Guns of Chicago; Enemy of the State; Muslims Love Me -- "CBSN: On Assignment"

Last Updated Aug 8, 2017 12:48 PM EDT

Guns of Chicago

Tim White, a community organizer and peacemaker,  is an "original gangster" who once led the notorious Vice Lords gang. Shot three times, and locked up for over 20 years on gun and drug charges, White now roams his old territory with a peaceful purpose, seeking to intervene in disputes and prevent them escalating to bloodshed.

"We find someone who has a contact to you or that person that's in the conflict. We go reach out to that person and start the dialogue, thinking we'll squash it," he told Adriana Diaz, correspondent for "CBSN: On Assignment."

His efforts are much needed. Chicago saw an uptick in shootings and murders in 2016, which surged by 58 percent year-on-year, according to the University of Chicago's Crime lab. 485 people were murdered in 2015, 764 in 2016. We met his close friend Paris King at a "re-pass," a celebration of the life of another friend who had been gunned down and killed weeks earlier. King reiterated what we heard from members of several crews in Chicago's West and South Sides -- guns are a live-or-die necessity.

"The number one human instinct is preservation, self-preservation. So you gonna make sure you survive. That's all we doing," King said. "They wrap it up as gunslinging, gangbangers, and all of that. We surviving. That's it. Self-preservation."

Enemy of the State

Alexei Navalny, a staunch critic of Vladimir Putin who has been jailed several times for his vociferous opposition has announced plans to challenge Vladimir Putin in Russia's presidential election next March.

"CBSN: On Assignment" spent a week with Alexei Navalny before the protests, in his Moscow office and on the campaign trail. "It's not about playing [a] game," Navalny told correspondent Ryan Chilcote. "It's not saying something or making rallies. We are really making this political work to win and without any doubts this corrupt regime will be crushed and another man will become president of Russia."

Unseating Putin will be a formidable challenge. Navalny has turned to the internet to spread his anti-corruption platform. His office is as much a production studio as a campaign office. It's oufitted with edit bays, audio booths, and a studio complete with cameras, lights and backdrops to produce Navalny's weekly YouTube videos

Navalny's anti-corruption videos have alleged corruption in Putin's inner circle. "Corruption is something Mr. Putin chose as a foundation of his regime. It's an agreement between him and his allies in general of all officials in Russia." In March, Navalny posted a video online in which he accused Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of widespread corruption, accepting bribes in the form of an $85 million mansion. The video inspired tens of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets in cities across Russia.

Challenging the Kremlin with accusations of corruption comes with significant risks. In April, Navalny was nearly blinded when someone threw a chemical dye in his face. He flew to Spain to get emergency surgery to save his eyesight and was forced to wear an eye patch for several weeks. When asked about the challenges of being an opposition figure in Russia, Navalny was stark about his odds: "50% I would be killed or I won't be killed."

Muslims Love Me

On a rainy, Wednesday night in Pakistan, thousands are transfixed by a woman named Marilyn Hickey. The crowd sways, prays and cheers as she exclaims "Jesus loves you, repent of your sins!" and "God Bless you, Pakistan!"

Hickey is an 86-year-old evangelical Christian with a worldwide television ministry based in Denver. Over the last 40 years, she has traveled to 136 countries to spread the gospel. Her special mission has been to build bridges in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Egypt and Sudan.

"These people are very open and very hungry. And I think I laid a basis for this years ago and I began to say, 'I love Muslims and Muslims love me,'" Hickey says.

Correspondent James Brown asked Hickey why she's been so accepted in Muslim countries. Hickey responded "I think it's a God thing. Years ago, I started praying over every country in the world, every day. And when I would hit the Muslim countries -- I had such a warm feeling for them."

When she arrives in Lahore, she is greeted like a matriarch by members of a local Christian church. The parishioners give her flowers, hug her and call her "mom."

Despite that, as we travel around with Hickey in Lahore, we are protected by an armed, 10-person security team provided by the local government military police.

Hickey has had close calls before. In 2005, during a visit to Islamabad, Hickey says 31 suicide bombers took an oath to kill her. "I was afraid they were gonna show up at the meeting and shoot me. You know? So I just had to trust God."