Poll: Most Americans Think Trump Will Be Remembered As A Subpar President

As President Trump is set to leave the White House after a tumultuous and chaotic four years, having been the first president to ever be impeached twice and having his last year dominated by a worldwide pandemic, most Americans say he will go down as either below average or one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, according to an NPR/ PBS NewsHour /Marist survey . The poll also found Americans are the most pessimistic they have been in decades about the direction of the country. But they...

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Pritzker Unfreezing Regions From Highest COVID Mitigations Doesn’t Mean Indoor Dining's Return — Yet

Update Friday, Jan 15: Twelve hours after this story was published, Gov. JB Pritzker announced he is revising Tier I mitigations to allow for indoor dining. However, no regions currently meet Tier I metrics. This story has been updated to reflect the changes and avoid confusion. Update Saturday, Jan. 16: Region 5 became Illinois' first region to qualify for Tier I mitigations on Saturday. Additional information has been added to the post. Governor JB Pritzker on Friday will unfreeze all of Illinois’ 11 regions from the so-called Tier III Coronavirus mitigations he implemented statewide in November as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

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CV - COVID-19 Vaccine: The Journey to Immunity

The Community Health Roundtable series discusses the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and priority populations. COVID-19 Vaccine: The Journey to Immunity The panel features: Dr. Vidya Sundareshan , interim chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the SIU School of Medicine Dr. Wesley Robinson-McNeese , SIU Systems executive director for diversity initiatives Brian Churchill , EMS coordinator and emergency management facilitator at HSHS St. John’s Hospital Heidi Clark , chief of the...

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Illinois Restaurant Association Again Calls On Pritzker To Reopen Indoor Dining

Certain regions in Illinois will be allowed to transition to less restrictive COVID-19 measures beginning Friday. But that doesn’t mean restaurants and bars will be allowed to resume indoor service, despite another public call for reopening from the restaurant industry Thursday.

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President Trump has pardoned his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was indicted for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of people in an online campaign to raise funds for a southern border wall — part of a flurry of acts and clemency in the final hours of his administration.

The lengthy list of pardons landed after midnight. Trump is slated to leave the White House for the last time early Wednesday morning, skipping the inaugural ceremonies of his successor President-elect Joe Biden.

Hall of Fame pitcher and long-time baseball announcer Don Sutton died Monday night in his sleep at the age of 75.

His son Daron Sutton wrote on Twitter of his father, "He worked as hard as anyone I've ever known and he treated those he encountered with great respect."

Sutton's 23-year Major League Baseball career started with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966. He remained with the franchise until 1980 and would later return in 1988 for his last season.

Aid agencies report swarms of locusts have been descending on farms in northern Kenya, destroying crops and even leaving pastures bare of vegetation.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization in a regional update on the pests says swarms have been detected this week in seven counties in Kenya compared to just four a week ago.

Across the Horn of Africa locust invasions have reached dangerous levels in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, according to the FAO.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

The months-long investigation into allegations that Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina engaged in insider trading has been closed by the Justice Department and it will not pursue any charges, the GOP senator announced on Tuesday.

"Tonight, the Department of Justice informed me that it has concluded its review of my personal financial transactions conducted early last year. The case is now closed," Burr said in a statement.

President-elect Joe Biden is under pressure to walk away from his pledge to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline. On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau said completing the project is a key priority for him.

Maine health officials discovered that a majority of Moderna vaccine shipments received across the state on Monday were not kept adequately cold during transport, meaning 4,400 doses may have to be thrown out.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, made the announcement during a "sad and somber" coronavirus briefing on Tuesday and said the problem extends to other states as well.

President-elect Joe Biden addressed a grieving nation on Tuesday after the United States had earlier in the day passed 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

Speaking at a service to remember Americans killed by the virus, Biden praised medical professionals for their roles in caring for the ill and their families during the pandemic.

Updated at 8:02 p.m. ET

Steven Brandenburg, the Wisconsin pharmacist accused of intentionally trying to spoil hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine doses last month, has been charged with attempted criminal damage to property.

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Four-hundred lights around the Lincoln Memorial's reflecting pool were lit Tuesday evening to honor the 400,000 people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris both spoke.

President Trump on Tuesday released an unrepentant virtual farewell address to the nation, describing himself as the "only true outsider ever to win the presidency," ahead of his reluctant departure from office Wednesday.

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Members Of Right-Wing Militias, Extremist Groups Are Latest Charged In Capitol Siege

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET Federal investigators say they have arrested several alleged members of extremist and white supremacist groups who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building, including multiple participants in an alleged conspiracy. People allegedly affiliated with organizations such as The Three Percenters, The Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Texas Freedom Force, and other self-described Nazis and white supremacists were among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol...

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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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Arts & Life

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I will resist saying it’s been a year like any other – that goes without saying.  But there was a tremendous outpouring of stellar music – pandemic-centric or not:


Kathleen Edwards  -  Total Freedom

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Education Desk

An education advocacy group says Illinois schools should plan to make up time lost to the Coronavirus pandemic, perhaps by extending the school day or year.

That’s one recommendation in a recent report from Advance Illinois. Another way to help fill in the gaps could be offering extensive tutoring, according to the report.

The organization in the fall conducted focus groups with 120 students, parents and caregivers to learn about their experiences during the pandemic.

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Equity & Justice

Office of state Rep. Sonya Harper

State Rep. Sonya Harper was among the most vocal critics of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s attempt to distribute cannabis dispensary licenses through a lottery.

The scoring put minority applicants at a disadvantage, said Harper, a Chicago Democrat who is the new chairwoman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. 

Now, Harper says she likes efforts by the administration to slow down and rethink the process. The caucus wants to see changes in the cannabis tax act that would include the creation of a social equity commission.

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Illinois Economy

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Illinois has awarded the first round of emergency funding to small businesses to help them during the pandemic.  

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

Statehouse

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the work of the 101st General Assembly.  And there is  a new House Speaker - Chris Welch - after Michael Madigan lost the support of his caucus after nearly four decades in power.

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax joins the panel.

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Politics

President-elect Joe Biden teared up twice Tuesday afternoon as he said goodbye to his adopted home state of Delaware and prepared to fly to Washington, D.C., to assume the presidency.

Paraphrasing, as he often does, Irish literature, Biden paused for several moments as he told a small, socially distanced crowd at a National Guard center named after his son Beau that "when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was on the campaign trail in 2019, she loved entering events with the energy of a drum line.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM LINE DRUMMING)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was on the campaign trail in 2019, she loved entering events with the energy of a drum line.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM LINE DRUMMING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The faces of the incoming Biden administration's national security team came into focus today with Senate confirmation hearings. On deck were nominees for intelligence, defense, also foreign policy roles. Senators questioned the nominees on how their policies might differ from those of their predecessors. Among our reporters watching - NPR's national security correspondent Greg Myre and diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen.

Hello to you both.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

GREG MYRE, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was on the campaign trail in 2019, she loved entering events with the energy of a drum line.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM LINE DRUMMING)

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Punk And Harmony: Rising Rock Trio Palberta Finds A Sweet Spot

Just as soon as you think you have a frame of reference for Palberta's sound, it swerves into an entirely new direction. The group's idiosyncratic punk draws comparisons to Captain Beefheart and The Raincoats while taking notions from contemporary art-rock bands like Mothers and Palm. But ultimately, Palberta sounds like its three members — Ani Ivry-Block, Lily Konigsberg and Nina Ryser — and their years of working together to craft an utterly unique chemistry with one another. The group's...

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