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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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In History, House Speaker Has Never Been Removed At Midterm

Oct 11, 2013
Originally published on October 11, 2013 5:19 pm



There's been a lot of speculation about whether John Boehner could lose his job as speaker of the House if he doesn't placate the Republican's vocal Tea Party faction. So far there's been no attempt to oust Boehner.

And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it would actually be quite hard to kick him out of the job in the middle of a congressional term.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: John Boehner's tan might last year-round, but the control he wields over House Republicans is much less predictable. He began this current term in Congress with his speakership under threat, when a band of Tea Partyers voted against his re-election as their caucus leader. But in the end, it was Boehner at the helm when the House opened this January.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Every two years, at this hour, the Constitution brings a new order to this House. And it's an interlude for reflection. A glimpse of old truths.

CHANG: And one of those old truths is that maintaining cohesion within a splintered party can be a miserable job. Boehner has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans that he's been overly accommodating to the demands of a small conservative faction. Those critics claim his fear of losing the speakership is what shut the government down. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the House can easily pass the Senate spending bill with no limits on the Affordable Care Act, but he told CNN Boehner needs more courage to let that happen.

SENATOR HARRY REID: I think that the speaker has to be more concerned about our country than he is about his job.

CHANG: But the truth is, Boehner need not worry about any forceful ouster from his job if the past is any indication.

SARAH BINDER: No speaker has been voted out midstream in the history of the House.

CHANG: Sarah Binder of the Brookings Institution says the closest any speaker came to getting yanked out midterm was Republican Joseph Cannon more than a century ago. He was known as Czar Cannon for his autocratic way of running the House. Progressive Republicans and Democrats, chafing under his control, stripped Cannon of some committee powers. So to preempt a more serious attack, Cannon proposed to remove himself from office.

BINDER: So Speaker Cannon himself goes, he's on the floor, and he offers the motion, and it is a motion to essentially declare the speakership empty.

CHANG: Binder says it was a way to calm the loyalty of his fellow Republicans.

BINDER: Right? Just as we look at House Republican moderates today and say, will they go with the Democrats, right - will they break with the Speaker? There's this enormous level of loyalty that comes from being a member of a party even with ideological differences.

CHANG: Ultimately, Cannon's motion never passed. Under today's House rules, any member can propose a resolution to remove the speaker, and that proposal can get to the floor pretty quickly. All it needs to pass is a simple majority. But that's where things get complicated. The other party has a large block of votes too, and how they'll vote is unpredictable. In any event, speakers under fire haven't waited for that to happen. Usually they resign first, like Jim Wright in 1989, when he was under an ethics investigation over speaking fees, or Newt Gingrich in 1998. After getting blamed for a government shutdown and the loss of Republican seats in the House, Gingrich knew his influence was waning. He decided he neither wanted to be speaker nor a rank-and-file member of Congress.

NEWT GINGRICH: And I think there comes a time when you've got to step out and let a new team take over, let a new team try to do the best they can.

CHANG: But what would it take for Boehner to actually resign? Ron Peters of the University of Oklahoma says it would likely be some formal action - not on the floor but within the House Republican caucus.

RON PETERS: And they would proceed by a motion of no confidence. And if that were to carry by a majority of Republicans, then Speaker Boehner would in all likelihood choose to resign the speakership.

CHANG: But it's hard to think of who can fill the void. And besides, Steve Smith of Washington University asks, who would want the job anyway under those conditions?

STEVE SMITH: Well, if there was an effective challenge to Boehner, it would be because the party is deeply divided about how to proceed. In fact, the turmoil would probably reflect so poorly on the party that it would threaten its own majority status in the next elections.

CHANG: And in that case, Smith says, the new speaker wouldn't have the job very long anyway. Ailsa Chang, NPR News, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.