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The Trump administration has set into motion the process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, following through on the president's earlier promise.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified congressional leaders in a letter Thursday that the president intends to launch negotiations with Canada and Mexico "as soon as practicable."

Close to 50 years after interracial marriages became legal across the U.S., the share of newlyweds married to a spouse of a different race or ethnicity has increased more than five times — from 3 percent in 1967, to 17 percent in 2015, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

Ask some actors about their dream role, and they're likely to offer range of answers: a character from Shakespeare, a superhero, the lead in Phantom of the Opera. As for Daniel Dae Kim, a Korean-American actor who's had roles in Lost, Crash, and most recently Hawaii Five-0, his dream is to play a romantic lead. Any romantic lead.

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On August 21st, 2017 a Total Solar Eclipse will pass over a large portion of the United States putting southern Illinois and Carbondale at the intersection of this rare event.

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Chicago, IL – ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH IS CALLING A SPECIAL SESSION ON THE STATE'S HUGE BUDGET PROBLEM.

BLAGOJEVICH TODAY CALLED FOR LEGISLATORS TO RETURN TO SPRINGFIELD NEXT WEEK, JULY 9TH AND 10TH, TO WORK OUT A BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR THAT'S ALREADY STARTED.

THE GOVERNOR SAYS IF THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN...THERE COULD BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES.

LEGISLATORS HAVE APPROVED A BUDGET THAT WOULD SPEND FAR MORE THAN STATE GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE IN. BLAGOJEVICH ESTIMATES THE DEFICIT IS TWO BILLION DOLLARS.

Carbondale, IL – THE ILLINOIS CLEAN COAL REVIEW BOARD WILL FUND THREE NEW STUDIES THAT IT HOPES WILL HELP KEEP THE FUTUREGEN PROJECT ALIVE IN MATTOON.

BOARD MEMBERS MET TODAY (Wed) IN CARBONDALE AND APPROVED FUNDING THE STUDIES BY RESTRUCTURING A TWO MILLION DOLLAR GRANT INITIALLY INTENDED FOR FUTUREGEN.

BOARD CHAIR AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAN REITZ SAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROJECT IS GEARED TO STUDYING HOW FUTUREGEN CAN TURN ILLINOIS COAL INTO A SYNTHETIC GAS CAPABLE OF BEING USED IN PETROLEUM PRODUCTS.

Washington, D.C. – THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION BEGINS ITS ANNUAL CONVENTION TOMORROW IN WASHINGTON... AND ILLINOIS LEADERS ARE EXCITED TO HELP TEACH THEIR FELLOW MEMBERS ABOUT THE PRAIRIE STATE'S JUNIOR SENATOR.

I-E-A PRESIDENT KEN SWANSON SAYS HE FULLY EXPECTS THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION TO ENDORSE BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT... AND SAYS HE'S BEEN PLEASED WITH THE ILLINOIS DEMOCRAT'S WORK BOTH AS A STATE LAWMAKER AND U-S SENATOR.

Springfield, IL – LEGISLATION RESTORING SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING TO SEVERAL SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS WAS SIGNED INTO LAW ON MONDAY.

THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THE $21-MILLION APPROPRIATION BILL TO MAKE SURE FUNDING IS MADE AVAILABLE TO HELP SCHOOLS WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY LOST FUNDING.

Pinckneyville, IL – THE ILLINOIS HEALTH FACILITIES PLANNING BOARD HAS ACCEPTED PINCKNEYVILLE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL'S APPLICATION TO CLOSE ITS SKILLED CARE UNIT.

HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR TOM HUDGENS SAYS THE STATE BOARD VOTED YESTERDAY IN SPRINGFIELD. HE SAYS THE HOSPITAL'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS WILL TAKE FINAL ACTION MONDAY NIGHT.

HUDGENS SAYS THIS HAS BEEN A LONG, ANGUISHING PROCESS FOR THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH PINCKNEYVILLE HOSPITAL.

Bloomington, IL – IF ILLINOIS' JUNIOR U-S SENATOR WINS THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THIS FALL, THE SENIOR SENATOR HOPES THE GOVERNOR CAREFULLY WEIGHS HIS CHOICES BEFORE SELECTING A SUCCESSOR.

ONE OPTION FOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH IS TO PICK HIMSELF TO SUCCEED BARACK OBAMA IN THE SENATE.

EARLIER THIS WEEK BLAGOJEVICH REFUSED TO DISCOUNT THAT OPTION. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR DICK DURBIN SAYS THE GOVERNOR SHOULD PICK SOMEONE ELSE.

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Drugs
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

Mobile Clinics Connect Hopeful Marijuana Patients With Doctors

Medical marijuana has now been available in Illinois for about 18 months. But many around the state, particularly in Southern Illinois, say they can't find a doctor in their area to help them. A few groups have found a way to change that -- they're now bringing doctors directly to the patients with qualifying conditions.

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