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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Questions For Oscar Martinez, Author Of 'The Beast'

Oct 24, 2013
Originally published on October 24, 2013 5:42 pm

Salvadoran journalist Oscar Martinez joins this week's Alt.Latino, kicking off an occasional series of interviews about culture, society and news.

Every year, tens of thousands of Central Americans — from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador — make a perilous overland journey to the United States. They travel north through Mexico to the U.S. border, riding on top of cargo trains known as "La Bestia" or "the Beast."

Martinez has ridden the Beast eight times himself, interviewing people on their way to the U.S. In 2010, his reporting resulted in a book, The Beast, which has just been published in English.

Alt.Latino host Jasmine Garsd had this to say about The Beast:

"A lot has been said about number and economic factors and the politics of undocumented immigration. This is a different take — Martinez traveled through unimaginably extenuating conditions undertaken by migrants en route through Mexico, and took the time to speak to them and ask what often gets lost in the debate — which is the simple question, 'Why?' "

We thought we'd ask Martinez a few questions about literature and the important books in his life.

What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with journalist-authored books?

I remember The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuściński, The Fall of Baghdad by Jon Lee Anderson, Operation Massacre by Rodolfo Walsh, and I remember devouring the chronicles of Alma Guillermoprieto for The Washington Post, from Central America. I remember this, and I forget a lot.

What should people read to better understand your work?

I would recommend people read Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario. I would suggest you find the photography book En El Camino by our colleagues at Ruido Photo, published by Blume Editorial. I would also recommend, at the risk of sounding egotistic (because I participated in this edition) that you look for the book Cronica Negras by Aguilar Press, where several of us try to explain why and how Central America is bleeding, what it is that so many are fleeing from, and what it is that expels so many towards that terrible journey through Mexico and to the U.S.

What were you reading, if anything, while you wrote The Beast?

I read many books, because it was more than two years of traveling and one year of editing, but I remember one in particular: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

What books or authors would you recommend to help readers understand Guatemala better?

I recommend that you read one of the most marvelous Latin-American writers, Salvador Salazar Arrué or Salarrué. I would beg you to find out more abut our murdered poet, Roque Dalton. I would be thankful, if you appreciate new Latin American chronicles, if you visit Sala Negra, by the newspaper I run, El Faro, which is a project that offers in-depth coverage of violence in Central America. And I can guarantee you that in 2015 we will be publishing an excellent book by a Basque-Salvadoran author named Roberto Valencia.

If you were sentenced to a desert island for many years and could take one book, which one would it be?

A) The Bible, that way I'd read it once and for all. B) Some compilation of all of Roberto Bolaño's books; I would die happy and without having finished it.

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