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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


The Road To Government Shutdown Was Paved By Summer Activism

Oct 17, 2013
Originally published on October 18, 2013 5:35 pm
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



Where did the shutdown episode and the dance on the brink of default leave the GOP? Tea Party conservatives are excoriating Senate Republicans who voted for last night's compromise to reopen the government and pay its bills. Has the rejectionist wing of the party peaked? Is it chastened by the experience of picking a fight and losing or is the good fight that House Republicans spoke of still in the early rounds, with more successful results to come?

Well, Sam Tanenhaus, of The New York Times, has written extensively about the Republicans and about American conservatism. And he joins us from New York now. Welcome to the program once again.

SAM TANENHAUS: Great to be here with you, Robert.

SIEGEL: Sam, the speaker of the House just spent a couple of weeks asking for things that he knew he couldn't get, backed by the threat of doing something that he assured the country he wouldn't do. What kind of conservatism or what kind of party leads one into that particular corner?

TANENHAUS: Well, you know, there are a couple of theories about that, Robert, that I'm sure you and listeners have heard. One is that John Boehner wants to hold on to his job and he listens very closely to his most activist, extremist wing. And the other is that maybe he wanted to give them enough rope to see where it would really lead them.

The Republican Party has been at odds with itself for many, many years, going back to battles between the moderate Dwight Eisenhower and the ideologue Robert Taft. What's different now is there seems to be a perception that they are a minority party now.

Rand Paul himself said after 2012, the Republican Party is no longer a national party. They will always have - or for the foreseeable future have - the ardent support of the people who put the particular legislators in office who dominated this debate. The question is whether they can expand that at all and how they will do it. And it's not clear that the ideologues really care whether they expand.

SIEGEL: Yeah. How do you understand, say, Senator Cruz in this case? Do you think that he literally doesn't care about the Republicans becoming a national majority party or that he really just sees the political landscape so differently that he thinks they're getting there?

TANENHAUS: Well, you know, that's the question, Robert. And I ask myself that a lot. There's a case to be made that if you have a party - in this case, the Republicans - who are not connected with the nation at large that you've kind of fallen to a defensive or survival mode. And you say, OK, we have to hold on to whatever we have, we can't see where else we're getting support, and at a time when our politics is not merely polarized but atomized - it's divided into various constituent groups - a case could be made that if you combine the Tea Party conservatives, libertarians and evangelicals, you put those three groups together, overlapping groups, you may have actually the single biggest constituency in American politics.

The problem is it doesn't build coalitions and become a majority. But as Ted Cruz, you can say, you know what, there are more people loyally supporting me than there are supporting almost anybody else. We are speaking to a kind of concurrent majority, in the phrase of John Calhoun, who is the ideologue or philosopher of a lot of this politics. That is the politics of the minority that governs as well or as much as it can.

SIEGEL: You mentioned Tea Party conservatives, libertarians and evangelicals. There are also a lot of Republicans, certainly officeholders - Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Boehner - who don't really seem to fit into any one of those categories but they've been synonymous with the Republican Party for many years. Do they have an idea, do they have a handle with which they can respond to groups that have more pointed, if narrow, messages?

TANENHAUS: You know, Robert, I'm not really sure they do. The problem Republicans have had really since the end of the New Deal - and we're going back now, you know, 80 or 90 years - is that they don't have an alternative way of governing that reinforces or fortifies the welfare state almost all of us really expect. Even Tea Partiers who say they don't like it, we know very well are not giving up their Medicare, they're not giving up their Social Security. And so the paradox for the Republicans is they want to make an anti or small government case to a population that really doesn't believe it.

SIEGEL: Sam Tanenhaus, thanks for talking with us once again.

TANENHAUS: Always a pleasure, Robert.

SIEGEL: That's Sam Tanenhaus, who is writer at large for The New York Times. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.