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

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In 'Rush' As In Real Life, It's The Driver, Not The Car

Sep 20, 2013

You might think that if the driving scenes in your auto-racing movie are the least interesting thing about it, that's a problem. But it's far from a sign of engine trouble for Rush, a swift-moving, character-rich biopic whose kinetic Grand Prix sequences are constantly being overshadowed by genuinely riveting scenes of ... people talking.

But then in a film written by Peter Morgan — of The Queen and Frost/Nixon -- maybe it's no wonder that questions like why they drive, why they want to win and who they want to beat take center stage.

Rush investigates the psyche of the professional race driver through personal moments on the way to loss and victory, and specifically through the twin lenses of Englishman James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda, whose considerable talents (and egos) led to an intense rivalry that defined Formula One in the 1970s.

Lauda and Hunt meet in Formula Three, a kind of farm-team race circuit in which Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), as the movie opens, has already developed a reputation as an incorrigible ladies' man and a racer with a near-reckless desire to win. He lives for the thrill of facing death and barely dodging it, and Hemsworth makes his brash, devil-may-care swagger thoroughly seductive, even as you're aware of the downsides of a thrill-seeking personality.

The Salieri to Hunt's Mozart is the coldly calculating, no-nonsense Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), whose personality repels most everybody even as he backs up his matter-of-fact confidence with results. The Austrian's serious-mindedness means he barely even shows off, instead putting in the hours training his body and examining every inch of his vehicle to tweak it for maximum speed.

As the tactless and nearly charisma-free Lauda, Bruhl clearly relishes playing up the character's off-putting qualities, demonstrated best when Lauda moves up to the Formula One class, signs with the prestigious Ferrari team and begins berating the crew with claims that their decorated car handles like a cow. Disgusted by Hunt's braggadocio and lack of professionalism, Lauda makes it a point in every race to edge out the Englishman, who naturally loathes Lauda's approach to the sport.

Covering 6 years and two world-championship contests, Rush tracks a narrow enough time frame to delve deep into Hunt and Lauda's ambitions, personal lives and perspectives on racing. Each makes sacrifices to do what he does, not the least of which being the choice to commit to a job that can make you feel alive right before it kills you.

Director Ron Howard doesn't shy away from the incredible danger in the sport, lingering on gruesome images of driver injuries and deaths long after it's been communicated that something terrible has happened. It's a choice that may antagonize (or nauseate) some audiences, but it seems intended to do so — to bring drivers otherwise seen distantly on a TV screen into focus as humans.

Howard chooses a few moments to let the film breathe, but for the most part — aside from a clunky first-person narration that book-ends the film — he propels Rush from scene to scene with a momentum that never lets the thing drag. It's forgivable but still perplexing, then, that the director isn't quite sure how to best evoke a race on screen. Is it in the firing of the engine? The face of the driver? Their point-of-view? In the motion of the tires? The grass blowing by? Or is it the crowd watching from the stands?

For Howard, the answer is everything, in rotation. It makes for a lively experience, but one that hasn't decided whether to embody what it means to watch a Formula One race or to drive in one.

The pleasure of seeing Lauda and Hunt square off drives the film satisfyingly forward, but it's the pleasure of seeing Hemsworth and Bruhl play with such expertly characterized and contrasted characters that elevates Rush from a story of a sporting rivalry to a fuller portrait of complex individuals. Drastically different in attitudes, Lauda and Hunt often appear to be two sides of a coin — Hunt could benefit from Lauda's discipline, while Lauda desperately could use Hunt's ability to enjoy himself.

Yet you get the sense that their excesses are what make them special. Balance those qualities, and they wouldn't be the fierce competitors they are. It's a rare biopic that can distill the essence of its subjects with such satisfying clarity. (Recommended)

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