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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

5 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


FISA Court: We Approve 99 Percent Of Wiretap Applications

Oct 15, 2013

A letter (pdf) released today by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications. But for the first time, the FISC also says that it demanded changes to 24.4 percent of those applications before granting final approval (that's for a recent three-month period).

This is the court's way of saying, we are not a potted plant — or a rubber stamp, as some have alleged. We are reading these applications closely, and pushing back where appropriate.

But the letter also shows that the court could also be accused of operating hand in glove with government lawyers making these requests. Judge Reggie Walton says court legal staff "may meet with the government as often as 2-3 times a week..." to discuss whether privacy protections are adequate. That raises this question: Is this rigorous oversight, or does this close contact make the court more likely to grant final approval, albeit with emendations? Right now, the court only hears from the government, although as Walton notes, on a handful of occasions civil liberties groups have also filed motions with the court.

These details could be important as Congress decides whether to change surveillance laws so that a civil liberties advocate could appear before the FISC. Would such an advocate change the thinking of the FISC? Could an advocate possibly compete with the resources of the Justice Department? As we learn more about the workings of the once-secret surveillance court, Congress will have to decide whether an outside advocate is adequate to provide the oversight that lawmakers themselves have been slow to exercise.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit