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

5 hours ago
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Friday Morning Political Mix

Oct 18, 2013
Originally published on October 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Good morning.

As post-shutdown Washington struggles to squeeze itself into its ill-fitting "new normal" suit, this amazing, dispiriting, baffling week finally comes to a close with some same-old, same-old.

Republicans are refocusing on undermining Obamacare (which is doing a pretty good job of that on its own).

Democrats are taking gleeful potshots at Republican opponents who carried the banner for the failed shutdown/debt crisis strategy.

And the American people, particularly Republicans who say they see their ideals being undermined by incompetent Capitol Hill strategy, are left shaking their heads.

We'll start with the GOP's intraparty recriminations, which continue apace.

Here's what Matias Elliott, a Colorado Springs taxi driver, told the New York Times: "It's stupid that you shut down the economy just to get Obamacare off the list. Get Obama out of there, and get your candidate in there."

Noah Bierman and Tracy Jan report in the Boston Globe today that the motivated Tea Party base mainstream Republicans were happy to have in their corner in recent elections, has come to bite them in the behind.

They write: "The ironies are rich. Many in the mainstream GOP fed off the Tea Party movement's considerable passion in 2010 and 2012. Now those same Republicans face an environment in which, according to national polls, the entire party is suffering from a backlash over the fiscal showdown."

And over at Politico, Maggie Haberman and Anna Palmer find that some big GOP donors are lamenting the events of the past several months. They're also fretting, the reporters say, about the business community's diminishing influence and "rising clout of groups like the Senate Conservative Fund, which have run ads against incumbent Republican senators for not taking a hard enough line on the shutdown."

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats have been licking their chops, relishing the aftermath of the debacle - and no one more than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In post-crisis/on-to-new-crisis Huffington Post interview, Reid called Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the standard bearer for the failed GOP defund-Obamacare-or-else strategy, a "laughingstock to everybody but him." And, Reid, not a doctor, diagnosed Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter, who proposed stripping congressional workers of employer-provided insurance subsidies , as "not playing with a full deck."

Democrats have also immediately gone after the guy who, with Reid, brokered a final-hours deal to end the shutdown and avert default - Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In emails to McConnell's home state Kentuckians, who will decide next year whether to return the incumbent to the Senate, Democrats had this to say: "McConnell's shutdown hurts Kentucky, creates disastrous political consequences for himself..."

In his own exit interview, McConnell, who faces a primary challenge, told the National Review that there will be no more shutdowns. "A government shutdown is off the table," he said. "We're not going to do it."

Cruz subsequently said, essentially, no guarantees.

Cruz also blocked the nomination of Democrat Tom Wheeler to Federal Communications Commission chair. Reuters reports that he "held up the vote over questions about the FCC's power to enforce disclosures of who sponsors political television advertising."

And, finally, the GOP push to cripple Obamacare moves to the House, where the Energy and Commerce Committee announced it would hold an Oct. 24 hearing on the health care system's disastrous launch.

Republican strategists are enthusiastically circulating accounts of the trouble-plagued program. Here's one from Wisconsin, where the state's insurance commissioner says fewer than 50 residents have signed up. Worth noting that Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker declined to have his state set up its own exchanges, choosing to rely instead on the national exchange. Next-door Minnesota, with its own state-based exchange program, has signed up more than 5,500, Gannett reports.

Republicans have also begun to highlight their weeks-long campaign to oust Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius, who has overseen Obamacare's rollout. Here's NPR's report.

To wrap up for the week, we'll let Chicago Sun Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet tell you how "Obama's a sore winner."

We'll have Edward Snowden tell you that, really, he took no secret documents with him to Russia.

And have NPR's Marilyn Geewax fill you in on how declining gas prices, below $3 a gallon in some parts of the country, are giving the economy a boost.

Happy weekend.

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