What's the best way to help out someone in need? Just give money? Or try to make sure they'll spend the money effectively?

That's a dilemma that's faced anyone confronted by someone begging on the street. And it's an international problem as well. When rich countries give aid to poor countries, how do they know the money will go to good use?

The Millennium Challenge Corporation has come up with one strategy. MCC, as it's called, is a U.S. government foreign aid agency created by Congress in 2004 to fight global poverty.

House floor
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Ever since the Great Recession of 2008, Illinois state government has been going from one fiscal crisis to the next. While crisis can force action, it can also lead to decisions that may not be best in the long term.

Saying they now have new information that significantly changes the case before them, the Supreme Court justices sidestepped a constitutional decision on the latest Obamacare challenge and sent the government and the religious organizations back to the drawing board.

In a unanimous decision, the court said it was not deciding the central question in the case: whether Obamacare's contraceptive mandate substantially burdens some organizations' right to exercise their religion.

They came on kayaks and on bikes. They hunkered down in hammocks and on train tracks. They marched at refineries and did morning yoga at mines.

For nearly two weeks, demonstrators on six continents gathered to protest climate change — and, in particular, the fossil fuel industry.

In Washington state, 52 people were arrested Sunday after they camped out on train tracks servicing oil refineries in northern Puget Sound, Ashley Ahearn of member station KUOW reported for our Newscast unit.

If Democrats take back the Senate in 2016, they'll likely have women to thank for it.

The party is likely to have at least six female nominees who are challenging Republican incumbents in their top-targeted states, helping them flip the four seats necessary to take back Senate control, if Democrats hold the White House.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ilga.gov

An outspoken Democratic state representative says he's running for McHenry County board chairman instead of seeking re-election.

State Rep. Jack Franks first took office in 1999 and has often clashed with his own party. McHenry County Democratic Party officials chose him Sunday to fill the ballot vacancy for board chairman. He'll have to collect 270 signatures to get his name on the November ballot.

In a statement, Franks says he won't seek re-election for the General Assembly. Party leaders have until late August to find a replacement.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Adult Beverage: Fermented Whey

May 16, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's almost cram time for anyone taking that dreaded law school entrance exam next month: the LSAT. Simon Brick, who just graduated from the University of Arizona and has an interest in international law, says he's been studying for the test for months.

Brick hasn't ruled out the possibility of going to law school at Arizona, where he was in a pre-law fraternity. "I know that it is a very good law program," he says. "Right now I'm keeping my options open."

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