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

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/.

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Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles

Sep 5, 2013
Originally published on September 9, 2013 8:24 am

The percentage of middle and high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes more than doubled in a year, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who had ever used e-cigarettes increased from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those who reported currently using the devices increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent.

Based on the numbers, the CDC estimates that 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide have tried e-cigarettes.

"The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.

E-cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes, but they don't burn tobacco. Instead, the battery-powered devices use water vapor to carry nicotine into a person's lungs and bloodstream. So the e-cigarettes don't produce tar or carbon monoxide.

The companies that make the devices say they are safer than regular cigarettes and can help smokers stop using them. But some health officials say that remains unclear.

"We don't yet understand the long-term effects of these novel tobacco products," Mitchell Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.

Public health officials also worry e-cigarettes could lead teenagers to use tobacco products. In the new survey, three-quarters of students said they also smoked conventional cigarettes.

"Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes," Frieden said in the news release.

E-cigarette makers say they don't market to kids. But, like little cigars and cigarillos that are popular with young people, e-cigarettes come in flavors like cherry, strawberry, vanilla and cookies and cream.

Altria, which recently entered the e-cigarette market, issued a statement in response to the CDC report. "We do not want kids to use e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product," the statement said, adding that the company supports legislation that establishes minimum age limits for the purchase of e-cigarettes.

"About 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers," said Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "We must keep our youth from experimenting or using any tobacco products. These dramatic increases suggest that developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales and use of e-cigarettes among youth is critical."

The new data come from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which surveyed youths in grades 6 through 12 across the country about their use of cigarettes — both electronic and tobacco-filled.

Among middle-schoolers, those who reported ever using e-cigarettes increased from 1.4 percent to 2.7 percent while those reporting currently using the devices rose from 0.6 percent to 1.1 percent. Among high-schoolers, those who reported ever using e-cigarettes went from 4.7 percent to 10 percent, while those currently using the devices jumped from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent.

E-cigarettes aren't subject to the same restrictions that apply to tobacco cigarettes. There are no extra taxes or restrictions on advertising or selling cigarettes individually. There's also no age limit. Minors are free to buy e-cigarettes in stores and online.

"These findings reinforce why the FDA intends to expand its authority over all tobacco products and establish a comprehensive and appropriate regulatory framework to reduce disease and death from tobacco use," Zeller said.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.