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

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

Pages

Anthony Weiner (The Myth, Not The Man) Takes The Stage

Oct 23, 2013
Originally published on October 23, 2013 6:43 pm

The sexting scandal surrounding former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner has been fodder for comedians, punsters and those who love double entendres. Now it's the source material for a play, The Weiner Monologues, coming to off-off-Broadway's Access Theatre Nov. 6 through Nov. 10.

'Found Texts' (You Finish The Joke)

The Weiner Monologues began a couple of years ago, when a group of very young actors, most just out of Hunter College, were taking a summer workshop in New York. They were playing around with "found texts" — you know, items from the newspaper, or e-mails — and creating scenes from them. That was when Weinergate erupted. And when they hit the jackpot.

Jonathan Harper Schlieman, the show's co-creator, says there's not an original word in the script.

There are, however, various messages between Weiner and the women he met online, as well as newspaper articles, talk-show jokes, and the text of Weiner's own speeches. There's even an app you can access while you watch the play to see those famous pictures he took of himself.

John Oros, the show's other co-creator, says that at first, "the jokes and the double entendres were just too hard to ignore." But as they got into reading various transcripts and looking at the texts, "there were so many areas of our culture that this scandal touched upon that we thought [were] worth exploring."

They realized the piece wasn't really about Anthony Weiner — which is why, says Schlieman, the actor who plays him doesn't even try to look or sound like the former congressman. Instead, "it's about how the media has affected this sense of public and private in an age of the Internet and 24-hour news cycles and the twittersphere."

A Story Of Epic Proportions

At first, Schlieman and Oros didn't have a structure for the play. But then they started thinking about the mechanics and traditions of Greek tragedy.

"There are certainly Greek elements to it," says Schlieman. "In terms of a man being undone by his own hubris, it's up there with Oedipus, I think. It's a little bit funnier, hopefully. We also employ a Greek chorus."

That chorus represents both the media and the public, with one scene taken from a New York Times article interviewing people in Weiner's congressional district.

"I know every photo I have on my computer, and he should know every photo he has on his computer," the chorus member says. "As a congressman, he should know better! I would think everybody knows their undergarments. It would be weird if he didn't know."

Hubris: In every Greek tragedy, it's the pride that leads to a fall. And while we can laugh at a man who called himself Carlos Danger, who would fall from being one of the darlings of New York's progressives to coming in a distant fifth in the New York City mayoral primary, there's a poignancy when the actor playing Weiner gives this speech:

"Today I am announcing my resignation from Congress, so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative, and most importantly so that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused."

Larger Than Life, But Still Tragically Flawed

But why should we care?

"It's because it is a story we can tell each other. " Schlieman says. "It is the same thing as a bunch of shepherds gathering around by a fire to share a story. It is almost mythological. He is a larger-than-life character. All of our friends have been seeing Anthony Weiner in the street; I get five text messages a day, saying, 'Oh, he is in Barnes and Noble with his kid.' 'I saw him going for a jog in the park.'

"He is a celebrity. In our culture of celebrity worship, that makes him a god."

So maybe it's not exactly like Zeus having his way with all those nymphs and goddesses, but it is a story about real lives that rise and fall — on a plane that bridges the real world and realms ethereal.

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