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.

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Qatar's Heat May Force World Cup Schedule Changes

Sep 25, 2013
Originally published on September 25, 2013 6:25 am



The global governing body of soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, has a big decision to make next week. Some in that group, known as FIFA, are rethinking their plan to hold the 2022 World Cup in the desert nation of Qatar in the middle of summer.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on what he calls the Confluence of Football and Fahrenheit.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: At 99 miles in length and 55 miles in width, the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar is sometimes spoken of in English media as being half the size of Wales. It is occasionally written about in the American press as being about the size of Connecticut. One thing that no one says about Qatar is this: Qatar is hot.

Of course it's hot. Deserts get hot, especially in June and July when the World Cup is played to take advantage of the lulls in the schedules of the world's most prominent soccer leagues. And yet FIFA, and some soccer-playing countries that are members of FIFA, seem to have suddenly realized that booking a huge tournament at a time when the average temperature is 106 degrees may not be such a cool idea.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, speaking to German media, admitted as much, saying...

SEPP BLATTER: (Foreign language spoken)

PESCA: It is possible to cool down stadiums but not an entire country, that's why FIFA needs to show the courage to play this World Cup in the winter.

Blatter went on to speak of...

BLATTER: (Foreign language spoken)

PESCA: Medical evaluations into the effects of football played there during the summer. We need to take health into consideration.

Almost three years ago Blatter was upbeat as he presided over the gala ceremony, where FIFA awarded the event to its first Middle Eastern host over other bidding nations like the USA.

BLATTER: The 2022 FIFA World Cup is Qatar.


PESCA: Obviously when the Cup was awarded the climate was much different - actually no, it wasn't. But the mood was. This was, of course, before still unproved allegations of bribery and nepotism surfaced over the entire bidding process.

Temperature was a bit of a concern in FIFA's decision, but the word "hotel" showed up 10 times as often as the word "hot" in FIFA's official valuation of the Qatari bid. We'll cool the stadiums, soccer's poobahs said. But now, UEFA, the European soccer federation, has expressed a desire to change the games to winter. But some Europeans, like the leaders of the powerful English Premier League, oppose a winter World Cup, which would fall right in the middle of the EPL season.

Other European leagues and the Australian league also don't want the World Cup disrupting their schedules. The USA's Major League Soccer doesn't play in winter but Sunil Gulati, the most powerful American in the sport and a member of FIFA's executive board, does worry that a switch to a winter World Cup would pit soccer against American football for TV viewers. The Qataris are also adamant that their home is up to hosting.

HASSAN AL-THAWADI: It is the right place. The Middle East is the right place. We represent the Middle East.

PESCA: Hassan al-Thawadi, who heads the Qatar 2022 organizing committee, told the BBC that he is open to moving the event to winter, but that no one will take the event away from Qatar.

AL-THAWADI: Every bid promise that we've proved during the bidding stage, we have worked very, very hard to ensure that we are within the rules of the bidding, within the rules of the hosting agreement, working very hard to delivering it - the commitment is there.

PESCA: Next week in Zurich FIFA will meet to decide on winter, summer or, as American Sunil Gulati advises, to postpone a decision, do some more research; to in effect, turn down the heat.

Mike Pesca, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.