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

52 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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March

Sep 9, 2013
Originally published on September 9, 2013 1:12 pm

Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.

"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist Gary King. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. But the effort to prune the Internet of certain kinds of information is unprecedented."

King has just completed two studies that peer into the Chinese censorship machine — including a field experiment within China that was conducted with extraordinary secrecy. Together, the studies refute popular intuitions about what Chinese censors are after.

The censors actually permit "vitriolic criticism" of China's leaders and governmental policies, King and his colleagues — Jennifer Pan and Margaret Roberts — found. But the censors crack down heavily on any move to get people physically mobilized to act on such criticism.

"What they're after is any attempt to move people," King says. "Any attempt to [motivate] collective action."

Susan Shirk, an expert on China at the University of California, San Diego, praised the rigor of the studies. The results also mesh perfectly, she says, with the notion that Chinese leaders desperately wish to head off another uprising along the lines of the 1989 protest at Tiananmen Square.

In an authoritarian state, Shirk says, leaders are often unsure about public sentiment because there are no elections or public opinion polls to gauge popular views about issues. Allowing criticism, she explains, is actually a smart, intelligence-gathering move: Should people protest against a local official, for example, top leaders monitoring the criticism could have the official removed, leading to greater faith in the regime.

King offered a couple of examples of how the censors work: A Chinese mother once protested a local official outside his hotel. Her demonstration led to sympathetic outrage on social media sites, but the action was almost entirely online — and that flurry of posts went uncensored, King said.

By contrast, after an earthquake damaged nuclear reactors in Japan, there was a run on salt in China, King says, because people believed — wrongly — that eating salt could protect them against disorders linked to radiation. People physically mobilized around the issue, and media posts that cataloged these activities were quickly censored, King said, because the online commentary corresponded to a physical, public presence.

King also looked at messages with a pro- or anti-government tilt that attempted to mobilize people: "If ... you say, 'Hey, let's go protest,' and have a whole bunch of people march on some government office, it will be censored," he says. "But at the same time, if you say, 'Let's have a big party for all the government officials who are doing such a great job,' and you are also able to move people, you will also be censored."

The reason, King says, is that people with the capacity to generate turnout for a pro-government rally might one day rally people for anti-government protests.

King's first study analyzed millions of posts across hundreds of Chinese websites. The second study, not yet published but recently presented at the American Political Science Association meeting in Chicago, described field experiments conducted inside China. King and his colleagues posted messages on the most popular social media sites and monitored the sites to see which posts got censored.

The researchers also created their own media site within China and received explicit instructions from authorities about what material needed to be taken down.

"If you actually make it impossible for people to learn about collective action events," King says, "if you make it impossible for people to learn about protest events, then people outside the government don't have the ability to move other people and [the leaders] can protect the regime much more."

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