Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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5 Questions Kathleen Sebelius Must Answer

Oct 21, 2013
Originally published on October 21, 2013 7:12 pm

The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.

It's not yet clear when she'll go before Congress, but it won't be soon enough for the Republicans who are calling for her resignation. Sebelius originally declined to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday, saying she had a scheduling conflict.

Many Democrats are also fuming at the shambolic roll out of the federal health exchange website, which isn't just an embarrassment to the administration but a threat to President Obama's legacy.

When she does testify, here are five questions Sebelius will almost certainly get:

What did she know and when did she know it?

This is a Washington classic, a staple of any investigatory effort. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House committee holding Thursday's hearing, has signaled that he wants to know why Sebelius and others told lawmakers the federal government would be ready to go on Oct. 1 when that was far from true.

"Top administration officials repeatedly testified everything was on track, but the broad technological failures reveal that was not the case," Upton said in a news release. "Either the administration was not ready for launch, or it was not up to the job."

How many people have actually "enrolled" in health insurance through the health exchanges?

HHS on Sunday said there were "nearly a half million applications for coverage." But that's a vague number, as is the definition of enrollment. To some, it means submitting an application; to others, it means actually paying for insurance. The administration has been notably reticent about providing details. Which is why the Republican National Committee is trying to pry them out through a Freedom of Information Act request. Expect plenty of questions from House Republicans seeking hard numbers.

How can anyone trust that the problems will be fixed in time when past Obama administration assurances proved so wrong?

The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period is scheduled to end Dec. 15. In a speech Monday that defended the law while also expressing frustration with the website, Obama said: "We are doing everything we can possibly do to get the websites working better, faster, sooner. We got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address the problems."

Still, experts question whether the website can be made to function as well as it needs to in the remaining time. Expect much skepticism about any assurances Sebelius gives.

Do the problems with Obamacare support delaying the individual mandate for a year?

This is likely to be a major line of questioning for Sebelius from Republicans. Obama previewed her likely response when he said that Obamacare is "not just a website" — his point being that the law itself is working just fine, and the flaws of one component aren't enough to delay it. Sebelius is likely to be forced to repeatedly push back against this line of questioning.

Given the scope of the problem, shouldn't she resign?

This is also likely to be a recurring theme during the hearing. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a longtime acquaintance, has called for her resignation, as have Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and several House members.

Sebelius has shown no signs that she is considering stepping down and was prominently seated in the front row for Obama's Monday speech. If Sebelius, a holdover from the first term, did step down, it would not only give Obamacare's Republican opponents their biggest trophy yet but would also create more turbulence at a critical moment for the law. So it's unlikely to happen. But that won't stop Republicans from repeatedly posing the question.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.