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

59 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.

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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
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Feds Seek To Corral Medical Marijuana 'Wild West'

Sep 13, 2013

When the Obama administration recently announced it wouldn't challenge the decision by Colorado and Washington voters to fully legalize marijuana, criticism rained down.

The administration's position, complained one Colorado congressman, was tantamount to allowing states to opt out of the federal law banning pot possession, cultivation and sale.

Other anti-legalization activists predicted that the administration was waving the white flag in the war on drugs.

The first claim is essentially true: The states will be creating their own regulatory regimes.

As for the idea of a surrender in the war on drugs, the reality is a little more complicated.

Whatever its effect, the administration's hands-off position in Colorado and Washington will reverberate well beyond those states. And it could actually end up imposing some semblance of order in what drug law expert Mark Kleiman describes as the "Wild West" of medical marijuana.

"And that would be a potentially very, very good result," says Kleiman, who previously worked in the Justice Department's criminal division and is author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.

"Medical marijuana is a free-for-all in many states," he says. "On Venice Beach in California, you have guys in medical scrubs and with stethoscopes walking around offering to give you a prescription."

"The administration's decision may actually mean a crackdown on that kind of business," he says.

So how does a move not to enforce federal drug law in Colorado and Washington help control medical marijuana sales and use in the 18 other states and the District of Columbia where it's legal?

Simple, says Kleiman.

To keep federal drug prosecutors at bay, Colorado and Washington have to come up with what Deputy Attorney General James Cole described this week to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as "strict regulatory schemes" that are tough in practice and meet eight federal enforcement priorities.

The priorities address everything from the distribution of marijuana to minors and transporting pot across state lines to drugged driving and using marijuana sale proceeds for criminal activities.

Don't meet those priorities? Sorry — your state is going to be in trouble with the feds, Cole says.

The Senate committee has advised Cole to come up with metrics by which the DOJ can measure state performance in meeting the priorities.

What's already happening is that some states with legal medical marijuana are devising regulatory schemes that would also satisfy federal priorities. They view it as the path to keeping federal drug prosecutors off their backs and also to full legalization.

Cole issued a memo in 2011 that gave U.S. attorneys more authority to aggressively pursue medical marijuana distributors but also served to discourage local officials from adopting medical marijuana regulations.

"Suddenly, the politics of this has reversed," Kleiman says, "and a lot of marijuana advocates are saying, 'Let's do something about the medical marijuana business; let's clean it up.' "

Now, for the first time, the feds have provided an incentive for states to more tightly regulate medical marijuana.

California is contemplating legislation to create new oversight by a medical marijuana agency that would develop and enforce regulations for commercial medical marijuana activity, including for production and distribution. Businesses already operating legally under city or county laws would be grandfathered in.

Other states that permit medical marijuana have gotten busy, too, armed now with a blueprint for how to clean up a messy industry.

Federal officials also have more work ahead: The administration and Congress still need to figure out how to adapt federal banking and tax laws to account for the new cannabis-related businesses in Colorado and Washington.

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