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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Former Defense Dept. Lawyer Tapped To Head Homeland Security

Oct 18, 2013
Originally published on October 18, 2013 10:09 pm



President Obama today named former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson as his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would succeed Janet Napolitano who stepped down in August. The president said of Johnson, he's a cool and calm leader with experience running big, complex organizations. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, he'll need those skills to tackle what President Obama himself called a monumental task.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Homeland Security is a sprawling department with nearly a quarter million employees. It's responsible for everything from patrolling the border to cleaning up after hurricanes. Jeh Johnson has little experience with immigration or disaster response, but he's well versed in the national security parts of the job. Obama says his nominee believes in a personal way that keeping the country safe also requires protecting civil liberties.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Jeh understands that this country is worth protecting, not because of what we build or what we own, but because of who we are and that's what sets us apart.

HORSLEY: Johnson served during the president's first term as general counsel for the Defense Department where he handled legal review of drone strikes and also helped lift the ban on openly gay service members. After leaving the Pentagon last year, Johnson says he wasn't looking for another government job, but the Homeland Security post was an offer he couldn't refuse.

JEH JOHNSON: I am a New Yorker and I was present in Manhattan on 9/11, which happens to be my birthday. I wandered the streets of New York that day and wondered, what can I do?

HORSLEY: Despite his Pentagon background, Johnson has warned against relying too heavily on the military to fight terrorism. Elisa Massimino who heads the group Human Rights First says Johnson's commitment to the rule of law and civil liberties should also be an asset at the Department of Homeland Security.

ELISA MASSIMINO: I always felt that we had a fair hearing with Jeh and while we didn't always agree, we had an open discussion and he was interested and sought out our views and listened to our concerns.

HORSLEY: James Carafano of the conservative Heritage Foundation serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He says the new secretary will have to be a quick study given the department's wide ranging assignments.

JAMES CARAFANO: You go from zero to 60 very quickly. There's no hurricanes, there's five hurricanes. There's no terrorist attacks, there's a terrorist attack. And the thing that makes them maybe the most unique is really the diversity of missions and requirements.

HORSLEY: And Carafano says the department's job will only get bigger if Obama succeeds in his push to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.