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/.

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Latest MacArthur Geniuses Include Sound Savior

Sep 25, 2013
Originally published on September 25, 2013 11:59 am

This year's 24 recipients of MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" include a physicist whose work was inspired in part by an NPR report he heard a decade ago.

As Carl Haber of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains in a video posted by the foundation with Wednesday's awards announcements:

"About 10 years ago, I happened to hear a report on NPR about the Library of Congress and their large collections of historic sound recordings, which described them in some cases as being delicate, damaged, deteriorating and so forth."

What he did then was apply some of the same optical equipment his lab uses to obtain images of subatomic particle tracks to extract "high-quality sound from degrading or even broken analog recordings" without actually touching those recordings. That allows the sound to be saved without causing further damage to the original recordings.

The MacArthur Foundation explains the process this way:

"A disc or cylinder is placed in a precision optical metrology system, where a camera following the path of the grooves on the object takes thousands of images that are then cleaned to compensate for physical damage; the resulting data are mathematically interpolated to determine how a stylus would course through the undulations, and the stylus motion is converted into a standard digital sound file."

Among the audio that's been preserved thanks to Haber's technique: a recording of Alexander Graham Bell's voice.

Haber and the others being honored will each receive "no-strings-attached" stipends of $625,000.

All Things Considered is scheduled to air a conversation with Haber later Wednesday.

This year's other MacArthur geniuses, with links to their bios:

-- Kyle Abraham, choreographer and dancer

-- Writer Donald Antrim

-- Organic chemist Phil Baran

-- Paleobotanist C. Kevin Boyce

-- Physician Jeffrey Brenner

-- Behavioral economist Colin Camerer

-- Jeremy Denk, concert pianist and writer

-- Psychologist Angela Duckworth

-- Craig Fennie, materials scientist

-- Historian Robin Fleming

-- Vijay Iyer, jazz pianist and composer

-- Dina Katabi, electrical engineering and computer science professor

-- Medical historian Julie Livingston

-- Agricultural ecologist David Lobell

-- Playwright Tarell McCraney

-- Susan Murphy, statistician

-- Neuroscientist Sheila Nirenberg

-- Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky

-- Ana Maria Rey, theoretical physicist

-- Fiction writer Karen Russell

-- Astrophysicist Sara Seager

-- Immigration lawyer Margaret Stock

-- Carrie Mae Weems, photographer and video artist

Note: As NPR listeners know well, the MacArthur Foundation is one of NPR's financial supporters. Most recently, as the MacArthur website says, it awarded NPR $3 million between 2010 and 2013.

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