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

48 minutes 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

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Fed Watches Friday's Jobless Data For Signs To End Stimulus

Sep 6, 2013
Originally published on September 6, 2013 12:40 pm



This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Let's try to figure out what today's unemployment report means. NPR's John Ydstie has been following the story. He's in our studios. John, good morning once again.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK. What are the numbers first?

YDSTIE: Well, 169,000 new jobs were added to payrolls in August, according to the government report.


YDSTIE: And the unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent, somewhat unexpected.

INSKEEP: Let's try to figure out if that is good or bad. When you were talking with us earlier, didn't you say that analysts were expecting something more than 169,000 new jobs?

YDSTIE: Yeah, around 180,000. But I think that, you know, it's in the ballpark, and there's a margin of error in these numbers. So I think it's pretty close to expectations. The fall in the unemployment rate is a bit surprising, though. And remember, the big thing here was that the Fed is going to be taking a close look at these numbers as they decide whether to pull back on their stimulus for the month, the $85 billion in bond buying they've been doing, trying to get the economy going.

INSKEEP: OK. Let's remember here. Their goal has been, for the last several years, to pump money into the economy, to keep things going, and they're trying to figure out the right moment to pull out the IV. So...

YDSTIE: Exactly.

INSKEEP: are they deciding that?

YDSTIE: Well, they're looking at all the economic data and these jobs numbers particularly. And I think with this number as close as it is to expectations, it's likely the Fed is going to go ahead and begin pulling back in September, as they plan to do.

INSKEEP: So this is a little worse than expected, but not so much worse than expected that the trend changes...

YDSTIE: Right. Now, there are some troubling things in the internal numbers of the report. There was a 58,000 job revision downward for the July numbers. Now, that's disappointing. It's a big number. But part of it was due to auto companies switching over to new model year, shutting down their assembly lines. Now, those jobs are added back in August, but then that takes a little bit off the top-line number in August.

INSKEEP: Makes that look a little bit less impressive there.

YDSTIE: Exactly.

INSKEEP: OK. So we have these quirks in the numbers. It appears that the summer was not quite as good as a summer as it seemed. But at the same time, John, you said the unemployment rate is down to 7.3 percent, which is a tick down, one-tenth of a percentage point down from 7.4. Isn't that good news?

YDSTIE: Well, you'd think it was, but the problem is this: It was largely due to a drop in the labor force, which is not a good sign during a period when you want to see people coming back into the job market.

INSKEEP: You're say the number of people looking for work went down here.

YDSTIE: Right. And the rate, participation rate, the labor force participation rate -that's the percent of the working population that's looking for a job or holding a job - is at 63.2 percent. That's the lowest level in 35 years. Part of it's demographic, older folks and the baby boom leaving the workforce. But it is troubling because you want to see people coming back into the workforce at this point in the recovery.

INSKEEP: So the job market is still not anywhere near what people would want it to be. What's happening? What seems to be dragging the labor market still, even at this point, so many years after the financial crisis?

YDSTIE: Well, I think it's just that we're not having fast enough growth. Now, there was - and you might think that this would be enough to keep the Fed from beginning to pull the stimulus back.

INSKEEP: Oh, yeah.

YDSTIE: But here's the thing. We've seen a little bit of an uptick in growth - in the second quarter of the year, two-and-a-half percent annual growth rate. We had a couple of reports this week on both manufacturing and the service sector. Nice upticks in both of them. And autos are selling well, and the housing market's recovering.

So I think when the Fed takes this all together, it really wants to get out of this intervention in the economy, and it's looking for everything it can to do that, to pull back, because this is an uncomfortable place for the Fed to be. So I think they're going to go ahead with the pullback. It might be $10 billion instead of $20 billion off of the 85 billion. But I think they're still going to go ahead.

INSKEEP: Pull out the IV a little bit slower. John, thanks very much.

YDSTIE: You're welcome, Steve.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's John Ydstie. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.