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

Santorum Shows He'll Fire Back In Michigan Ad Wars

Feb 19, 2012

The rise of Rick Santorum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination hasn't exactly gone unnoticed by rival Mitt Romney or his friends. Turn on a TV in Michigan this weekend, and chances are you won't have to wait long to see an ad attacking the former Pennsylvania senator.

"America is drowning in national debt," a narrator intones in one ad, a product of Romney's campaign. "Yet Rick Santorum supported billions in earmarks."

Meanwhile, the superPAC that backs Romney, called Restore Our Future, is behind an ad that focuses on who has "the right experience."

"Romney rescued the Olympics," the ad says. "Santorum was in Washington, voting to raise the debt limit five times."

But unlike the other GOP candidates who at one time or another emerged to take on Romney, Santorum and the superPAC supporting him seem to have the resources to fight back. The battle is taking place on the airwaves in Michigan, which along with Arizona holds its presidential primary Feb. 28.

Economic Attacks

It's no coincidence that both the Romney and the Restore our Future ads go after Santorum for his fiscal views. Unlike former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Santorum has no real personal baggage.

But after 16 years in Congress, he does have a lengthy voting record. Paul Freedman, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, says it gives Romney plenty of ammunition, especially on economic issues, which he's been using in his ads.

"We see images of budget deficits, deficit clocks. We see counters counting off the number of bills that, according to the Club for Growth, Rick Santorum supported that included increases in spending," Freedman says. "So we see this concerted effort by Romney, through his ads, to make the case that Santorum's not the real conservative when it comes to fiscal issues."

But Santorum and his backers have been putting up a fight.

A Focus On Values

The superPAC that supports Santorum — the Red, White and Blue Fund — has reportedly bought $650,000 worth of air time in Michigan, to augment the $400,000 the Santorum campaign has spent in the state. While that's far less than Romney and his superPAC are spending, it allows Santorum's backers to run ads touting his values — such as one that calls him a "proven conservative."

"Rick Santorum: Father. Husband. A champion for life. The leader with a bold plan to restore America's greatness," it says.

Another ad on the air in Michigan features lots of pictures of Santorum with his family. While that's almost a campaign cliche, Freedman says it serves Santorum well.

"He's telling people that he is a family man. He's telling people that he has family values and he's making connections to the people of Michigan — the Michigan Republican primary voters — on the basis of these values and on the basis of his connection to his family," Freedman says.

Of course, Romney is also a family man trying to connect with Michigan's primary voters. We'll find out Feb. 28 who does the better job.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.