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

1 hour 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/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Lou Reed, Leader Of The Velvet Underground, Has Died At 71

Oct 27, 2013
Originally published on October 27, 2013 3:51 pm

Lou Reed, the singer and songwriter whose work as a solo artist and as the leader of cult-favorite band The Velvet Underground influenced generations of musicians, has died at age 71.

Rumors of Reed's possible demise have been circulating for the past week; his death was first reported Sunday by Rolling Stone. The magazine notes that he received a liver transplant earlier this year.

Update at 3:45 p.m. ET: Reed's literary agent, Andrew Wylie, has confirmed to NPR that Reed died Sunday morning at 11, of complications related to his liver transplant. We've made slight changes to this post to reflect that confirmation. Our original post continues:

Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1942. The musician's official Facebook page didn't announce his passing overtly, choosing instead to post a photo titled "The Door" Sunday morning. More than 1,000 notes of condolence and grief soon followed.

Reed's songs as a guitarist for The Velvet Underground and later during his solo career blended art and noise in deceptively simple combinations, with his New York-inflected voice telling stories of street deals and odd characters.

"One chord is fine," he said of his approach to the guitar, in Rolling Stone's obituary. "Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."

In a remembrance of Reed, NPR's Neda Ulaby quotes his Velvet Underground co-founder and longtime collaborator John Cale explaining that the band didn't care to make things easy for their listeners:

"We were not user-friendly at all," Cale told NPR in 2000. "Anyone listening to a bass guitar and regular guitar coming out of the same amp — it couldn't have been a really great listening experience."

Along with Cale on viola, bass and other instruments, the band's core personnel included drummer Moe Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison. Bassist Doug Yule later replaced Cale in the lineup.

The band's first two albums, The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) and White Light/White Heat (1968), became touchstones of art-rock for generations that followed. A third self-titled album, produced without Cale, included the mournful "Pale Blue Eyes."

In a career that spanned New York's Andy Warhol-era experimental art scene and included the unlikely hit "Walk on the Wild Side," Reed never lost his sense of urban grit and cool.

"Walk on the Wild Side came from Transformer, Reed's second solo album that was produced by David Bowie and released in 1972. On the strength of that single and songwriting gems such as "Perfect Day" and "Satellite of Love," the album cemented Reed's status as a star whose music will be played for decades to come.

As Neda reports, "Walk on the Wild Side" was Reed's only Top 40 hit; the song's iconic bass line has been sampled and evoked by musicians producing everything from rock and club music to hip-hop.

Reed is survived by his wife, the musician Laurie Anderson; the pair wed in 2008.

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