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Rauner Demands School Funding Bill Now

Lawmakers approved a state budget more than a week ago. But the education portion remains uncertain. For the money to flow, Democrats added a provision that requires enactment of a new school funding plan . Democrats have passed such a plan through both chambers, but Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, says he’ll veto parts of it.

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Statehouse

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has demanded Democrats send him school funding legislation, threatening to call a special session if they don't. The governor has sought to pit Downstate school school districts — and local legislators — against Chicago Public Schools.

Meanwhile, Rauner continued replacing top staff with people from a libertarian advocacy organization.

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Education Desk

This week, the First Global Challenge, a highly anticipated robotics competition for 15- to 18-year-olds from 157 countries, ended the way it began — with controversy.

On Wednesday, members of the team from the violence-torn east African country of Burundi went missing. And well before the competition even began, the teams from Gambia and Afghanistan made headlines after the U.S. State Department denied the members visas. Eventually, they were allowed to compete.

The drama marred an otherwise upbeat event focused on kids and robots.

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Health+Harvest Desk

One of the biggest fishing magnates in the country could be sentenced to prison this coming week, and the forfeiture of his boats could be a big hit for the Massachusetts port where he amassed a small empire.

Between his scalloping and groundfishing boats, Carlos Rafael – nicknamed "the Codfather" — came to be the largest single owner of fishing vessels in New England, and possibly in the country.

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Arts & Life

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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

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

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It's expected to be a celebratory ride into Paris for Chris Froome when the Tour de France ends Sunday. The British rider added to his overall lead Saturday; he has also avoided crashes that took out some of cycling's big names — including his teammate Geraint Thomas.

Froome's opponents saw Saturday's time trial in Marseilles as the last chance to take the yellow jersey from him, but they were unable to gain time on the reigning champion, who took third place. He now has a 54-second lead over Colombia's Rigoberto Urán — who banged into a barricade during his time trial.

There are some themes in Alisyn Camerota's new novel that may sound familiar: A young upstart reporter is trying to make it at a national news network run by a ratings-obsessed media mogul. And then there's a female senator, firmly rooted in the establishment, going up against a political newcomer, fresh from Hollywood. Camerota started writing this book many years ago, but the events of 2016 make Amanda Wakes Up feel particularly prescient.

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

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

Jada Pinkett Smith On 'Girls Trip'

4 hours ago

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

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

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

Out here, in West Pokot County, Kenya, the landscape looks like Mars — red clay, rocks, and in the distance, a mountain so bare, it looks like a giant boulder.

Stephen Long'uriareng, 80, has walked two hours to bring her two cows and goats to this watering hole. It's really just a dam carved out the earth, where the rain water mixes with mud and turns into a dark brown color.

This is not the place Long'uriareng remembers from her youth.

"This whole place used to be green with a lot of pasture. There was nothing being experienced like drought," she said.

Jason Greenblatt was the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization. Now President Trump has tapped him to help end the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It's a job that has become even harder in the past several days, with a new eruption of violence: Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel fatally shooting Israeli police at an important holy site; three Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli forces; three Israelis stabbed to death in their home by a young Palestinian.

You probably have a mental image of what NASA's space missions look like — rockets blasting off into the sky, fiery clouds of exhaust after liftoff — but what do they sound like?

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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: Peoria State Budget Forum

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

'Dunkirk' Director Christopher Nolan: 'We Really Try To Put You On That Beach'

In England, there's something known as the "Dunkirk spirit," shorthand for coming together in times of adversity. It refers to the heroic evacuation of British troops by British civilians in small boats at the beginning of World War II — and it's a story director Christopher Nolan has wanted to tell for a long time. "You've got 400,000 men on this beach [in Dunkirk, France], pretty much within sight of England; the enemy closing in on all sides," Nolan says. "And they were faced with really...

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