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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Financial Crisis Recovery Has Been Bumpy For Some

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



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama says the nation does not want to watch another game of chicken in Washington, D.C. this fall, and he's warning congressional Republicans not to force his hand. Congress must, once again, raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government won't be able to pay all of its bills. Mr. Obama told GOP lawmakers yesterday they should lift that limit on borrowing, without trying to extract concessions from him.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States.

MONTAGNE: That warning came at a White House event marking the fifth anniversary of the financial meltdown. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Before news broke of yesterday's Navy Yard shootings, the president hoped to refocus Washington's attention on the economy, after weeks of distraction from Syria. He used the anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse to highlight the gains that have been made in the last five years, and how far the recovery still has left to go.


OBAMA: As any middle-class family will tell you, or anybody who's striving to get in the middle-class: We are not yet where we need to be.

HORSLEY: As he spoke, the president was flanked by people who've benefited from federal economic policies, including the Natalia Luis(ph), who runs a family-owned asphalt company in Maryland. The company took a big hit during the recession, and its workforce shrank by more than 60 percent. Thanks for federal loan guarantee, though, Luis was able to buy a new asphalt plant. And she's now adding between 50 and 100 workers.

NATALIA LUIS: There's one more business who, instead of being in survival mode, is now looking to expansion mode.

HORSLEY: Luis' company still has not rebounded to its pre-recession levels, though. She might be selling more asphalt if the president had not been stymied in his push for additional road projects and other public works.

LUIS: We cannot continue to ignore our infrastructure. If we do, it will be much more costly to repair in 10 years time than it is today.

HORSLEY: So far, the road back from the financial crisis has been long, bumpy and, for most Americans, incomplete. Unemployment has fallen, but it's still high. So those who are lucky enough to have jobs generally don't enjoy the bargaining power to push for higher wages. Income for most Americans has stagnated, even though profits and stock prices are up.

Josh Bivens tracks these changes for the left-of-center Economic Policy Institute.

JOSH BIVENS: We are far from recovered from the Great Recession. We're basically a third of the way back to where we should be, in terms of a full recovery. And we've got two-thirds of the way to go, even before we get back to the economic health of the mid-2000s, which actually was not spectacular for low and moderate income families.

HORSLEY: Obama has managed to push through some tax breaks, saying they're helping those families. But his proposals to raise the minimum wage and encourage union organizing have gone nowhere in Congress. With the federal government now divided between Republicans and Democrats, it's not only failed to drive economic growth, Bivens says, in some cases, it's actually pushed the economy backwards.

BIVENS: If you look even just specifically at the last time there was a debt ceiling showdown in August of 2011, it has turned out very badly. And hopefully, that lesson has been learned well as we reenter a new round of fiscal drama this coming fall.

HORSLEY: But longtime congressional observer Norm Ornstein, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, sees no sign lawmakers have learned from the 2011 showdown that rattled financial markets and cost the government its AAA bond rating.

NORM ORNSTEIN: I'm afraid we're playing not just with fire in this go around. We're playing with nuclear weapons. You hope that cooler heads will prevail. But I'm, you know, counting, and I don't see enough cooler heads.

HORSLEY: Some Republicans insist their price for raising the debt ceiling is suspending or eliminating Obamacare. That's a nonstarter for the president.


OBAMA: The Affordable Care Act has been the law for three-and-a-half years now. It passed both houses of Congress. The Supreme Court ruled that constitutional. It was an issue in last year's election, and the candidate who called for repeal lost.

HORSLEY: Obama plans more economic events all this week, including a meeting with business executives tomorrow and a visit to a Ford assembly plant on Friday.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.