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

48 minutes 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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Mommy Issues, Or: It's Always Sonny In Cougartown

Sep 5, 2013
Originally published on September 9, 2013 10:48 am

Overused and much misused, the word "provocative" has become a double-edged sword, especially when it's swung in the direction of independent cinema. At its best, the genuinely provocative film — off the top of my head, anything by Bunuel, Shaun of the Dead, Holy Motors -- shocks in order to expand our vision of the world it encompasses. At its most dispiriting, it's an exercise in cheap thrillage, designed to goose a presumptively stuffy bourgeois audience while positioning a director as some sort of iconoclast. (Steve McQueen's Shame comes to mind, along with Leaving Las Vegas.)

But faux provocation is found most commonly and, perhaps, forgivably, among novice directors bent on getting noticed — and Anne Fontaine has no such excuse. The French filmmaker showed early promise with the goofily anarchic 1997 comedy Dry Cleaning, about an ordinary couple who become obsessed with a drag artiste.

The movies that followed (Nathalie, Chloe) lean toward the merely naughty, and Fontaine's latest, Adore, seems downright desperate to wave her fetish for "illicit" desire under our noses without having much to say about it.

Not having read The Grandmothers, the Doris Lessing novella that inspired the movie, I can't say whether the source material bears more or less of the blame. But Fontaine's treatment of this foray into cougar country plays like a romance novel from the genre's bodice-ripping margins.

To begin with, how painful is it to watch actors as intelligent as Naomi Watts and Robin Wright mug their way through the story of two hard-bodied middle-aged Australian besties, Lil and Roz, hitting the sack with one another's teenaged sons?

Tom (James Frecheville) and Ian (Xavier Samuel) are monosyllabic surfer dudes; having lost his father at a young age, Ian mopes around in a permanent broody funk, while Tom has no personality to speak of.

This is Fontaine's first English-language movie, and its credibility is not helped by Christopher Hampton's lame dialogue, which appears to have been drawn from a Harlequin tip-sheet. "What've we done?" "Crossed a line." "It can't happen again." "No, of course it can't."

The women snicker a bit about this, and about Roz's husband's suspicion that the two women are sexually involved: "He's not saying we're lezzos, is he?" they snort, and fall about laughing at the outlandish thought.

Then away they go again with the offspring, with frequent pauses to sun their four sated bods on an oceanside dock. Time stands still when the heart wants what it wants, and isn't that romantic and brave — so long as it stays heterosexual? And so long as the cougars are smart, the youngsters dim, and the middle-aged husbands and suitors just this side of pathetic.

There's a germ of genuine transgression to be located in this four-way affair, and it has to do with the overlap between maternal and carnal love. But it's less explored here than it is sidelined, not least by the camera's obsessive travel over the sons' gym-pumped torsos as they drape themselves around the house like off-duty calendar boys. Next of kin or no, what self-respecting mature woman would carry on with such vacuous himbos for more than a night, let alone several years?

After much shirt-removal, bun-baring and vigorous congress-having, all set against an idyllic background of sea and sand, the movie tacks hard into self-serious waters, piling on the consequences by the ton. The ocean begins to roil, Tom takes off for Sydney and finds a saucy nymph his own age to be boring with, and when Ian follows suit, the hand-wringing begins in earnest.

Will Lil and Roz pursue their forbidden passion to the bitter end, or settle for becoming the world's sexiest grannies? I'd tell you, but I'm not a hundred percent sure you're still with me.

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