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

4 hours ago
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Destruction Of Syria's Chemical Weapons System Begins

Oct 6, 2013
Originally published on October 6, 2013 10:09 am

In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.

"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."

Personnel from the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons make up the team. On Friday, a U.N. spokesperson said the team hoped to begin onsite inspections and destruction of production facilities in the coming week.

The inspectors' progress comes as Syrian President Bashar Assad maintains his government did not use chemical weapons on its citizens. In recent weeks, a U.N. report found that the poison gas sarin was used in an attack that killed hundreds of civilians — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the incident a "war crime."

In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, Assad admitted that he has made mistakes. And he said he would like for Germany to help mediate an end to Syria's civil war, which has lingered for more than two years. Amos reports:

"Stepping up interviews to Western news outlets, Assad told Der Spiegel magazine he wants negotiations, but [he] limited the partners. Not with rebels unless they put down their weapons, he said. Assad again denied his military had used chemical weapons, despite his pledge to allow a U.N. team to dismantle his arsenal."

When asked about President Obama, Assad reportedly said, "The only thing he has is lies." He said that in contrast, Russia understands the reality in Syria.

A U.N. commission's report on the reality in Syria painted a grim picture in September, when it concluded that both government and rebel forces have committed heinous acts in carrying out their struggle. And most of the killing, the report said, was done with conventional weapons.

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