The Russia Investigations: Big Questions Answered, More Big Questions Raised

Updated at 9:44 a.m. This week in the Russia investigations: The Senate Judiciary Committee dumps documents about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the special counsel's office celebrates its first birthday and the GOP escalates its war against the Justice Department. The enemy within After chapters on "wiretaps," eavesdropping, "unmasking" and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the new hotness this week was confidential sources. FBI investigators used a confidential source in the initial...

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Carl Nelson / WNIJ

America has been dealing with racism for hundreds of years, but we still have a long way to go. In the first of a two-part Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens sits down with Northern Illinois University professor Joseph Flynn to talk about racism’s deep roots in American culture and institutions.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois gubernatorial candidates will soon receive a written pledge in the mail asking them to support the new law expanding abortion coverage — and oppose any push to repeal it.

After Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law providing abortion coverage under state health insurance and Medicaid, some — like state Rep. Jeanne Ives who ran against him on the GOP ticket in the primary — said it showed Rauner’s position on the issue is too liberal. According to Ives, the governor's decision encouraged her to run as his opponent. 

IL SENATE DEMOCRATS / TWITTER

Budget talks at the Illinois Statehouse have shown no real sign of progress. This week, Senate Democrats pressed Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration to explain its proposal to shift pension costs to local school districts.

The governor’s budget director, Hans Zigmund, defended the idea at a Senate committee, saying Illinois would face a deficit worth billions absent this or other cost-saving measures.

If the shift is approved, school districts around the state would pay an additional 25 percent of their pension costs in the next year alone.

After a 12-day strike beginning in February, the University of Illinois and graduate student employees settled on a new contract that includes pay raises and tuition waiver protections. Now lawmakers want to clarify who is eligible for those benefits. 

Sessions from Studio A - Solar Pulse

May 10, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Solar Pulse performs "Shark in the Water" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find the music of Solar Pulse online at: solarpulse.bandcamp.com.

Thirty U.S. states have enacted medical cannabis laws, and all but one of them include cancer in the list of conditions allowed. Such laws give cancer patients across the country access to a substance that remains illegal under federal law.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

President Trump says his historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore next month.

"We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!" Trump tweeted.

The talks, now scheduled for June 12, will mark the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with the leader of North Korea.

An African-American woman who has served as interim pastor at two Beloit churches has been elected bishop for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.

The Rev. Viviane E. Thomas-Breitfeld of Brookfield is just the second African-American woman bishop among the 65 synods that make up the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The first, the Rev. Patricia A. Davenport, was elected bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod on Saturday – the day before Thomas-Breitfeld’s election.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers busted a lot of brackets and captured a lot of hearts when the men’s basketball team, as an 11 seed, made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. For their accomplishments, they were honored at the Illinois State Capitol on Wednesday.

"Coins" by Flickr User Tax Credits / (CC x 2.0)

The Civic Federation, a Chicago-based fiscal watchdog group Wednesday said Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal is unrealistic and relies on money that may never come through. The group’s report calls it “precariously balanced."

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Democrats may hold 49 votes in the Senate but for all practical purposes, they have been completely disarmed when it comes to opposing President Trump's judicial nominees.

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