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

58 minutes 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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
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From A Saudi Director, A Familiar Story Made Fresh Again

Sep 12, 2013

Wadjda is the sort of lovable young hustler we've seen in scores of films — a 10-year-old who wants something and will lie, threaten and cajole to get it.

But Wadjda's familiar premise is transformed by its unexpected location: The movie's protagonist lives in Saudi Arabia, and what she wants, even if she doesn't exactly realize it, is freedom.

That's probably not how Haifaa Al Mansour would put it. As the first female director from a country that limits women's independence and barely tolerates cinema, Mansour has been careful not to portray the movie as in any way threatening to her slowly liberalizing homeland. (Women will soon be allowed to vote in municipal elections — if their male guardians approve.) Indeed, the writer-director has described her stance toward the Saudi system as "respectful."

Wadjda doesn't share her creator's deference. The girl (Waad Mohammed) listens to American pop rock, and under her black cloak she wears sneakers, blue jeans and an "I Am a Great Catch" T-shirt. Her best friend is a mischievous boy, Abdullah (Abdullrahman al Gohani), and her relationship with both her parents is warm.

Wadjda is closer to her mother (Reem Abdullah), true, in part because Dad works at a distant site and is rarely home. She's also inclined to take Mom's side in an ongoing family dispute: His wife has not produced a son, so Dad is being pressured to take a second bride.

The girl's immediate focus, however, is something simpler. She wants a bike so she can race Abdullah. She's already picked out a snazzy green number and has warned the shopkeeper not to sell it to another kid. The merchant, and nearly everyone else to whom Wadjda confides her dream, tells her that girls don't ride bicycles.

To earn the riyals to buy the bike, Wadjda sells handmade bracelets and collects fees for exchanging notes between men and women. But those activities won't raise enough. Then comes news of a contest with a hefty prize. All that's required is mastery of something Wadjda has previously ignored: chanting the Quran.

Determined as always, Wadjda becomes intent on winning. Yet even if she does, she could still face disappointment. The girl might be thwarted by her nemesis, the fashionably dressed but traditionally minded school principal, Mrs. Hussa (played by the single-named actress Ahd).

The two antagonists are well-matched — Hussa tells Wadjda that she was once much like her — and so are the actresses who play them. Wadjda is partially modeled on the director's niece, but she's animated by Mohammed, who's both lively and sly, with flawless timing. Ahd, one of the movie's few professional performers, deftly embodies a sophisticated woman who has accepted her limited place in Saudi society.

The movie's ending strikes a canny balance between girlish fantasy and grown-up reality. It's upbeat, but with a somber undertone that acknowledges nothing fundamental has changed.

Wadjda offers an interesting contrast to films made in Iran. Where the latter country has a long cinematic tradition, Mansour's is the first feature shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has no movie theaters, and Mansour had to direct her outdoor scenes by walkie-talkie from inside a van, since she couldn't allow herself to be seen on the street. Yet Wadjda portrays women and girls as they actually dress at home and at school, without cloaks and headscarves — something Iran's censors wouldn't allow.

The movie will see only a limited release in the United States, of course, but then Americans aren't its only target audience; Mansour, who lives in Bahrain with her American husband, has said she hopes her movie will be shown on Saudi TV. If so, this quiet film could become something of a cultural thunderclap. (Recommended)

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