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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Senate Committee Lays Blame For Benghazi With State Department

Jan 15, 2014
Originally published on January 15, 2014 7:44 pm



The Senate Intelligence Committee today delivered its analysis of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in that attack, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. It's a bipartisan report. Democrats and Republicans on the committee agreed, among other things, that the attack might have been prevented if the State Department had taken better precautions at the Benghazi post.

For more on the report, we're joined by NPR's Tom Gjelten. And, Tom, this is the second major report on the Benghazi attack. The State Department had its own accountability review board about a year ago. Does this intelligence committee report break much new ground?

TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Well, as you said, Audie, the committee says the Benghazi attack was preventable. The accountability review board actually came close to saying that. It said the security arrangements at the Benghazi compound were grossly inadequate given the threat in the region. Now, the Senate report actually takes that a step further. They go into great detail about how much intelligence there was indicating the danger that al-Qaida elements were organizing in eastern Libya and the possibility that they were preparing possible attacks.

Another thing, interestingly enough, this report says the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, himself bore some of the responsibility for the inadequate security in Benghazi. Turns out, the commander of U.S. forces in Africa, General Carter Ham, twice suggested the deployment of a military security team in Libya, and both times, Ambassador Stevens turned him down. That's new.

CORNISH: So this assessment is saying that this might have been prevented once the attack was underway. Could there have been some intervention that might have saved the lives of those four Americans who were killed?

GJELTEN: The committee says no, and this is also important. The committee found there was no order to stand down. Remember, that was initially reported in some media. There was no delay in responding. There was nothing the U.S. military could have done. There are no fighters close by, no aircraft carriers, drones, no special forces available. There were no military assets that could have been sent there in time to do anything, according to the committee report.

Now, the Republicans on the committee, in a separate comment, actually faulted General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, specifically for that, saying he should have had more military assets in the region given the threats.

CORNISH: Now, you mentioned this Republican criticism but this was a bipartisan report, right? And that seems significant given how politicized the debate has been around the Benghazi attack. I mean, is there any - can you say now that there's consensus on what happened there?

GJELTEN: Well, this is certainly the closest thing, Audie, to a consensus we've had on this very divisive issue. In terms of the assessment of responsibility, the Democrats and Republicans alike are spreading it around now, not just putting it on the White House, also on the State Department, the military, the - even the intelligence community. They agreed that al-Qaida elements were involved. That's something the White House, at times, has seemed reluctant to admit. Bipartisan criticism of the White House for not being more forthcoming.

On the other hand, there are still disagreements, partisan disagreements. Republicans say there should be more accountability, both in terms of State Department people being fired for their failures and also for the people that carried these attacks. Republicans pointed out that no one is in custody. Also, the Republicans reiterate a longstanding complaint that they think the White House downplayed the threat that this was a terrorist attack, as opposed to a protest demonstration.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Tom Gjelten. Tom, thank you.

GJELTEN: You bet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.