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

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

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Federal Workers Head Back To Jobs As Government Reopens

Oct 17, 2013
Originally published on October 17, 2013 10:49 am

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough for two weeks are going back to work after Congress approved a late-night deal Wednesday to fund the government and stave off default.

"Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the president plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning," Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement late Wednesday. She told employees to check the Office of Personnel Management's website for updates.

A government notice issued Oct. 1 at the beginning of the shutdown advised furloughed employees that once funding was restored, "You will be expected to return to work on your next regular duty day."

But the House didn't pass the continuing resolution until after 10 p.m. ET Wednesday. The short notice means that getting back to work might not be a seamless process for many federal employees.

Colleen Kelley, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, the largest federal employee union, tells The Wall Street Journal that many workers who took their children out of day care in the past few weeks will need to arrange care again before they can return to work. She said agencies vary in their methods for recalling workers.

"Some set up a 1-800 hotline for workers to call during the shutdown to check on the status of their employment. Others use the phone tree method of calling individual workers. Tens of thousands of federal workers do not have personal computers and would not be able to check OPM's website, Ms. Kelley said."

And as NPR's Brian Naylor reports on Morning Edition, you shouldn't expect the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency or most other federal offices to be taking calls just yet — it could be some time, he says, before most agencies get up to speed again.

Even government-funded research projects are going to need time to ramp up.

University of Alabama geologist Samantha Hansen has been conducting a research project in Antarctica that in one way is like almost everything else funded by the federal government: After 16 days down, it's going to take some time to restart.

"It's not just like flipping a switch. [In] getting the system running, there's a lot of cogs in the machine," she says.

Naylor says that while Hansen's work is a bit more exotic than most of what the government does on a daily basis, her story isn't that much different from what a typical government staffer now faces: how to get the wheels turning again.

"Everyone works on their phone all the time," Jessica Klement, with the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, tells NPR. "Your iPhone is constantly connected, [but] if you're a furloughed employee, you have to leave those at the door."

So workers might not get the word immediately, Clement said.

Lee Stone, a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center in California, says "this is almost amusingly silly — NASA is shut down and so its website is shut down and email shut down."

As CNN notes in the past couple of weeks, there have been "hiccups" when federal workers were recalled.

But the good news for workers is that Congress made sure the employees will get paid for the 16 days they were out.

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