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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Foundation To Pay Military Death Benefits During Shutdown

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on October 10, 2013 7:39 am



On a Thursday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The remains of four American service members were returned yesterday to Dover Air Force Base. They were killed in Afghanistan.

GREENE: The United States had committed to look after their families, as it has cared for families for generations. It was Abraham Lincoln in 1865 who called for the United States: To care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and orphan. His words are now the motto of the United States Veterans Affairs. But in this case, an immediate death benefit was not paid to the families because of the partial government shutdown.

INSKEEP: This is one of two federal obligations we'll hear about today that have now been taken up by private citizens. We start with NPR's Tom Bowman.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Since the shutdown began on October 1st, 26 service members have died; six of them in Afghanistan, most in the U.S. from a variety of causes - car accidents, for example.

When a member of the military dies, whether in combat or not, the family is paid a $100,000 death gratuity. It's supposed to come within three days and help defray the costs of travel or a funeral. But the government shutdown halted the death benefits for service members including the ones brought home to Dover yesterday.

The controversy surfaced Monday. Pentagon officials announced they had no authority to pay the benefits to survivors. That led to families telling their stories and officials scrambling for a solution. Senator John McCain, of Arizona, said members of Congress should be embarrassed and ashamed by the suspension of death benefits.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday that Congress was told about the problem before the government closed.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: Congress was informed, as it was informed of all of the consequences of a shutdown.

BOWMAN: And Carney said that President Obama had ordered Pentagon and budget officials to come up with a solution.

SPOKESMAN: When he found out that this was not addressed, he directed that a solution be found and we expect one today.

BOWMAN: For its part, the House voted unanimously on Wednesday to restore the survivor death benefit. But the vote wasn't necessary. By day's end, there was a solution: The death benefits will be paid during the government shutdown by a private non-profit group called the Fisher House Foundation. The foundation provides housing, so relatives can be close to wounded service members at military hospitals.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the foundation will be reimbursed once the shutdown ends.

Tom Bowman, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.