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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Government Workers Must Get The Wheel Turning Again

Oct 17, 2013
Originally published on October 17, 2013 10:23 am



OK, with the government funding and debt ceiling deal now reached, passed and signed, government agencies are set to reopen. But don't expect all federal offices to take your calls just yet. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: University of Alabama geologist Samantha Hansen has been conducting a research project in Antarctica that, in one way, is like most everything else, funded by the federal government. After 16 days down, it's going to take some time to restart.

SAMANTHA HANSEN: It's not just like flipping a switch and getting the system running. There's a lot of cogs in the machine, so to speak.

NAYLOR: Hansen and her team deployed 15 seismic monitors in an area called the Transantarctic Mountains, hoping to learn more about how they were formed. Her team now needs to go down there and check the monitors, but even when funding resumes, it won't be simple.

HANSEN: They sent everybody else home, and right now, there just isn't the people in the infrastructure there to get science off the ground. So they'd have to kind of bring all of those people back in, get things up and running, get, you know, planes and other equipment down there.

NAYLOR: Hansen's work is perhaps a bit more exotic than most of what the government does on a daily basis. But her story isn't that much different from what a typical government staffer now faces: how to get the wheels turning again. First is the issue of how to even find out if you're supposed to come back to work. Jessica Clement is with the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

JESSICA CLEMENT: Everyone has BlackBerrys now, right? Everyone works on their phone all the time. Your iPhones are constantly connected. If you're a furloughed employee, you had to leave those at the door. You can't check your BlackBerry. So it's not like your, you know, your manager who's non-excepted and has been working through the furlough can email you and say, hey, time to come back to work.

NAYLOR: Lee Stone is a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center.

LEE STONE: This is almost amusingly silly, because NASA, of course, is shut down, and so its websites are shut down and its email is shut down.

NAYLOR: Stone says NASA employees have been given a special number they're supposed to call twice a day to find out if the government is operating again, and if they should return to work. Supervisors at some agencies will be using phone trees to call employees or sending emails to their personal email accounts. Government employee unions will also spread the word on their websites. Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, says she thinks most offices will be understanding when it comes to getting their workers back on the job.

COLLEEN KELLEY: More than anything, most agencies that I've talked to recognize that employees have really been through an unbelievable, you know, number of weeks here, and through no fault of their own. And so I think they are looking to, you know, try to make this as easy a transition as possible.

NAYLOR: Kelley predicts a hectic first day back on the job at most agencies. Stone, the NASA researcher, says more like hectic first couple of weeks.

STONE: We're going to be striving to get back on our original schedule. But it's really very disheartening to know how pointless it was to be in the position that we're in today.

NAYLOR: Possibly the only thing more disheartening would be to have to go through all this again when the temporary funding bill expires in January. Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington.


In the Arkansas River Valley, farmer Robert Stobaugh(ph) is also worried about the backlog created by the government shutdown. He's busy harvesting rice and soybeans. The timing of that work is crucial, and the timing is off, because he's been waiting on approval from federal inspectors who have been furloughed. Stobaugh says the end of the shutdown doesn't mean his wait is over.

ROBERT STOBAUGH: Well, it's just going to mess up the timing of it all. You know, we'll have to get in line behind everybody else that's in the same situation that we are. You know, they're going to have all this backlog of work that they have not been able to do because they've been on furlough. And, you know, when you're working within the confines of Mother Nature in the farming business, sometimes she's not all that cooperative.

MONTAGNE: That's farmer Robert Stobaugh, in the Arkansas River Valley. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.