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Trump To Lay Out Plans For 'Renewal Of The American Spirit' In Joint Address

President Trump's joint address to Congress on Tuesday night is expected to strike an optimistic tone as he outlines how he plans to begin a "renewal of the American spirit" with his economic goals and priorities. According to senior administration officials who previewed the speech to reporters, that's the theme the president will use to lay out his vision for the American people and explain how his administration will begin solving real problems for real people. He'll tell members of...

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Statehouse

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Members of AFSCME voted overwhelmingly to give the union's bargaining committee the power to strike. The union has been in a contract fight with Gov. Bruce Rauner for more than two years. Rauner has tried to impose his terms, saying they're a fair deal for both workers and taxpayers. Meanwhile, in the week following the governor's budget address, Rauner did little to support or defend his plan.

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Education Desk

Tressie McMillan Cottom studies for-profit colleges as a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University. She's analyzed large data sets, scrutinized financial filings, interviewed students and staff. But she has also helped enroll students at two different for-profits herself.

They're not named, but known only as "Beauty College" and "Technical College," in her new book, Lower Ed.

NPR Ed has covered both the rise, and some of the travails, of this form of education. We called up Cottom to hear her thoughts. Here's an edited version of our conversation.

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Health+Harvest Desk

When it comes to climate change, we often think of the cars we drive and the energy we use in our homes and offices. They are, after all, some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But what about the toast you ate for breakfast this morning?

A new study published Monday in Nature Plants breaks down the environmental cost of producing a loaf of bread, from wheat field to bakery. It finds that the bulk of the associated greenhouse gas emissions come from just one of the many steps that go into making that loaf: farming.

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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

Charles Collins and his wife, Joyce, were cruising down one of the main streets in Milwaukee's North Side one spring evening in 2014, headed home after a day of babysitting their infant granddaughter. They had just dropped the little girl off with his son.

"You know how you have a leisurely ride?" Collins said this week by telephone. "That's just what we were doing, just enjoying my lady."

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Illinois Economy

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Sean Crawford is joined by Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register.

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NPRIllinois

Sean Crawford is joined by Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register.

A Georgia judge has sentenced Kayla Norton, 25, and Jose "Joe" Torres, 26, to spend a combined 19 years in prison for their role in a group's racist rampage at an 8-year-old's birthday party — an assault that included shouting racial slurs, making armed threats and waving Confederate battle flags.

"I'm so sorry that happened to you," Norton told the family that endured the assault, weeping in the courtroom at Monday's sentencing. "I am so sorry."

Electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso is back with a much-anticipated followup to it's self-titled 2014 debut. The new album is called What Now and includes the jagged new single "Die Young."

Charles Collins and his wife, Joyce, were cruising down one of the main streets in Milwaukee's North Side one spring evening in 2014, headed home after a day of babysitting their infant granddaughter. They had just dropped the little girl off with his son.

"You know how you have a leisurely ride?" Collins said this week by telephone. "That's just what we were doing, just enjoying my lady."

In September 2012, a high-school rock band from Lititz, Pennsylvania, called The Districts took to the stage at World Cafe Live in Wilmington, Delaware, as part of a local battle of the bands competition.

The band took first place in the competition, and John Vettese, editor of WXPN's local music website The Key, described their set.

The World Health Organization for the first time has issued a list of the top 12 "priority pathogens." They're disease-causing bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, says WHO. Yet the development of new antibiotics to treat them has slowed to a crawl.

"We are fast running out of treatment options," says Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO's assistant director-general for Health Systems, in a statement.

One of the great treats of following an Agatha Christie mystery (my favorite being Hercule Poirot) is that you know there will be an "Aha!" moment at the end. The fastidious, mustachioed detective will pull together all the disparate facts and present a compelling answer.

SangamonCountyHistory.org

The Ku Klux Klan was in the news again during last year’s election. While white supremacist groups are on the rise again, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, they are nowhere near as prevalent as they were in the 1920s, when Klansmen served in all levels of government.

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The First 100 Days

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When President Trump delivers his speech at the Capitol on Tuesday, he'll be looking out at a GOP-controlled Congress. It's now new DNC Chairman Tom Perez's job to coordinate the opposition to change that dynamic.

The former labor secretary was elected on Saturday in Atlanta.

Perez tells NPR's Steve Inskeep Democrats have a lot of work to do.

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Ex Neo-Nazi Sheds Light On Alt-Right & 'Life After Hate'

Christian Picciolini used to be a neo-Nazi. He was raised by Italian immigrants in Blue Island, a Chicago suburb. He says he didn't grow up with hate ideologies at home, but as a teenager he wanted the community and sense of purpose white supremacists promised him. He went on to lead white supremacist bands and become a large part of the movement.

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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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Trending Stories

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Illinois Issues: The Great Pension Chasm

Yet another proposal aims to get the state out of crisis. A 1917 report conducted on the Illinois pension system revealed bad news. After a pension-focused trip around the globe, with studies on such nations as Great Britain, New Zealand, and Austro-Hungary, it got to crux of the matter:

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Featured

In Religious Freedom Debate, 2 American Values Clash

The collision of two core American values — freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination — is prompting a showdown in legislatures and courts across the country. For some conservatives, religious freedom means the right to act on their opposition to same-sex marriage and other practices that go against their beliefs. LGBT advocates and their allies, meanwhile, say no one in the United States should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation. President Trump is said to be...

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