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

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Book News: Remembering Poet Kofi Awoonor, Killed In Nairobi Attack

Sep 23, 2013

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

  • The Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor was killed in Saturday's attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, according to an essay by his friend Kwame Dawes in The Wall Street Journal. Dawes, also a poet, wrote: "Last night, I received news that Kofi Awoonor, the Ghanaian poet, diplomat and academic had been shot to death by terrorists in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. I got the news in my hotel, which is about five minutes from the mall. The news came through diplomatic channels in Ghana. 'Barring a miracle, we have lost him. Get some sleep, we have a long wake ahead.' This was the note his protégé and fellow Ghanaian poet, Kofi Anyidoho, sent to me." One of Ghana's best-known literary figures, Awoonor had formerly been a United Nations envoy and an ambassador to Brazil and Cuba. The 78-year-old writer was reportedly in Kenya for the Storymoja Hay literary festival, which has been suspended following the attacks. Ghana's president, John Dramani Mahama, said in a statement, "I am shocked to hear the death of professor Kofi Awoonor in the Nairobi mall terrorist attack. Such a sad twist of fate."
  • The Colombian writer and poet Alvaro Mutis Jaramillo died Sunday at age 90, The Associated Press reports. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is quoted as saying: "The millions of friends and admirers of Alvaro Mutis profoundly lament his death. All of Colombia honors him." Perhaps best known for his story collection The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, he was among Latin America's most celebrated writers. The AP notes: "The cause of death couldn't immediately be confirmed, though Mexican media quoted his wife, Carmen Miracle, as saying he died at a cardiac hospital from a cardio-respiratory problem."
  • In an interview with the Catholic magazine America, Pope Francis spoke about his favorite books. "I love very much Dostoevsky and Hölderlin," he said. "I remember Hölderlin for that poem written for the birthday of his grandmother that is very beautiful and was spiritually very enriching for me. The poem ends with the verse, 'May the man hold fast to what the child has promised.' "

The best books coming out this week:

  • Nominated for both the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize, Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland is one of the most anticipated books of the year. Writing for NPR, Ellah Allfrey had mixed feelings about the novel: "Lahiri has an uncanny ability to control and mold sentences and action, imbuing the characters with dignity and restraint. But for me, this was also the novel's weakness; too often the narration felt cold, almost clinical, leaving me longing for a moment of thaw." Lahiri recently told NPR's Lynn Neary in an interview that she writes to help her "understand, to ... break out of my own consciousness, you know, the limitations of my own life."
  • The three linked essays in Julian Barnes' Levels of Life are a strange mixture of memoir, meditation and invention. They range from the death of Barnes' wife to the hot-air balloon voyages of Sarah Bernhardt and her "artist-lover" Georges Clairin. The third essay, and the only one to deal directly with his wife's death, is probably Barnes' best. He writes: "There is always the sudden spear-thrust to the neck. Because every love story is a potential grief story."
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