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.

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.

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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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Saudi Women Go For A Spin In Latest Challenge To Driving Ban

Oct 24, 2013
Originally published on October 24, 2013 7:39 pm

Activists in Saudi Arabia tried once, they tried again and now they're making a third challenge to the kingdom's long-standing ban on female drivers.

Some women have recently made short drives, posting videos on social media sites, and many more are planning to get behind the wheel on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that effectively prohibits women from driving, a ban supported by conservative clerics. While there is no law formally banning female drivers, the government does not give them licenses.

Government authorities seem to be more lenient these days, however.

Sara Hussein, 32, says it's time to claim the right to drive.

"Think back in history — Rosa Parks was the only person who sat down on the bus, wasn't she? And then it started to happen gradually," Hussein says. "It does have to start with the few brave people who are willing to risk whatever there is to risk."

Hussein's mother, Aziza al-Yousef, who is in her 50s and teaches computer science at King Saud University, is a key organizer of the drive-in. Activists set Saturday as a date for a national road rally, but also encouraged women to just get behind the wheel any time.

"We are saying, 'Just go ahead and drive now,' " says al-Yousef. "I know women started driving. The messages are in the hundreds. We are counting the videotapes."

The mother and daughter say the videos are coming from across the kingdom and even show one man teaching his wife and sister to drive.

Relying On Male Drivers

Saudi Arabia was made for driving, with wide open spaces and cheap gas. The sprawling capital, Riyadh, is as big as Los Angeles, with no dependable public transportation.

Women must rely on men to drive them around. They may be male relatives or drivers who are part of the country's imported labor. But this is expensive and an intrusion into their lives, many women say.

As the country changes bit by bit, the prohibition on female drivers can contradict other efforts by the government. For example, the government is urging private companies to hire more women. It is hard to see how that can happen unless women can drive to work, Hussein says.

"No one has been given orders from higher up" to arrest female drivers, she adds.

Al-Yousef says this campaign, the third challenge to the driving ban, has learned from past mistakes.

In 1990, 47 women made the first attempt to challenge the ban. They all lost their jobs, were prohibited from traveling for years, and were shunned for their defiance.

The next challenge came in 2011, when activists Maha al-Qatani was the first Saudi woman to get a traffic ticket. The campaign fizzled after some women were jailed for driving. But soon after, King Abdullah said women could vote in local elections, and 30 women were appointed to the 150-member Shura Council, an advisory body to the king.

Going For A Spin

Al-Yousef — who has an international driver's license — says she and other drivers don't want to break laws aside from the one banning driving.

She now takes a short drive every day and invites me to join her for a cruise around the capital. We get in the front, her male driver climbs in the back, and we take to the road.

"I need people to see that it is normal; we have to let people accept it," al-Yousef says. "It doesn't mean anything if you drive only one day."

The afternoon traffic is so heavy that nobody notices two women in the front seat of a car.

Then we approach a police station.

"Let's see what their reaction is," she says. "You watch it; it's going to be on your right."

She says the head of the national police stated publicly that his officers would not arrest women for driving. But they will ticket those without a license, which is impossible for a woman to get here.

Al-Yousef drives like a pro. She learned while attending a university in the U.S. The only time she shows excitement is when another activist calls her.

"I am driving!" she announces with a distinct rise in her voice.

We end our drive at her front door, where her husband is waiting to meet her.

"Hello, I'm a coward. How do you do," her husband, Moisen al-Haydar, says with a laugh.

Al-Haydar says he's given up driving. He's proud of his wife for braving Riyadh's hectic traffic. He supports her driving campaign, but he's worried, too.

Threats Against Activists

There have been online threats and insults against activists. Al-Yousef filed a case this week against the attackers in court. Also this week, conservative clerics urged King Abdullah to stop Saturday's drive-in, but the king did not meet with the complaining clerics.

Al-Yousef sweeps away her husband's concerns and sits down to check the latest driving videos.

"We've had four today and we are now up to 100 videos," she says as she turns up the volume on the latest driving demonstration.

Al-Yousef translates the Arabic in the video: "She says this is a very positive movement; Saudi ladies should have the choice to drive her own car. And she named the tape, 'Yes, we can.' "

The final decision is up to the king, who has said he believes women have the right to drive, but hasn't said when.

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