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

4 hours ago
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Crowley Meets Crime Novel In 'Love Is The Law'

Oct 9, 2013

"There are no coincidences," Dawn Seliger says repeatedly throughout Nick Mamatas' new novel, Love Is the Law. She's not just philosophizing. She's chanting. In the book, Dawn is a teenage punk and aspiring magician who haunts late-'80s Long Island, stewing in her own adolescent alienation, rebellion and precocity. That is, until Bernstein, her middle-aged mentor and lover (although she denies that he's either) winds up dead from a bullet in the skull.

Then, in classic crime-fic mode, Dawn embarks on a quest to discover who killed him. As she begins unraveling a web of connections and conspiracies that involve everything from Bernstein's mysterious past (he'd been a faded '60s radical and occasional ceremonial magician) to her own deadbeat, crackhead dad, Dawn's chant about coincidence sounds less like an exposé of the hidden order of things and more like a prayer against encroaching chaos — her own version of "There's no place like home."

That said, Dawn doesn't have much of a home herself. She lives with her dementia-stricken grandmother. She haunts bookstores and the backyards of former schoolmates. A font of occult factoids and sociopolitical insight, she's wise and learned far beyond her years — sometimes seeming more like a mouthpiece for the author than any imaginable 18-year-old. But her intellectual discipline, like her punky hair and hardcore listening habits, are just another shell, a shield she erects to keep her inner, feral child at bay.

As Dawn's ad hoc investigation deepens, so does the book's scope. This isn't your average, young-adult detective yarn; the sexuality is provocative and raw, just this side of prurient. The concepts come fast, thick and tangled. And Dawn's first-person narrative frequently strays into frantic cloud-gathering about the nature of magic and mankind. Mamatas makes it work beautifully, though, by giving Dawn a savage yet sympathetic voice that never once strays into disharmony. This is, after all, a young woman who believes that spells really work — and that belief isn't exactly proven or disproven throughout the story, but treated with an ambiguity as harrowing and achingly human as Dawn's morality, sexual and otherwise.

But where Mamatas especially shines is in the integrity of his themes. What seems at first to be a random patchwork coalesces into a grand, mad pattern — nothing less than the secret history of the modern world, one that feels far less absurd given the vicissitudes of history over the past 25 years. Dozens of concepts are tossed into the mix — Satanism, Trotskyism, Objectivism, Women's Liberation, Glasnost — but they're viewed through the cold, cruel eyes of Dawn, who treats the whole of 20th century thought as a corpse to be dissected.

Accordingly, Mamatas makes a Frankenstein's monster out of the detritus of the modern age, a shambolic free-for-all of esoterica — from sex magic to the films of Maya Deren — that recalls the comics of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Some of the scenes even take place in a comic shop. But Love Is the Law never dips into cartoonishness, even when the going gets outlandish — up to and including basement concerts by a ritualistic, avant-garde band called Abyssal Eyeballs. (The band members don't dress up as giant, unblinking orbs, and the name is explained as a Nietzsche reference, but the allusion to The Residents doesn't feel like an accident.)

Then again, accidents — comic and tragic, poignant and grotesque — are what Love Is the Law thrives on. A suburban fantasy in the tradition of grand urban fantasists like Emma Bull and Elizabeth Hand, the book rings profanely and profoundly. And it does so in a blitzkrieg of tightly riffed prose. When it hits a fever pitch of paranoia and postmodern ideology-mashing, it's Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum boiled down to a minute-and-a-half hardcore song. In the midst of Love Is the Law's concentrated, crisscrossed sprawl, one thing remains certain: The similarity between the magic spells that Dawn casts and the controlled anarchy that Mamatas plots is anything but coincidence.

Jason Heller is a senior writer at The A.V. Club.

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