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Illinois Issues: The Costs Of Doing Business Without A Budget

The political spotlight has shifted to the election, but the state budget crisis continues to cost the people of Illinois.
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Illinois Edition - Weekdays Noon-1 PM and 7-8 PM

Trump, Law & Order, And Criminal Justice Reform

Could the Republican nominee's emphasis on "law and order" derail a growing bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?
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Election 2016

Asked to name his favorite foreign leader, or any foreign leader he admires, Libertarian nominee for president Gary Johnson was unable to come up with an answer.

The exchange occurred on an MSNBC town hall hosted by Chris Matthews Wednesday night.

When Johnson hesitated at the initial question, Matthews said, "Go ahead, you gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect."

It continued:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Trending Stories

Amanda Vinicky

Rauner Won't Say Whether He Favors Amending Illinois' Constitution

Illinois voters this fall will have a chance to amend the state constitution. The governor refuses to say whether he supports the change. Illinois has gotten into the habit of using money that was supposed to be used to fill pot holes and instead using it to fill holes in the budget. Road contractors and construction workers got sick of it. They came up with an idea of putting road money in a sort of "lock box." To do it, they propose amending the constitution so it has to be used on...
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Illinois Issues

Illinois Issues: Sixteen And (Not) Pregnant

Teen pregnancy rates are going down in Illinois and across the nation because teens are having less sex, and when they do, they’re using contraception more often. The reasons behind these changes in behavior are harder to pinpoint.
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Americans want to stay in control of their cars, a new study finds.

According to a study by Kelley Blue Book, 80 percent of Americans say people should always have the option to drive themselves.

This study comes just a week after the Department of Transportation released regulatory guidelines for self-driving vehicles.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Winter clothes, blankets, food and medical supplies. In an act of humanity, a U.N. aid convoy was carrying these precious necessities to a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, cut off by war. The convoy never made it.

I have a friend in London who's at war with her car's GPS. Although she nearly always puts it on, she's driven mad by its voice, which is female, and refuses to follow its directions. She spends whole trips arguing with, barking at, and sometimes cursing this imaginary woman. She'd never be this rude to an actual human being. But, of course, a GPS doesn't have feelings.

But what if it did? That's one of the many timely questions raised by Westworld, the darkly exciting new series that's HBO's biggest gamble since Game of Thrones.

What rats can remember may help people who forget.

Researchers are reporting evidence that rats possess "episodic memories," the kind of memories that allow us to go back in time and recall specific events. These memories are among the first to disappear in people who develop Alzheimer's disease.

The finding, which appears Thursday in Current Biology, suggests that rats could offer a better way to test potential drugs for Alzheimer's. Right now, most of these drugs are tested in mice.

Turkey's national security council is recommending a three-month extension of the state of emergency imposed following a failed coup attempt in July.

The council is chaired by the Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has presided over tens of thousands of dismissals and arrests of opposition leaders, journalists and others since the initial state of emergency went into effect on July 20, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

What feeling of freedom must accompany recording artists who don't use their real names when they write or perform music? Does a musical mask, a second personality, let them create a whole new persona? A way to react differently to the world? I remember one Halloween, I went to a costume party at a friend's office. I didn't know anyone there, and was wearing a costume that included a mask that completely covered my face. I'll never forget the complete freedom as my friend's office mates tried to figure out who I was.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Statehouse

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

State Week: Live Doesn't Mean Spontaneous

Gov. Bruce Rauner stuck to his script during his Facebook Live event. He also denies that his legislative agenda is "hurting some class."
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flickr/ 401kcalculator.org

The political spotlight has shifted to the election, but the state budget crisis continues to cost the people of Illinois. 

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

The man who calls himself the leader of Illinois' Republican Party conti ues to refuse to weigh in on this year's election.

Could the Republican nominee's emphasis on "law and order" derail a growing bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?

Education Desk

Courtesy of Jim Melvin

Education Desk: Rookie Teacher At Age 59

Jim Melvin is finally fulfilling a lifelong dream. He's a rookie in the classroom, but a seasoned veteran at real life. At age 59, he's in his first full year of teaching social studies at V.I.T. High School -- a small school near Macomb, Illinois.
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First, a story:

Late one night, a man searches for something in a parking lot. On his hands and knees, he crawls around a bright circle of light created by a streetlamp overhead.

A woman passes, stops, takes in the scene.

"What are you looking for? Can I help?"

"My car keys. Any chance you've seen them?"

"You dropped them right around here?"

"Oh, no. I dropped them way over there," he says, gesturing vaguely to some faraway spot on the other side of the lot.

"Then why are you looking here?"

The man pauses to consider the question.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Bertha Vazquez has taught earth science for more than 25 years.

"For many years I covered the basic standard, probably like most people in the country do," she says.

Then one day, she says, she decided to throw that all out the window after seeing former Vice President Al Gore speak at the University of Miami at a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, his documentary about climate change.

"And it really ... hit me. This is 2007 and, I've got to tell you, I lost sleep," Vazquez says.

Arts & Culture

Rachel Otwell

Lyndon Barrois Jr. Takes An Artistic & Personal Look At Prince

Lyndon Barrois Jr. is interested in identity, culture and intersection. He's named after his father, who was also an artist. He's lived in Southern Cali and New Orleans and now works as an educator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, where his work has also been displayed. His passion for Prince started as a young kid; influenced by his cousins and young parents. After Prince died, he grappled with it a few different ways - including writing this interesting essay. After you read it -...
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I have a friend in London who's at war with her car's GPS. Although she nearly always puts it on, she's driven mad by its voice, which is female, and refuses to follow its directions. She spends whole trips arguing with, barking at, and sometimes cursing this imaginary woman. She'd never be this rude to an actual human being. But, of course, a GPS doesn't have feelings.

But what if it did? That's one of the many timely questions raised by Westworld, the darkly exciting new series that's HBO's biggest gamble since Game of Thrones.

Every book can't be War and Peace. Readers may approach a doorstop novel of some 700-plus pages with a mixture of hope and dread: hope that the tome will offer a tale to relish, dread from being betrayed one too many times. By Gaslight, the second novel by award-winning Canadian poet Steven Price, proves engrossing enough to warrant its forest-depleting bulk. I found myself returning to passages not only because I occasionally lost the thread of this historical mystery's manifold plots, sub-plots and asides, but because I wanted to revisit the somber music of the telling.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Equity

Content Notice: Here Are A Few Ways Professors Use Trigger Warnings

Trigger warnings, the heads-up that college professors give to students to let them know disturbing content is coming, have gotten a lot of attention as the school year has unfolded. When a University of Chicago dean wrote a letter to incoming freshmen this fall rejecting the idea of those warnings, it sparked a nationwide debate on the use of advisories in the classroom.Our colleagues at NPR Ed recently reported on their survey of more than 800 faculty members at universities around the...
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We've all been there — having fun relaxing with friends and family, when someone says something a little racially off. Sometimes it's subtle, like the friend who calls Thai food "exotic." Other times it's more overt, like that in-law who's always going on about "the illegals."

In any case, it can be hard to know how to respond. Even the most level-headed among us have faltered trying to navigate the fraught world of racial awkwardness.

Wearing overalls and a John Deere baseball cap, 79-year-old Norman Greer stands on the front porch of his home, looking out at his property. There's a grain bin, some tractors, a barn, and rows of corn and soy beans.

"Where I live, right here, is 52 acres, and I farm 300 acres," Greer says. He's also raised hogs and cattle, but as he points out vacant animal pens, he says, "I've gotten too old to fool with it."

Trigger warnings, the heads-up that college professors give to students to let them know disturbing content is coming, have gotten a lot of attention as the school year has unfolded. When a University of Chicago dean wrote a letter to incoming freshmen this fall rejecting the idea of those warnings, it sparked a nationwide debate on the use of advisories in the classroom.

Illinois Economy

elevator down arrow
Eric Skiff

Past Due: Illinois Not Prepared For A Recession

In 2008, the Great Recession helped to tip Illinois into a fiscal crisis it still hasn't recovered from. A new report from Standard & Poor's found that another even moderate recession would mean big trouble for the state's budget. ​ Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn sat down with Sean Crawford to talk about it. You can read the report here.
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flickr/Katherine Johnson

Sean Crawford talks with the Business Editor of the State Journal-Register Tim Landis.

flickr/Katheerine Johnson

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis:

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis,

Harvest Desk

Cup Noodles, the dorm-room staple that cooks in three minutes, turns 45 this month. There's no better place to celebrate than its very own museum in Yokohama, Japan.

"This is the museum that really honors the creator of instant ramen and Cup Noodles," says museum manager Yuya Ichikawa, who leads me on a tour.

There are less than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. And now, one less: This weekend, one of the 45-ton creatures was found dead off the coast of Maine, completely entangled in fishing line — head, flippers and all.

This was not an isolated incident.

Even though Marca Engman read countless books, watched YouTube videos and took a beekeeping class before installing her first hive in 2012, she knew she'd need help in the field.

"The whole idea of beekeeping was overwhelming," she recalls. "Every year is different and every hive is different."

Rather than working a backyard beehive solo, Engman installed her first hive in the community apiary at Hudson Gardens, a nonprofit garden near Littleton, Colo.

Health Desk

Winter clothes, blankets, food and medical supplies. In an act of humanity, a U.N. aid convoy was carrying these precious necessities to a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, cut off by war. The convoy never made it.

What rats can remember may help people who forget.

Researchers are reporting evidence that rats possess "episodic memories," the kind of memories that allow us to go back in time and recall specific events. These memories are among the first to disappear in people who develop Alzheimer's disease.

The finding, which appears Thursday in Current Biology, suggests that rats could offer a better way to test potential drugs for Alzheimer's. Right now, most of these drugs are tested in mice.

Researchers trying to understand diseases and find new ways to treat them are running into a serious problem in their labs: One of the most commonly used tools often produces spurious results. More than 100 influential scientists met in California this week and agreed on a strategy to address the troubling issue.

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