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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UPDATE: 'So, So Very Sorry,' Says Navy Yard Gunman's Mother

Sep 18, 2013
Originally published on September 18, 2013 4:34 pm

"I don't know why he did what he did and I'll never be able to ask him why," Cathleen Alexis, mother of the man who authorities say killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, said in a statement she read to the media at midday Wednesday.

CNN has audio of her comments, in which she also says that "Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad."

"To the families of the victims," she adds, "I'm so, so very sorry this has happened. My heart is broken."

We added the news of her comments to the top of this post at 1:19 p.m. ET.

Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. Alexis Sought Help For Insomnia:

In the weeks leading up to the shootings, Aaron Alexis sought treatment at the emergency rooms of two Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

According to a statement from the VA, Alexis went to the VA Medical Center in Providence, R.I., on Aug. 23 complaining of insomnia and then again at the emergency department of the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, complaining of the same thing.

"On both occasions, Mr. Alexis was alert and oriented and was asked by VA doctors if he was struggling with anxiety or depression, or had thoughts about harming himself or others, which he denied," the statement said.

Alexis was in the VA health system since 2011. His records indicate he never sought help for mental issues. Alexis, the VA adds, was receiving $395 a month in disability compensation "for orthopedic issues" and tinnitus.

Our original post-- In Days Before Navy Yard Shootings, Alexis Bought Shotgun:

Aaron Alexis, the man police say killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, went to a gun store and shooting range in suburban Northern Virginia two days before the attack, an attorney for the shop has told NPR.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Joseph Shapiro reported that The Sharpshooters Range in Lorton, Va., ran Alexis' name through the FBI and state of Virginia background check system. Alexis was approved and he purchased a Remington 870 shotgun and about 24 shells, Joe says.

Alexis also rented a rifle and practiced shooting at the shop's range.

Those are among some of the additional details coming out today about the 34-year-old Alexis, who died at the scene of Monday's shootings after exchanging gunfire with police.

Tuesday, we posted about:

-- The police report filed in August by authorities in Newport, R.I., who said Alexis had told them that three men were using "some sort of microwave machine" to send vibrations through the ceiling of his hotel room to keep him from sleeping. According to that document, Newport Sgt. Frank C. Rosa Jr. reported the contact with Alexis to the Navy. He said that Alexis claimed to be "hearing voices."

-- How Alexis was given security clearances despite a past that included a "troubled" service record in the U.S. Navy Reserves and "signs of mental instability."

Also Tuesday, The Washington Post and other news outlets reported that investigators believe Alexis carried the disassembled shotgun in a backpack as he entered the Navy Yard's Building 197 — then stopped in a men's room to put the gun together.

Among Wednesday's other important stories about the shootings and their aftermath:

Navy Yard victim's wife: 'I can't believe this is happening again'

The Post writes that Priscilla Daniels of Washington, D.C., lost her 14-year-old son four years ago — he was "shot and killed ... on a D.C. street." On Monday, her husband, Arthur, was among the 12 victims killed at the Navy Yard.

Update at 10:15 a.m. ET. Two Survivors' Conditions Upgraded.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center reports that:

"The two patients injured in Monday's Navy Yard incident who remain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center have both been upgraded from fair condition to good. They are:

  • A Metropolitan Police Department officer with gunshot wounds to the leg.
  • A female civilian with gunshot wounds to the shoulder.

"The third patient — a female civilian with gunshot wounds to the head and hand — was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon."

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