Every day white vans pull into the parking lot of the Amtrak station in Effingham, in southern Illinois. From a distance they look like regular 15-passenger vans, until you notice the metal screen separating the driver and passengers. Those passengers are some of the 33,000 men and women that leave Illinois prisons annually — with few possessions — but lots of baggage.
Vice President Joe Biden argued Wednesday that the primary election victory of a gun control advocate to represent Illinois in Congress sends a message that voters won't stand for inaction in response to shooting violence after the Connecticut school shooting.
The controversial leader of the Illinois Republican Party has now cancelled a major fundraiser as he waits to find out whether party bosses will fire him following his public support of same-sex marriage.