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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Michel Martin's Movie Suggestions For Politicians

Oct 16, 2013

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, if I ruled the world - which I do not - I would have a list of movies that politicians and would-be-politicians and pundits would have to see before they get to weigh in on any topic that involves anybody other than themselves. Yes, of course, I have a list of books, too, that I would prefer that they read. And maybe a podcast or two that they would download - you can guess which ones. But I'm going to stick with movies for now because movies are the way that anybody can see the world. Now I'm not talking about documentaries, although this country has produced some great ones. I'm talking feature films, because many people will see a feature who wouldn't be caught dead in an art house theater watching a movie about race relations or the Holocaust or farm workers or space. But they will go see a movie and they will be changed.

The movies on my current list aren't necessarily the ones with the big ideas and soaring rhetoric or most exciting visuals, although some of them have that. They are the ones that show the day-to-day reality of being the object of forces bigger than yourself. And that's why "Schindler's List" is on my list. Not just for the incredible scenes at the death camps, but because it shows the day-to-day moments of desperate fear and petty humiliations that are the meat of the oppressed. Demian Bichir's "A Better Life" is on my list because it shows what life is like for illegal immigrants living in the shadows. And "The Children's Hour" is on my list because it shows you that the closet can actually kill that which it seeks to hide. "The Right Stuff" is on my list because it shows why it's important to dream, but why dreaming is not enough. And "Miral", a little indie film about a Palestinian orphan is on my list because, love it or hate it, it offers a version of history that most Americans never see or hear about. And now there's a new one to add to the list. "12 Years A Slave," which will be in theaters this week.

It's a film based on the true story of a free black American named Solomon Northup who was kidnapped from his home in New York, sold into slavery and survives - barely - to tell about it. Now I'm no critic, but I must tell you it's one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen that's almost unbearable to watch. And I say that because it exposes in graphic detail one of the ugliest chapters in our history. More than that, it shows the humiliation and degradation of utter powerlessness of being subjected to the roaming hands, the fits of rage, the petty resentments of another human being with virtually no recourse except death. All this in a nation that says it cherishes the freedom and equality of everybody. As I say, it should be required viewing before anybody throws around slavery as a casual metaphor again.

Now I'm saying this because Dr. Ben Carson, the renowned surgeon, compared the Affordable Care Act to slavery last week in his remarks to a conservative political group. Dr. Carson, like the president, is African-American. And, like the president, has a compelling personal story behind his professional success. But he's no fan of President Obama and he likes the Affordable Care Act even less. He said that Obama Care is, quote, the worst thing that's happened in this nation since slavery, unquote. He went on to say that, quote, it is slavery in a way. Can I just tell you - he has a right to his opinion, but if Dr. Carson were as careless with his scalpel as he was with his words, he would not be the famous figure he is now. The healthcare law may be many things, but slavery it is not.

Comparing a law to extend health insurance to millions of people who don't now have it through a combination of private insurance, government-sponsored exchanges, and expanded subsidies, however flawed it may be, is not a system for owning human beings in perpetuity. To subjecting them to forced sex, forced work, forced ignorance and utter brutality. In the words of a former colleague and mentor of mine, it is not that words fail - it's that we have degraded them. There are slaves in the world right now. They are trapped in brothels, in fishing boats, making bricks, tending children not their own. They are hiding in plain sight. Let's not degrade their suffering and the suffering of generations by equating it with our disagreements of the moment. And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.