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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Lobster Boy Looms Large In Food Stamp Debate

Sep 19, 2013

Before Fox News turned its cameras on him, Jason Greenslate was an anonymous Southern California beach bum, hanging with his surfer pals, playing in a demonstrably awful band and, in his words, "livin' the ratt life."

He doesn't work and gets $200 a month in food stamp assistance that he sometimes uses to buy lobster.

Which he did, for Fox's cameras, unapologetically.

"It's free food," said Greenslate, a dead ringer for the infamous slacker Jeff Spicoli in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. "It's awesome."

And so was born, in the conservative media crucible, the GOP's new face of American indolence.

For House Republicans, who this week will try for the second time in three months to cut farm bill funding for the federal nutrition program, it's a hard anecdote to resist.

After all, a subsequent Fox poll found that 91 percent of respondents said they have a problem with "an unemployed musician receiving taxpayer-funded aid because he doesn't want to take a regular job to pay the bills."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have cited Greenslate — or rather "young surfers who aren't working but cash their food stamps in for lobster" — in their push to cut $39 billion over the next 10 years from the nation's nearly $80 billion annual program.

Conservative websites have also had a field day with Greenslate's shiftless life motto of "cute chicks and doin' my thing," which intensifies Republican fears of a burgeoning dependency culture under President Obama and a social safety net that encourages able-bodied freeloaders to game the system.

Greenslate's benefit amounts to about $2.19 per meal, a calculation based on three meals a day.

As an able-bodied person under age 50, and with no apparent dependents, the San Diego surfer-musician would qualify among a group of Americans who became eligible for food stamps as part of the 2009 stimulus package.

Those who were newly qualified under the stimulus because of low income or unemployment now make up about 10 percent of the 48 million food stamp recipients. (The program is now known as SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.)

Nearly 90 percent of recipients have a dependent, whether a child, a senior citizen or someone with a disability.

When the House GOP helped defeat the $940 billion farm bill in June — or the "food stamp and farm bill," as some called it — the conservative Heritage Foundation characterized it as a "victory for taxpayers and a reaffirmation of fiscal responsibility."

Lobster, it should be noted, isn't the only pricey shellfish driving the debate about food stamp freeloading.

Back in June, before Greenslate was elevated as the embodiment of "The Great Food Stamp Binge," Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert shared a similar story on the House floor: the tale of a frustrated constituent who watched a fellow shopper use food stamps to buy king crab legs.

Shellfish. It's the new filet mignon.

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