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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Cuban Defector Yasiel Puig Ignites Los Angeles Dodgers

Sep 24, 2013
Originally published on September 24, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, in trying to make a comeback, Blackberry might learn something from the Los Angeles Dodgers. A few months ago they were in last place. Now the Dodgers are heading to the playoffs. The team includes a Cuban defector, Yasiel Puig, Dodger number 66. Here's NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, BYLINE: First off, not every ball player has his own theme song.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MERAJI: Twenty-two-year-old rookie Yasiel Puig has been in the Majors for less than four months.

VIC JACOBS: June 3, 2013 will be a date forever in the minds of all Dodgers fans. That was the day Puig entered the Dodgers in San Diego and the magic began.

MERAJI: Well-known LA Sports Radio personality Vic "The Brick" Jacobs calls Puig's debut Christmas Day for the Dodgers. Here's even better know sportscaster Vince Scully announcing Puig's first at bat against the San Diego Padres.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAME BROADCAST)

VINCE SCULLY: The young fella out of Cuba making his major league debut.

MERAJI: You can hear the hesitation in Scully's voice. Nobody knows if the right-fielder is going to be able to perform under Major League pressure.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAME BROADCAST)

SCULLY: So we will see. (Unintelligible) ready in the two-two pitch, swung on. He's got himself a major league hit.

MERAJI: Next game, Puig hits his first homerun in the Majors; seven homeruns and 16 RBIs in his first month.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAME BROADCAST)

SCULLY: The Wild Horse has done it again.

MERAJI: Vince Scully nicknamed Puig the Wild Horse. He can throw a runner out at home from deep right field without hitting a cutoff man. He slides into base with so much force, you think he's gonna break something.

DON MATTINGLY: Yasiel, I think, was kind of a turning point because he did bring an energy to our club, and I think a lot guys fell right in line with that.

MERAJI: That's Dodger manager Don Mattingly. For somebody who has to manage that kind of passion, how has it been for you personally?

MATTINGLY: Oh, a learning experience, it's good. Puig University, I tell everybody I go to every day.

MERAJI: Puig University, a diplomatic way of saying the school of hard knocks where you learn to discipline a phenom who doesn't always listen, stealing bases when he's told not to, throwing long when he shouldn't. On field he's exuberant and pouty, and the sports media has taken notice.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Now the question is, are we starting to hate Yasiel Puig?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He's now sort have been synonymous with being a little bit abrasive.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: The blessing of the season, Yasiel Puig. The biggest Dodger curse, Yasiel Puig.

MERAJI: But there's one voice missing in this whole conversation about Yasiel Puig. (Speaking Spanish)

YASIEL PUIG: Yasiel Puig.

MERAJI: (Speaking Spanish)

PUIG: En Cuba.

MERAJI: On the field, he's an extrovert. Off, he's reluctant to talk to the media. But after a lot of back and forth, Puig said yes to this interview and I was hoping to get a sense of who he really is, wild horse, Dodger curse or otherwise. We met at the apartment he shares with his older cousin in downtown L.A. and when I asked him if he has a best friend here in the U.S...

PUIG: (Speaking Spanish)

MERAJI: He says Ramon, because that's his cousin and he always cries when he beats him at Playstation. Yep, this is the 22-year-old that has the sports media in a tizzy. A flat screen hooked up to a Playstation is the centerpiece of his furnished corporate apartment. Not much decoration here save a couple of bottles of unopened Cuban rum and a bobblehead of, you guessed it, Dodgers number 66, Yasiel Puig.

PUIG: (Speaking Spanish)

MERAJI: Puig says his game day routine is simple too. He goes into the kitchen, says good morning, makes breakfast and plays Playstation till it's time to go to the stadium. I tried to squeeze a story out of him, something personal. I asked him if he remembered his first homerun in Cuba.

PUIG: (Speaking Spanish) No, no remember.

MERAJI: I asked him what he misses about Cuba.

PUIG: (Speaking Spanish)

MERAJI: He told me he misses his house and friends a little, but he's feeling a lot of love here because the Dodgers are winning. Puig doesn't say much more about Cuba. He defected to Mexico in 2012 and shortly after signed a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Dodgers. He had three pairs of boxer shorts with him then. Now he's a millionaire and one of the favorites for National League Rookie of the Year.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MERAJI: If you meet Yasiel Puig in person, he seems less like a wild horse and more like a typical 22-year-old guy who likes singing along to his favorite songs from back home, texting furiously on his phone, and of course playing video games, which he'll most likely be doing right up until it's time to leave for his first playoff game in the majors. Shereen Marisol Meraji, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.