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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Sarin Attack On Syrian Civilians Is A 'War Crime,' U.N. Says

Sep 16, 2013
Originally published on September 17, 2013 6:09 am

Chemical weapons were used in Syria "on a relatively large scale" on Aug. 21, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a report by U.N. inspectors Monday. The attack killed civilians, "including many children," and constitutes a "war crime," Ban wrote. He expressed his "profound shock and regret" at the findings.

Ban received the report over the weekend from professor Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, who headed the inspection team in the incident that took place near Damascus. The secretary-general briefed the Security Council on the report earlier Monday.

In the report, Sellstrom wrote that "environmental, chemical and medical samples, we have collected, provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used" in several neighborhoods in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

Saying that the act violated a 1925 prohibition on the use of poison gas in warfare, Ban wrote, "The international community has a moral responsibility to hold accountable those responsible and for ensuring that chemical weapons can never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare."

The inspection report did not attribute blame for the attacks — something its mandate forbade it from doing. The U.S. has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of using the weapons; the leader has denied that claim, saying that the rebels were responsible for the deaths.

In his note releasing the report, Ban noted last week's "welcome development" of Syria stating that it will abide by the international convention banning the stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. He also praised the agreement reached Saturday by the U.S. and Russia, which targets the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal by next summer.

As we reported earlier today, former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay says that the timetable for cataloging and destroying Syria's chemical arsenal is "optimistic," noting the difficulty of finding and securing such weapons.

And Kay also said that any efforts to curb Syria's chemical stockpile would require some sort of military presence from the international community.

"It can't be just technical; it's going to require someone with boots on the ground to monitor it," he said.

The release of the inspectors' report follows a statement earlier today from the head of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, who said that the panel is investigating 14 alleged cases of chemical attacks in Syria.

The commission's chairman, Paulo Pinheiro of Brazil, also said that in Syria's civil war, the "vast majority of the conflict's casualties resulted from unlawful attacks using conventional weapons such as guns and mortars," according to a summary on the commission's website.

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