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

5 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Report: Meat Producers Ignore Pleas For Health, Environmental Reform

Oct 24, 2013
Originally published on October 24, 2013 10:41 am

Five years ago, a landmark report excoriated the animal agriculture industry's practices and laid out a road map for how it could do better. But in the years since, the problems are just as bad — and maybe even worse.

That's the conclusion of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. This week, the center scolded the industry again with a review of how it has fared in the years since the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production released its original report.

"From a regulatory, or legislative, standpoint, we have actually regressed on many of these issues in the last five years," says Bob Martin, who served as executive director of the original Pew commission, which included policymakers and scientists. Martin is now a program director at the Center for a Livable Future.

Though the Pew commission is not a foodie household name, its 2008 report has subtly shaped many consumers' view of how our food animals are produced. It's not the rosy view — it's the highly critical one.

Back then, the commission identified the most worrisome systemic problems of producing 9.8 billion food animals every year in the U.S. It called out the animal agriculture industry for the excessive use of medically important antibiotics, particularly the industry's habit of giving animals low doses for nontherapeutic uses like growth promotion.

It also hammered the conventional system of handling of liquid waste from huge animal operations, and standard industry practices of confining animals in gestation crates and battery cages. And it called for enforcement of antitrust laws to restrict the concentration of the industry into a handful of companies that would have inordinate sway over the marketplace.

This year, the Center for a Livable Future set about to examine the impact of the original Pew report. The findings, released Tuesday, largely denounce the industry and the government agencies responsible for regulating them for not heeding the 2008 recommendations.

Martin says that while some companies have made strides in improving animal welfare, the overall trend is that the health, environmental and economic problems are getting worse.

Specifically, he says, the industry has failed to eliminate the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics — though the Food and Drug Administration has restricted the use of some specific drugs and set voluntary guidelines.

On the animal waste issue, Martin adds, the Environmental Protection Agency has not followed through with its promise to do a full inventory of waste practices and enact higher waste storage and disposal standards at concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, that the commission had recommended.

The meat industry, meanwhile, argues that it has made significant progress in improving its health and environmental impacts. The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a trade group representing various livestock interests, put out its own counter-report on Monday, heralding advances in animal care, responsible antibiotics use, food safety, environmental sustainability and industry research initiatives.

The pork industry also seemed peeved at being called intransigent by the commission. In a statement, the president of the National Pork Producers Council called the Pew report "wrong in every aspect."

The Hopkins research center, meanwhile, says the industry has resisted reform by lobbying hard against stricter regulatory requirements.

"I think that the power of the industrial animal agriculture sector is almost overwhelming," Martin says. "These are very powerful private companies that give large campaign contributions and can influence legislators."

The government agencies responsible for policing the cattle, poultry and swine industries on health, the environment and conglomerations have thus been hampered in cracking down, he says.

"The solution to the system being dysfunctional is not to keep putting a Band-Aid on it," says Martin. But the newest report notes that economic strains on the industry do not bode well for reform.

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