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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Main Street Frustrated By Washington's 'Total Absurdity'

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on October 11, 2013 9:49 am

Steve Stevens wants politicians in Washington to know that the budget stalemate is having real consequences back home.

"There comes a point where they've got to know about the pain in their district," says Stevens, who is president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "We've got to put a real face on it."

That kind of argument isn't having much effect, at least not in his own backyard. The local congressman, Rep. Thomas Massie, is a freshman Republican who has remained an adamant supporter of his party's shutdown strategy.

A similar dynamic exists in many parts of the country. In bright red districts represented by fiscal conservatives who don't want to budge in battling President Obama's Affordable Care Act, local business leaders are increasingly upset about the economic fallout from the unending bickering in Washington.

At the national level, major business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Foundation, have all called on House Republicans to bring the shutdown to an end.

But Main Street isn't exactly up in arms and local chambers of commerce aren't quite willing to call for their congressmen's head — or even lead organized efforts to demand a deal.

"Quite frankly, I think that most people are disgusted with partisan politics and have stopped listening," says Charlotte Keim, president of the chamber in Marietta, Ohio. "Washington, D.C., is just so far removed from small-town America," she says. "It's difficult to have an impact over there until we can all band together more."

Frustration Factor

Stevens' office sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, where an IRS facility — the one that became infamous for singling out Tea Party groups for scrutiny — normally employs 4,000 workers.

For the chamber, the main concern is that most of them are out of work and not spending money. "Facilities that cater to them can never get that business back, despite the fact that those workers might get back pay," Stevens says.

Many business owners are worried less about the relatively minor effects they may already be feeling than the threat to consumer confidence posed by the possibility of a federal debt default, which would increase interest rates and cause financial markets to tumble.

"Many of them live for the fourth quarter," says Peter Turok, president of the chamber of commerce in Anoka, Minn. "This is a critical quarter for retail and you do not need the public worrying about this as we head into that all-important holiday shopping season. To have this hanging over the head of the potential customers is just ludicrous."

Turok says he can't enter a meeting with local business owners without hearing complaints about "the total absurdity" of what's going on in Washington. "I think everybody's in shock that it's gone on this long," he says. "The boys and girls in Washington have pulled their toys out of the sandbox and they're going to pout a little bit, but it's still going on."

Still, Turok says he hasn't heard of many people in his area picking up the phone and complaining to their representatives and senators, or the White House, for that matter.

Lingering Side Effects

Aside from the impact on consumer confidence and the drop in direct spending, businesses around the country are feeling the impact of the government shutdown in a variety of ways that unnerve local chambers of commerce.

The Small Business Administration is not making loans and a number of economic development centers that rely on federal funds have also temporarily closed shop.

The Commerce Department runs an international trade office that usually offers weekly advice sessions at the Houston West Chamber of Commerce. That office is currently closed for the duration.

"We have companies that schedule appointments with them and it's just shut down," says Jeannie Bollinger, president of the Houston West Chamber. "If they've got import-export issues, there's no one to talk to."

Bollinger says the shutdown has generated plenty of talk among her members — "it is partisan politics and everybody has an opinion," she says — but not much by way of protest or attempts at direct contact with politicians or their staffs.

Keim, who runs the chamber in Marietta, Ohio, says too few local businesses have felt a direct pinch from the shutdown to protest. But that may change.

"If we talk in a week or 10 days, there will be much more to say about it," Keim says. "When the pain comes, we'll all be screaming."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit