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

5 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Book News: Oscar Hijuelos Remembered As 'A Cultural Pioneer'

Oct 15, 2013

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

  • Novelist Oscar Hijuelos, whose book The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love made him the first Latino author to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died on Saturday at age 62. NPR's David Greene interviewed Hijuelos' friend Gustavo Perez Firmat, a Columbia professor who said Hijuelos made Americans realize that there is a "rich and diverse body of writing being done by young Latinos in this country," noting that it "helped to open doors with both publishers and readers to other Latino writers." Hector Tobar of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Hijuelos was "a cultural pioneer who wrote elegant novels about ambitious Cuban expatriates and music-loving New Yorkers." Tobar added, "He told stories that revealed the texture and passion of the Latino immigrant experience to legions of non-Latino readers for the first time."
  • With the announcement of the prestigious Man Booker Prize looming, The Guardian announced the winner of its aptly-named annual contest, the Not the Booker Prize. This year, Life After Life, a novel from the "tremendously talented writer" Kate Atkinson took the award.
  • The poet, professor and critic James Emanuel died Sept. 28 at age 92, The New York Times reports. His poems often deal with racism in America. One, "Deadly James (For All the Victims of Police Brutality)," was written after his son, who Emanuel said was a victim of police brutality, committed suicide. In September, Emanuel spoke to NPR's Eleanor Beardsley about moving to Paris to escape racial discrimination in the U.S.: "It's the tragedy that I never can talk about. It was too evil, too vicious. And any country that would tolerate it is a country I can't put my foot in." He added, "If America ever solves its racial problem, it will be the greatest country in the world."
  • Carl Bernstein is writing a memoir about his time as a rookie journalist at The Washington Star, the legendary D.C. newspaper that went bankrupt in 1981. The book will be titled The Washington Star and will be published in 2016 by Henry Holt. In a press release, Bernstein wrote ,"My understanding of journalism, and the world I've covered and written about, and the life I've led, crystallized in those five incomparable years at a uniquely great newspaper."
  • The Color Purple author Alice Walker will publish excerpts from her personal diaries as a book, to be called Gathering Blossoms Under Fire. The Simon & Schuster imprint 37 Ink will publish it in 2017. The Associated Press notes that "the 69-year-old Walker has been keeping a diary for half a century, filling dozens of notebooks that track her rise from poverty in Georgia to international fame."
  • Donna Tartt rails against prescriptivism in English in an interview with her editor Michael Pietsch: "English is such a powerful and widely spoken language precisely because it's so flexible, and capacious: a catchall hybrid that absorbs and incorporates everything it comes into contact with. Lexical variety, eccentric constructions and punctuation, variant spellings, archaisms, the ability to pile clause on clause, the effortless incorporation of words from other languages: flexibility, and inclusiveness, is what makes English great; and diversity is what keeps it healthy and growing, exuberantly regenerating itself with rich new forms and usages. Shakespearean words, foreign words, slang and dialect and made-up phrases from kids on the street corner: English has room for them all. And writers — not just literary writers, but popular writers as well — breathe air into English and keep it lively by making it their own, not by adhering to some style manual that gets handed out to college Freshmen in a composition class."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.