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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An 'Escape' Into Something Decidedly Un-Disneyfied

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on October 11, 2013 2:43 pm

Escape From Tomorrow, a dystopian fantasy about a laid-off worker on the lam at Disney World, comes bloated with marketing bluster: The movie, as its PR people have been trumpeting for months, was shot guerrilla-style at Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando.

Chunks of the movie were indeed shot in both those palaces of pleasure, and without permission. But honestly, how hard can it be to shoot a low-budget black-and-white indie under the noses of security when every Joe Blow in the theme park is busy taking selfies with the nanocameras of today? And let's be frank: Ticking off the legal eagles at The Walt Disney Co. is not in itself proof of cinematic daring, let alone quality.

True, Escape From Tomorrow, a handsomely mounted gallery of Mouse House cuteness inverted into grotesquerie, looks a sight more artful than do most home movies. But as an expose of Disney's manufactured happiness, and by extension the sins of corporate capitalism, it's pretty stale news. Clearly, first-time director Randy Moore hasn't been hanging with the pop culture critics. And anyway, if you asked a random sample of Disney World visitors if they understood they were being taken for more than one kind of ride, they'd say: Duh, we're having a blast anyway.

A blast is the goal of Jim (Roy Abramsohn), a middle-aged Florida husband and father of two who finds himself fired from his job over the phone. Afraid to tell his wife and two kids, Jim takes the family on a day trip to the happiest place on Earth. The trip quickly turns into a fun-house mirror of his paranoid fears and desires, though, and the nightmare doubles as a critique of Walt-made cuteness.

A fanboy's homage to surrealist cinema, Escape From Tomorrow misses no opportunity to make phallic symbols soar. Animals become grinning gargoyles, princesses morph into witches, and on-site nurses into full-on Ratcheds. Nubile teenagers become leering, teasing sirens; scientists are exposed as raving madmen.

Moore sets the Felliniesque tone quite cleverly, and what happens to Jim is, here and there, ghoulishly funny, albeit in a smugly ill-natured way. But if Disney is fascism incarnate — a lazy conflation of evils that does Moore no credit — Jim and his family are still unpleasant rubes.

He's a loutish ball of lust who's willing to abandon his high-strung kids to chase after two French teenagers in crotch-high shorts. Meanwhile his pretty wife, Emily (Elena Schuber), is a textbook nag, clobbering him for everything from poor parenting to general ineptitude.

Pressing hard and often on the button of its concept, Escape From Tomorrow soon turns into an endless loop of expressionist symbolism, scoring its blunt points over and over until at last it limps off the screen, trailing suggestions of a reboot with altered players.

Whatever distinction this self-important trifle achieves comes by way of the aggressive Internet promotion that took off after the film scored with stoked young audiences at Sundance. Apparently unwilling to play Goliath to the filmmakers' David, The Walt Disney Co. has so far kept mum about Escape From Tomorrow, whose opening credits come with a disclaimer insisting that the company had no hand in the movie.

Their silence may turn out to be golden. If Escape From Tomorrow makes cinema history, it's more likely to be as a minor test case in viral-marketing strategies and online exhibition than as a brave little indie that could.

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