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.

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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/.

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Shutdown Diary: Day 2

Oct 2, 2013
Originally published on October 2, 2013 9:12 pm

Wednesday's Highlights:

White House

Day 2 of the federal government shutdown found President Obama summoning congressional leaders to the White House to urge House Republicans to pass legislation to reopen agencies and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a first-ever default by the U.S. (Nothing was resolved; here's the story.)

Before the late-afternoon meeting, Republicans wondered why the president would invite them if he didn't intend to negotiate. But White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters before the meeting that the get-together was less about negotiating and more about urging lawmakers to do their jobs.

"A negotiation in the Washington sense traditionally implies give and take, trade-offs, demands, you know, 'If you give me this, I'll take that, or I'll give you that,' " Carney said. "The president's approach from the beginning in this is that he's asking for nothing — nothing — from Republicans. He is attaching zero demands to the general proposition that Congress should simply open the government, keep it open. He's asking for nothing. He is making no demands."

Obama met earlier in the day with a group of financial industry chieftains to talk about the economy. Leaving the White House, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein looked appropriately concerned.

"There's a consensus that we shouldn't do anything that hurts this recovery that is a little bit shallow, not very well-established and quite vulnerable. The shutdown of the government , but particularly, the failure to raise the debt ceiling, would accomplish that."

Congress

Senate Democrats held a news conference to offer what they said was a new proposal to escape the impasse. But it turned out to be a restatement of their previous position — that House Republicans should pass the Senate's temporary spending bill that would simply reopen the government, nothing else.

House Republicans passed several piecemeal bills to free up money to Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service and Washington, D.C. True, those bills were DOA in the Senate but they at least provided the GOP with additional talking points.

Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, said they wouldn't take their salaries during the shutdown. Some planned to donate the money to charities.

In a fascinating twist, House Democrats did something meant to put Republicans further on the defensive. And it came on an issue unrelated to the shutdown: They introduced an immigration overhaul bill. It's likely going nowhere in the House but, along with the shutdown, it will be another cudgel for them to hammer the GOP with.

The American People (And Their Lobbying Groups)

More honor-flight veterans visited Washington, D.C.'s war memorials as these old soldiers, sailors and airmen became octogenarian symbols in the shutdown fight. The Republican narrative was that the Obama administration had tried to bar the vets from visiting the World War II, Korean and Vietnam memorials.

But Democrats weren't about to lose the vet war. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois made a flanking maneuver by mentioning at a Senate Democrats' news conference that he had spent part of his morning at a memorial with vets from the Land of Lincoln.

Also, the Interior Department and National Park Service said they would make exceptions for honor-flight vets.

Conservative activists also started circulating lists of House Republicans who have indicated their willingness to reopen the government by voting for a spending bill without GOP agenda items, like defunding Obamacare. List recipients were urged to call the lawmakers to express their displeasure. That would be easier, of course, if there were aides to answer the phones, but they've been furloughed.

Some Democrats came up with "Flat Boehner" (as in the character Flat Stanley) and urged their supporters to take snapshots of the two-dimensional Speaker John Boehner at various shuttered locations and share them.

Speaking of shared photos, the blogger behind ArmyWife101.com asked people to share their images of Army commissaries where many military families shop for groceries because they get a 30 percent discount.

The stateside commissaries closed Wednesday because of the shutdown, which means Army families will be paying a lot more for food. But before they closed, Army families bought what they could and waited in long lines to do so. Just more unfortunate shutdown fallout.

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