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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Company To Offer $75,000 Balloon Rides To 'Near Space'

Oct 22, 2013

If you can't afford a trip into orbit as a space tourist aboard a cramped Russian Soyuz capsule (about $35 million) or a reservation on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipOne (price tag: $250,000), World View Enterprises just might have the ticket: a leisurely high-altitude balloon ride for a less-than-stratospheric $75,000.

Tucson-based World View on Tuesday unveiled the planned balloon rides, which the company says will reach altitudes of about 100,000 feet — high enough to see the blackness of space and the curvature of the Earth.

On its website, World View boasts "majestic views of our planet, slowly expanding below ... certain to captivate you, as you ascend to the edge of space."

"Seeing the Earth hanging in the ink-black void of space will help people realize our connection to our home planet and to the universe around us," World View CEO Jane Poynter said in a statement on Tuesday. "It is also our goal to open up a whole new realm for exercising human curiosity, scientific research and education."

Space.com reports:

"Passengers on World View balloon flights will ride inside a capsule designed by Paragon Space Development Corp., which is also aiding two private Mars efforts — the Inspiration Mars mission to send two astronauts on a Red Planet flyby in 2018 and Mars One, a project that aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent colony.

Paragon has already begun testing capsule components and will soon start demonstrating the flight capabilities of the entire system, World View officials said."

And Wired adds:

"The ability to spend hours at 100,000 feet, does offer new opportunities, even if it doesn't include the weightlessness being touted by Virgin Galactic's parabolic flight path. The helium balloon could be launched at night to offer a spectacular sunrise opportunity with pretty much all of the atmosphere below you, and the darkness of space remaining above you even after the sun is up."

But going aloft 19 miles isn't for the faint of heart. A look at the company's promotional animation (above) shows the gentle ascent of the gondola/capsule and then its separation and return via para-glider.

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