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

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


Government Stays Closed As Spending Standoff Drags On

Oct 3, 2013
Originally published on October 4, 2013 11:38 am



Now we're going to sort through the various interpretations of what is or isn't going on to resolve the government shutdown with NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang. Hi there, Ailsa.


CORNISH: So we heard the congresswoman mention these various bills the House is pushing to fund different popular departments of the government. But at the same time, Senate Democrats are saying no to a partial government reopening. So how are they justifying that position?

CHANG: Well, they're basically saying it's not up to the House Republicans to pick which parts of the government get funded and which don't. I mean, the strategy here for House Republicans is to force Democrats into rejecting spending, specifically on things like national parks, veterans' programs, the National Guard, the NIH - stuff everyone agrees is very important. And Republicans have been trying to drum up a lot of emotion around these particular bills.

In fact, this morning, they held a press conference about NIH funding. And Republican Renee Ellmers, of North Carolina - who used to be a nurse - said it would be cruel to deny funding to NIH because the families seeking care there are families in really critical situations.

REPRESENTATIVE RENEE ELLMERS: If you've ever seen the looks on a parent's face when they're told that their child has cancer, and then you take their hope away, the moment that they know that they can fight for it, they will.

CORNISH: Meanwhile, Senate Democrats, I gather, have already acted to reject these funding bills?

CHANG: Right. Despite these emotional pleas this morning, a few Republican senators who had tried to bring up these individual bills one-by-one were blocked. Senate leaders rejected each of the proposals. And each time, these Senate leaders countered with their original proposal - the bill the Senate has already passed - that funds all of these governments - all of these programs, all of the government.

And Harry Reid, the majority leader, wanted to make it very clear on the floor today. Of course he wants to fund each of these individual programs the House wants to fund, he says. But, he says this.

SENATOR HARRY REID: But we also are not going to choose between veterans, cancer research, disease control, highway safety or the FBI. And we're not going to give a blank check to the junior senator from Texas to pick his favorite parts of the government on a daily basis.

CHANG: And there, Reid is referring to Republican Ted Cruz of Texas, who's been the main architect behind the strategy of using spending bills as leverage against the Affordable Care Act. Essentially, Reid is saying we will not give Cruz a veto over what gets funding in the government and what doesn't.

CORNISH: Ailsa, now the deadline for the debt ceiling is, of course, quickly approaching. October 17th is when the government will no longer be able to pay its bills. What are the chances this deadlock is going to head right into that debate?

CHANG: It's looking more and more likely at this point. You know, both the president and Senate leaders have said they are not even going to begin to consider negotiating until after the government re-opens and after Congress has authorized additional borrowing. So at this point, the spending bill and the debt limit are interlocked. In fact, Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York said earlier today that Senate Democrats are not budging on a clean spending bill, because everyone has the debt ceiling in mind.

If Senate Democrats relented on a clean spending bill, Schumer says this is what conservative Republicans would say.

SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER: The hard right says: See, by holding a gun to their heads, we got something we wanted. We'll up the ante this time. So it's not the specific proposal - device tax doesn't seem like that much of Obamacare - it's the method. We're going to threaten and shut the government down until you agree with us.

CHANG: And now there are some reports that Speaker Boehner might help Democrats raise the debt ceiling by relying on Democratic votes in the House, just as he did to pass the fiscal cliff deal and the Violence Against Women Act. But he hasn't explicitly said yet whether he's going to do that.

CORNISH: That's NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang. Ailsa, thank you.

CHANG: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.