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Experts say the rate of food insecurity in Illinois has nearly doubled during the pandemic.  And the picture is worse in Black and Hispanic households with children.  We hear a report.  

Local health departments have had to change their strategy during the pandemic.  We talk with one administrator.  

And when Lincoln was killed in April 1865, the country was stunned.  An author tells us how people responded to the news.  

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

Neighbors of the Rivian plant in Normal are concerned a proposed expansion could threaten the area’s rural tranquility.

The electric automaker has plans to expand onto a 380-acre parcel of land on the west side of Rivian Motorway, across the road from the existing plant. The parcel is currently zoned agricultural and would be reclassified as manufacturing if approved by the Town of Normal. 

The hand counting of votes will continue on Friday in a high-profile, high-stakes election that will determine whether Amazon workers in Alabama will form the company's first unionized warehouse in the U.S.

At the end of Thursday, more than two-thirds of the tallied votes were against unionizing, with no votes outnumbering yes votes 1,100 to 463.

Racism is a scourge in American society. It's also a serious public health threat, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement released Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky pointed to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, as seen in case numbers, deaths and social consequence.

On today's episode, a look at what the federal election bill does and doesn't do, and what U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis thinks of it. Plus, the progressive People First Coalition plots its next move after their Election Day losses.

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Just two months ago, airlines were warning about furloughing thousands of pilots. Now they're putting up help-wanted signs. As NPR's David Schaper reports, that's because air travel seems to be recovering more quickly than expected.

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with sex therapist Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus about her upbringing, career, and advice from her new book Sex Points.

A year ago, when people were losing jobs left and right, millions called their local unemployment agency. Like many states, Texas struggled to deal with the volume of people applying for unemployment — which meant busy signals and long hold times. When you're dealing with the soul-crushing inefficiency of a government bureaucracy pushed beyond its purposely limited limits, sometimes you have to make the best of it.

It appears there won't be a recount in Bloomington's closest city council race.

Vaccine "passports" are making headlines and eliciting emergency measures by governors in a handful of states.

So what are these credentials, exactly, and what are they used for?

What is a vaccine passport?

It's a credential that can be used to show that a person has been vaccinated. The same technology can be used to show a person's coronavirus test results. It's a way to demonstrate a person's health status, generally through a smartphone app or a QR code that has been printed.

This isn't the first time the world has been engaged in a conversation about "vaccine passports." And there even is a version of a passport currently in use – the World Health Organization-approved yellow card, which since 1969 has been a document for travelers to certain countries to show proof of vaccination for yellow fever and other shots. Without which they can't visit those countries.

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Two more McLean County residents have died from COVID-19 complications, as the county climbs past 16,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

The latest fatalities are two men—one in his 40s and the other in his 60s. Neither was associated with a long-term care facility. The death toll from the pandemic is now up to 210.

Republicans and Democrats are at odds over a sweeping election bill that seeks to reform voting, campaign finance, and ethics laws.

The long-awaited lifeline for live venues impacted by the coronavirus shut downs is finally here. Owners of small music venues, independent movie theaters and some museums can now apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — a $16 billion grant program set up and run by the Small Business Administration.

The government of Northern Ireland is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday following days of unrest reminiscent of "The Troubles" that plagued the region for decades.

The latest violence in Belfast has erupted amid anger from Protestant unionists concerned they're being isolated from the United Kingdom and pushed into a union with the republic of Ireland due to post-Brexit trade rules.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Declaring U.S. gun violence an "epidemic" and "an international embarrassment," President Biden outlined actions to regulate certain firearms and to try to prevent gun violence after a spate of mass shootings in recent weeks and pressure from advocates.

"This is an epidemic, for God's sake, and it has to stop," Biden said.

A former Northeastern University track and field coach was arrested this week for a scheme in which he allegedly used sham social media accounts to solicit nude photographs from female student athletes. He is also accused of cyberstalking at least one female student athlete.

Americans have responded to drug addiction in a number of different ways in recent decades. The War on Drugs of the 1980s and 90s spawned mass incarceration of Black and Brown populations. Some addicts, many of whom have some measure of wealth and privilege, are sent to rehab.

It's easy to see that the municipal election in Bloomington did not go well for progressives. The People First Coalition went 0-for-4 at the ballot box as more conservative and centrist candidates won.

Richard Bush (@RichardBushIII) retired from the Brookings Institution in 2020, after 18 years as a senior fellow and serving as director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. Bonnie Glaser (@BonnieGlaser) is director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass), a former foreign service officer, served on the National Security Council in the Obama administration and is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 3:35 PM ET

The results of the 2021 election that everyone has been awaiting with bated breath are taking a while.

Blame it on mail-in votes. Yes, this one, too.

For eight years, the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates has reported scores of examples of bigotry and hate promoted across Facebook. It has published reports and met privately with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his number two, Sheryl Sandberg, about its concerns.

European countries can legally require childhood vaccinations, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday. The decision covers preschool vaccinations for children, but it could also have an impact on the EU's battle to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compulsory vaccines can be seen as "necessary in a democratic society," the Strasbourg-based court said in its ruling, which came on a 16-1 vote.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 4:56 PM ET

President Biden will nominate David Chipman, adviser to a major gun control group, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an agency that plays a key role in gun regulations.

Don't lower your expectations for this year’s Gamma Phi Circus home show just because it’s virtual. 

The number of migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in March was the most in at least 15 years, as agents for U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended nearly 172,000 people, according to Biden administration officials.

This included nearly 19,000 children and teenagers traveling without a parent — double the levels from February and the most ever in a single month.

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