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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Put Some Sizzle In Your Halloween Costume ... With Sausage?

Oct 23, 2013
Originally published on October 23, 2013 4:56 pm

Still looking for a Halloween costume that makes a statement? Look no further than your grocery aisle, if you dare.

Ever since Carmen Miranda danced her way onto the silver screen with a fantastical fruit-laden hat in the 1940s, food as costume has provoked reactions of both delight and horror.

Costumes made of real food have sparked discussions about race, hunger, vegetarianism, commercialism, sexuality, morality and the ever-popular female body image for decades. Here are a few of the more memorable examples.

Trying a fashion-forward tactic to protest meat eating, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals created the "Let Vegetarianism Grow on You" campaign in 2009, featuring an 82-year-old Cloris Leachman dressed in strategically placed red and green cabbage leaves fashioned into a ball gown.

Going green never looked so good, and cabbage is about the cheapest and most widely available vegetable around.

But for a really bold statement, there's the other of the spectrum: a raw meat outfit like the one Lady Gaga wore at the 2010 Video Music Awards.

While she acknowledged that wearing a meat costume could mean many things, Gaga says she was wearing it to protest the ban on gays in the military. "If we don't stand up for what we believe in, and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And I am not a piece of meat," Gaga told talk show host and actress Ellen DeGeneres at the time.

Still, as outrageous as the dress (and matching hat and shoes!) was, it was far from original. Critics called her out at the time as a copycat, noting the similarities between her look and artist Jana Sterbak's 1987 work Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic.

"The VMA garment of draped steak could be seen as a reflection of pop culture's cravings around exposed female flesh. At least, that was one way observers saw Sterbak's 50 pounds of raw flank steak, stitched together into a slowly rotting garment and displayed, to a sizable hue and cry, in a 1991 exhibition at Canada's National Gallery," wrote Los Angeles Times culture blogger Christopher Knight.

The Sterbak dress draws attention to our relationship with the aging of our flesh and our own mortality. Check out this fascinating video on how Sterbak's dress was created.

After Sterbak but before Gaga came the silly yet stylish website Hats of Meat, where people have posted pictures of themselves wearing — you guessed it — meat hats. This website appears to have been taken down, but if you Google "hats of meat," you'll still find unusual fleshy fashion, like a baseball cap made out of ground beef and a brisket yarmulke.

For a truly vintage look, there's always the deli department. This beauty, with hot dogs dangling from her wasp waist and wrapped around her graceful neck and arms, was crowned the Zion Meat Company's "sausage queen" during National Hot Dog Week in 1955.

For those of you more into the veggie look, you could always bury yourself in some spuds, like this lady, who is widely cited as 1935 Miss Idaho Potato. Or take haute couture inspiration from this gorgeous corn husk gown from the first season of Project Runway.

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