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.

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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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

Pages

Job Growth Was Disappointing, But Some See Reasons For Hope

Oct 22, 2013

When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.

Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.

The Labor Department said employers added 148,000 jobs last month — the 43rd straight month of growth. The unemployment rate slipped to 7.2 percent, down a 10th of a point from August. Still, the number of people with paychecks remained lower than before the Great Recession, with many potential workers not even in the game. They were sitting at home, rather than trying to find jobs.

The report showed labor-force participation was unchanged in September at 63.2 percent, but that rate's "long-term decent will continue" unless employers give sidelined workers more reason to resume job searches, Doug Handler, an economist with IHS Global Insight, wrote in his assessment.

Still, beneath the disappointing data, one could find some reasons for optimism in the new year. For one thing, economists are virtually unanimous in saying the relatively weak labor market makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will continue its efforts to stimulate growth.

Throughout the recession and weak recovery, the Fed has used all of its monetary tools to push down interest rates. One of those efforts involves a bond-buying program that has the effect of restraining long-term interest rates. In June, the Fed indicated that U.S. economic growth was getting strong enough that the central bank might begin to "taper" down its stimulus effort.

But given this month's economic disruptions caused by the federal government shutdown — combined with last month's sluggish job growth — the Fed probably will not act until 2014. "A December taper remains possible, but now is increasingly unlikely," Handler said.

Translation: Interest rates probably will still be low on home mortgages come spring.

Meanwhile, the September jobs report showed an increase in construction jobs, up about 20,000 workers. A separate report Tuesday from the Commerce Department showed that in August, private residential construction spending hit the highest level in five years.

So the real estate market may look pretty good for the spring buying season, with fresh inventory and cheap mortgages. A surge in homebuying would boost growth for lots of Americans, in construction, retail, landscaping and so on.

But that optimism assumes Congress will avoid another shutdown and debt ceiling crisis this winter. Congress has set a schedule for itself to complete a budget in January and resolve debt-ceiling issues by Feb. 7. If those federal fiscal matters are resolved in the winter, the economy could brighten with the blossoms. "Job growth should be stronger in 2014 as the drag from fiscal policy on economic growth lessens," PNC's Faucher said.

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