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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, December 01, 2016 10:01 pm

77 homicides in Chicago last month

Associated Press

CHICAGO – Chicago experienced more than twice as many homicides in November as it did during the same month in 2015, and more than any November in nearly a quarter century, according to police statistics released Thursday.

The 77 homicides recorded last month bring the city’s 2016 total to 701, with a month to go until year’s end. It is the first time Chicago has eclipsed the 700 mark in a year since 1998, and puts the city on a pace to end 2016 with nearly 300 more homicides than were recorded last year.

Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday that the state’s weak gun laws mean people convicted of gun crimes are locked up for far less time than they are in places like New York, where crime has dropped.

"The mentality here is there is no consequence for carrying a gun," Johnson said. "Gun offenders just don’t fear the judicial system."

Obama OK with women in draft

The Obama administration is announcing its support for requiring women to register for the military draft.

The administration has been deliberating for roughly a year about whether to back such a change to the Selective Service. White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price says that because previous barriers to military service are being removed, it makes logical sense for women to be required to register for the draft.

Under current law, women can volunteer to serve in the military but aren’t required to register for the draft. All adult men must register.

It would take an act of Congress to add women to the Selective Service. 

French president won’t run again

France’s President Francois Hollande announced in a surprise televised address Thursday that he would not seek a second term in next year’s presidential election, acknowledging that his personal unpopularity might cost his Socialist party the Elysee.

The announcement came just a few days after Hollande’s No. 2, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, said he was "ready" to compete in next month’s Socialist primary.

Russian spacecraft explodes

An unmanned Russian cargo spaceship heading to the International Space Station broke up in the atmosphere over Siberia on Thursday due to an unspecified malfunction, the Russian space agency said.

The Progress MS-04 cargo craft broke up at an altitude of 118 miles over the Russian Tuva region in Siberia that borders Mongolia, Roscosmos said in a statement. It said most of the space ship’s debris burnt up as it entered the atmosphere but some fell to Earth over what it called an uninhabited area.

Innocent man gets pardon in ’89 case

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday pardoned an innocent man who spent nearly 25 years in prison until after the FBI admitted analysts it trained repeatedly gave flawed evidence about tracing hair left at crime scenes.

McCrory’s office said the governor called Timothy Scott Bridges on Thursday to tell him about the decision to grant a pardon of innocence, which makes Bridges eligible to receive up to $750,000 for the 24 years and seven months he was imprisoned.

Bridges had been sentenced to life for breaking into a home and raping an 83-year-old Charlotte woman in 1989.