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

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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/.

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Chocolate Fashions Make For A Truly Sweet Little Black Dress

Oct 22, 2013

If you find yourself sauntering down the runway wearing 40 pounds of chocolate, don't sweat it. Seriously — you might find yourself dripping on the audience.

So warns Fiona Bitmead, one of 10 models who showed off edible chocolate creations Friday night at the Salon du Chocolat in London. Five handlers helped her get dressed.

"[I] had to worry about a dress melting on me!" she says. "I can't say I've ever wanted to eat the dresses I've worn down the catwalk before."

But as Tim Gunn might say, make it work!

Salon du Chocolat, not surprisingly, is a French creation. It's the world's largest chocolate fair open to the public, and it has been running for 19 years. This year, it will travel to 23 cities around the world, providing patrons a chance to taste and buy artisan and specialty chocolate. The salon hits New York in November 2014.

Clad in little — and not so little — chocolate dresses, the models at the London event wore gowns, headpieces, bags and even a swimsuit all made of or adorned with white, milk and the dark stuff.

Chocolatiers and designers worked together to create a chocoholic's dream dresses. Lauren Smith, a 23-year-old art school graduate, was hired by Swiss chocolatier Lindt to design its "Eternal Diamond" dress, the creation Bitmead modeled. The A-line dress gets its rich brown color from the 40 pounds of chocolate that cover it; it's adorned simply along the hem with chili and orange segments, flavors used in specialty Lindt chocolate bars. Smith says she had two major worries about the dress.

"One of the main challenges was trying to pick a fabric that could sustain the weight of the chocolate and the embellishments," Smith says. "Luckily, I picked a good, sturdy stiff canvas, which worked well."

Fabric samples were tested at Lindt headquarters in advance to ensure the dress could withstand the heavy chocolate coating. Smith and the Lindt team constructed the piece de resistance by hand in just two weeks.

"The thing that I was really worried about was sewing through chocolate and fabric, and that actually came out really well. It was a bit hard, but I was able to stitch it," Smith tells The Salt.

Food artist Paul Wayne Gregory was involved with the construction of the dress, which took 24 hours to hand-paint with chocolate. Gregory says the process wasn't without its meltdowns, as it were.

"Tempering helps," he says, "but there was a lot of melting, breaking and rebuilding."

And how on earth did they transport it? Gregory says, "We had two women holding it in the back of a van."

Mark Tilling, master chocolatier at Squires Kitchen, a British pastry shop and baking school, used 10 pounds of chocolate squares to create an Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress and matching round handbag. Tilling says the hardest part was finding something suitable to serve as the template.

"It took all day just to find the right dress," Tilling says. " It's got to be easy to get into, so we needed a long zip in the back."

Tilling started with the dress: Using it as a base, he warmed chocolate to act as glue for the squared panels that adorn the frock.

Thankfully, designers won't have to re-create their perishable dresses. Each fashion show will feature the work of local designers and chocolatiers.

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