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

53 minutes 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

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

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Book News: Why Batwoman Can't Get Married

Sep 9, 2013
Originally published on September 9, 2013 7:18 am

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

  • Last week, Batwoman writers J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman resigned, saying DC Comics forced them to cancel a gay marriage plot in which Batwoman married her girlfriend. But DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio said on a panel at Baltimore Comic-Con that the marriage plot wasn't nixed for the reasons you might think. He said Batwoman couldn't get married because "heroes shouldn't have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests." DiDio added, "Name one other publisher out there who stands behind their gay characters the way we do." DC Comics was fiercely criticized earlier this year for hiring the anti-gay marriage activist Orson Scott Card to write a Superman story.
  • Jhumpa Lahiri responded to a New York Times interview question about immigrant fiction by arguing that there's no such thing: "This distinction doesn't agree with me. Given the history of the United States, all American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction. Hawthorne writes about immigrants. So does Willa Cather. From the beginnings of literature, poets and writers have based their narratives on crossing borders, on wandering, on exile, on encounters beyond the familiar. The stranger is an archetype in epic poetry, in novels. The tension between alienation and assimilation has always been a basic theme."
  • Wild author Cheryl Strayed told NPR's Rachel Martin about how her half sister found her after reading her book: "She didn't know anything about me except when she read the description in my book of my early life, my mother and my father, she knew that father was hers, too. I don't name my father in the book but she recognized him."
  • Margaret Atwood and Howard Jacobson are the latest authors to join the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, which asks modern authors to reinterpret Shakespeare's plays. Atwood will rework The Tempest and Jacobson The Merchant of Venice. In a press release, Jacobson said that "for an English novelist Shakespeare is where it all begins. For an English novelist who also happens to be Jewish, The Merchant of Venice is where it all snarls up." Jeanette Winterson and Anne Tyler have already signed up to reimagine, respectively, The Winter's Tale and The Taming of the Shrew. The reworked plays are for publication in 2016, to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

The best books coming out this week:

  • Mary Beard's Confronting the Classics collects clever, learned essays about everything from Sappho to Asterix. She demonstrates that "classics, of course, are about us as much as about the Greeks and Romans," while managing to balance perfectly on the borderline between scholarly and accessible.
  • Norman Rush's long-awaited novel Subtle Bodies took him almost a decade to write. He told NPR's Rachel Martin, "I had made a promise to my wife to do something unheard of for me, which was to write a concentrated piece of writing, a distillation, and not consume these years in a herculean struggle. But it didn't work out that way. The book got over 400 pages twice, and it brought me to my knees one evening. And I sought her forgiveness first, and then her help, and we together reduced it to its essentials."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.