset and want to protest when they see this video. But I would like to echo the comments of the McDonald family. They asked for calm and that those who choose to speak out do it peacefully." 

Five people were arrested during a protest that started in the West Loop and moved throughout downtown Chicago, lasting nine hours Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, but authorities said it remained largely peaceful and respectful.

On Wednesday, the City Council's Black Caucus held a press conference calling for more accountability in city government. Although they did not specifically name Emanuel, they did call for the firing of McCarthy for the second time in recent weeks. The first time the group of aldermen called for McCarthy's firing, in October, Emanuel said he stood behind McCarthy, who indicated he had no plans to step down.

"We as a city have to demand better of our elected officials who are charged with protecting us all equally," Ald. Howard Brookins said at the press conference. "It is no excuse for this type of behavior." 

Emanuel placed the burden of change on the entire city of Chicago instead of singling out the police department Tuesday, saying "as a city, we must also do certain things." 

"We also have to get to a place, as a city, where officers who patrol communities in our city see a young man not as a potential problem and a risk, but they also see the young man as an individual who is worthy of their protection," Emanuel said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says He Can Predict Terrorism Via 'Feel']]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 23:19:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TrumpSC-AP_314879649945.jpg

Business deals aren’t the only thing Donald Trump says he’s good at executing. The Republican front-runner told South Carolina voters he can also predict foreign policy trends and events, NBC News reported.

"The other thing I predicted is terrorism," he told the crowd before elaborating on a longer story of a friend who told him the same. "A friend of mind called me and said 'Forget that, you're the first guy that really predicted terrorism.'"

Trump said his prediction of terrorism was documented in this 2000 book “The America We Deserve.”

He's also been touting his idea of bombing Iraqi oilfields and his stance on waterboarding.

He was joined in South Carolina by wife, Melania, and children, Ivanka, Tiffany and Baron.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Campaign Watchdogs: TV Ads Supporting Rubio Are Illegal]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 09:34:08 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_527388600115-Rubio.jpg

Campaign-finance watchdogs say an outside group promoting Republican Marco Rubio's presidential campaign is breaking the law. 

Conservative Solution Project, an independent group, is behind $85 million in TV ads supporting Rubio. Unlike a Super PAC, Conservative Solutions Project doesn't have to disclose its donors because it exists as a tax-exempt social welfare group under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. 

But watchdog groups like Campaign Legal Center argue that these ads are illegal because they are benefiting an individual presidential candidate instead of advancing the general social welfare of society.

The groups requested that the Justice Department launches an investigation into Conservative Solutions Project. And while Conservative Solution Project officials claim that they are "not about any one specific elected official or candidate," Rubio is the only 2016 presidential candidate featured in any of the organization's TV ads that have aired in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as on national cable.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Residents Outraged by Trump's False Remark on 9/11 'Cheering']]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:55:02 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_21212478014.jpg

Donald Trump's recent claim that "thousands and thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City when the twin towers came down on 9/11 is drawing the ire of Muslim residents there. 

Trump made the remarks in Alabama Saturday, saying, "I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down." 

Hamed Elshanawany, president of the Hudson County Islamic Council in Jersey City, said it never happened. 

"If anybody has any proof this happened in the community, is right but no proof at all," he said. 

Trump also tweeted Monday a passage from a Washington Post article posted a few days after 9/11 about Jersey City police detaining people allegedly seen celebrating. 

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop disputed the account.

"There is no record of anything he said, so we would hope going forward he would be more responsible," he told NBC 4 New York. 

The state's biggest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, said it doesn't have any proof that happened.

Even when he was reminded that police said it didn't happen during an interview on ABC Sunday, Trump doubled down on his remarks. 

"It did happen, I saw it," he said. "It was on television. I saw it."

Egyptian-born teacher Nabil Youssef said, "It is insulting, it is hurtful and it makes us not feel like a real American."

Youssef said he ran to help victims on 9/11, donating blood to the Red Cross. 

Trump is sticking by his comments but that may energize Muslims, said Ahmed Shedeed of the Islamic Center of Jersey City.

"He'll get a lot of Muslims upset, a lot of Muslims now going to go out and vote," he said. 

NBC News' political blog First Read dissects more of the recent false statements made by Trump recently in a post titled: "Donald Trump, the post-truth 2016 candidate.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Claims 'World's Greatest Memory']]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 22:42:48 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TrumpColumbus-AP_568871122955.jpg

Donald Trump isn’t backing down from comments he made about “thousands and thousands” of U.S. Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, after the Twin Towers came down on 9/11, according to NBC News.

The Republican front-runner even told NBC News in a phone call that he has “the world’s greatest memory.” During the phone call, he offered reassurances that he had seen video of celebrations on television and “all over the internet.”

The comments come as a new poll shows Trump soaring in weekend polls, with a double-digit lead over rival, Ben Carson.

Trump took center stage in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, where he spoke to a crowd about rival Governor John Kasich and about his stance on national security.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fioretti Runs for State Senate Seat]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:44:33 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bob_Fioretti_4-14.jpg

Former mayoral candidate and Chicago alderman Bob Fioretti has tossed his hat into the ring of another political race.

Fioretti, who ran against Rahm Emanuel in the February mayoral race, filed for candidacy for the 5th District state Senate seat on Monday. According to the Chicago Tribune, he announced his campaign on Friday.

The 5th District covers parts of the North Side of Chicago and stretches from the West Loop all the way to the west edge of the city. The district also includes the 2nd Ward, which was Fioretti's domain as alderman from 2007 to 2015.

Fioretti will challenge incumbent state Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, also a Democrat, for the seat. Van Pelt was first elected in 2012.

During his aldermanic days, Fioretti was a harsh critic of Mayor Emanuel, voting against much of the mayor's key legislation relating to the budget. In the heat of the mayoral race, Fioretti touted his opposition to Emanuel, but just days before the runoff election between Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Fioretti surprised many supporters and announced his endorsement of Emanuel.

Among the issues on which Fioretti plans to campaign for the 5th District race are increased funding from the state for Chicago Public Schools and a bigger focus on mental health issues, which Fioretti believes are factors in the uptick in violence in Chicago. He also calls for freezing property taxes to better support working and middle class families.

<![CDATA[Candidate Filing for 2016 Primary Elections Begins]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:12:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/candidate+filing+getty.jpg

As a sign that the 2016 elections are inching closer and closer, the frenzied candidate filing for the spring primaries is set to begin Monday morning.

Anyone interested in running for office can get in line and file the necessary paperwork to enter the March primary elections. Candidates are expected to line up well before the doors open to ensure a top spot on the ballot.

Candidates running for clerk of the circuit court, recorder of deeds, state's attorney, county board of review (Districts 1 and 2), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and ward committeemen for the city of Chicago will be required to submit their paperwork to Cook County Clerk David Orr's office.

The candidates running for federal, state or judicial offices, such as the U.S. or State Senate, will file with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Filing in Cook County begins at 9 a.m. at the Cook County Administration Building, located at 69 W. Washington St. The deadline to file is Nov. 30.

The most high-profile primary election will be the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate race in Illinois. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (8th District) will face off against former Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp and State Sen. Napoleon Harris, who formally entered the race this week. Duckworth is considered the frontrunner of the race, but both Zopp and Harris will be competing for the African-American vote, which could prove crucial in the election.

Photo Credit: Getty Images - FILE]]>
<![CDATA['Trumpkin' Creator Meets Trump]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 11:58:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/candidate+pumpkins.jpg

After his politically-painted pumpkin made waves on the Internet, the man behind the "Trumpkin" got to take his decorated gourd straight to the source. 

John Kettman, of La Salle, Illinois, took a $5 pumpkin from Walmart and created what is now known as the "Trumpkin" by painting Donald Trump's face on the front. His creation went viral, and when the business-mogul stopped in Springfield earlier this month, Kettman had a chance to show off his work to Trump himself. 

The Republican presidential candidate held a rally at the Prairie Capital Convention Center on Nov. 9 on his way to the GOP debate in Milwaukee the following evening. After the rally, Kettman met Trump, pumpkin in hand, and presented Trump with what he called "a drawing of his life," in one of about 20 meet-and-greets after the event. 

According to the convention center's general manager Brian Oaks, the billionaire businessman and reality television star attracted a record-setting crowd for the convention center of 10,200 in downtown Springfield, the state capital of Illinois. 

Kettman is a portrait artist, and painted his first pumpkin 22 years ago. This year is the first time he has made his pumpkin painting political in nature, having painted not only Trump but Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pumpkins as well. Kettman said he'll likely paint a few more candidates' likenesses on pumpkins, but he hasn't decided on which ones.

"This year is very political," Kettman said. "We've got a lot of important topics that are representing different people, too. We've got a surgeon, we've got a billionaire, we've got Hillary Clinton." 

Photo Credit: John Kettman]]>
<![CDATA[Former Gov. Pat Quinn's Mother Passes Away]]> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 17:18:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/eileen+quinn.jpg

Former Gov. Pat Quinn's mother Eileen Quinn passed away in her sleep early Saturday morning at home, according to her son, John Quinn. She was 98 years old. 

Eileen Quinn spent 30 years working in the public school system and raised three sons, Pat, Tom, and John.

NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern interviewed Eileen Quinn in 2014 in the weeks before Election Day, and she was not shy about her feelings on the race. 

Her wake will be held on Friday, November 27 from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Drechsler Brown and Williams funeral home in Oak Park. 

<![CDATA[Deep Dish: Lilia Chacon Talks Bernie Sanders]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 18:44:26 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000015241622_1200x675_571194947588.jpg Mary Ann Ahern and Carolin Marin talk to Lilia Chacon, the Iowa spokeswoman for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in this week's Deep Dish. ]]> <![CDATA[Christie's 'Security Incident']]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 18:33:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Christie+Airport.jpg

Presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was involved in a security incident on board a flight from San Francisco to Boston on Friday morning, according to a spokesperson for Christie's campaign.

Campaign staff confirmed that the presidential candidate was on a United Airlines flight when a passenger was removed before takeoff.

According to San Francisco police, the flight crew on board United Flight 1108 was alerted about a passenger taking cellphone photos of the crew. The crew asked the passenger to delete the photos, which he did, police said.

A second passenger saw a picture on the man's phone that showed a second cellphone, which appeared to be rigged with wires, according to police. The second passenger informed the flight crew of the photo, and the man with the cellphone was removed from the plane.

All passengers and luggage were re-screened, including the hand-wipe test for explosive residue, police said.

San Francisco police detained the passenger and ran a background check on him with the help of the FBI. According to police, the man has no criminal history.

All other passengers were allowed to board the flight, which took off around 1 p.m. The man who was held for questioning boarded another flight to Boston.

"United Airlines flight 1108 departed at 1:59 p.m. PST, just over five hours late, following a delay that resulted from a passenger not complying with crew member instructions," United Airlines said in a statement. "We will be reaching out to our customers individually to apologize."

A Christie spokesperson said the passenger did not interact with the governor or threaten him in any way. The governor had been in California for a fundraising event.

"Governor Christie, an aide and a member of his security detail were traveling on a United flight from San Fransisco to Boston this morning when a passenger was removed from the plane before takeoff at the request of United Airlines," Christie's campaign said in a statement Friday afternoon. "At no point did Governor Christie interact with this passenger nor did this passenger pose a verbal or physical threat to the Governor. Any other inquiries about this matter should be directed to United Airlines."

There is no word on why the passenger was removed.

Christie was expected to land in Boston later Friday night. He will be in New Hampshire for campaign events Saturday and Sunday. Click here to see our interactive tracker for candidates' visits to the Granite State.

Photo Credit: @MoizSyed/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Candidates Pan Trump's Call for Muslim Database]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 13:32:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_102485184838.jpg

Republican presidential candidates swiftly condemned Donald Trump's call for requiring Muslims in the United States to register in a national database, drawing a sharp distinction Friday with the GOP front-runner.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called Trump's proposal "abhorrent." Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Trump was trying to "divide people." And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has largely avoided criticizing Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, said that while he was a fan of the billionaire businessman, "I'm not a fan of government registries of American citizens."

"The First Amendment protects religious liberty, and I've spent the past several decades defending the religious liberty of every American," Cruz told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa.

The rebuke followed Trump's call Thursday for a mandatory database to track Muslims in the U.S. In a video posted on MSNBC.com, Trump was asked whether Muslims would be required to register. He replied, "They have to be."

On Friday, Trump said on Twitter that he didn't suggest creating such a database but instead was answering a question from a reporter about the idea. However, he did not disavow the prospect of a database on social media or at an event Friday morning.

Civil liberties experts said a database for Muslims would be unconstitutional on several counts, while the libertarian Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro said the idea also violates basic privacy and liberty rights.

Marci Hamilton, a Yeshiva University legal expert on religious liberty, said requiring Muslims to register appears to be a clear violation of the Constitution's protection of religious freedom.

"What the First Amendment does and what it should do is drive the government to use neutral criteria," Hamilton said. "You can use neutral criteria to identify terrorists. What it can't do is engage in one-religion bashing. That won't fly in any court."

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League in New York called Trump's proposal "deeply troubling and reminiscent of darker days in American history when others were singled out for scapegoating."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned as "Islamophobic" comments from both Trump and fellow GOP candidate Ben Carson, who on Thursday compared blocking potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. to handling a rabid dog.

"If there's a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog," Carson told in Alabama. "It doesn't mean you hate all dogs, but you're putting your intellect into motion."

Said CAIR's Robert McCaw said in a statement, "Donald Trump and Ben Carson are contributing to an already toxic environment that may be difficult to correct once their political ambitions have been satisfied."

In New Hampshire on Friday, Carson said the U.S. should have a database on "every foreigner who comes into this country," but he rejected the idea of tracking U.S. citizens based on their religion.

"One of the hallmarks of America is that we treat everybody the same," he said. "If we're just going to pick out a particular group of people based on their religion, based on their race, based on some other thing, that's setting a pretty dangerous precedent."

The controversy followed the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility, elevating fears of attacks in the U.S. and prompting calls for new restrictions on refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton took to Twitter Friday and challenged all Republican candidates to disavow Trump's comments. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called Trump's words "outrageous and bigoted."

"This is shocking rhetoric," Clinton wrote. "It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country."

Several did just that.

"You're talking about internment, you're talking about closing mosques, you're talking about registering people, and that's just wrong," Bush said Friday on CNBC.

A spokesman for Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the candidate "does not support databases based on one's religion."

Kasich, the Ohio governor, said requiring people to register with the federal government because of their religion "strikes against all that we have believed in our nation's history." Kasich had faced criticism following the Paris shooting for saying he would set up an agency with a mandate to promote what he called "Judeo-Christian values" overseas to counter Islamist propaganda.

Trump spoke Thursday a few hours after the House passed legislation essentially barring Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the United States. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has slotted the bill for possible Senate consideration, though it's unclear whether the chamber could get enough votes to override a veto by President Barack Obama, who opposes the measure.

The unified pushback against Trump was rare. Republicans have vacillated in their handling of other inflammatory comments from him, wary of alienating his supporters but also increasingly concerned that he's managed to maintain his grip on the GOP race deep into the fall.

The first reference to a database for Muslims came in Trump's interview with Yahoo News published Thursday in which the billionaire real estate mogul did not reject the idea of requiring Muslims to register in a database or giving them special identification cards noting their religion.

"We're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely," Trump told Yahoo News.

According to Yahoo, he also suggested he would consider warrantless searches, saying, "We're going to have to do things that we never did before."

Asked by reporters Thursday night to explain his Yahoo comments, Trump suggested his response had been misconstrued. "I never responded to that question," he said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Fires Back At Pro-Kasich Group ]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 05:55:58 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_21212478014.jpg

Donald Trump and John Kasich ended up in a Twitter fight Thursday after a super PAC backing the Ohio governor was launching an ad blitz against the billionaire Republican candidate, NBC News reported.

Pro-Kasich New Day for America PAC is planning to air radio, TV, mail and online ads in New Hampshire, where Trump has a wide lead.

The line of attack is one that hasn't yet been tried on Trump: Arguing he's inexperienced and unsuited for the demands of the White House. According to Politico, the group's first ad invokes the Paris attacks and ties Trump to President Obama, declaring, "On-the-job training for president does not work." The ads are sure to be hard-hitting since the man behind them, Fred Davis, is known for effective political spots.

Trump unleaded a dozen tweets dismissing Kasich because of his standing in the polls.

Trump’s general counsel also threatened to sue the Kasich campaign and New Day over the ads.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bobby Rush to Hold News Conference Friday ]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 16:40:32 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bobby+rush+2014.jpg

Congressman Bobby Rush called a news conference Friday to discuss his re-election plans and while most expect him to announce he’s running again, there is speculation he is considering retiring.

When asked if the event was Rush’s campaign kickoff, his press secretary said “you’ll have to come to the announcement.” Some speculate Rush wants to remain on the primary ballot, so that if he chooses to retire after the March primary, he can help hand pick his successor.

The timing of Rush’s news conference comes as candidates begin filing next Monday their petitions to get on the ballot for the March primary.

Alderman of the 21st Ward Howard Brookins tells NBC 5 he’s definitely running whether Rush is on the ballot or not.

Alderman of the 6th Ward Will Burns is only interested if Rush decides to retire. Burns tells NBC 5 he is currently not circulating petitions, but if Rush does retire, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”

Rush, 69, has been in Congress for 20 years. He has also battled cancer, undergoing surgery for a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland and enduring months of chemotherapy.

Rush faces the threat of investigation from the House ethics committee over campaign spending and his South Side congressional offices that he has rented for free.

He has represented the First Congressional district for 22 years. He was the co-founder of the Black Panthers and once ran for mayor. Rush has the distinction of being the only political opponent that President Barack Obama lost to when Obama ran for Congress.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Senate Holds Hearing on Syrian Refugee Crisis]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:24:51 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/159977439.jpg

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are held a hearing Thursday on the impact ISIS is having on the homeland and refugee resettlement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Knocks Obama, Media]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 12:41:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Donald+Trump+Worcester+111815.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rallied Wednesday in front of thousands of supporters and a small handful of protesters Wednesday in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Among his targets at the DCU Center were President Obama, the media, his Republican and Democratic opponents in the 2016 race, John Kerry, ISIS, undocumented immigrants and the protesters who interrupted him in three separate instances.

One man interrupted Trump while he spoke of how many Americans are unemployed, in poverty and on food stamps.

"It's amazing. I mentioned food stamps and that guy that's seriously overweight went crazy. He went crazy," Trump said after the person was removed. "That's an amazing sight."

Security was very tight at the event, as Trump now has Secret Service. After each outburst, those partaking were promptly and forcibly removed.      

But the great majority of those at the event were wildly enthusiastic supporters.

"I'll be honest with you, I'm petrified right now," said Nancie Zecco of neighboring Holden. "We need somebody like him in office."

One of the people removed from the event was shouting, "Trump's a racist!"

A Hispanic attendee said he disagrees with the accusation of racism and supports Trump on immigration.

"What they need to do is do things the right way," Roberto Rivera of Hartford, Connecticut, said. "Everyone wants to be here - best country in the world. But we need to do it legally."

Trump said that the media would overblow the small number of protesters in comparison to what he called more than 12,000 attendees.

"We had three little protests," he said. "And the press will say 'protests at Trump!'"

Additionally, the candidate insinuated that the media was responsible for glorifying those responsible for the terror attacks in Paris.

"The press plays right into their hands! The press is calling the leader of the pack in Paris a mastermind. So all these kids are sitting home, even in New York and in California and in Massachusetts - 'Ah, the mastermind,'" said Trump. "He's not a mastermind, he's a low-life. This is just a low-life guy."

Trump said members of ISIS are not smart, but are using the Internet as a recruitment tool effectively.

"We have to take back the Internet! There's so many things that we have to do. We have a president that doesn't have a clue," he said. "Obama has been a disaster."

The candidate criticized Obama and Kerry for the Iran deal, saying if he were negotiating, he would have done a better job.

As for his fellow presidential candidates, Trump notably took aim at Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - even construing the latter's stance in favor of environmental reform as a lack of concern over terrorism.

"According to Bernie, the Paris attacks were caused by global warming," he stated.

With his own stance on ISIS, though, Trump easily drew applause.

"We gotta knock the [expletive] out of these people," he exclaimed.

Another ovation came when Trump said he'd put some focus on taking care of veterans.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[City Council Approves Ordinance on Privatization Agreements]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:20:13 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+city+council+generic.jpg

Chicago's City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday aimed at making future privatization agreements more transparent following the controversial parking meter deal that skyrocketed costs after the meters were privatized.

The ordinance will require the city to outline the benefits of privatization and provide time for public discussion and debate before a decision is made. The new rules were drafted based on the process the city used when it evaluated and rejected the privatization of Midway International Airport, according to a statement from the mayor's office. 

"This new ordinance establishes commonsense rules of the road for privatizing city assets or services," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "It shines a spotlight on the process and ensures that the right questions are asked. That way we will only approve privatization agreements that are good deals for Chicago's taxpayers."

The ordinance applies to any future proposals to privatize either city-owned assets or government services. For asset privatizations, the ordinance only applies when the potential agreements have terms of at least 20 years and provide at least $400 million in value to the city. These new regulations would have applied to deals such as the ones involving the city's parking meters and the Skyway.

The new rules also apply to the privatization of service contracts with a value of $3 million or more, including the city's 311 call center that Emanuel initially planned to privatize as part of his budget plan. After push back from aldermen and union members, the mayor put a hold on his proposal to privatize the service in order to gain enough votes in the City Council to pass his budget. 

AFSCME, which worked with the mayor and Ald. Roderick Sawyer to establish the new rules, released a statement following their passage praising the new ordinance. The union also played a role in putting a stop to Emanuel's plan to privatize 311 last month.

"Public services are best left in public hands, accountable to the people and not contracted out for private profit," said AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch. "This ordinance provides basic safeguards to protect the public interest and prevent reckless privatization in the future. Too often, privatization diminishes service quality while driving down workers' wages and benefits." 

<![CDATA[City Council Passes Resolution on Syrian Refugees]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 18:34:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/syrian+family+chicago.jpg

The City Council voted to pass a resolution Wednesday that establishes Chicago as a "sanctuary city" and challenges Gov. Bruce Rauner's authority to temporarily suspend acceptance of Syrian refugees in Illinois following the deadly terror attacks in Paris.

The measure is considered "symbolic," according to Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), who was one of the sponsors of the resolution. Ramirez-Rosa said City Council does not have the authority to decide whether Chicago accepts Syrian refugees, but he added that Rauner does not have the authority to refuse them either.

"It cannot be in this moment when those in France have the courage to commit themselves to their values that we are weakened and walk away from," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "I'm honored that we've done this resolution. I'm honored that here in Chicago we speak up for what's right." 

The resolution was also sponsored by Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward), Marty Quinn (13th Ward), Harry Osterman (48th Ward) and Danny Solis (25th Ward). The aldermen urged businesses and charitable organizations in Chicago to work with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to provide food and housing for Syrian refugees.

A family who immigrated from Syria to Chicago in February with two sons, ages 9 and 2, was present at the City Council meeting to urge support of the resolution as well.

"Many of us on the City Council have expressed the opinion that Gov. Rauner has no legal authority to block Syrian refugees fleeing violence from being placed in Illinois," Ald. Burke said. "It is our view that Chicago should continue its long and proud history of being one of the most immigrant friendly cities in the world. It is a metropolis that was built on generations of immigrants."

As the aldermen debated passage of the resolution, a "Stop the CrISIS" event was being held at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, where a packed room of people of all ages and ethnicities listened to a presentation about looking past stereotypes and taking a stand against radicalization.

During the event, Imam Azam Akram led a candid conversation about the true nature of Islam in response to terror attacks in Paris, which were committed by extremists in the name of Islam. Imam Akram said that Muslims have a responsibility to speak out against the atrocity of these terror acts and let people know their religion does not promote violence.

"We are loyal citizens of this country," Imam Akram said. "We are Muslims who believe in peace and tolerance. We try to promote that message." 

The governor's office released a statement following the passage of the resolution defending Rauner's position on Syrian refugees and citing security concerns as the reason.

"The Governor has been very clear — we need to preserve our heritage as a state welcoming of refugees while addressing the all-too-real security concerns that continue to evolve every day," the statement reads. "A State Department official confirmed to our staff this morning that ISIS has demonstrated an interest in infiltrating refugee populations heading to the West. The official also confirmed that in recent years, some refugees admitted to the United States were later discovered to have terrorist ties.

"At the same time, we continue to request briefings from the federal government on refugees being resettled to Illinois before they come — and the federal government has no official information sharing mechanism to coordinate directly with Governors on such individuals. As California's governor reportedly said to the White House chief of staff last night, the federal government must evolve with the threat and modernize their information sharing with state governments. This is a reasonable and responsible step to take to ensure we maintain a balance between compassion for refugees and security for our citizens."

On Monday, Rauner joined several other state governors and declared that Illinois would temporarily suspend acceptance of Syrian refugees in light of the terror attacks in Paris. It remains unclear, however, if governors have the authority to deny entry to anyone granted federal asylum.

Rauner said he has concerns about Homeland Security's screening process that allows refugees entry to the U.S. Several GOP candidates have also criticized the Obama administration's plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees and urged greater security measures.

Officials said last week's gun and bomb attacks in Paris killed 129 people. One of the attackers had a Syrian passport, but it was not clear if the passport was real.

<![CDATA[City Council Approves Ban on Drones Near Airports, Schools]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 22:36:07 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/drone+in+flight.jpg

City Council approved a measure Wednesday that would ban drones from flying near airports and schools, among other designated places in Chicago.

According to Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward), who was one of the sponsors of the legislation, Chicago is the first large U.S. city to adopt such rules on drones.

The measure was first introduced to the council in July by Ald. Burke and Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward). The new rules ban drones from flying within five miles of an airport and within a quarter of a mile from schools, hospitals and places of worship.

The rules also prohibit drones from flying at an altitude of more than 400 feet, and drones will not be allowed to fly directly over people or personal property without consent of the person or property owner. The measure also includes a rule that makes it illegal to fly drones between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Chicago residents who own drones will also be required to register the drones for a cost of $50 each year, and they will have to take out an insurance policy to cover personal injury and property damage.

After the measure was first introduced, amendments were made to extend the ban to areas near power lines, water treatment plants and city water intake facilities.

Ald. Waguespack added that hobbyists and commercial users of drones will be able to continue flying them, but the new rules allow law enforcement to take action for reckless drone use.

"As we move forward in the future, this kind of technology changes so rapidly that we'll have to modify the ordinance in years to come," Ald. Waguespack said.

The measure was first introduced in response to a series of incidents in which drones caused security breaches or dangerous situations, such as when a drone crashed into a tree on a White House lawn in January. On July 21, a "toy drone" also crashed at Midway International Airport while the U.S. National Guard was conducting a Blackhawk helicopter training mission.

Violators of the new rules will face fines ranging from $500 to $5,000 per incident and could face up to 180 days in jail.

Photo Credit: Getty Images - FILE]]>
<![CDATA[Compare Presidential Candidates on the Issues]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 08:09:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/candidates-grid.jpg


New England Cable News reached out to each presidential campaign for its position on select issues. Candidate positions from official campaign websites were used for the campaigns that didn't respond; those cases have been indicated in the graphic. 

Note: Some of the responses have been edited for clarity and length. 

<![CDATA[2 Chicago Aldermen Oppose Move to Stop Accepting Syrian Refugees]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 08:19:11 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Burke+Resized+p1.jpg

Two Chicago Aldermen are speaking out against a move to temporarily stop Syrian refugees from entering Illinois in wake of the Paris terror attacks. 

Ald. Ed Burke, 14th Ward, plans to introduce a resolution at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting reaffirming the city’s status as a “sanctuary city” for refugees.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Ald. Carlos Rosa.

Both aldermen are showing opposition to the Gov. Bruce Rauner’s stance on temporarily halting the acceptance of any more Syrian refugees in Illinois. Rauner is joining dozens of other governors who have taken that position.

It remains unclear if governors have the authority to deny entry to anyone granted federal asylum.

Rauner said he has concerns about Homeland Security’s screening process for allowing refugees to enter the U.S.

One of the Paris attackers had a Syrian passport, according to authorities.

The vote on the resolution is considered a symbolic move.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Harris Officially Announces U.S. Senate Run]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:03:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/napoleon+harris+announces.jpg

After months of speculation, State Sen. Napoleon Harris, a former professional football player turned Illinois lawmaker, announced his official run for U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Harris, of Flossmoor, will challenge Rep. Tammy Duckworth (8th District) and former Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp for a spot on the Democratic ticket. Whoever wins the spring primary will then face off against Sen. Mark Kirk.

After making the announcement at Thornton Township High School, his alma mater, Harris was questioned about his stance on several issues, including foreign policy.

"We've seen firsthand how terrorism has affected our country, with the acts of 9/11 and others. It's time to make a stand, come together," Harris said.

Harris appeared ill-prepared on some foreign policy issues, however, when he said he would not comment directly on Rauner's statement about suspending acceptance of Syrian refugees because he had not heard about his decision to close the borders.

Although he waited several months to make a formal announcement about his run for Senate, Harris has lined up key supporters, including committeeman Frank Zuccarelli, State Sen. Martin Sandoval and Senate President John Cullerton, who shared words of support at Thornton Township High School.

"I think we're seeing in the Republican primaries that many voters are attracted to celebrities," Cullerton said. "There's nothing wrong with that and Napoleon is a celebrity, but he's a celebrity with substance. He's a celebrity with a background, a business background, and someone who did actually run for office and get elected." 

Harris and Zopp, one of his primary opponents, will likely be competing for the same African-American voters, but Harris said he has more of a base than Zopp, who is lesser known outside of Chicago. Sandoval said Harris also brings more experience to the Senate than Zopp, who says she welcomes Harris to the race and is proud of her 100 endorsements.

Of the three in the Democratic primary, Duckworth is considered the frontrunner of the race.

A former NFL player for the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs, Harris now serves as state senator for Illinois' 15th District representing parts of Cook and Will counties, including the 9th Ward in Chicago.

<![CDATA[Madigan to Address Budget in Sold-Out City Club Speech]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 14:54:13 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/199*120/house+speaker+mike+madigan3.jpg

As the Illinois budget impasse continues into its fifth month, House Speaker Mike Madigan is scheduled to address the crisis at a much anticipated speaking event at the City Club of Chicago.

Tickets for the Dec. 9 event went on sale Monday, and within five or 10 minutes, they were sold out, according to a spokesperson for the City Club. About 230 seats were available.

Madigan is expected to address the budget impasse, in which he and Gov. Bruce Rauner play key roles. The new budget should have taken effect July 1, but bickering between the Republican governor and Democratic legislature have prevented an agreement on the budget.

It's still unclear exactly when the stalemate will end, but earlier this month Rauner predicted it would end sometime in January.

The City Club speech is scheduled eight days after a high publicized budget summit with the governor is to take place. The meeting was originally scheduled for Nov. 18, but Rauner postponed it to Dec. 1 when Madigan announced he would not be able to attend due to an out-of-state family funeral.

Madigan's City Club bio mentions his lengthy tenure in the Illinois House, where he has served as Speaker since 1983, excluding the 1995-96 General Assembly. He has also served as House Democratic Leader and House Majority Leader.

<![CDATA[Sarah Palin to Host December Book Signing in Naperville]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 13:31:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP342668398395.jpg

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is scheduled to make an appearance in Naperville on Dec. 1 to sign copies of her newest book.

Anderson's Bookshop will host the book signing event at the Chicago Marriott Naperville, located at 1801 Naper Boulevard. Tickets are $26, which includes the cost of the book, and can be purchased online.

Palin's book, called "Sweet Freedom: A Devotional," explores faith and freedom through 260 meditations based on Biblical verses.

Here is how the book is described on Amazon: 

"You are not alone in your doubts and anxieties — we all bear the burdens of everyday stresses, and for most of us, our concerns spread beyond ourselves to our families, communities and country. But Palin shows that with abiding faith, and by opening ourselves to the truths that have saved mankind for generations, we can thrive — and experience true freedom." 

Customers who purchase a book at the signing will also have the opportunity to take a photograph with Palin, which will be available for download free of charge. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Photo Credit: AP - FILE]]>
<![CDATA[Gutierrez Slams Rauner for Stance on Syrian Refugees]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:11:42 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Luis-Gutierrez2.jpg

Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois blasted Gov. Bruce Rauner in a speech on the House floor Tuesday, saying the governor's decision to temporarily suspend acceptance of Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris terror attacks is "despicable and cowardly."

Gutierrez, one of the nation's leaders in immigration reform, also mentioned several other governors who made the same decision as Rauner and criticized them for saying "whatever they can to get the news cameras pointed at them." 

"This is despicable and cowardly and precisely the kind of reaction ISIS wanted," Gutierrez said. "ISIS could not have written a better script. The free people of the world are turning their backs on people seeking safety and freedom."

Illinois is one of several states, including Indiana and Michigan, who has refused to accept Syrian refugees after Friday's deadly attacks in Paris. Despite the current political climate, Gutierrez said these governors will regret their decision in hindsight.

"When we sent Jews back to Germany and when we sent Japanese to internment camps, we regretted it and we will regret this as well," Gutierrez said.

Several GOP candidates have criticized the Obama administration's plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees and urge much greater scrutiny. 

Officials said Friday's gun and bomb attacks killed 129 people. One of the attackers had a Syrian passport, but it wasn't clear whether the passport was fake or real.

"Republicans will most likely raise fears that Muslim terrorists, disguised as refugees, would somehow pass exhaustive criminal background checks because they have been lying in wait in these camps overseas for years on the slim chance they could do damage to America," Gutierrez said. "They will raise suspicion, instill fear of Muslims, maybe even fear of a President they say is a Muslim, and it will probably be a pretty sad display."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Emanuel Addresses Chicago Safety at Counterterrorism Summit]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:58:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Emanuel+100.png

The annual Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop was held in Chicago Tuesday, but this year it took on special significance as it was held just days after the horrific terror attacks in Paris.

More than 200 public safety experts gathered at McCormick Place to brainstorm how to thwart the efforts of terrorists, like those who targeted public venues in Paris last week, leaving at least 129 people dead.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy were among those who spoke at the meeting, addressing public safety efforts in Chicago and nationwide. Emanuel discussed efforts to keep Chicago residents safe as well as working to prevent future acts of terrorism, while McCarthy warned of the difficulty in fighting terrorism.

"We've come a long way, but they've come a long way, too, the bad guys," McCarthy said.

The conference was held amid tighter security across the country and in Chicago.

Those who went to the Chicago Bulls game Monday night saw a beefed-up police presence outside the United Center. Other crowded areas throughout the city, such as train stations, will also have additional patrols. The security increase has been dispatched throughout Chicago’s suburbs as well.

There has been no threat to Chicago, but security experts agree the extra precautions are a necessity.

“This attack has clearly shown this terrorist group is targeting the innocence of our world,” said former U.S. Secret Service agent Arnette Heintze, who founded security strategy company Hillard Heintze.

The 21st annual Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop by the National Counterterrorism Center, U.S. Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Lays Out New Plan for Refugees, Including 'Safe Zone']]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 00:37:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TrumpKnoxville-AP_141770555656.jpg

Donald Trump laid out a new plan for Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks, NBC News reported.

The Republican presidential candidate addressed a crowd of nearly 10,000 people at the Knoxville Convention Center, saying he would build a safe zone for refugees who, he said, want to go home after the crisis is over anyway.

"In Syria, take a big swatch of land, which believe me, you get for the right price, okay? You take a big swatch and you don't destroy all of Europe."

Trump said the migrants would be happier because they won’t have to learn the languages where they would move and because they wouldn’t have to get used to new climates or weather patterns.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Seizes Files on Chicago Aldermen as IG Leaves Post]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 18:25:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/faisal+khan.jpg

After four years on the job, City Council's first inspector general, Faisal Khan, is leaving his post, but the work he and his staff has done will not be lost. 

Late Friday, the FBI showed up to his office with a subpoena and hauled away Khan's files and computers with information he gathered on the aldermen over the four years. Khan left his position expressing disappointment in the mayor and the aldermen, who he said stood in the way of his office's work.

"We reported back to the very people we oversee. That's equivalent to the inmates running the asylum," Khan said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city will not return to the days without an inspector general, but when Khan asked Emanuel to help him resolve some issues, he said he only received "radio silence." During Khan's four years in office, Emanuel never once met with him.

While City Council approved hiring an inspector general to oversee the aldermen, they have blocked nearly every investigation. The inspector general's office recently discovered that 29 different aldermen circumvented the law by taking campaign contributions from vendors, developers and lobbyists. Only a month later, Khan was out of a job.

The subpoena from the FBI, however, will ensure that Khan's work doesn't leave with him. On Friday, three FBI agents left Khan's office with a van full of computers and files.

"We would like to see the results of our work, to see if they lead to the appropriate conclusion," Khan said.

Upon his departure, Khan said he wished his successor "a lot of luck" but fears an insider will take over the position. The city says a blue ribbon panel will make the selection.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Labor Union Endorses Foxx in State's Attorney Race]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 13:49:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kim+foxx.jpg

A major labor union in Illinois and Northwest Indiana has endorsed former prosecutor Kim Foxx in the 2016 race for Cook County state's attorney, saying Foxx is an "excellent manager" who is willing to listen to their needs.

SEIU Local 73, which represents 28,000 public service employees in the state and in Northwest Indiana, announced its support for Foxx on Friday.

Foxx and Donna More, also a former prosecutor, are both challenging Alvarez's incumbency in the spring primary. Alvarez was first elected as Cook County state's attorney in 2008, and next year will be the first time she runs in a contested primary for the seat.

"We witnessed improvements and sincere efforts by Ms. Foxx to correct problems and keep promises made to employees during her time as President Preckwinkle's Chief of Staff," said union president Christine Boardman. "Kim is an excellent manager, dealing with the huge budget of the county, and she is willing to listen to and communicate with those who are directly impacted by administrative decisions. We need her leadership in making Cook County's criminal justice system fairer and more just." 

Foxx's personal story of growing up in the Cabrini Green public housing complex with a single mother and enduring homelessness in high school has added fuel to her campaign as she touts her personal success and her message of commitment to solving issues of crime, violence and poverty.

The endorsement from SEIU adds to Foxx's growing list of supporters, which also includes Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th District) and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

"I appreciate the support of the members of Local 73, who keep our city and county working," Foxx said. "I look forward to working with SEIU going forward, toward a more just and healthy community." 

Photo Credit: Facebook/Kim Foxx for Cook County State's Attorney]]>
<![CDATA[Illinois Temporarily Suspends Acceptance of Syrian Refugees]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 18:09:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner12.jpg

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday said Illinois will temporarily suspend accepting Syrian refugees following deadly attacks in Paris last week.

“Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America," Rauner said in a statement. "We must find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. Therefore, the state of Illinois will temporarily suspend accepting new Syrian refugees and consider all of our legal options pending a full review of our country’s acceptance and security processes by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Illinois joins several states refusing to accept refugees after the attacks.

Also Monday, Gov. Mike Pence said he is telling all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of additional Syrian refugees in Indiana. Over the weekend, Michigan's Republican governor, who has bucked many party leaders for welcoming Syrian refugees, also put efforts on hold.

Several GOP candidates have criticized the Obama administration's plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees and urge much greater scrutiny.

Officials said Friday's gun and bomb attacks killed 129 people. One of the attackers had a Syrian passport, but it wasn't clear whether the passport was fake or real. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Emanuel to Travel to Paris in December]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 17:34:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+budget+2.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday he will travel to Paris in early December, just a few weeks after a series of deadly terror attacks ravaged the French capital.

After a meeting with the French Consul General in Chicago, the mayor announced he would travel to Paris Dec. 4 to attend the Climate Summit for Local Leaders. The global conference will be attended by mayors, governors and other local leaders from around the world and will focus on climate change. The 21st Conference of Parties, another conference with leaders from countries around the world, will take place in Paris at the same time with a similar focus on climate change.

While in Paris, Emanuel will also attend "bilateral meetings with partner governments," according to the mayor's office. Other details on Emanuel's schedule for the trip have not yet been released.

"I think all of us are strengthened to see the resolve and the resilience of the French people and Parisians in particular, and I would say to the Consulate General, you have friends here in Chicago," Emanuel said Monday.

The December trip will not be Emanuel's first visit to Paris, which is one of Chicago's "sister cities." In July, Emanuel spent several days in Paris for a trip that was one part family vacation and one part business trip as he met with several French officials and discussed common goals between Chicago and Paris, including riverwalk development.

Although the mayor's visit to Paris is not in direct response to the terror attacks, the mayor's office says his continued plans to make the trip contribute to the "remarkable show of global solidarity with Paris." 

Following the attacks on Friday, Emanuel released a statement calling the tragic events "despicable" and "horrifying."

"Tonight the City of Chicago stands shoulder to shoulder with the City of Paris in the wake of today's despicable and horrifying attacks," Emanuel said in the statement. "For nearly 20 years Chicago and Paris have been sister cities, united by a free and rich exchange of culture. I speak for all Chicago when I say that we are saddened and sicked by what has taken place tonight and our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, their families, and with all of the French people." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images - FILE]]>
<![CDATA[Alabama Gov. Seeks to Bar Refugees After French Attack]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 01:15:31 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bentley-AP_644774718264.jpg

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared in a statement Sunday night he will not allow Syrian refugees to enter his state under Washington’s refugee assistance rules following the Paris attacks, NBC News reported.

"I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm's way," he said.

Bentley didn’t indicate how he planned to stop Syrian refugees from entering Alabama. One of the State Department’s refugee processing centers is in Mobile.

His statements come after Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the attacks wouldn’t change the country’s policy on relocating refugees from war-torn Syria.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder also said his state will stop efforts to accept Syrian refugees.

Photo Credit: AP]]>