Police are pictured putting up crime scene tape.
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Crime trends: Increases of violent crime and homicides in a few urban centers—including Chicago, Baltimore, and Las Vegas—have driven up the national violent crime numbers for the second year in a row, according to F.B.I. data. Police officials and criminologists are divided on the exact causes of the upsurge, The New York Times reports:

“The question really is, what is different now from 15 years ago in terms of why crime has increased?” said John K. Roman, a criminologist at the University of Chicago. “And the only thing that has changed is the distrust between heavily policed communities and local police. It’s not a coincidence that cities that have crime increases have also had problems between communities and the police.”

Tense vote: Angela Merkel’s victory yesterday as fourth-term chancellor of Germany in the national elections has been dimmed by the official entry of far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party into Parliament. On the eve of the election, The Atlantic highlighted how tensions between two cities, Leipzig and Dresden, have encapsulated national struggles over refugee policy.

‘We got things wrong’: Uber’s new CEO has apologized for the ride-hailing company’s mistakes in London and promises change, while vowing to appeal the city transport authority’s decision not to renew Uber’s license to operate. Meanwhile, thousands of Uber drivers in London are worried about financial ruin if the appeal isn’t successful. (Guardian)

In local hands: Nearly 32 years after the feds yanked control from East St. Louis’s “famously inept and corrupt” housing authority, HUD boss Ben Carson has formally returned the city’s public housing agency to local control. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Charging for congestion: A Los Angeles Times editorial makes the case for congestion pricing—charging drivers fees to use the roads at the busiest times—as a solution to the city’s relentless traffic jams, pointing to models that have worked for London and Stockholm.

‘Amazing Race’ for Amazon: Cities are getting creative in their wooing strategies for HQ2, with mayoral letters to Amazon becoming a YouTube subgenre, MBA students on assignment, and a 21-foot cactus shipped out to Jeff Bezos. (New York Times)

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