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

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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

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Freighter Makes First-Of-Its-Kind Transit Of Northwest Passage

Sep 27, 2013
Originally published on September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

A Danish shipping company announced Friday the first-ever voyage of a large commercial freighter through the Northwest Passage — a journey made possible by the disappearance of Arctic ice due to global warming.

The 75,000 ton Nordic Orion, en route from Vancouver, Canada, to a port in Finland, completed the polar portion of the route this week. The freighter is scheduled to arrive at its destination, the Finnish port of Pori, on Oct. 7, according to Reuters. The ship is delivering coal to Ruukki Metals, a Finnish steel producer.

The news comes as a U.N.-assembled panel of scientists issued a report on Friday concluding that human activity "has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

The Globe and Mail says the Nordic Orion is "the first bulk carrier to make the voyage, which has lured explorers for more than a century and has long been eyed as a commercial route."

However, that the voyage is only possible because of climate change is not without irony. By using the Northwest Passage, the vessel took a 1,000 nautical-mile shortcut, bypassing the Panama Canal, saving time and money, and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions because of fuel savings, Sakari Kallo, senior vice president of metals production at Ruukki, tells Reuters.

"By using this route, the voyage is around a week shorter than using the Panama Canal, so overall we are paying less in freight costs," Kallo says.

Nordic Bulk Carriers, the Danish operator of the ship, says the shortcut allowed the ship to carry 15,000 more tons of coal than Panama Canal's depth limit would have allowed. The firm said the reduced time at sea will save $80,000 in fuel costs.

Even so, not just any freighter could have made the voyage, the operator says.

"MV NORDIC ORION is an ice-class 1A ship," explains Christian Bonfils, managing director of Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S, says in a news release. "These ships are designed and built to operate in the harsh conditions of the Arctic."

In March, we reported on a study which forecast that commercially viable trans-Arctic shipping lanes between North America and Russia or Asia would be open by mid-century. Smaller vessels have also begun to cross the region in the summer months, when there is less ice.

The successful passage by the Nordic Orion has sparked concern in Canada about Arctic sovereignty, The Globe notes, quoting James Given, president of the Seafarers' International Union of Canada.

"The Canadian government needs to take a firm stand on shipping via the Northwest passage in order to safeguard the environment and to enforce Canada's sovereignty," Given told The Globe in an email. "There must be a net benefit to Canada, and Canadian stakeholders in the shipping industry, not just an open door to Flag of Convenience Shipping to increase their profit margins by shaving miles off of their shipping routes."

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