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

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Punk History, Embroidered Here And There

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on October 11, 2013 3:54 pm

Loose, lively and agreeably unsolemn, the alt-culture biopic CBGB is an account of that Manhattan punk-rock crucible whose audience will likely be even smaller than the crowd that actually went to the club in the 1970s.

That's because to really enjoy Randall Miller's film, viewers not only probably need to have experienced the club in its formative years; they'll also need not to be too terribly invested in their own versions of what happened there. This is not a film for purists or quibblers.

It's called CBGB because that name is more iconic than "Hilly," but the story's focus is Hilly Kristal, the club owner who believed originality took precedence over paying the rent.

Of course, there wasn't a lot of competition for property on the Bowery in 1973, when Kristal (Alan Rickman) renamed his bar after the genres he intended to present: country, bluegrass, blues. It was only decades later that CBGB succumbed to real estate development pressures. According to the movie's chatty end credits, 5,000 bands played at the place before it closed in 2006.

After Kristal failed to attract a trad-music audience to the Thunderbird-soaked, grime-streaked neighborhood, the club was claimed by young bands — Television, Patti Smith Group, Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads are among the most famous — whose diverse styles were eventually grouped under the rubric "punk."

The movie also spends a lot of time with the more generic if intriguingly disaster-prone outfit Dead Boys. Why? Because Kristal decided to manage them, a choice that — like so many of his — had no financial upside.

Much of the action turns on Hilly and the club's staff, a largely easygoing lot save for pragmatic daughter Lisa Kristal (Ashley Greene), who struggles with CBGB's chaotic finances. Also introduced are the mainstays of Punk magazine, including editor-cartoonist John Holmstrom (Josh Zuckerman).

Like most of the supporting characters, Holmstrom doesn't add much to the narrative, but his presence is the rationale for turning some of the scenes into Punk-style drawings or animated sequences; these are among the ways the director thumbs his nose at literalness.

Rickman is too theatrical, and too British, to vanish entirely into the person of Hilly Kristal. But he's entertaining to watch, and ultimately one of the more persuasive actors in a movie that suffers from as many odd casting decisions as Lee Daniels' The Butler.

Perhaps Miller invents a CBGB performance by Iggy Pop because the movie's Iggy — Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins — is more credible than its Lou Reed, Johnny Ramone or David Byrne. Better are Malin Akerman as Blondie's Debbie Harry, Stana Katic as singer turned producer Genya Ravan, and Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith. (A ringer for Sumner's real-life dad, Sting, also makes a brief appearance.)

Notable things and people are omitted, meanwhile, because the filmmakers couldn't get permission to include them; the movie's Ramones, for example, don't perform any Ramones tunes, a jarring exclusion.

Also problematic is that the actors lip-sync to slick studio recordings that don't particularly resemble the musicians's more ragged live performances. And some songs, notably Smith's "Because the Night," date from after the period the film depicts.

But then while many episodes in this episodic flick are based on real events, they're often poetically embroidered. The club did have a problem with leaks, but that doesn't mean Television's Tom Verlaine was hit by a stream of water just after he sang, "I was listening, listening to the rain." In a docudrama, such fibs would be inexcusable. But in a movie that's less historical account than way-off-Broadway musical, they're kind of fun.

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