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

5 hours ago
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Shutdown Diary: Hope Turns Into Wall Street Warning

Oct 15, 2013

Day 15 of the government shutdown started with as much promise as any recently: There was a bipartisan proposal by Senate leaders to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

But any hopes were quickly dashed when leaders of the Republican-controlled House said they would offer a competing proposal because of their dissatisfaction with the Senate effort.

The Senate's Bipartisan Proposal

The Senate agreement between Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came after weekend negotiations.

It would reopen the government until Jan. 15, 2014, and extend the debt ceiling until February. Among its provisions, it would require income verification for individuals and families seeking subsidies in health care exchanges through the Affordable Care Act.

The House Responds

That Senate agreement was viewed as weak tea by House Republicans, however, particularly those affiliated with the Tea Party: They wanted more to show for the political hits they've taken in the fiscal fights. Yet it was clear early Tuesday they weren't sure what they wanted.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters: "Our leadership team met with our members today trying to find a way forward in a bipartisan way that would continue to provide fairness to the American people under Obamacare. There are a lot of opinions about what direction to go. There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do."

Eventually, House Republicans coalesced around a proposal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit with some Obamacare-related features to which Democrats hotly objected.

For instance, it would ban members of Congress and the White House staff from receiving the same employer-paid tax subsidies for health insurance received by other U.S. employees. And it would stop a fix in the Senate proposal meant to placate unions whose members must pay a fee under the new health care law.

Perhaps most objectionable to many, and not just Democrats, was a provision in the proposal that would limit the power President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew would have to take extraordinary measures to prevent a future default. In recent months, the Treasury has taken such financial steps to remain under the debt ceiling.

"Extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are attempting to torpedo the Senate's bipartisan progress with a bill that can't pass the Senate ... and won't pass the Senate," said Reid.

It wasn't just Democrats who opposed the House proposal. The conservative advocacy organization, the Heritage Action for America, said it would score the proposal as a "key vote," thus dinging the conservative credentials of any Republican who didn't vote "no."

House leadership had scheduled a Tuesday evening vote on its proposal, despite the fact that it had no chance of passing in the Senate. After it became clear it also had no chance of passing in the House following Heritage's grenade, it appeared to be another instance of sound and fury in the House, signifying nothing.

Obama Meets Democratic Leadership

President Obama met with House Democratic leaders at the White House Tuesday afternoon. Following the meeting, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House minority leader, struck an optimistic tone. Vaguely echoing something Winston Churchill once said of Americans, she said: "I have confidence, and I'm optimistic, because I believe that at the end of the day, they will do the right thing even if they have to have a — do contortions to get to that place. That's unfortunate, because it doesn't inspire confidence, but if that's how they have to get there, that's a path."

Wall Street Sounds An Alarm

Pelosi's optimism wasn't universally shared. The Wall Street credit rating service, Fitch Ratings, placed the U.S.'s AAA rating on a negative watch because of the debt ceiling uncertainty.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit