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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Assad Regime Hails Chemical Weapons Deal As 'Victory' For Syria

Sep 15, 2013
Originally published on September 15, 2013 12:06 pm

One day after the United States and Russia announced a deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, the first official reaction has emerged from the Syrian regime, which calls it a "victory." Syria's rebels are criticizing the plan, saying it doesn't punish President Bashar Assad.

The plan, which details the extent of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, calls for the weapons' destruction by the middle of next year. As we reported Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry, who brokered the deal in Geneva with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, said that "there can be no games" to avoid full compliance.

"We welcome these agreements," Syrian National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar tells Russian news agency RIA Novosti. "On the one hand, they will help Syrians come out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they prevented the war against Syria by having removed a pretext for those who wanted to unleash it [war]."

Crediting the work of Russia's leaders, Haidar said, "This is a victory for Syria won thanks to our Russian friends."

Before that statement came out Sunday, Syria's state news agency, SANA, had restricted itself to announcing the U.S.-Russia agreement and noting the lack of an overt military threat.

A central figure in Syria's rebellion spoke out against the U.S-Russia plan Saturday. The rebels, who have been trying to oust Assad for more than two years, had been calling for air strikes against the Syrian government.

"Rebel Gen. Salim Idriss stated his objections soon after the Geneva announcement," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "He heads the Supreme Military Council, rebels backed by the West and Gulf Arab states. He said the agreement, which includes U.N. inspectors on the ground by November, allows the Syrian president to escape responsibility for killing hundreds of civilians in an alleged gas attack in August."

"What about the murderer Bashar who gave the order? Should we forget him?" Idriss said at a news conference in Istanbul. "We feel let down by the international community. We don't have any hope."

Rebels have also complained that Syria has been moving its chemical weapons around, perhaps even into neighboring countries, to frustrate attempts to catalog and destroy the arsenal.

In Israel, where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to discuss the deal, the U.S.-Russia plan met with muted enthusiasm.

"We hope the understandings bear fruit. Those understandings will be judged by the results," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. President Shimon Peres said that "a disarmament agreement backed up by military threat should serve as a lesson to Iranian leaders."

The Israeli leadership addressed the question of Syria during Sunday's commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

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