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

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Book News: Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on October 10, 2013 9:42 am

This post was updated at 9:30 a.m.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story," has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The Nobel committee noted that the Canadian author's "texts often feature depictions of everyday but decisive events, epiphanies of a kind, that illuminate the surrounding story and let existential questions appear in a flash of lightning." In a statement released by her publisher, Munro said she is "amazed, and very grateful," adding, "I'm happy, too, that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing." Munro is the first Canadian author to win the prize, aside from Saul Bellow, who was born in Canada but lived in the U.S. NPR's Lynn Neary celebrated the choice on Morning Edition, saying, "In a really short space of time, she can provide a fully realized story that provides remarkable insight into human beings, their shortcomings, their complexities, their loves, their lives." (You can read several of Munro's recent short stories, including the excellent "Deep-Holes" over at The New Yorker.) Academy Permanent Secretary Peter Englund lauded Munro's focus on a small Canadian landscape of "broad rivers and small towns," adding that "she has everything she needs in this small patch of earth." Munro, who is 82, recently announced that she likely will give up writing: "Not that I didn't love writing, but I think you do get to a stage where you sort of think about your life in a different way. And perhaps, when you're my age, you don't wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be." Englund noted Thursday that if Munro does indeed stop writing, it's OK, saying, "What she's done is quite enough." The Nobel is given annually to "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction," according to the will of prize founder Alfred Nobel.
  • For the literary magazine n+1, Alice Gregory writes an utterly captivating essay about surfing (in a David Foster Wallace writing about tennis kind of way). She narrates, "Zach Wormhoudt, in green, is confidently zooming left on a wave when a mantle of foam suddenly obscures him. The wave he's taken off on has collapsed, going from a dark, coherent form to chaos — messier and whiter and maybe even bigger than a cloud. We all gasp. About twenty seconds later, he bobs up like a rubber ball. I can't make out his features from here, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was grinning."
  • PEN features a new poem by Sherman Alexie, "The Shaman of Ice Cream" (which plays with Wallace Stevens' poem "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"). Alexie writes: "In his coffin, our father is cold to the touch /... He is a fossilized hive./ If I picked him up, I could shake him/ like a gourd rattle. / Let this goodbye be a death scream. / The only shaman is the shaman of ice cream."
  • Flavorwire runs excerpts from the diary of a teenage F. Scott Fitzgerald, who evidently developed his spelling skills later in life: "Finally Violet had a party which was very nice and it was the day after this that we had a quarrel. She had some sort of book called flirting by sighns and Jack and I got it away from Violet and showed it too all the boys. Violet got very mad and went into the house. I got very mad and therefor I went home. Imediatly Violet repented and called me up on the phone to see if I was mad. However I did not want to make up just then and so I slammed down the receiver."
  • Alexandra Schwartz reports on bookstore culture in France: "As online sales rise, Amazon has come to be seen in France as le mastodonte américain, the mammoth capitalist interloper rumbling across the Atlantic to trample on the delicacies of culture."
  • For NPR, Martha Woodroof delves into the complicated romance between author and agent: "Most book sales to major houses still are made through agents. So why, in this uncertain age dominated by the hunt for the next blockbuster, do agents even mess with first-time novelists? Because they fall in love."
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