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/.

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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, A 'Kingmaker' In Israeli Politics, Dies

Oct 7, 2013
Originally published on October 12, 2013 9:49 am

Israel is mourning a legendary political and spiritual figure, after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died in Jerusalem on Monday. He was 93.

The longtime spiritual leader of Sephardic Jews, Yosef also was a founder of Shas, the ultra-Orthodox political party that has played crucial roles in governing coalitions. The daily Haaretz called him a "kingmaker of Israeli politics and Jewish law."

In a statement expressing "deep sorrow" over Yosef's death, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "the Jewish people have lost one of the wisest men of this generation."

"I very much appreciated his convivial personality and his directness. In my meetings with him, I always learned very much," Netanyahu added.

Widely acknowledged as a religious scholar, Yosef gave a sense of unity and political purpose to Israel's large community of Jews who come from Arab or North African backgrounds. The rabbi was born in Baghdad in 1920, and his family moved to Jerusalem when he was a little boy.

The New York Times gives us a sense of the man:

"Clad in his distinctive uniform of turban, gold-embroidered robe and dark glasses, Rabbi Yosef embodied a particular blend of religion, tradition, populism and ethnicity. As the leader of a Sephardic council of Torah sages that founded Shas in the early 1980s, he harnessed the underdog sentiment of many non-European Israeli Jews, restored their pride and turned them into a potent political force."

Yosef made a striking impression on his country's political scene in the early 1990s, when he declared that under Jewish law, Israeli officials could cede land in a peace agreement if the move would protect lives — an issue that has been the subject of heated debate. When the Oslo Accord between Israel and the Palestinians came up for a vote in 1993, Yosef's Shas party abstained, aiding its passage.

In later years, he was widely seen as becoming more conservative in his views. And the outspoken rabbi also famously called several other leaders "evil" — including Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.

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