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.

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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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Talk Turns To Getting Assad To Give Up His Chemical Weapons

Sep 9, 2013
Originally published on September 9, 2013 2:53 pm

(1:45 p.m. ET: Since our original headline — "Russia Urges Assad To Cede Control Of His Chemical Weapons" — we've updated this post several times.)

Saying he hopes to "receive [a] fast and positive answer," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Russia believes a U.S. military strike on Syria can be averted if President Bashar Assad hands over control of his regime's chemical weapons to international monitors.

Lavrov said he made just such a suggestion in talks Monday with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.

The news from Moscow follows comments made earlier in the day by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said in London that Assad could head off strikes against his military assets if he turns over "every single bit" of his chemical weapons arsenal by the end of this week.

But, as The Associated Press adds, Kerry also said he does not expect Assad to do that.

Still, as the day went on there were some signs the idea was gaining momentum. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed it. British Prime Minister David Cameron said that if Syria put its chemical weapons under international supervision it would be "a big step forward." The Syrian foreign minister reportedly welcomed the Russian suggestion.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. ET, The Associated Press reported that the State Department said the U.S. will take a "hard look" at the Russian proposal. Minutes later, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told reporters that the Russian suggestion has been made in large part because of the pressure the U.S. is putting on Assad and that it's "important that we not take the pressure off." He added that it would be welcome news if Assad turned over his weapons in a verifiable manner.

The Obama administration says it has evidence that chemical weapons were used last month to kill more than 1,400 people in an attack near Damascus and that elements of the Assad regime were to blame. Assad has denied responsibility, most recently in an interview over the weekend with CBS News' Charlie Rose.

A German newspaper reported Saturday that German intelligence services picked up communications indicating Assad "did not personally order last month's chemical weapons attack ... and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months."

President Obama will have more to say about his administration's case during interviews with U.S. news networks Monday afternoon. He's also due to address the nation Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

The president and his aides have been pushing for support from Congress and the international community for strikes aimed at military targets inside Syria. If there's no military response, Assad will use chemical weapons "again and again and again and it's only a matter of time before [they] fall into the hands of non-state actors" such as al-Qaida, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told NPR on Monday.

Many U.S. lawmakers, though, make the case that the crisis in Syria does not pose a national security threat to the U.S. and that many of the groups battling the Assad regime are linked to terrorist organizations or other enemies of the U.S.

Russia is a long-time supporter of the Assad regime, to which it sells weapons. Russia also has a naval base on Syria's Mediterranean Coast.

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