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CHICAGO | The video is riddled with menace and swagger: Reputed gang members in Chicago point their guns directly at the camera. A bare-chested young man brandishes an assault weapon. They flash hand signals, dance and, led by a rapper, taunt their rivals as he chants:
ROBBINS, Ill. | The rape evidence was stored in the police department's musty basement: Brown paper shopping bags, stuffed with sneakers, bras and underpants, jammed on metal shelves. Scattered blood vials and swabs covered with dust and mold — an inventory amassed over more than 25 years.
CHICAGO | Listen to the many harrowing stories of war, suffering and survival, all under one roof:
CHICAGO | Act I, Scene 1: Four actors in well-worn coveralls and baseball caps take the stage at the county jail. They're here to tell a tale of love, friendship, jealousy and betrayal. It's the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy. The names and themes haven't changed over the centuries, but the …
Terrance Wise has two jobs in Kansas City — one at a burger joint, the second at a pizza restaurant — but he says his paychecks aren't enough to buy shoes for his three daughters and insure his 15-year-old car. So he decided to draw attention to his plight: He walked off work in protest.
CHICAGO | It was February, the middle of lunch hour on a busy South Side street. The gunman approached his victim in a White Castle parking lot, shot him in the head, then fled down an alley.
KOKOMO | In a quiet park on the eastern edge of this auto manufacturing town, a gleaming ring of black granite walls and monuments stands in solemn tribute to the war dead. Hundreds of names are etched in stone, many of them long forgotten to history.
CHICAGO | Every day at sundown, the gutted shell of the last Cabrini Green public housing tower takes on a ghostly aura as lights start flickering sporadically from 15 floors of empty rooms.
CHICAGO | For each boy, the new school offered an escape and a chance at a life that seemed beyond reach.
CHICAGO | The day before Rod Blagojevich's world came crashing down, he stood before the TV cameras confident and defiant, as always, declaring he had nothing to hide, even as a giant political scandal was about to engulf him.
WARREN, Mich. | He stands all day, bent over noisy machines, cutting giant sheets of steel and feeding them into monster-sized presses so powerful the concrete floor rumbles beneath his size-16 feet.
It wasn't his first tour in Iraq, but his second and third when Joe Callan began wondering how long his luck would last -- how many more months he could swerve around bombs buried in the dirt and duck mortars raining from the skies.
On a blustery fall afternoon, Andy St. Clair slips into an empty club, with rows of tables, wooden chairs and a bare stage awaiting its next bit of comedy magic.
CHICAGO | The professor opens a cardboard box and gingerly picks up a few hunks of dried clay -- dust-baked relics that offer a glimpse into the long-lost world of the Persian empire that spanned a continent 2,500 years ago.
CHICAGO | On the campaign trail, Barack Obama liked to boast that he was a tough survivor of the bare-knuckled world of Chicago politics.
WAKARUSA, Ind. | In this corner of America known as the RV capital of the world, Todd Brink once made a good living producing the gleaming behemoths that cruised the nation's open roads. He was prospering. So, too, was the industry.
Ray Ballentine was waiting for a sign to throw his support to Barack Obama. And when Obama coasted to victory in Iowa's caucuses, there it was -- evidence that the senator had the broad racial appeal to get to the White House.
Every month or so, Missy Phillips makes a four-hour drive to visit her son in prison, refusing to accept that his fate has been sealed -- and he will die behind bars.
Each morning, Eric Peoples sits up in bed and starts his day with a cough. A deep, long, hacking cough.
Tammy Duckworth's last thoughts when a rocket-propelled grenade tore into the cockpit of her Black Hawk helicopter were 1. stay awake, and 2. fight like hell to get the crew on the ground.
CHICAGO | Even now, the mug shots are jarring.
PEKIN | The line forms the moment Sen. Barack Obama is done speaking, a procession of admirers clutching copies of his book, magazines, scraps of paper, disposable cameras and one homemade American flag.
He still is a mound of a man, but his blue eyes widen with delight as he presses his chest with his fingertips, smiles mischievously and makes the grand announcement: He can FEEL his ribs.
CHICAGO | Steve Levitt's world is economics, but he has no patience for inflation charts or stock market tables. He'd much prefer to plunge into a scholarly study of ... cheating sumo wrestlers.
CHICAGO | It sounds like a family business: The son, who shares his father's name, sits at his father's desk in the same office his father once occupied -- on the fifth floor of City Hall.
CHICAGO (AP) -- He'd come to court and sit quietly in the front row, an angry man with a disfigured face, a tormented mind -- and an all-consuming grudge against the doctors he claimed had botched his cancer treatment and ruined his life.
To his friends in the Army, he was known as Sheldon Hawk Eagle.
When Frank Carvill told his sister he had been called up to go to Iraq, she was stunned.
When Kimberly Hampton headed off to war the first time, she sent her mother an e-mail, joking about the hazards of flying a small helicopter. But she had a serious message, too.
CHICAGO (AP) -- The television cast an eerie glow in the dingy motel room, but the doctor wasn't watching. She was waiting impatiently for an important call -- one that would tell her the killer was dead.
Money is the lifeblood of politics, and increasingly, it defines and dominates campaigns.
MAYWOOD, Ill. -- The young couple sat in the small room, waiting for a click on the computer that would transform their lives.
CHICAGO -- He knocked on the door of the squalid basement apartment, looking for a young couple. Their baby girl had been stopped at an airport thousands of miles away, and it wasn't her first suspicious trip.
CHICAGO -- The jewelry salesman was ready for the thieves this time. He set out on a trip with $58,000 in luxury watches in the trunk of his Lincoln. He wanted to be followed.
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