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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Book News: Eleanor Catton Is The Youngest-Ever Booker Winner

Oct 16, 2013
Originally published on October 16, 2013 11:01 am

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

  • Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday night for her 848-page novel The Luminaries. At 28, Catton is the youngest person to ever win the prize, and the second New Zealander. (Keri Hulme won for The Bone People in 1985.) The Luminaries is a vast, intricate murder mystery set in 19th century New Zealand and organized into 12 sections named for the signs of the Zodiac. It has the sprawling plot of a Victorian novel but a 21st century sense of formal experimentation. In 2014, the prize will (controversially) be opened to Americans — as The Guardian put it, ominously, "The Americans are coming." But Justine Jordan writes that Catton is too talented to be overshadowed by contenders from across the Atlantic: "Catton's talent is already shining too bright for that to be a problem for her." Robert Macfarlane, the chairman of the judges, said of The Luminaries, "We read it three times and each time we dug into it the yields were extraordinary, its dividends astronomical."
  • For The New Yorker, Brad Leithauser writes about unusable words: "I sometimes regret the passing out of our lives of profanity — not the four-letter words themselves (which are, of course, everywhere) but the instinctual belief that some terms should be considered unfit for public use. There's an odd comfort to this notion; it testifies to the enduring power of language, a faith in the potency of mere syllables to shock and outrage. Well, profanity shocks nobody anymore, and the writer seeking unusable words naturally turns to the dictionary's dimmest nooks and crannies. That's part of the appeal of words like 'pulchritude' and 'depthless' and 'puissant' and 'incomplex.' To any serious writer they whisper, 'I dare you.' "
  • At BrainPickings, Maria Popova features Salvador Dalí's sinister, sinewy illustrations of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote.
  • NPR's Linda Holmes considers James Franco's new book: "It's not really a novel; it's really a collection of ... stuff. Loosely — like, 'XXXL shirt on XXXS body' loosely — based on the 12 steps of addiction treatment programs, it consists of short stories, snippets of scripts, and what it's hard not to envision as Things James Franco Wrote Down On The Back Of A Receipt One Time About Acting And Being Famous. ... In other words, it's the James-Franco-iest book he could have written, because there's nothing to wrap yourself around. It's not very good, but it's not unambitious, and it's not lazy. It's about him but it's not, it's revealing but it's not, and in the end, it's interesting but it's not."
  • Four shortlists for the National Book Awards — in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — were announced Wednesday morning. In fiction, the shortlist featured major names such as Jhumpa Lahiri, George Saunders, Thomas Pynchon and Rachel Kushner, with the jazz scholar, NYU writer-in-residence and novelist James McBride the closest thing on the list to an underdog. Meanwhile, three of the five poetry finalists were featured in Craig Morgan Teicher's 2013 poetry roundup for NPR. He called Lucie Brock-Broido "a patient seamstress of subtle and ornate poetic tapestries," Mary Szybist "a humble and compassionate observer of the complicated glory of the world," and Frank Bidart "one of the true living masters of contemporary poetry." The complete list follows:

Fiction

Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers

Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland

James McBride, The Good Lord Bird

Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge

George Saunders, Tenth of December

Nonfiction

Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

Wendy Lower, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832

Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief

Poetry

Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog

Lucie Brock-Broido, Stay, Illusion

Adrian Matejka, The Big Smoke

Matt Rasmussen, Black Aperture

Mary Szybist, Incarnadine

Young People's Literature

Kathi Appelt, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

Cynthia Kadohata, The Thing About Luck

Tom McNeal, Far Far Away

Meg Rosoff, Picture Me Gone

Gene Luen Yang, Boxers & Saints

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