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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.

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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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Koch Industries Pushes Back Against Harry Reid

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on October 10, 2013 2:26 pm

Most business interests would do anything to avoid a public fight with the most powerful man in the Senate.

Not Koch Industries.

The privately owned conglomerate of conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch is busy trading volleys with Majority Leader Harry Reid in the battle over the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown.

What's unusual here is the word trading. It wasn't so many years ago that the Koch brothers and their company would have said nothing, just absorbed political slams without comment.

But that reticence has been steadily fading as political temperatures rise. And this week, when Reid accused the Koch brothers of leading a two-pronged campaign against the ACA and for a shutdown, it took less than a day for Koch Industries to punch back.

Philip Ellender, an executive at Koch Companies Public Sector, distributed a letter on Capitol Hill Wednesday, taking on what he called "false information presented about Koch [Industries] on the Senate floor by Senate Majority Leader Reid" the day before. Ellender expressed hope that Reid "and other politicians will stop misrepresenting and distorting Koch's position."

Reid, citing a New York Times article that ran Sunday, had attacked David and Charles Koch and said the brothers and former Attorney General Ed Meese led other conservatives in "raising and spending hundreds of millions of dollars" to fight the health care law and instigate the shutdown.

"By shutting down the government, and that's what happened, we're satisfying the Koch brothers and Ed Meese, but millions of people in America are suffering," Reid said.

Ellender's letter says that Koch Industries believes the ACA will increase deficits, bring down health care standards and raise taxes. But he wrote that Koch Industries "has not taken a position on the legislative tactic" of linking the government funding resolution to a provision cutting off money for the ACA, "nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare."

But that still leaves the political groups backed by the Kochs — and they haven't been so hands-off. Americans For Prosperity, which the brothers have long supported, has campaigned hard to repeal Obamacare. And Heritage Action for America, which spearheaded the defunding effort, got $500,000 in 2011 from Freedom Partners, a business association that's part of the Koch network.

Just to add to the Koch confusion, Michael Needham, the head of Heritage Action, was asked Wednesday about that $500,000 contribution: It came from the Koch brothers, he said.

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