U.S. President Barack Obama, left, attends a State Dinner hosted by Cuban President Raul Castro, right, at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, 2016, in Havana, Cuba.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
March 23, 2016

Durbin, Bustos Push For Trade With Cuba After Delegation Visit

Democratic Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and 17th District Congressional Democrat Cheri Bustos were among those who traveled to Cuba with President Obama this week.  Durbin says he witnessed a 'spirit of cooperation' that he hadn't seen before in the island countrry. The two are pushing for the end to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba.


Lynn Rohrscheib inspects her soybean fields.
Courtesy of Lynn Rohrscheib
March 21, 2016

The 21st: Trade With Cuba, & STEM Education

Before the embargo - U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba were worth about $600 million a year - in today’s prices.  Others estimate Cuba is a $1.2 billion market for agricultural exports if the embargo and other trade barriers are lifted. Today on The 21st we explored what an open Cuba would mean for Illinois. Also, how a team of Illinois State University researchers and a turtle are changing STEM education. 


January 2016 Flash Index
(UI Institute for Government and Public Affairs)
February 01, 2016

Drop In Flash Index Keeps Pace With National Economy

University of Illinois Ecomomist Fred Giertz says the monthly Flash Index fell to 105.3 in January from 105.5 a month earlier, which he says is consistent with a national slowdown.  But he says the economy is growing, just at a slower rate.  Giertz also says it's unclear if Illinois' now 8-month budget impasse is having much of an impact.


Wikipedia
January 25, 2016

Champaign Council To Discuss ‘BYOB’ Proposal

The discussion at Tuesday night's Champaign City Council study session is aimed to benefit a handful of businesses, including one restaurant and a 'paint and sip' business in the city.  Some other Illinois cities have addressed the 'Bring Your Own Bottle' idea, including Chicago and a few suburbs.


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