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Chicago Tribune

Diverging profiles of gunman emerge February 17, 2008

By Josh Noel and Karoun Demirjian Even as Northern Illinois University officials made plans Saturday for faculty and students to resume their lives on campus, investigators continued the search for what triggered Steven Kazmierczak’s deadly shooting rampage. Former NIU professors and students puzzled over whether they ever really knew the former graduate student. To them, […]

Beds, help lacking for homeless youth December 20, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian Hector Castro was 13 years old when his parents kicked him out of the house. Castro, now 20, made his way to downtown Chicago to find a way to live on his own. What he found were limited options: He could prostitute himself for money and shelter or simply sleep on the […]

Iraqi refugee arrivals up in U.S., but still lag goals November 12, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian Before the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Intisar Hassan, a Shiite Muslim who worked as a low-level accountant for the Iraqi government, had been targeted by Baathist police. She said they beat her in 1997, on suspicion she was not loyal enough to Saddam Hussein. After the government was toppled, militias who […]

Is Chicago Bike-Friendly? September 16, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian Randy Neufeld, chief strategist for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, had disappeared into the chaos of Wells Street, leaving me perched on my 3-speed bike, stranded in a right-turn land with a black sports car crowding me from behind in an attempt to beat the light. Then Neufeld’s voice penetrated the din of […]

Border bill’s final blow? June 29, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON — After months of political wrangling and raised expectations, the Senate voted down the sweeping immigration reform bill Thursday, and the vexing issue seems highly unlikely to be resurrected again in Congress until after the 2008 elections. This comes as a major disappointment for President Bush, who was hoping to cement […]

Senators grasp at a chance for reform April 30, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—Lawmakers who back immigration reform, recognizing that their chances are dwindling rapidly, are girding for a last-ditch attempt to pass a sweeping bill before their efforts are swallowed up by an early campaign season and an acrimonious political mood. An unusual bipartisan group of senators hopes to present this week the outlines […]

Senate defies Iraq veto threat April 27, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON — The Senate took the rare step of attempting to end a war Thursday, calling on President Bush to withdraw most American troops from Iraq by next April on the same day that the top U.S. commander in Iraq gave a notably cautious assessment of the military campaign’s progress. The Senate’s […]

Public hospitals fear ills of Medicaid cuts April 8, 2007

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—He may run the largest municipal hospital system in the country, but for New York’s Alan Aviles, the most important question being debated in Congress right now is how to fund the war in Iraq. That’s because attached to the war spending bill is a proposal by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to […]