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

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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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Obamacare Day One: A Tale Of Two States

Oct 2, 2013
Originally published on October 2, 2013 11:39 am

In a call center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., on Tuesday, all the workers wore the same T-shirt: "Keep Calm And Go Live."

They were ready and waiting to take calls from consumers who could buy health insurance on California's new insurance marketplace for the first time. So the T-shirts urged calm, but the mood was ecstatic and emotional among the architects and key backers who gathered to flip the switch on the Golden State's exchange.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state's exchange, addressed a cheering crowd in this Sacramento suburb and drew a stark contrast to the grinding politics of Washington, D.C., that shuttered much of the federal government.

"While Washington is talking about shutdown, we're talking about startup," said Lee, as he declared an end to the era of a punishing individual insurance market.

"Gone are the days of invasive questions when you apply for insurance about your allergies, your asthma, your diabetes, your cancer. Gone," said Lee. "You're never going to be asked that again. Gone are rates based on your answers to those questions."

On The East Coast

While the mood was equally buoyant at a Hampton, Va., rally, the circumstances for people wanting insurance in the state couldn't have been more different. At Enrollfest, one of the few Affordable Care Act events in Virginia, organizer Gaylene Kanoyton was quick to point out that "the state is not providing any resources. So, we just have to go ahead and move on. It is a grass-roots effort. It is up to all of us as citizens to come together."

Kanoyton managed to get a dozen local agencies, health centers and advocacy groups to set up tables at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in the southeastern Virginia city. She advertised the event in churches, community centers and on the radio, and says that some 400 people showed up.

Among them was Brenda Harrell, 57, a former hairstylist who's lived in Hampton all her life.

"I'm here to get some insurance, some coverage," Harrell said. "I've been out of work over a year, I have heart and respiratory failure, denied for Medicaid, and still don't have any coverage. I haven't seen a doctor for my breathing for over a year."

She brought along her portable oxygen tank. She has $19,000 in medical debt already and can't afford new tubes for the tank. She's just been using the same ones over and over, she says.

Now she has a glimmer of hope as she sits down with a certified application counselor from a local health center to help her sign up on the federal government's enrollment site, www.healthcare.gov.

But the site is overloaded. They try four times, but can't do much more than enter Harrell's name and set up a password. And even if they could, Harrell would still probably be out of luck. Her income is less than $10,000 a year — too much to qualify for Medicaid in a state that's not expanding the program, and too little for a subsidy to help her buy a plan on the exchange.

It will be a different story for people in similar situations in California. The state was an eager, early and bipartisan adopter of the Affordable Care Act, said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, a consumer advocacy group.

"We were the first state in the nation to set up an exchange, and that was under a Republican governor," Wright said. "Our bill to set up the pre-existing insurance program was co-sponsored by a Republican in our Legislature."

While 2.6 million uninsured Californians are expected to qualify for a subsidy to buy private insurance, another 1.4 million will be newly eligible for Medicaid. All told, there are 5 million uninsured Californians who will have to decide what kind of coverage they want to buy to comply with the law's mandate that they have health insurance.

Copyright 2013 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/.