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

On Wednesday, the team from the violence-torn east African country of Burundi went missing. Well before the competition even began, the teams from Gambia and Afghanistan made headlines after the U.S. State Department denied them 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

The Un-Pretty History Of Georgia's Iconic Peach

Jul 21, 2017

During peach season, Georgia's roads are dotted with farm stands selling fresh peaches. Year-round, tourist traps sell mugs, hats, shirts and even snow globes with peaches on them. At the beginning of the Georgia peach boom, one of Atlanta's major roads was renamed Peachtree Street. But despite its associations with perfectly pink-orange peaches, "The Peach State" of Georgia is neither the biggest peach producing state (that honor goes to California) nor are peaches its biggest crop.

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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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Afghan officials say 16 members of the Afghan National Security Forces died in a U.S. airstrike Friday, during operations against Taliban fighters in southern Helmand province. The U.S. says it is investigating the circumstances that led to the mistake.

Afghan media report that 16 members of the security force died, citing local government officials. Although a U.S. statement acknowledging the strike did not specify the number of casualties, a Pentagon spokesman later put the figure at from 12-15 deaths.

Members of the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, are heading into their annual meeting with no national leader and no speaker from the White House. The meeting starts Saturday in Baltimore.

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

Any self-respecting comics fan cringes at the phrase "comics aren't just for kids anymore." But any self-respecting comics fan also has to admit there are some great kids' comics out there — especially right now.

Before I left for San Diego Comic-Con this week, I checked in with Lucy Strother, a fourth grade teacher in Philadelphia whose students just love comics. "We have like a comics and graphic novels bin in the library and it's perpetually empty because the kids are so obsessed with comics and graphic novels," she says.

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

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

Aaron Albaugh peers out from under the brim of his cowboy hat, surveying the acres of hay fields in front of him. The fourth-generation rancher is raising about 450 cattle this year, in this remote corner of Lassen County, California.

His closest neighbor lives a half mile away. "And that's my brother," Albaugh says.

"If I want to go see a movie, it's 70 miles, round-trip," he adds. "If I want to go bowling, that's 100 miles, round-trip."

John McCain's 2008 Concession Speech

2 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/.

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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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