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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

5 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Harvest Brings Farm Families Together, Redefines Commitment

Oct 15, 2013
Originally published on October 15, 2013 5:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, here's a reality about farming. From the earliest days of this country, it's been an uncertain business, and for many decades, national policies have been designed to smooth out that risk. But, of course, the risk never entirely goes away. You can never control the rain, for example, and lately the uncertainty has been growing. Corn prices are down. The farm bill is stalled in Congress and there's a sense that good times may be fading.

From Nebraska, Grant Gerlock of NET News brings us his report.

GRANT GERLOCK, BYLINE: I'm standing in a corn field owned by the Friesen family in central Nebraska near the small town of Henderson. This field is about half picked, which kind of gives it the look of an unfinished haircut.

CURT FRIESEN: The truck drivers have the easy job.

GERLOCK: Sitting in the cab of his blue semi in a sea of yellow corn stalks, Curt Friesen says harvest is hectic, but its favorite time of year. From this truck, he choreographs a dance of people and machines between corn fields and grain bins. Everyone in the family has a job to do.

FRIESEN: Like my dad, he drives auger wagon. He drives auger wagon only and that's all he's done since 1976, I think, he's driven auger wagon for us. My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine. That's her job. She doesn't like driving truck.

GERLOCK: So Curt drives the truck. So does his son-in-law, who's new on the farm. That's how the Friesens are harvesting 1100 acres of corn this fall. Middle of the pack as far as farm size goes. And with roughly 97 million acres of corn to pick nationwide, this is how much of the crop will be hauled in, with farmers pulling in family and friends as part time help.

The Friesen's giant John Deere combine makes the corn stalks look like matchsticks. Nancy Friesen says it's stressful to be at the controls. These machines cost far more than most houses.

NANCY FRIESEN: It is a humongous piece of equipment and it's intimidating. Yeah, it's got lots of bells and whistles and lots of things that will tell you if something is going wrong.

GERLOCK: Most of the year, she's in the garden, not the field, but she feels some relief as she mows down the corn and watches the grain flow in.

FRIESEN: It is a good feeling when the corn is in the bin and we don't have to worry about it out here anymore. So many weird weather things can happen.

GERLOCK: For instance, last year's drought, the worst since the 1950s. Irrigation saved most of the Friesen's crop last year, but Albert Friesen, Curt's 92-year-dad, knows firsthand how disastrous drought can be at harvest time. I climb in the cab of the gleaming green tractor he's driving. When he started farming, he did this with horses.

In 1938, at age 16, he took over the farm after his dad died. The next year, a drought hit and a crop was ruined.

ALBERT FRIESEN: There was nothing here. Everything dried up and then I went to Minnesota to pick corn by hand.

GERLOCK: He brought home just $69 that harvest season, just enough to keep the farm. That was a tough year.

FRIESEN: But I think we're in for some tough times yet again.

GERLOCK: He could be right. This could be the biggest corn harvest in history, nearly 14 billion bushels, but it's not clear what it will be worth. After peaking last year, corn prices are around a three-year low, just as Jason Lewis is joining the Friesen family farm. He's the son-in-law I mentioned earlier. A year ago, Lewis, was in a college classroom, but not as a student.

He was the professor.

JASON LEWIS: Let's see. This time last year, I was at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and it's - I probably was teaching turfgrass science class.

GERLOCK: Now, the 35-year-old PhD from the small town of Kearney is hauling corn with earbuds on so he can listen to podcasts while he's in the field. During a break in the action, Nancy Friesen says she's grateful to have extra help on hand.

FRIESEN: I love it when I can hear Curt and Jason talking in the shop and he's got somebody to talk shop to. We love having the kids back. It takes the pressure off so much.

GERLOCK: But Nancy can't talk for long. It's time to start back up. Albert has an empty grain wagon. Jason has a truck to fill. She plunges the combine into the standing corn. The harvest grind will go on another four to six weeks.

FRIESEN: It's just pretty much harvest. I try to clear the schedule. I just figure nothing really happens in October.

GERLOCK: At least not until the last load of corn comes in. For NPR News, I'm Grant Gerlock.

INSKEEP: His story comes to us thanks to Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting project focusing on agriculture and food production. It's NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.