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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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Has House Republicans Seeing Red

Sep 19, 2013
Originally published on September 19, 2013 5:40 pm

House Republicans, meet Sen. Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, House Republicans.

Given the surprise expressed by some House members at the Texas senator's approach to the defunding of Obamacare, perhaps an introduction was in order.

A few dozen House members Wednesday morning successfully coerced a reluctant Speaker John Boehner into tying the Obamacare language to a must-pass government funding bill. This came after weeks of television ads featuring Cruz and fellow Senate Republican Mike Lee advocating exactly that plan, regardless of the consequences.

Yet not long after Boehner's announcement came a statement from Cruz commending House Republicans, but also warning: "Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so. At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people."

Got that? House Republicans did. After imploring them to act, Cruz essentially conceded that he could not realistically accomplish anything in the Senate, and therefore it was all on the House's shoulders. Great work guys! Keep that finger in the dike, and don't let us down!

Reaction from those House Republicans was swift and, well, more than a little bit tart.

Tim Griffin of Arkansas offered this tweet: "so far Sen Rs are good at getting Facebook likes, and townhalls, not much else. Do something." (This was later deleted.)

Georgia Rep. Tom Price had this: "House Republicans are turning words into action to defund #Obamacare. Ball will be in the Senate's court."

Perhaps those in the House had not been paying much attention to Cruz, who came to prominence within weeks of taking office this year by suggesting that Chuck Hagel, then the defense secretary nominee and a former GOP senator himself — might have taken money from the North Koreans.

Not long after, Arizona Sen. John McCain included Cruz among a group in Congress he considered "wacko birds." Since then, Cruz has become better known for his visits to early presidential primary states than for working with fellow senators on legislation.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Cruz did thank House Republicans for sticking their necks out, and deflected questions about his statement. "Americans don't care about petty political bickering in Washington," he said.

For his part, Boehner would not specifically address Cruz at his own news conference, but he did say: "It's time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done."

S.V. Dáte is the congressional editor on NPR's Washington Desk.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.