Chicago’s police department says there were 762 homicides last year—the highest number in two decades and a figure that’s more than the number of killings in New York and Los Angeles combined. In comparison, there were 485 homicides in 2015. The increase, 277 homicides, is the largest in 60 years. Police and city officials have blamed a flood of illegal weapons in the city, but Eddie Johnson, Chicago’s police superintendent, also said Sunday that anger at police had “emboldened” criminals to commit crimes. In response to the violence in the nation’s third-largest city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced last year that 1,000 new officers would be added to the force. President-elect Donald Trump weighed in on Monday, urging Emanuel on Twitter to “ask for Federal help.”
—ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Day that killed 39 people.
—We’re live-blogging the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
Chicago Saw 762 Homicides in 2016—Highest Number in Two Decades
Brazil Prison Riot Kills 60
Violence between rival gangs at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Center in Brazil’s northeastern Amazonas state has left at least 60 people dead, authorities say. The unrest, which began Sunday in the prison in Manaus, saw six decapitated bodies thrown over the prison’s perimeter fence. When the violence ended Monday, inmates surrendered their weapons and freed the dozen guards they had captured. The prison, which has a capacity of 454, holds 1,224 prisoners. Sergio Fontes, who heads public security in the state, said the gangs—the local Family of the North (FDN) and First Capital Command (PCC), which operates nationally—were vying for control over the drugs trade.
Israeli Police Question Netanyahu Over Allegations He Received Gifts
Police are questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem Monday over allegations he and members of his family received illegal gifts from business owners. Netanyahu, who has denied any wrongdoing, told his critics “not to celebrate.” Ron Lauder, a U.S. businessman and longtime friend of Netanyahu’s, reportedly told investigators he gave the prime minister various gifts and had paid for a trip for Yair Netanyahu, the Israeli leader’s son. Authorities say they believe the gifts were given in hopes of gaining influence. Haaretz adds: “Police are hoping their interrogation of Netanyahu will also shed additional light on a second more serious case whose full details have not yet been made public, sources privy to the investigation say. Details of this case were presented to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit a few months ago.”
Daughter of 'Rasputin-Like' Figure in South Korea Scandal Arrested in Denmark
Danish authorities have arrested Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the heart of a corruption scandal that has embroiled President Park Geun-hye's, South Korean police said Monday. Chung, a former member of South Korea’s national equestrian team, was detained Sunday for overstaying her visa, they said. Chung is alleged to have been admitted to the prestigious Ewha Womans University in Seoul despite poor grades because of her mother’s ties with the president. South Korean media have called Choi a “Rasputin-like” figure who had an undue influence on Park, whose political future now lies in the hands of the country’s Constitutional Court that will decided whether or not to accept her impeachment by lawmakers last month. Choi is alleged to have used their relationship to enrich herself. Chung was placed on Interpol’s most-wanted list after she failed to respond to summons in the investigation into the influence-peddling case that has enthralled South Korea. The Justice Ministry said it is seeking her extradition from Denmark.
Suicide Bombing in Baghdad Kills 35
ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing Monday in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, that killed 35 people. The car bomb struck Sadr City, the predominantly Shia neighborhood, and comes two days after two attacks in Baghdad that also targeted Shiites killed 28 people. ISIS regards Shiites as apostates. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday’s attacker pretended to be a man who intended to hire laborers. He detonated his device once workers gathered around his vehicle, Adabi said. Iraqi forces, backed by coalition aircraft, are targeting the ISIS stronghold of Mosul. The operation to retake the city began in November.
ISIS Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Attack
ISIS has claimed for the New Year’s Day attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39 people. In a statement, it said the attack was carried out by a “heroic soldier.” The attacker is still at large. Victims from at least 12 countries were killed when the gunman opened fire inside the Reina nightclub where about 600 people had gathered to ring in the New Year. ISIS said the attack was in retaliation against Turkey’s involvement in the civil war in neighboring Syria. The group had also been blamed for previous attacks inside Turkey, which has seen several high-profile terrorist attacks in the past year.