Statehouse

Roberta Lynch
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Members of AFSCME, the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers, have taken a big step toward a possible strike.

AFSCME has been fighting with Gov. Bruce Rauner for more than two years. Rauner says they’ve come to an impasse, and has moved to impose his terms, which include more costly health care and a wage freeze, coupled with the opportunity for merit bonuses.

Meanwhile, AFSCME Director Roberta Lynch says the strike option was approved with 81 percent support.

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Education Desk

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made big news regarding the rights of transgender students. But what exactly changed?

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Health+Harvest Desk

There are very few scenarios where I could see myself considering the flesh of a fellow human being as food, and the ultimatum "eat today or die tomorrow" comes up in all of them. Most people are probably with me on this.

But Bill Schutt's newest book, Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, reveals that from a scientific perspective, there's a predictable calculus for when humans and animals go cannibal. And far more humans — and animals — have dipped into the world of cannibalism than you might have imagined.

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Arts & Life

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This week we're joined by Allison Lacher & Jeff Robinson - two instrumental forces in bringing contemporary and provocative artwork to the central Illinois region. 

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Equity

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Champaign-Urbana is the only city in Illinois, other than Chicago, to have an official chapter of the Black Lives Matter organization. Evelyn Reynolds has been heading it.

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Vice President Pence is addressing attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

The former Indiana governor and congressman has spoken at the annual confab in the past, but now he's speaking to the group as part of an unlikely team that has put Republicans back in joint control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade.

The war against ISIS is entering a tough new phase, as Iraqi fighters with growing U.S. assistance push into western Mosul, warns the senior American commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend.

"ISIS is a brutal, brutal enemy," said Townsend, speaking in Erbil as Iraq's security forces were about to attack Mosul's airport with help from the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

President Trump has promised to build a wall along the 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

A third of the border already has a barrier, thanks to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by then-president George W. Bush. That initiative ran into issues with landowners near the Rio Grande. If the wall goes forward as Trump promises, more lawsuits may be coming.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has a message for members of Congress who are citing the possibility of protests as a reason not to hold town meetings: "Have some courage."

Giffords, wounded in a 2011 shooting outside a Tucson supermarket where she was meeting with constituents, was responding to a statement by Republican Congressman Louis Gohmert of Texas. Asked why he wasn't holding public meetings, Gohmert said:

In baseball, if a pitcher wants to intentionally walk a batter, he has to actually lob the four pitches outside the strike zone. It's a technique often used to bypass a particularly strong batter, or to set up a double play.

But that rule now appears poised to change.

The Major League Baseball commissioner's office has proposed a rule change to have the pitcher forgo actually throwing four balls — instead, the bench would simply signal to the umpire that the batter will be intentionally walked.

Roberta Lynch
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Members of AFSCME, the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers, have taken a big step toward a possible strike.

AFSCME has been fighting with Gov. Bruce Rauner for more than two years. Rauner says they’ve come to an impasse, and has moved to impose his terms, which include more costly health care and a wage freeze, coupled with the opportunity for merit bonuses.

Meanwhile, AFSCME Director Roberta Lynch says the strike option was approved with 81 percent support.

At a joint news conference in Mexico City on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the tension between the U.S. and Mexico. After talks with his Mexican counterpart, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, Tillerson said that "in a relationship filled with vibrant colors, two strong sovereign countries, from time to time, will have differences."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In America, there is a rare echelon of pop stars so big they only need one name: Madonna, Cher, Prince. In Italy, that name is Zucchero.

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This I Believe Illinois

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This I Believe: Being Fluffy And Fabulous

“Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of the body.” Society portrays that in order to be beautiful you have to be skinny and have the perfect body. Women are made to believe this because they cannot help but see it everywhere.

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The First 100 Days

Vice President Pence is addressing attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

The former Indiana governor and congressman has spoken at the annual confab in the past, but now he's speaking to the group as part of an unlikely team that has put Republicans back in joint control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade.

President Trump has promised to build a wall along the 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

A third of the border already has a barrier, thanks to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by then-president George W. Bush. That initiative ran into issues with landowners near the Rio Grande. If the wall goes forward as Trump promises, more lawsuits may be coming.

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Illinois Edition: Weekdays Noon-1 PM and 7-8 PM

U of I Fascism Historian On "Fake News" & Falsehoods

Manipulation of the truth has long been a tool commonly used by political leaders throughout the Western world, says Peter Fritzsche , a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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Illinois Issues

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Illinois Issues: Civil Asset Forfeiture Critics Complain Innocent People Pay

Disparate entities say laws in this area need to change at the state and national levels.

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Featured

Trump's Election Drives More Women To Consider Running For Office

Will the election of Donald Trump, who once boasted of grabbing women by the genitalia and has a history of sexist remarks, create a wave of female candidates at all levels of government in the coming years? Early signs from the groups that work with women considering a bid for office suggest a level of intense interest not seen in at least a quarter century. Kate Noble had never considered getting involved in politics until she woke up the day after Trump's surprise victory over Hillary...

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