Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

48 minutes 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/.

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

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

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Iran's President Wished Jews 'A Blessed Rosh Hashanah.' Or Did He?

Sep 5, 2013
Originally published on September 8, 2013 10:12 am

It sounded a bit far-fetched, and perhaps it was.

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map. But his successor, President Hassan Rouhani, considered a relative moderate by contrast, has taken a somewhat softer tone. So, when Rouhani allegedly tweeted the following, it quickly became news:

Several news organizations, including CBS, MSNBC and The Washington Post, picked up the story.

However, it's unclear whether the tweet really came from Rouhani. The account above appears at first blush to be legitimate, with some 30,000 followers (although many of them apparently have begun following in the last several hours). Also, there's another account for "Dr. Hassan Rouhani" that also looks and feels legit.

In any case, the Fars News Agency, considered Iran's leading independent news agency, quoted presidential adviser Mohammad Reza Sadeq throwing cold water on the authenticity of the message:

President Hassan Rouhani "does not have a tweeter account," Sadeq said, explaining that "proponents and fans of Mr. Rouhani were active in the cyberspace during the recent presidential election in Iran and used many web pages with titles similar or close to Mr. Rouhani ('s name) to run their activities."

Sadeq added that "any official news on him (the president) is released by the presidential office" and that "only the news released through this conduit is official."

In late August, the same Twitter account that's generated all the buzz had Hassan Rouhani condemning Syria's use of chemical weapons and inviting the international community to take action against Damascus.

It all comes amid another exchange of tweets getting lots of attention on Thursday — between a day-old account purportedly belonging to Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Twitter user Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It went like this:

Update At 4:10 p.m. ET:

Robin Wright, a journalist and foreign policy analyst at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Institute, tells NPR's All Things Considered that both Twitter accounts in question are in fact authentic.

Asked by ATC host Melissa Block whether we know that the account attributed to Zarif is real, she says "we do, because I asked him myself."

Wright says she's known Zarif for some two decades and she contacted him via email and confirmed the authenticity of the exchange with Pelosi.

As for Rouhani's account, Wright says has identified it as one of two real accounts used by the president's office.

"[It's] the one that we've been following since the spring and has been carrying the kind of interesting messages about outreach to the West," she says.

Alireza Miryousefi, the head of the press office at the Mission of Iran at the United Nations related for the The Two-Way an interview Zarif conducted with (the official) Iranian News Agency (IRNA):

Miryousefi quoted Zarif as saying: "[Jews] are a minority [in Iran] ... they have their rights ... and we congratulate [them on] their new year. He [also said that] we condemn [the] Jewish massacre by Nazis as we condemn [the] Palestinian massacre by the Zionists."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.