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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.

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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/.

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An Insider's View Of The Debt Ceiling And Shutdown Talks

Oct 14, 2013
Originally published on October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So what is going on behind closed doors? Just how do these top-level congressional talks work? We're going to get some inside dope now from a former insider, Jim Manley who was a top adviser to Senator majority leader Harry Reid and, before that, press secretary to Senator Ted Kennedy. Jim Manley, welcome.

JIM MANLEY: Thank you very much.

BLOCK: You know, we heard over the weekend that Senator Reid and the minority leader, Mitch McConnell, had spoken once by phone. They have met a few times today. But it doesn't sound like the really heavy, ongoing negotiation. Is most of these is carried out by aides, not by the players themselves?

MANLEY: Oh, au contraire. You could always tell when a negotiation is successful when nobody is talking. That's a classic Reid move. He doesn't like to do his negotiating in public. And so I took it as a sign, a positive sign, yesterday when there were very few, if any, details released about what he's talking about. He hates to negotiate in public.

BLOCK: Paint us a bit of a picture of what that room would look like as Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are meeting to try to hash through this. Who else is in the room? What's going on?

MANLEY: If there's anyone in the room, it's their respective chiefs of staff. Oftentimes, however, they conduct most of their negotiations in private. Both are men of very few words. Senator Reid always has the ability to cut deals there on the spot. Senator McConnell, one of the most cautious politicians I've ever met, always wants to take things back and review it with his kitchen cabinet and then later his caucus. So it takes a little bit longer than Senator Reid would sometimes want.

Senator Reid has no problem with going down to Senator McConnell's office. Beautiful suite, that's, you know, helps to strike the right vibe of, you know, the old school legislating from the yesteryear. He's got to walk down the hallway in this day and age, in the age of Twitter, there's no such thing as private meetings anymore. Every move is heavily scrutinized and/or then tweeted about. There's been times when I have had to bring Senator Reid backdoor to an elevator to have him escape the waiting press corps. But in this day and age, especially with the Twitter, it's very difficult to do. Thankfully, Twitter still can't reach into the inner workings of the negotiating process.

BLOCK: How different - based on your experience from your time in the Senate, how different is what's said for public consumption and what's said privately behind closed doors?

MANLEY: Oftentimes, a whole heck of a lot. The smart ones know that there's oftentimes a huge difference between the public jousting that goes on to assuage, you know, the concerns of the base in what is said privately. Bad leaders take into account the public rhetoric and react accordingly. The smart ones don't let that kind of outside noise bother them and they go about trying to cut the deal that, you know, they need to cut.

BLOCK: You know, there's been a lot written about the really poisoned relationship between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. It's on page one of The Washington Post today with the headline: can the Senate's dealmakers overcome their bitter rift? How key are personalities here, and in particular the personalities of these two men?

MANLEY: Absolutely crucial in the Senate, where unanimous consent is required for all but the most routine matters. There's no denying that there's been a furious back and forth between the two of them in the last year or so. From Reid's perspective, Senator McConnell has done everything he can to undermine the president's agenda. Senator McConnell would charge that Senator Reid is using heavy-handed tactics to get something done in the Senate.

But again, they have served as whips together. They have worked on legislation together. They served on the Appropriations Committee together, so I think there's at least a chance that they can cut a deal.

BLOCK: Jim Manley, former top adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and, before that, Senator Ted Kennedy. He's now with QGA Public Affairs here in Washington. Jim, thanks for coming in.

MANLEY: My pleasure. Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.