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
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Fed Meeting Could Lead To Stimulus Reduction

Sep 17, 2013
Originally published on September 17, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we are following other stories this week, including possible action by the Federal Reserve. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce the first reduction in its massive intervention in the economy, $85 billion per month, a decision that may come at the end of a two-day meeting. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: A number of surveys show at least half of the economists questioned believed policymakers will decide to reduce the level of stimulus at this meeting. John Silvia, chief economist for Wells Fargo, predicts the Fed will dial back its monthly injection by $10 billion.

JOHN SILVIA: It's a modest amount. I think it's enough that everybody can sort of agree on without really upsetting either side. Some people want to be more aggressive, some less. So I think they can get a unanimous vote on the 10 billion.

YDSTIE: The Fed has been pumping money into the financial system by purchasing U.S. government bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Silvia thinks policymakers will decide to start their so-called taper by reducing their purchases of government bonds, but will continue their current level of mortgage-backed securities purchases to avoid too much negative impact on the housing market. Silvia says he believes the economy is healthy enough to absorb the pullback without much problem.

SILVIA: I think we are generating enough jobs. The economy is moving along. The consumer's moving along. Auto sales have been pretty strong. Housing's improving. We can go ahead and pretty much, you know, eliminate all of QE3 by middle of 2014. We'll still have decent economic rev.

YDSTIE: But economist Dean Baker thinks the Fed will late a bit longer.

DEAN BAKER: Because of the weakness of the jobs reports the last few months, my guess is that they're going to put that off probably at least till December.

YDSTIE: Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. As he points out, while job growth has been steady, in the past two months, it's averaged just 136,000. That's far below the number needed to bring down the unemployment rate rapidly.

BAKER: If you have a weak economy, no reason to fear inflation, why do anything to make it worse? So, I can't say, you know, if rates were to go up 10 to 20 basis points, that's a horrible thing, but it is going in the wrong direction. So it's just hard for me to see why the Fed would want to do that.

YDSTIE: Baker argues that if Fed policymakers do begin tapering this week, it would look like they're not paying attention to the data, and Chairman Bernanke has promised the decision to pull back stimulus will be data-driven. Part of the challenge for the Fed is that the data have been mixed with a weak job market, but strength in things like auto sales and housing. Neither Baker nor Silvia believes there will be a big response in the financial markets if the Fed does begin pulling back at this meeting. As Baker points out, both long-term interest rates and mortgage rates already have risen about one full percentage point just in response to the Fed's conversation about dialing back.

BAKER: So we already saw probably the biggest effect from the tapering. So, I have to say, whether they taper or not, at this point, it probably wouldn't make that much difference.

YDSTIE: And, John Silvia says, Larry Summers' decision to withdraw his name from consideration to succeed Ben Bernanke has steadied the markets. That's because it avoids an unsettling fight in Congress and makes a change in Fed policy less likely. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.