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

49 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/.

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Istanbul, Madrid, Tokyo Vie For Olympics, But Is It Worth It?

Sep 6, 2013
Originally published on September 6, 2013 8:47 am

The International Olympic Committee will decide Saturday on the host of the 2020 Summer Games. Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo are vying for the honor.

As our reporters noted on Morning Edition, these are all world-class cities with strong selling points, but they also face some serious challenges.

Istanbul

NPR's Peter Kenyon reported this morning on some of the preparations in Istanbul, where there is optimism surrounding the games.

Turkey would be the first predominantly Muslim country to host the Olympics. But there are hurdles, too: "Violent crackdowns on street protests thrust Istanbul into the headlines this summer, and a doping scandal has rocked the country's sporting federation," Peter says.

And, he says, environmentalists and urban planners say the last thing Istanbul needs in more mega-projects.

Tokyo

Tokyo last hosted the games in 1964. Reporter Lucy Craft says the Olympics are a chance for Japan to show "it still matters."

Tokyo is one of the richest cities in the world, but the Japanese economy has barely recovered from nearly two decades of low growth. Lucy says:

"Saddled with a shrinking, graying population, living uncomfortably in the shadow of an ascendant China, Japan is anxious to prove it remains a contender. On the practical side, the Games were seen as a much-needed boost to tourism, for a country that is way off the beaten track and expensive to visit."

Madrid

Reporter Lauren Frayer says Madrid's residents are excited at the prospect of winning the games – amid a recession that has hit the country particularly hard.

The country's Olympics chief, Alejandro Blanco, says the games will jump-start Spain's economy. Lauren says:

"Madrid is littered with half-built stadia, housing and public parks left over from the construction boom-and-bust — which would be repurposed for the Olympics. Blanco says 80-percent of the infrastructure Madrid needs for the Games is already in place. So its bid comes in at around 3 billion dollars — one of the cheapest in Olympic history."

Spain last hosted the summer games in 1992, when they were held in Barcelona.

Is It Worth It?

The jury's out on whether mega-sporting events help an economy.

Writing in Quartz, Sidin Vadukut argues that major sporting events are bad for a country's economy. Citing a working paper from Oxford University's Said Business School, he noted every single Olympics in the past 50 years had overrun initial cost estimates by an average of 179 percent – yes, you read that correctly. (Though the British government says the 2012 games came in under budget).

"Instead of leaving a trail of broken economies and decrepit stadiums in its wake, why don't [soccer's governing body] and IOC simply do what so many other sporting bodies do: opt for permanent or semi-permanent venues," he wrote.

What do you think? Would you want you city to host a major international sporting event or build an arena with public financing? Let us know in the comments below.

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