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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Boehner Proposes 6-Week Increase In Debt Limit

Oct 10, 2013



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

Seven days from now - according to the U.S. Treasury Department - the U.S. approaches the point where it can no longer pay its bills. The federal budget deficit has been dropping dramatically. But in the wake of the Great Recession, it is still very high.

Now, the deficit, let's remember, is payments that exceed this year's tax income, everything from salaries for American troops to the salaries for members of Congress to interest on the national debt. Congress voted to make those payments, President Obama signed off. But to finance them, Congress has to vote again to let the government sell bonds - raising or suspending the so-called debt ceiling. And we have some news this morning in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner, in a private meeting with Republican colleagues, proposed a short term debt ceiling increase. It's an idea that the White House has said they are open to. Joining us now to talk about this, NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley and Congressional correspondent Tamara Keith. Good morning to you both.


SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with.

GREENE: Well, Tam, what do we know so far about Speaker Boehner and what he's told his caucus?

KEITH: We know what the plan was going into this meeting, and often the plans change once they come out of these meetings.


KEITH: But the plan going in was a six-week extension of the debt ceiling. So raising the debt ceiling, taking the threat of default off the table for six weeks. Clean is what the speaker was proposing. No policy riders or Obamacare defunding attached.

GREENE: Some of the things that the Republicans wanted to deal with during these negotiations.

KEITH: Exactly. With the hope that if - if the president is true to his word, they could then begin having discussions with the president unrelated to the debt ceiling, about the nation's fiscal issues.

GREENE: Okay, so assuming that this plan, as we understand it so far, goes forward that pushes the debt ceiling threat to late November, the government is able to pay its bills for a bit of time, does this do anything for the partial government shutdown that we've been hearing so much about?

KEITH: The discussion, at least going into this meeting, was that no, this would not deal with ongoing funding of the government, that that would remain a separate fight. And many conservatives want it that way, because they feel like the continuing resolution and the government shutdown is where they have their leverage and where they're having their fight about the healthcare law. The White House released a statement essentially saying we'll be happy to negotiate once the threat of default and the harmful government shutdown is off the table.

GREENE: Well, Tamara Keith, House Speaker John Boehner, it seems like he has been wanting to make the debt ceiling battle a big negotiating chip for him on many of these issues, including Obamacare. If he's proposing this short-term increase in the debt ceiling, what happened? Has he decided he doesn't need that negotiating chip anymore?

KEITH: One thing that happened is that the government shut down, and that became the big leverage point. The other thing is that the president has signaled very loudly and clearly that he would be open to something short term and that then discussions could begin. And Speaker Boehner is looking for a way out and he believes the only way out is something big. If there's a big problem, there needs to be a big deal to get out of it. And that seems to be what he's angling for.

GREENE: Let me turn to you, Scott Horsley, for the administration side of things. One of the reasons that there was some pressure on John Boehner and the Republicans is the argument that not raising the debt ceiling would put a whole lot of pressure on the economy, and we heard some of that this morning.

HORSLEY: That's right. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was up on Capitol Hill testifying before the Senate Finance Committee. And his message was basically don't wait. A week from today the Treasury exhausts its borrowing authority, and they'll have to pay all their bills with just the cash they have on hand. We don't know exactly when the crunch point would come, but Lew told the senators this is too important to take any chances.


SECRETARY JACK LEW U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT: I must say, there's a parlor sport in Washington of when is the last minute. You can't do that with the debt limit. With the debt limit, if you look for the last minute and you make a mistake, you've done serious damage to the U.S. economy, to the world economy. It's just not responsible. It's reckless.

GREENE: Now, Scott, just in the few seconds we have left, I mean some Republicans have said this whole battle over the debt ceiling is a lot of hype, that the government can pay its bills. It's just a matter of prioritizing.

HORSLEY: That's right. And Lew took them to task for that. He said, look, I don't have the legal authority to pick and choose which bills to pay. And even if I did, the automated systems at the Treasury that make the payments aren't set up to do that. The only thing they're set up to do is pay all the bills when they come due. And I must say, the market seemed to be reacting very well to this news that we may have a breakthrough on the debt ceiling, that the Dow is up back around 15,000.

GREENE: Alright. NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. NPR Congressional correspondent Tamara Keith. Thank you both.

KEITH: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.