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


Navy Yard Tragedy Elicits Muted Political Response

Sep 17, 2013
Originally published on September 17, 2013 6:17 pm

A gunman shoots up a military facility, kills a dozen people and puts a fair chunk of the nation's capital on lockdown.

The political response to Monday's massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington?

Measured, bordering on muted.

From the words of the president to those on both sides of the gun control debate, caution has been the rule, with even the sharpest partisans tending to hold their tongues in the hours still suffused with tragedy.

Granted, all the details of what allegedly set Aaron Alexis on his murderous spree are still being sorted out. But there are other reasons that the mass killing has engendered seemingly less outrage, less certainty of response and a struggle for the right questions to ask about guns and America.

The answer, in two words: Sandy Hook.

The massacre of 20 school children and six adult school employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last December took the nation to a place of horror that it had never visited.

Yet little has changed since, leaving the political component of the debate in an uneasy state.

"In terms of public policy, Sandy Hook generated a lot of activity, but it hasn't yielded anything yet," says Matt Bennett, a co-founder of the centrist Third Way think tank and a proponent of gun control measures.

National gun control legislation that would have expanded background checks and tightened restrictions on gun show purchases died in the Senate in April. The bill was supported by a majority of senators — 54 — but failed to hit the veto-proof 60-vote threshold.

And while at least eight states have tightened gun laws since Sandy Hook, more than that have eased their regulations. Two Colorado state senators who supported their state's new gun control laws were ousted last week in a recall election that attracted big money from both the pro-gun National Rifle Association and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control effort.

Sandy Hook may have set a new bar for gun-related tragedy, at least from a public policy standpoint: Massacres that involve fewer numbers and adult victims simply can't generate enough shock.

"A workplace shooting, no matter how big, just doesn't seem unusual enough to generate public response," Bennett says. "My view is there inevitably will be more of these."

Tragedies like those at Sandy Hook and the Navy Yard will have little policy resonance, he predicts, until there's one involving a perpetrator who gets a gun through a loophole in gun show laws or online.

"As long as they continue to get guns legally, or from family members, many people may think, 'What can be done?' " Bennett says.

The Sandy Hook shooter, who took his own life, got his guns legally from his mother, whom he also murdered. Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter who was killed in a gunbattle with police at the site, appears to have been in legal possession of the shotgun he brought onto the premises; officials say he later "gained access" to a handgun during the incident.

"If someone wants to propose a new restriction on gun ownership after a tragedy and cites that tragedy as a reason to pass it," says Jim Geraghty, a columnist with the conservative National Review, "it's necessary to show how that new restriction would have prevented, mitigated or impacted that tragedy."

"Almost none of the gun laws proposed after [Sandy Hook] would have changed much of anything in that particular shooting," he says.

Geraghty says there's no need for a new or renewed conversation about guns — that conversation has taken place and lawmakers rejected new restrictions on gun ownership.

Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence counters that the conversation must continue. Change comes slowly, he says, and the important conversations "should not just be driven by these high-profile tragedies."

"The conversations haven't stopped," says Nicole Hockley, whose son, Dylan, 6, was one of the children killed at Sandy Hook. "I don't share a sense of resignation. It is going to take a long time for these changes to happen, and this strengthens our resolve."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit