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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Armies Can't Find Joseph Kony. Can Crowdfunding?

Oct 30, 2013
Originally published on October 30, 2013 2:23 pm

U.S. Special Forces haven't found Joseph Kony. Several African governments have searched in vain for the notorious Ugandan warlord. And a social media campaign among young Americans, which last year focused attention on Kony's atrocities and went viral, has waned.

But Canadian Robert Young Pelton, an adventurer/journalist/entrepreneur, thinks he can track down Kony in central Africa — and he's prepared to do it if he can raise $450,000 from crowdfunding.

Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, a brutal group that's terrorized Uganda and neighboring countries since the 1980s. The LRA is best known for kidnapping thousands of children and forcing them to become soldiers and sex slaves.

For years, Kony's brutality and the efforts to capture him received only episodic notice. But the Kony 2012 video campaign caused a major, if relatively brief, stir.

In addition, the U.S. has deployed 100 Special Forces to work with the armies in the region. The Washington Post reported this week that the hunt for Kony has intensified though his location remains a mystery.

Many believe he left northern Uganda long ago and may now be somewhere near by the rugged and remote region where the borders of South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo converge.

Pelton, the author of The World's Most Dangerous Places, sees these efforts by armies and do-gooders as misguided and thinks his solo effort — documented by two filmmakers — is a better way to go.

"All these actors have an agenda and they have limitations to what they are prepared to do, and they after a while start to benefit from the existence of Kony," Pelton told Foreign Policy. "It becomes a self-licking lollipop."

So here's his plan:

First, he needs to raise the money for Expedition Kony; the website breaks down all the expenses in a pie chart.

"There are no bracelets, no posters, no videos of cute children, just a group of committed individuals with professional support that want to locate Kony and turn him in," the site proclaims.

Pelton says he will stay in touch with his funders around the clock through social media. He'll even ask for guidance, and up to four major donors will be invited to join the hunt for two weeks.

But before making vacation plans, be forewarned: "The conditions in this region are atrocious with heat, pestilence, lawlessness, insects, poisonous creatures ... just about everything you have heard about Central Africa that should worry you is out there waiting."

Pelton says his team will work with local governments and the militaries that are tracking Kony. But he claims he has an advantage in being a small, nimble operation that can make use of local contacts that date back two decades, when he first turned his attention to Kony.

If Pelton locates the warlord, he says, "We will extend his group every effort to communicate with us and surrender peacefully."

As wacky as the plan sounds, Pelton does have a track record of introducing himself to bad actors in conflict zones all over the world for the past two decades, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia.

And one more thing. The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to Kony's capture.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit