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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For Some Syrian Refugees, A New Home In Germany

Sep 12, 2013
Originally published on September 12, 2013 5:21 pm

As a Syrian Christian man rolled the family luggage through Beirut's international airport, he practiced his German: "Thank you, danke, dankeschon."

The man, who asked not to be named, is part of a group of Syrian refugees offered temporary resettlement by Germany for two years. The contingent, which flew out Wednesday, included 70 adults and 37 children and infants.

More than 2 million Syrians have fled their country and more than 4 million are displaced inside Syria, according to the United Nations. Germany is the first in Europe to take in a large group under a program that will accommodate 5,000 Syrians and will take a year and 25 charter flights to complete.

"Please, don't write my name. I still have relatives in parts of Aleppo controlled by the army," says the man, who was an electrician in the city.

Asked what will be the greatest challenge for him, he says, "learning the language and getting a job." He and his family took a free Internet language course as they prepared to leave, and he can count to 10 in German. But these refugees don't know what else to prepare for except an uncertain future.

The Most Vulnerable Refugees

The Syrians who traveled to Germany on Wednesday were chosen by UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, as particularly vulnerable refugees, including single mothers, those with chronic illnesses and minorities under threat.

Some had been injured and arrived at the airport in wheelchairs. Most had been traumatized, particularly the children, who clung to stuffed bears and backpacks, but did not smile. The original group was larger, but 18 were badly injured and the charter plane couldn't accommodate hospital stretchers.

"We lost everything; we only came with our clothes," says a father of four, who gives his name as Abu Abdullah. He is from Salahdeen, a devastated neighborhood in Aleppo.

His two sons were university students before the fighting erupted. His 8-year-old son has never been to school.

"We want to go so he can learn. We want to open a business and come back and rebuild Syria," he says.

They have all spent at least a year in dire conditions in Lebanon, where more than 700,000 Syrians are registered as refugees. This has overwhelmed Lebanon, a country that has a population of around 4.5 million.

Abu John, the father of a 2-year-old boy, says the most difficult moments as a refugee in Lebanon came when his young son was in pain.

"I couldn't take him for treatment because the prices were too high," he said, adding that he hopes the German government "cares about laws and rights so it will be a life of dignity."

Each of the refugees was permitted to take 44 pounds of luggage for the two-year stay. Most couldn't fill the quota, but considered themselves lucky to be part of the first organized refugee movement from Lebanon.

They arrived in Hannover on Wednesday night. German officials said they were setting an example by accepting 5,000 Syrians. UNHCR officials want other European countries to agree to admit thousands more who are on the waiting list.

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