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

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The Ins And Outs Of A Shutdown

Sep 29, 2013
Originally published on September 29, 2013 11:22 am



For more on the budget standoff, we're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: Sounds like this is happening, Mara. Are we on our way to a government shutdown?

LIASSON: I think we are on our way to a government shutdown. You just heard Tam say the Senate is going to reject this latest House version. It's going to come back to the House either late Sunday night or late Monday night. Probably not in enough time to avoid even a temporary shutdown. And the thing that's the most extraordinary about this whole spectacle is that the Republicans don't have their next step planned out. What are they going to do if they get it back? Are they going to pass a clean CR? I don't think that's possible. Speaker Boehner has decided that he has to throw his lot in with his Tea Party conservatives in the House or lose his speakership. And Democrats in the House don't seem to be in any mood to rescue him right now.

MARTIN: And the government shutdown isn't the only issue looming. There's the deadline to raise the debt ceiling - that comes up October 17th. Isn't that potential standoff actually a lot more significant?

LIASSON: It is a lot more significant. On Friday, the president said that breaching the debt ceiling would be an economic shutdown, not just a government shutdown. And all along, Speaker Boehner has wanted to fight on the debt ceiling, not a government shutdown. Government shutdown polls very badly. He thought that if he made the fight about the debt ceiling he'd have more leverage with the president because it is more catastrophic. But his conservatives didn't want to go there yet. They want to play out the string on the government shutdown.

One theory that's floating around Washington right now is that having a little government shutdown might make a default on the debt, a breaching of the debt ceiling, less likely. And that could be the less-bad outcome. A government shutdown would be cathartic, conservatives would get what they want and then maybe they could figure out a way to avoid a default, which would be much, much worse.

MARTIN: What about the president, Mara? At this point, he has refused to negotiate, especially on his health care law. Can he remain above the fray?

LIASSON: Well, let's be very, very specific about what the president has refused to negotiate on. He said he would absolutely not negotiate around the debt ceiling. He said Congress has already spent the money. It's their job to raise the debt ceiling so that we can borrow the money to cover the bills that they've already incurred. He said he will certainly not negotiate about Obamacare in terms of defunding or delaying it.

But he has said he would negotiate over the budget. Remember, every time we've gotten up to this brink in the past, we've talked about the grand bargain, where the president would agree to cut entitlements and Republicans would to raise some kind of tax revenue. Those talks have always fallen apart, but the president said he's still ready to cut entitlements if Republicans are ready to raise revenues, which they say they are not. There is a possibility that Democrats might negotiate in the end over this medical device tax. Right now, Harry Reid says, no, we're not going to include it in the CR, but in the past 33 Democrats in the Senate have voted to get rid of this tax, which is part of Obamacare.

So, that's the one tiny little piece of the healthcare law that maybe the president would be willing to negotiate on. But right now I think we're going to have to see what happens with the shutdown. Do Republicans take the blame, as polls suggest they will? And then deal with the potential default, which we know will hurt everyone politically, because that's what happened last time when we almost defaulted.

MARTIN: Hurt everyone politically. Is there anyone in this situation that benefits from what's happening right now?

LIASSON: Yes, actually. It's hard to believe, but I think Ted Cruz, who's been the leader of the stop Obamacare at any cost caucus, the guy who stood on the floor for 21 hours in the Senate, he has actually come out of this a political winner. Not with the media, not with his Republican establishment colleagues who consider him an annoying grandstander, but certainly with the Tea Party base of the Republican Party, the people who make up the Republican presidential primary electorate - his stock has soared. And you can see that Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, who are the other two senators who are considering running for president in 2016, they have been standing with Cruz all along.

MARTIN: NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson breaking it down for us. Thanks so much, Mara.

LIASSON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.