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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Obama Sticks With 'No Ransom' Strategy, Comes Out Ahead

Oct 17, 2013
Originally published on October 17, 2013 10:23 am



Throughout the battle over the government shutdown and debt limit, President Obama repeated his view many times: So long as Republicans were threatening default, he would not negotiate.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head.

INSKEEP: That strategy paid off for the Whitehouse, but it's not a strategy the president comes by naturally - as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: President Obama arrived at his no negotiation approach, only after painful episodes when he did bargain with Republicans in the past. Shortly after his party's shellacking in the 2010 midterms, for example, Obama agreed to extend Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. Fellow Democrats complained loudly that he'd given away the store, but with the economy still crawling out of recession, Obama said, he couldn't take the chance of a prolonged political stalemate.

OBAMA: I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed, then people will question the wisdom of that strategy.

HORSLEY: In that Christmas 2010 agreement, Republican and Democrats both got some of what they wanted. Obama scored a payroll tax cut and other benefits for the middle class. It's a classic example of what Robert Mnookin of the Harvard program on negotiation calls the Obama bargaining style.

ROBERT MNOOKIN: President Obama's natural inclination, in my view, is to really try very hard to understand the other side's perspective, try to reach common ground. On the other hand, I think that he took a beating, you know, in these earlier negotiations.

HORSLEY: The low point came in the summer of 2011, during an earlier showdown over the debt limit. That confrontation brought hiring to a standstill, cost the government its AAA bond rating and ultimately produced the painful cuts in discretionary spending known as the sequester. It's also when the president decided he would never again negotiate with the threat of a government default hanging over his head.

OBAMA: At some point, we got to kind of break these habits and get back to the point where everybody understands that in negotiations there is give and there is take and you do not hold people hostage or engage in ransom taking to get 100 percent of your way.

HORSLEY: That hard line of the president's was backed up this fall by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. He was every bit, a former boxer, as he brokered the final agreement.

SENATOR HARRY REID: I appreciate through all this the steady hand of President Obama to help guide us to this conclusion.

HORSLEY: Still, the president's no negotiation strategy was not without risk. The government was shut down for 16 days and the Democrats did not escape blame. Republican House Speaker John Boehner tried to paint the president as the one who was being unreasonable.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: The president's position that, listen, we're not going to sit down and talk to you until you surrender, is just not sustainable. It's not our system of government.

HORSLEY: But as the unpopular government shutdown dragged on, polls show the public heap most of the blame on Republicans. And in the end, with the threat of a government default looming, it was the Republicans who blinked.

JACK PITNEY: The president pretty much stuck to his guns and the approach worked.

HORSLEY: Political analyst Jack Pitney of Claremont McKenna College knows Republicans won no major concessions on Obamacare, despite the political beating they took. In fact, thanks to the distraction of the government shutdown, they missed a golden opportunity to shine a critical spotlight on the deeply flawed rollout of the new health insurance exchanges.

Pitney says Republicans will have to ask themselves whether it's worth trying this tactic again.

PITNEY: The president won this confrontation. Everybody knows it. And the Republicans aren't eager to get beat up again. Some of them will want to confront the president again, but I don't think most Republicans want to have a January that resembles their October.

HORSLEY: The real test of the president's strategy, then, is whether there's another round of brinkmanship this winter. Texas Senator Ted Cruz promised to continue his campaign against the healthcare law, but asked by a reporter last night if we'd be doing this again in a few months, Obama said simply, no. Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.