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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FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers

Oct 24, 2013
Originally published on October 24, 2013 6:50 pm

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday announced that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.

The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "Schedule II" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.

OxyContin, another opioid painkiller, is already a Schedule II drug, defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration as "potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence".

In a statement posted on its website, the agency said it was taking the step after becoming "increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States."

The DEA has been asking the agency to recommend reclassifying the drugs for years, citing soaring numbers of Americans becoming addicted to the drugs and dying from overdoses.

Pain specialists and their patients, however, have been fighting the move, saying that any new restrictions would make it too difficult for those suffering from chronic, debilitating pain to get the drugs they need to survive.

The agency acknowledged the emotional debate, saying it "has been challenged with determining how to balance the need to ensure continued access to those patients who rely on continuous pain relief while addressing the ongoing concerns about abuse and misuse."

Among other things, reclassifying the drugs would reduce the number of refills patients could get before having to go back to see their doctor. Doctors would not be able to simply call prescriptions into pharmacies.

The FDA said it would submit its recommendation to the Health and Human Services Department by early December, and anticipated that the National Institute on Drug Abuse would concur with the recommendation. That will begin a process that would lead to a final decision by the DEA.

More than 136 million prescriptions for these products are dispensed every year, making them the most widely used prescription drugs in the country. Vicodin is probably the best-known hydrocodone-containing product, but there are many others, sold under brand names such as Lortab and Norco.

While powerful painkillers, opioids are highly addictive and are abused by millions. The number of Americans overdosing from these drugs has been increasing rapidly in recent years, and more than 15,000 now die every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But about 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and many of them and their doctors fear the change would make it difficult, if not impossible, for these patients to get drugs they need.

The move comes after an FDA advisory panel recommended the change in January.

Advocates for pain patients immediately reacted with concern to the announcement.

"The concern we have is that it may unintentionally make access for people with pain even more of a challenge than it is now," wrote Bob Twillman of the American Academy of Pain Management in an email to Shots. "This could necessitate millions more office visits, with attendant costs approaching a billion dollars a year. The access issues will need to be addressed or we will have a lot more people with a lot more uncontrolled pain."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.