Illinois Lawmakers React To Shutdown Vote, Emergency Declaration

Reaction is coming in from lawmakers representing all corners of the state as it pertains to the vote to avoid another government shutdown as well as President Trump's announcement Friday to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) Released Thursday afternoon "While this bipartisan deal is not perfect, it prevents another wasteful and unnecessary government shutdown that would hurt our economy and hold the paychecks of hundreds...

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How Race Factors Into Infant Mortality

In Illinois, losing a baby before its first birthday happens far more often to black mothers than those of other races. The difference between whites and blacks is nearly three-fold.

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Statehouse

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats in the Illinois House approved an increase in the state minimum wage. Assuming Gov. J.B. Pritzker sings the legislation — he's said he will — the rate will gradually climb to $15 perhour in the year 2025;

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Education Desk

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

For years, high school graduates have fled Illinois to attend out-of-state colleges in such massive numbers, only New Jersey loses more. So State Rep. André Thapedi (D-Chicago) came up with an idea to try to keep top students here. He filed a bill that would give high school students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class — and achieve certain standardized test scores — guaranteed admission at Illinois public universities.

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Health+Harvest Desk

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Julie via Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

For decades, public health advocates have pushed for limits on smoking. They've included warning labels on products to limits on where someone can light up, all of which have helped bring down smoking rates. But in Illinois, a push to raise the smoking age has repeatedly failed to become law. We took a look at this year's push, and what chance it has at becoming law.

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Illinois Economy

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Business owners across Central and Southern Illinois say they have concerns about what a  $15 per hour minimum wage increase could mean for their bottom line.

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Equity

Courtesy of Petina Dixon-Jenkins

In Illinois, losing a baby before its first birthday happens far more often to black mothers than those of other races. The difference between whites and blacks is nearly three-fold.

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Arts & Life

Matt Smith first became famous playing the Doctor on the iconic British TV show Doctor Who. Then he got more famous by playing Prince Philip on the Netflix series The Crown. Now he's playing the role of the famously transgressive photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (Mapplethorpe), before playing Charles Manson (Charlie Says). We're beginning to suspect he's not actually any of those people, but instead some kind of actor.

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The September 11th Victims Compensation Fund is cutting its payouts in half for some and by as much as 70 percent for others, as the fund faces a surge in claims ahead of its expiration date in December 2020.

The fund, which was opened in 2011, compensates for deaths and illnesses due to exposure to toxins at the sites of the September 11th attacks. The $7.3 billion fund has already paid out about $5 billion to 21,000 claimants. But it still has about 19,000 additional unpaid claims to address.

President Trump's emergency declaration to build a border wall will face challenges from Congress, the courts and groups that will lose money for projects that they've been promised.

In 2015, a verdict was delivered on the cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools.

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Remembering Mars Rover, 'Opportunity'

1 hour ago

Space scientists pay tribute to the Mars rover, Opportunity, which died this week after 14 years sending data back to Earth. The rover was expected to last only three months.

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Veteran Vatican watcher John Allen tells NPR's Michel Martin that the defrocking of former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick is the most severe form of punishment for a cleric.

Reporter Howard Altman of the Tampa Bay Times tells NPR's Michel Martin about the shocking state of housing for many military families: privatized housing on bases full of mold and vermin.

Actor Bruno Ganz, whose long career and signature roles as an angel in the film Wings of Desire and Adolf Hitler in Downfall made him one of the most recognized actors of German-language cinema, died on Friday. He was 77.

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The gunman who killed five people in Aurora, Ill., and wounded five police officers started shooting after learning he was being fired, police said on Saturday.

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Community Voices

ATTEND: As Goes Journalism, So Goes the Community

The number of news reporters has been declining for years – in print and broadcast, and markets of all sizes. One need only look at the Illinois State House Press Corps, whose numbers have dwindled from several dozen full-time, year-round reporters to a handful of credentialed journalists today, or the decreased size of local media news staff, to see the trend in our area. What’s the impact on you - and the community? Research shows that fewer journalists mean less accountability of public officials.

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Analysis & commentary on the events that made news this past week in Illinois state government & politics.

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Reporting and analysis taking you beyond the daily news and providing a deeper understanding of our state. 

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Statewide: The Segregated Heartland; 'Public Official A' Podcast Tells The Blagojevich Story

Segregation can be found all across the country. But few might realize the level that exists in communities right here in Illinois. An investigation finds many of Illinois' mid-sized cities rank among the most divided nationally. And there's a new podcast that tells the story of impeached governor Rod Blagojevich, from the point of view of those who were part of the story: his wife Patti, federal agents, those who worked closely with him and more. The first episode is already available with more to come.

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Politics

The U.S.-led liberal world order is falling apart, according to the organizers of a gathering of world leaders and defense chiefs in Germany that has met annually since the Cold War.

The Munich Security Conference report said the Trump administration displays an "irritating enthusiasm for strongmen across the globe" and "disdain for international institutions and agreements."

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Here is how President Trump explains why he's decided to declare a national emergency on the border with Mexico.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's very simple. We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals and gangs from coming into our country. Nobody's done the job that we've ever done. I mean, nobody's done the job that we've done on the border.

U.S. National Debt Passes $22 Trillion

10 hours ago

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The X from NPR Illinois | 91.9-3 HD

2019 Grammy Awards: The Full List Of Winners

During the show, follow along with our live blog for commentary, context and quips throughout the night . A complete list of the winners and nominees for the 61st annual Grammy Awards, presented on Feb. 10, 2019. GENERAL FIELD 1. Record Of The Year • "I Like It" by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin • "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile WINNER: "This Is America" by Childish Gambino • "God's Plan" by Drake • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper • "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar & SZA • "Rockstar" by...

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Yo-Yo Ma Surprises Bystanders In Mumbai With A Mini-Concert

World-renowned Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma has recorded more than 100 albums, received 19 Grammys , won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and, most recently, performed a sold-out concert at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, India. But on Tuesday evening, most onlookers knew none of his accomplishments — or even who he was — as he gave an impromptu recital on the Marine Drive promenade in the southern part of the city. The 20-minute performance – amid the sound of...

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