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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
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Music Doc Packs 'Muscle' (Plus A Whole Lotta Soul)

Sep 26, 2013
Originally published on September 27, 2013 10:32 am

Most fans of '60s soul know of Muscle Shoals, the tiny Alabama town that produced huge hits. But only the genre's most studious followers will be able to watch Muscle Shoals without being regularly astonished: Even if it sometimes gets lost in its byways, Greg "Freddy" Camalier's documentary tells an extraordinary story.

There's a mystical aspect to the movie, which opens with arty nature shots and the voice of U2's Bono, bombastically extolling the magic of this backwoods arts colony. Muscle Shoals — where once were both shoals and mussels — is on the Tennessee, which local Native Americans used to call "the river that sings."

The overstuffed, somewhat baggy movie will return to such musings, but at this point Camalier wisely changes his tune — to the irresistible "Land of 1000 Dances." It's time to introduce Muscle Shoals' auteur, Rick Hall, who in 1960 founded FAME Studios, whose name is short for Florence Alabama Music Enterprises. He turns out to be as grandiose as Bono, if less upbeat.

The songwriter-producer-entrepreneur grew up dirt poor and suffered the premature deaths of his brother, father and first wife, as well as abandonment by his mother. A driven man, Hall over the years broke with many of his business and musical partners, yet never seems to have doubted he was right — about everything.

He started producing records with local musicians, including singers Percy Sledge and Arthur Alexander. His first crew of studio musicians left after a few years to become Nashville's top session players. Hall replaced them with another gang eventually known as the Swampers.

The first two groups had something startling in common: They were all white. But Hall had won the respect of Atlantic executive Jerry Wexler, and that label started sending the likes of Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to Muscle Shoals. After Franklin stiffed at Columbia with a series of prissy pop records, Hall and his players crafted the sound — Aretha calls it "greasy" — that made her a star. Soon enough, though, Hall and Wexler were feuding, and the Swampers were summoned to New York to record such sides as "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." (Wexler appears in the movie, but he doesn't talk about the quarrel.)

If Hall was sure he knew how to make hits, the Swampers were humbler. They played "head sessions" without written charts, and so didn't consider themselves pros. To this day less cocky than his old boss, Swamper Roger Hawkins recalls that Wexler told him he was a great drummer, "so I became one."

In 1969, Hawkins and three of his Swamper cohorts also abandoned Hall, starting their own studio. Paul Simon came there, looking for the black players who'd propelled The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There." (Actually, that was another Swampers session.)

Jimmy Cliff, Traffic and the Rolling Stones also visited, and all reminisce here. "Brown Sugar" was cut in Alabama, and Keith Richards says the Stones would have returned for Exile on Main Street, "but I wasn't allowed in the country at the time."

Meanwhile Hall assembled a new, interracial band to record songs that were commercially potent and yet — as the movie declines to mention — blander than what came before. FAME's 1970s clients included Tom Jones, Candi Staton, Clarence Carter, the Osmonds and more.

The cast of characters in Muscle Shoals is still more extensive, with interesting roles for Duane Allman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Grateful Dead's Donna Jean Godchaux — a FAME backup singer in the '60s — and Alabama Gov. George Wallace. While he was declaring "segregation forever," Muscle Shoals musicians were crafting an integrated sound that would prove far more enduring than the guvnah's defiance. (Recommended)

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