Justice Department Fires Embattled FBI Deputy Director Just Short Of Retirement

Updated at 12:30 a.m. ET Saturday Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired outgoing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday even though he was on the doorstep of retiring and receiving his pension after two decades of service to the bureau. President Trump responded on Twitter just after midnight Saturday, calling McCabe's firing "a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy." The attorney general accepted an internal FBI recommendation that "concluded...

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President Trump certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

The announcement Thursday night that the president of the United States had accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un shocked the world.

That is the kind of phrase that is overused — in politics and sports, in particular — but it's appropriate in this case.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

The U.S. added a hefty 313,000 jobs in February — the biggest increase in 1 1/2 years — while wages rose more modestly than the previous month. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The Labor Department also reported strong upward revisions for both December and January. January's figure was revised to 239,000 from 200,000 previously and December was pegged at 175,000, up from 160,000.

Tentative Agreement Reached On Contract For Grad Workers At U Of I Urbana Campus

Mar 9, 2018
Lee V. Gaines / Illinois Public Media

A tentative contract agreement has been reached between the University of Illinois and striking graduate workers at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The Graduate Employees Organization - or GEO - reported the tentative agreement Thursday morning on its Facebook page and on Twitter.


Leaders in education, social services, and government in Winnebago County are trying to work together on a common thread they see running through their community’s biggest challenges – trauma. 

WNIJ continues to review important races in the upcoming Illinois Primary Election on March 20. So far, we’ve outlined the crowded races for Illinois Governor and Attorney General. On this week’s Friday Forum, we outline the rest of the statewide offices appearing on the ballot. They include Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Comptroller.

Illinois DNR website

Illinois hunters and trappers harvested 318 bobcats during the latest hunting season.

This was the second season since hunting bobcats was reinstated in 2016. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Cross says it ran from November to mid-February.

A total of 141 bobcats were taken in the first season, and the cap will change each year based on bobcat population.

Sessions from Studio A - Seasonal Men's Wear

Mar 8, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Seasonal Men’s Wear made a trip to WNIJ’s Studio A to give an original, rock performance. Throughout the last 12 years the band has rotated through many different band members and genres such as acoustic power violence. Before making any changes, Jake wanted to start a band intended to be "goofy". The band consisted of three guitars, an acoustic guitar, pots and pans and any other furniture they could find around the house. From then on, Jake was determined to find the right band. Throughout the years this set of musicians seems to be the best and longest fit for Seasonal Men’s Wear.

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza wants to force governors to pay employees from their budgets instead of "off-shoring" them to other agencies.

The Democrat said Thursday that her legislation would end the practice by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and future executives of "hiding" employees on agency payrolls.

Past governors have done the same. Mendoza contends Rauner's official budget is $5 million and lists 44 employees. But with staff paid from other agencies, the number is $10.4 million and 102 staffers.

Mississippi's Legislature has passed a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, one of the most restrictive limitations on abortion in the country.

The measure, which is poised to become law once signed by the governor, allows for exceptions only in a "medical emergency and in cases of severe fetal abnormality." It does not allow abortion in cases involving rape or incest. Fifteen weeks is calculated from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period.

As congressional Republicans and the Trump administration keep chipping away at the Affordable Care Act, a number of states are enacting laws that aim to safeguard its central provisions.

The GOP tax plan approved by Congress in the last days of 2017 repealed the ACA penalty for people who fail to carry health insurance, a provision called the individual mandate.

But before that federal change happens next year, some states are working to preserve the effects of the mandate by creating their own versions of it.


News From NPR

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans say they still support special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference even as the president continued his offensive Sunday against the investigation, as well as a recently fired high-ranking FBI official, Andrew McCabe.

Trump sent a flurry of tweets Sunday morning, in which he painted the Mueller-led special counsel probe as a politically biased witch hunt.

Democrats are having a moment. They managed to win a House seat in Republican-leaning, industrial Pennsylvania and a Senate seat in the deep-red state of Alabama.

Marcy Kaptur didn't plan for this.

First elected in 1982, the Ohio Democrat didn't set out to become the longest-serving woman in House history.

"The reasons that I ran, to change certain practices and policies, [I thought] could be done much more quickly," she said in an interview with NPR. On Sunday, Kaptur becomes the longest-serving woman ever to serve in the chamber with a tenure that spans 35 years, two months and 15 days.

Patrick Desbois, a Roman Catholic priest, has spent the last 15 years investigating and uncovering the details of Nazi massacres across Eastern Europe and Russia, crimes known as the "Holocaust by bullets."

During World War II, the Nazis killed some 1.5 million Jews and Roma across the Soviet Union. While the Nazi death camps are well documented, much less has been known about the systematic murdering of Jews in what are today Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and other countries.

Maryangel Garcia Ramos wears silver glitter eye shadow. She once raised hell at a Killers concert because the venue wouldn't let her rock out with her wheelchair in front of the stage. And she wants you to know that yes, people with disabilities do have sex.

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