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

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NSA Head Admits Testing U.S. Cellphone Tracking

Oct 3, 2013
Originally published on October 3, 2013 12:53 pm



Top U.S. intelligence officials are now warning about the threat to security posed by the partial federal shutdown. It is now idling most of the civilian workforce in the intelligence community. This follows an earlier warning to Congress about limiting their ability to monitor phone and data traffic.

That plea began during a Senate hearing about possible changes to intelligence laws, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: At a hearing last week, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee voiced strong support for the monitoring efforts of the National Security Agency. But lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee are much more skeptical. Chairman Pat Leahy of Vermont made it clear he wants to shut down a program that collects most American phone records.

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY: Government has not made its case that bulk collection of domestic phone records is an effective counter-terror tool, especially in light of the intrusion on American privacy.

ABRAMSON: Intelligence leaders made a case they have made before, that the program is legal, and receives plenty of oversight, but their job keeps getting tougher, because leaks from Edward Snowden keep uncovering new allegations. Most recently, The New York Times said the National Security Agency was creating graphs of the social connections between American citizens.

NSA director Keith Alexander.

KEITH ALEXANDER: Those reports are inaccurate and wrong.

ABRAMSON: Alexander said the agency does use online information and social networks to help create maps of social connections, but only of foreigners with a connection to terrorism.

ALEXANDER: But what they jumped to is: Well, that must be on U.S. persons. That part is wrong. We don't do that. And the fact that people out there assume we are mapping the social networks of U.S. persons is absolutely wrong.

ABRAMSON: General Alexander said the agency did get permission in 2009, to investigate links to terrorism that include Americans as part of the chain. He said this new rule...

ALEXANDER: Allows the NSA to not just stop when we are tracking a terrorist if we hit a U.S. number, which is what we used to have to do.

ABRAMSON: But once again, just as he was trying to clear up one report, Alexander found himself faced with a new charge: That the agency has collected cell phone location information on Americans. The NSA director clearly wanted to tread carefully on this sensitive issue. He pulled out a written statement and read it.

ALEXANDER: (Reading) In 2010 and 2011, NSA received samples in order to test the ability of its systems to handle the data format. But that data was not used for any other purposes and was never available for intelligence analysis purposes.

ABRAMSON: Alexander would not rule out the possibility that NSA might need location information in the future. But he said he would go to Congress and the courts to get permission first. This has been a recurring theme at recent hearings. Alexander has denied NSA collects location information under current programs. It's not clear whether his statement at this hearing will put an end to concerns that intelligence analysts might see cell location as a rich trove of information.

Throughout the hearing, Alexander and director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned of the impact the government shutdown is already having on the intelligence community. Clapper said 70 percent of his civilian workers have been furloughed. He was asked whether the country is safe.

JAMES CLAPPER: I don't feel that I can make such a guarantee to the American people. And it will be much more difficult to make such a guarantee as each day of this shutdown goes by.

ABRAMSON: Clapper said he and his lawyers are trying to figure out exactly which workers can legally come into the office, to deal with any imminent threats.

Larry Abramson, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.