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.

"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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A 'Shot' In The Gloom, And All Hell Breaks Loose

Sep 19, 2013
Originally published on September 19, 2013 5:52 pm

Watch enough TV or movies these days, and you're likely to witness a throat getting slit. Not off-screen, or in a flash, but performed in full view of an unflinching camera. Call it authenticity, call it chutzpah or call it sadism, it takes only a few episodes of, say, Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad to realize that our visual storytellers are increasingly going for the gore.

A Single Shot slits no throats, but it does ratchet up its violence to comparably vicious levels. And unlike that in Boardwalk or Breaking Bad, its brutality has little justification. It serves only as a faux marker of realism — but one that masks an scanty Etch A Sketch vision of the American criminal underworld it's out to portray.

Shame — because in its opening scenes, the film actually hides more than it reveals. Directed by David M. Rosenthal and adapted from his own novel by Matthew F. Jones, the movie begins with John Moon (a terse and effective Sam Rockwell) living alone in a shack in the woods.

While out on an early morning hunt, he takes off in pursuit of a deer and, after hearing some rustling in the trees, accidentally shoots and kills a young woman. He drags her body to her nearby camp site, where stashed in her tent, he finds a box filled with thousands of dollars in cash.

The film tells us nothing, at least to start, about why this woman was in the woods with so much money. And it provides equally little information about why John decides to hide the body and run off with the cash. Unfortunately, only one of these story lines will prove satisfactory — and it's the least developed of the two.

Turns out John's wife, Jess (Kelly Reilly), recently left him and took their son, Nolan (Beckham Skodje), with her. "After Nolan was born ... all of a sudden she wanted more," John explains to his lawyer (an underused William H. Macy). More, in this case, meaning something other than what John is: an out-of-work farmer who can't hold onto a job that doesn't involve working the land.

Or perhaps he simply doesn't want another job. "Not everyone gets to do what they love and get paid for it," a friend tells John after he gets offered full-time work on his family's old farm.

The film's brief glimpses of John's struggle to reunite his family are as close as A Single Shot comes, alas, to providing its world with a meaning — one that could potentially give context to, if not explain, its violent outbursts.

Instead the film spends most its time unraveling a long tale of who-killed-whom-and-why, explaining where that box of money came from and why its previous owners are so desperate to get it back. The back story disappoints less for its convoluted nature than for its failure to create a convincing set of motivations for its characters.

Rockwell does solid work giving John a morose interior to complement his strong, silent demeanor, but not so those playing the characters who threaten him, who end up with little substance to back up their menacing looks. That leaves the film with little way of demonstrating just how cold-hearted said persecutors really are, rather than showing us. Very explicitly.

By the end, Macy's presence is just one part of what makes A Single Shot recall the Coen brothers' Fargo. That film's now-famous wood-chipper scene can seem strangely tame a decade and a half on, but it still has a lesson to teach: When you show violence in a story that's not really about violence, there'd better be more of a point than just making us squirm.

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