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

49 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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Obama Has No 'Intention' To Strike Syria If Congress Says No

Sep 6, 2013
Originally published on September 6, 2013 11:22 am

"The president of course has the authority to act" even if Congress does not support his plan for a military strike on Syria, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier today.

But Blinken also said of the president that it is "neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him."

Blinken's reference to the president's intentions is getting attention because the question of what happens if Congress says "no" has been much debated since Obama asked lawmakers to give him the green light.

On Wednesday, as we wrote, the president said he did not ask Congress to authorize the use of force against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "as a symbolic gesture," but added that "I always reserve the right and responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security."

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET. Obama Is Asked About Blinken's Comment:

At a news conference now underway in St. Petersburg, Russia, a reporter just told the president that one of his advisers said today that it's "not your intention" to strike Syria if Congress opposes such action.

"I don't think that's exactly what he said," Obama responds, as he again declines to give a yes-or-no answer about what he will do if Congress turns him down.

Update at 10:22 a.m. ET. Will He Go Ahead If Congress Says No? Obama Doesn't Directly Answer:

Asked at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, whether he still might order strikes against Syria even if Congress does not give him the green light, Obama says he knew it was "going to be a heavy lift" when he asked lawmakers for such authorization. Then Obama says it would "be a mistake for me to jump the gun and speculate" about what would happen if his request is rejected.

Continuing on that subject, Obama adds that he didn't "put this before Congress just as a political ploy or as symbolism." But he does not give a flat yes-or-no in response to the question.

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