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Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

School Funding Special Session Keeps Legislators & Gov. At Odds

After the first day of a special session on education, Democratic lawmakers and the Republican Governor Bruce Rauner appear no closer to resolving the dispute that could hold up money for school districts. Rauner continues to demand Democrats send him the funding plan so he can change it and remove additional money for Chicago teacher pensions.

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Trending Stories

Are There Any Women Running For Governor?

A website that popped up this month asks a question as its URL: arethereanywomenrunningforilgovernor.com . It then very simply answers it with a bright red "NO." A group of professional women in the state are behind the effort to draw attention to the issue.

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Statehouse

Amanda Vinicky

We talked to leaders at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and The Civic Federation to learn about their insights on the state's first spending plan in more than two years.

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Education Desk

Copyright 2017 90.5 WESA. To see more, visit 90.5 WESA.

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Health+Harvest Desk

In a vast, dimly lit barn near Frankfort, Delaware, surrounded by tens of thousands of young chickens, about a dozen people in ghostly white coveralls are considering future options for the poultry industry.

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Arts & Life

For an entire generation of writers, Michiko Kakutani acted at times as intrepid champion, hated villain or helping hand. But from her perch as chief book critic at The New York Times, the Pulizer Prize winner rarely left one thing in doubt: her vast influence over the literary world she assessed.

On Thursday, after 38 years, Kakutani announced she is stepping down.

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Equity

In an attempt to reach a younger and more diverse audience, the largest and most well-known Latino advocacy group in the U.S., the National Council of La Raza, renamed itself this month. The new name, UnidosUS, was announced at the group's 2017 conference in Phoenix. This has caused a rift in the U.S. Latino community — some see it as shedding a dated name, but others see it as leaving a legacy behind.

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Illinois Economy

flickr/Katherine Johnson

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

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President Trump is now faced with a decision on whether to sign into law new sanctions meant to punish Russia for interfering in last year's presidential election, after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure Thursday.

The bill, the first major foreign policy legislation to emerge from Congress since the president took office, also includes sanctions on North Korea and Iran. It easily passed the Senate in a 76-1 vote after sailing through the House by a similarly veto-proof 419-3 margin.

For an entire generation of writers, Michiko Kakutani acted at times as intrepid champion, hated villain or helping hand. But from her perch as chief book critic at The New York Times, the Pulizer Prize winner rarely left one thing in doubt: her vast influence over the literary world she assessed.

On Thursday, after 38 years, Kakutani announced she is stepping down.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

The Republican's seven year quest to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act descended into chaos Thursday night as the Senate prepared for an unwieldy, all-night session.

A close-up of ice melting in brilliant sunshine is the first thing you see in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. It's gorgeous — snow crystals glistening, moisture dripping from them into a pool of water so pure and clear it makes you thirsty.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking on Fox & Friends Thursday, said the Trump administration's hiring efforts are being hindered by the "hoops you have to jump through" to comply with Office of Government Ethics rules.

"There are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this administration and their country who have been completely demoralized and completely disinclined to do so based on the paperwork we have to put forward, divesting assets," Conway said.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became an even richer man on Thursday morning, when a sudden surge in Amazon stock made him $1.5 billion overnight. His fortune grew to over $90 billion.

For several hours, Bezos was the richest person on earth — surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The top billionaire title has previously been claimed by Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim, Spanish fast-fashion giant Amancio Ortega and investor Warren Buffett — though most of the time, it's firmly in Gates' possession.

'Brigsby Bear': Do Not Adjust Your (Mind) Set

5 hours ago

If Barney the Dinosaur also played all five members of Voltron, he would look something like Brigsby Bear, a man in a giant teddy bear suit who stomps around against an outer-space backdrop blinking his animatronic eyes and learning lessons. Brigsby Bear Adventures has been on the air for some time, and the substance of those lessons has evolved from simple arithmetic to advanced scientific concepts, often accompanied by a telling refrain: "Curiosity is an unnatural emotion."

Updated 8:25 p.m. ET

Just days away from a national vote to decide the delegates who will rewrite Venezuela's constitution, President Nicolas Maduro's government is trying a new method of clamping down on popular unrest: a complete ban on demonstrations nationwide for the next five days.

What You Need To Know About Foxconn

5 hours ago

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Chicago Illinois Issues Forum

Illinois Issues Forums

Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget and the challenges ahead at the Peoria City Hall.
Sarah Scott / Peoria Public Radio

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - Peoria

NPR Illinois continued its listening tour on the state's fiscal health co-hosting an Illinois Issues Forum in Peoria on July 20. Community members attended to tell how they have been impacted by the state budget impasse.

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Illinois Issues

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois Issues: The Battle Over Transparency And Privacy In The Digital Age

The issue pits business interests against privacy concerns. For Carolyn Parrish, a privacy professional based in Evanston, data privacy is just as important in her personal, everyday life, as it is to keeping her business running.

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Featured

'Turning The Tables': Behind The List

I'm willing to bet you've never seen a "Best Of" list quite like this one. "Turning The Tables" ranks the 150 greatest albums made by women. It's a partnership between NPR Music and Lincoln Center, led by Lincoln Center's Jill Sternheimer and our Nashville correspondent, Ann Powers. Ann stopped by World Cafe to share some of the artists that made the list and to talk about the No. 1 album. She'll also reveal surprises, controversial picks and one solid conclusion: "Every single one of these...

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