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

4 hours ago
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Book News: Donald Antrim, Karen Russell Win 'Genius Grant' Awards

Sep 25, 2013
Originally published on September 25, 2013 7:25 am

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

  • Authors Karen Russell and Donald Antrim are among 24 MacArthur "genius" fellows announced Wednesday morning (though the news leaked on Tuesday evening). The $625,000 grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are awarded annually, with no strings attached, to "talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." The foundation wrote that Antrim's "fiction and nonfiction are marked by a contrast between elegant, concise language and the disorienting chaos in which his characters find themselves. Antrim creates fictional worlds that are both commonplace and yet surreal, combining close observations of the banality of everyday life with the absurd." Karen Russell, whose 2011 novel Swamplandia! was a finalist for the Pulitzer, writes "haunting yet comic tales [that] blend fantastical elements with psychological realism and classic themes of transformation and redemption," according to the MacArthur Foundation. Russell told The Washington Post that the award couldn't have come at a better time: "The day after I learned about this, I had to get an emergency root canal, and I don't have dental insurance."
  • After Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man was banned from the library at North Carolina's Randleman High School, publisher Vintage Books donated copies to a local bookstore to be given away for free to high school students. Evan Smith Rakoff, a former North Carolina resident and editor at Poets & Writers, teamed up with Salon's Laura Miller to ask Vintage to donate the books. According to PBS, the school board is reconsidering its decision following an enormous public swell of support for the novel.
  • The New York Times asked authors Mohsin Hamid and Zoe Heller to debate the value of "likeable" characters in fiction. Hamind writes, "I'll confess — I read fiction to fall in love. ... In fiction, as in my nonreading life, someone didn't necessarily have to be likable to be lovable." Meanwhile, Heller worries that likeability is perceived as an "embarrassing solecism, committed only by low-rent writers and hopelessly naïve readers." She says, "Likability in fictional characters is a complicated matter, but it isn't exclusively the concern of philistines and dolts."
  • Peter Matthiessen, co-founder of the Paris Review as well as a novelist and wilderness writer who has won three National Book Awards, is coming out with a new book this spring. According to the press release from Riverhead Books, In Paradise is "the story of a group of men and women come together for a weeklong meditation retreat at the site of a World War II concentration camp." Matthiessen wrote in the release: "At age 86, it may be my last word."
  • A.S. Byatt considers the Icelandic poet Sjón for The New York Review of Books: "Every now and then a writer changes the whole map of literature inside my head...I think of Icelanders as erudite, singular, tough, and uncompromising. Sjón is all these things, but he is also quicksilver, playful, and surreal. His pen name is an abbreviation of his full name, Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson — Sjón means sight."
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