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More Money, More MAP Grants

Low-income college students in Illinois got some good news today. The state's Monetary Award Program — which provides MAP grants to help pay for tuition — will be able to give more grants with more money, thanks to the largest appropriation in the fund’s history. Lynne Baker, with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, says the agency approved a new formula that will boost grants by an average of $220 and cover at least 6,700 more students.

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Pritzker Says New Laws Make Illinois 'Firewall' Against Trump On Immigration

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a series of laws meant to protect immigrants in Illinois. The Democrat says it’s a direct response to the rhetoric and actions of President Donald Trump.

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PodCamp and Podcast Academy 2019

PodCamp and Podcast Academy 2019 Click to register for NPR Illinois PodCamp or for NPR Illinois Podcast Academy NPR Illinois is hosting two podcast programs in summer 2019, one aimed at middle school students and the other at high school students. These two programs are uniquely designed by NPR Illinois and Ann Strahle, associate professor in communication at UIS. Ann and NPR Illinois staff members will instruct the programs with support from college students and other public media professionals.

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Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

Sanders has held the post for just over two months, after President Trump tapped his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan, to be acting chief of Homeland Security.

A Catholic high school in Indianapolis says it has decided to fire a gay teacher to remain in the local archdiocese.

In a letter to the community, leaders of Cathedral High School said they had been in talks with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for 22 months before deciding to cut ties with the teacher.

President Trump is threatening to use "overwhelming force" against Iran, after Tehran lashed out at the U.S. over the latest round of sanctions against the regime.

"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration," Trump tweeted.

Trump's comments come after weeks of escalating confrontations between the U.S. and Tehran, culminating in Iran's downing of a U.S. drone last week.

In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series Ramy, comic Ramy Youssef plays a first generation Muslim American who follows some — but not all — of the rules of his religion. Youssef, whose parents immigrated from Egypt, also co-created the series. He says he can relate to his character's "picking and choosing" approach to his faith.

FedEx has been caught in the crossfire in the conflict between the Trump administration and China's Huawei Technologies. Now, the giant shipper is suing the U.S. Commerce Department to block the agency from enforcing export regulations against FedEx.

"FedEx is a transportation company, not a law enforcement agency," the company said in a statement announcing the lawsuit on Monday.

Mary Beth Keane's new novel is called Ask Again, Yes.

What's it called again?

That's what everyone I've raved to about this book has said to me a couple of minutes after I've told them the title. It's one of those delicate titles that instantly goes poof! into the air; but that's the only strike there is against Keane's novel which is, otherwise, one of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time.

A Florida prosecutor is deciding whether to pursue charges against a woman who turned in her husband's guns to local police while he was in jail on a domestic violence charge.

They are early risers and hard workers. They have a "talent for struggling through" and the determination that follows. Some are the first in their family to go to college — or even graduate from high school — and many are financially independent from their parents. They're often struggling to pay for rent, groceries and transportation while taking classes. And that means working while in school — in retail, on campus or even with a lawn care business.

Lucy Dacus / YouTube

Lucy Dacus is conflicted about America.

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Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard will release her first-ever solo album later this summer.

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8 Political Questions Ahead Of The 1st Democratic Debates

For millions of Americans, this week's debates will be their introduction to many of the almost two dozen Democrats running for president, vying for the chance to try to unseat President Trump next year. Twenty of the candidates will debate over two nights — Wednesday and Thursday — in Miami on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Some lesser-known candidates will be hoping for a boost, and those who are better-known have pressure on them to perform. Here are eight questions we have ahead of those...

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

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Arts & Life

Claire Lombardo's The Most Fun We Ever Had probably won't be the most fun you'll ever have (I hope not, for your sake), but it's a wonderfully immersive read that packs more heart and heft than most first novels. Lombardo, a Chicago native and recently minted University of Iowa MFA graduate, has crafted an intricate multigenerational saga about the vicissitudes of a passionate but not perfect marriage over a 40-year span.

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Education Desk

graduation ceremony
WOSU Public Media / flickr

Low-income college students in Illinois got some good news today. The state's Monetary Award Program — which provides MAP grants to help pay for tuition — will be able to give more grants with more money, thanks to the largest appropriation in the fund’s history.

Lynne Baker, with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, says the agency approved a new formula that will boost grants by an average of $220 and cover at least 6,700 more students.

Read More Education Stories

Equity & Justice

Univ. of Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict Monday at the federal death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student who killed a visiting scholar from China after abducting her at a bus stop as she headed to sign an off-campus apartment lease.

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Health+Harvest Desk

In her new documentary “Homecoming,” singer Beyoncé talked about the punishing measures she took to prepare for her two-hour show at Coachella, only a few months after she gave birth to twins:

In pre-Coachella behind-the-scenes footage, a voice off-camera — presumably Beyoncé’s choreographer, JaQuel Knight — said that she was likely burning 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day from hours of rehearsing.

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Illinois Economy

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Illinois lawmakers have approved a plan that could change how Illinois taxes income.   In the nearly 40 years the state has had an income tax, it’s been a flat tax.  That means no matter how much you earn, you pay the same percentage.

Now, Governor J.B. Pritzker and other advocates of a graduated tax say it’s time for a new approach.  

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Statehouse

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Illinois is investing $29 million to try to get an accurate count in the 2020 Census. On the line are two seats in Congress and the Electoral College.

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Politics

Humiliation. In China, it is a word laden with history and identity that is playing a role in the high-stakes trade war between the U.S. and China.

This month, I was visiting China with a small group of journalists for 10 days, and the word "humiliation" came up over and over again in conversations both public and private, in meetings with top government officials, university scholars, think tankers and corporate executives.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Hong Kongers are showing the world how to protest.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

On Wednesday and Thursday, 20 candidates will take the Democratic debate stage to talk about a wide range of policy topics. And 20 candidates times dozens of policies equals a lot to keep track of.

It's true that, these being Democratic candidates, there's a lot they all agree on — taking action on climate change, for example, or improving the health care system. But this debate is the first time we'll see them next to each other, coming into direct conflict over what, exactly, they disagree on.

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How Prince Worked His Magic On The Bangles' 'Manic Monday'

Originals , the latest posthumous release from The Prince Estate, compiles 15 previously unheard songs Prince wrote and demoed for other artists. Among the familiar titles penned by Prince are Sheila E. 's "The Glamorous Life," Kenny Rogers ' "You're My Love," and the Bangles "Manic Monday." For the Bangles, "Manic Monday" was a career breakthrough and, according to Bangle Susanna Hoffs, the culmination of a magical series of events. Hoffs says her introduction to Prince's music and her...

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Opposites Attract: Two Violin Concertos In The Hands Of A Master

Augustin Hadelich 's latest album of violin concertos offers two unlikely bedfellows. The tuneful, romantic classic by Johannes Brahms bumps up against the modernist mayhem of György Ligeti . The album, titled simply Brahms, Ligeti: Violin Concertos, also proves to be a compelling introduction to one of today's best, but still undervalued, violinists. With over 100 recordings of the Brahms concerto to choose from, who needs another? But Hadelich demonstrates he is an intimate communicator...

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