Scouting the 2016 field

For the fourth installment of The News-Gazette's countdown to 2016, we asked the University of Illinois' resident expert on presidential elections — Professor BRIAN GAINES — to play oddsmaker with three storylines:

Tate: Redbirds have room to improve

Hang on, Cardinals fans. The goal is reachable, but the ride could be bumpy.
In baseball, early-season overachievement is preferred in qualifying for the postseason.

But in the case of St. Louis, continued overachievement may be unrealistic without a boost in the trade market (Ryan Howard, come on down ... if you have an half-season of inspiration left).

Obama remarks on Iran nuclear agreement

A transcript, provided by the White House, of remarks by President Obama about the nuclear agreement with Iran:

Local Pakistanis fear for relatives stuck in oppressive heat

URBANA — Zainab Susi of Mahomet was talking on FaceTime with her sister in Pakistan on Friday morning and complained about the heavy rains that day.

Meanwhile, her sister was in the midst of a scorching heat wave in Karachi.

"She said, 'I wish we could get this rain,'" Susi said of her sister's response. "I wish I could just send this rain to them."

'How do you overcome hatred?'

From the north end of Champaign to houses of worship across South Carolina, religious services carried a similarly somber theme this weekend.

Suspect in church shooting had apartheid-era patches

MEG KINNARD, Associated Press
MITCH WEISS, Associated Press
JACOB JORDAN, Associated Press

It's official: UI censured over Salaita

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The University of Illinois administration has been formally censured by the American Association of University Professors over the Steven Salaita case.

Questions and answers about newly approved USA Freedom Act

KEN DILANIAN, AP Intelligence Writer

Asmussen: Fictitious Hall of Fame a blast

I love sports. 

And I love movies/TV.

Thanks to Kirk Buchner, both my worlds collide. In a good way.

The Canadian-based Buchner is the owner/creator of the Fictitious Athlete Hall of Fame.

“It is a labor of love,” Buchner said.

Former Illini racing past her competition

Tatyana McFadden added to her sterling list of achievements Monday in Boston. Here’s what the 25-year-old former Illinois student has accomplished during the last five years: