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

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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.

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

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Jury: Concert Promoter Was Not Liable In Michael Jackson Death

Oct 2, 2013
Originally published on October 2, 2013 7:55 pm

A Los Angeles jury has found concert promoter AEG Live was not negligent in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson, who died of a sedative overdose four years ago.

Jackson's mother had sought $1.5 billion in damages — a figure AEG's attorney called "ridiculous" last week.

Reuters reports the jury ruled unanimously. The 12-person panel in the wrongful death lawsuit was made up of six men and six women, but only nine jurors were needed to decide the case.

The verdict ends a trial that lasted five months, with Jackson's mother and siblings accusing the concert promoter of negligence in hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a jury in 2011 for giving the pop star the sedative propofol, the drug blamed for his death.

Jurors deliberated for parts of two days last week before deciding to take a long weekend. On the eve of the verdict, here's how The Los Angeles Times summed up the dilemma the jury faced:

"What the case may come down to is whether jurors think that Jackson is to blame for his own demise by insisting on hiring the doctor who killed him, or that AEG Live executives were such poor witnesses that nothing they said can be believed."

Jackson died in June of 2009, less than a month before his blockbuster This Is It tour was scheduled to begin. AEG Live was the promoter of the tour's 50 concerts, which were billed as Jackson's first major tour since 1997. Two AEG executives were dismissed from the lawsuit last month after Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos ruled that the plaintiffs had not proven they were liable.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, argued that AEG Live erred in hiring Murray and failed to intervene on her son's behalf. The concert promoter maintained that it did not want to hire Murray, and that he was involved only at the singer's insistence. The company also said it didn't hire Murray, but had planned to advance the money for his $150,000 monthly salary to Jackson.

Some of the most potentially damaging material presented at the trial was a batch of emails between AEG executives that seemed to undermine their claims that they had little to do with Murray.

In his closing arguments last Tuesday, Jackson attorney Brian Panish reminded the jury of an email presented during the trial that was sent by AEG co-CEO Paul Gongaware. Panish said the message proves the company, which faced the possibility of steep financial losses, pressured Murray to ensure Jackson could perform on stage.

Here's how that email read, in response to concerns that the doctor had held Jackson out of a rehearsal less than two weeks before his death:

"We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him."

In a taped deposition, Gongaware said he couldn't recall writing the email.

In closing arguments for AEG, attorney Marvin Putnam said that Jackson was "responsible for his own choices — no matter how bad those choices might ultimately prove to be."

"It was Mr. Jackson, not AEG Live, that chose Dr. Conrad Murray," Putnam told the jury.

He also played a video for the jurors, showing rehearsals for the This Is It tour that were filmed on June 23, two days before Jackson's death. Saying that the video showed Jackson in good form, Putnam recommended that the jury request to see the full film — something they did on Friday, before adjourning for the weekend.

The jury also asked to see AEG Live's contract for Murray's work, the AP reports.

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