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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Conservative Group To Young People: 'Opt Out' Of Obamacare

Sep 19, 2013
Originally published on September 19, 2013 7:51 pm

Not all of the action to defund and otherwise undermine the Affordable Care Act is taking place in Congress.

Outside conservative groups keep looking for new angles to attack Obamacare. The latest comes in the form of ads sponsored by Generation Opportunity — an organization for young conservatives that's backed by the billionaire political activists David and Charles Koch.

The ads argue, in purposely creepy fashion, that young people should be wary of signing up for the health care exchanges the health care law creates.

It's a vibe Generation Opportunity spokesman David Pasch embraces.

"Yes, the ads are a little creepy," he says, "but the bottom line is Obamacare exchanges are a little creepy."

One features a young woman as the patient; the other uses a young man.

In the first spot, the female patient is greeted by a friendly nurse:

Nurse: Oh I see you choose to sign up for Obamacare

Female patient: Yeah it's actually my first time here.

Nurse: Well, here we are then. Change into a gown and the doctor will see you soon.

Comical, circuslike music plays. A female doctor enters. The mood is now less friendly, but still businesslike.

Doctor: Hey, your vitals look good. Any changes in your diet or exercise?

(Female patient shakes head. )

Doctor: All right, can you swing on over, scoot on down, and try to make yourself comfortable?

This is where it gets creepy.

The music gets ominous.

There's a close-up of feet going into stirrups.

Then, suddenly, a giant Uncle Sam appears wearing a giant plastic head with a leering smile, all framed in a patient's-eye view.

More ominous music.

Uncle Sam leers again ... this time holding aloft the shiny metal speculum.

The screen goes black. The final warning on screen reads:

"Don't let the government play doctor."

Criticism of the ads hasn't been in short supply. Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, says the effort by the Koch brothers is "sabotage."

Further, he says, the ads are a lie and that there will be no government bureaucrat getting in the middle of your gynecological or any other type of exam.

Woodhouse insists there's considerable hypocrisy here, given some of the policies Republicans have called for regarding women's health issues.

"You have Republicans who do want to and attempt to do things like in Virginia where they attempted to force women to get a vaginal probe if they wanted to seek an abortion."

Generation Opportunity concedes the ads may be short on specifics — Pasch says they'll make a more detailed case about government intrusion and what he describes as a mandated health care law that is unfair to young people.

Professor Peter Levine of Tufts University, who studies the engagement of young Americans in the political process, says humorous advertisements get attention but have relatively little impact when it comes to persuasion.

"People find things funny if they agree with them and they don't find them funny if they really strongly disagree with them," he says.

"I would be skeptical that this kind of ad could really change people's minds," Levine added.

Ultimately, these new ads may be best viewed from a different lens.

They target young people, but ultimately the ads are just another part of a much broader effort by Affordable Care Act opponents — an effort that's designed to undermine the law in every way possible, with every group possible, using every available tool.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit