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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Soylent: An Offbeat Food Idea Investors Are Taking Seriously

Oct 30, 2013
Originally published on November 1, 2013 3:18 pm

Back in April, we described Rob Rhinehart's experiment concocting something that could give him all the nutrition and none of the hassle of food.

Rhinehart, you see, is a 25-year-old electrical engineer in San Francisco who'd grown exceedingly frustrated with the time and effort of purchasing, preparing and consuming food, not to mention the cleanup. When he went in search of a cheap, nutritious powdered food product he could whip up, he found nothing. So he decided to make one himself.

Last week, Rhinehart announced on his blog that he had raised $1.5 million in seed capital from several venture capital and angel investor firms in Silicon Valley, including Andreessen Horowitz and Initialized Capital, to scale up production of his product, called Soylent. He added that he'd gotten another $1.5 million in pre-orders.

Apparently, his off-the-wall idea has some legs.

We were among Rhinehart's skeptics, we'll admit. We weren't sure that a layperson could come up with a meal replacement product equivalent to a diverse diet of real food.

But in the months since he first announced his project, he's gotten a ton of feedback on his formulation. (Here's one account from someone who tried two weeks on Soylent.) And he's also discovered that there are a lot of people out there likely to buy it.

Among them are young singles like him who are working 60-plus hours a week and paying off student loans. In other words: people with no time or interest in cooking, and little disposable income for restaurants.

Since we last spoke, Rhinehart has adjusted his pitch a bit. Rather than calling Soylent an "ideal diet," he's calling it a healthier, convenient alternative to takeout and rice and beans — the food he used to subsist on, and the food he believes his target market consumes regretfully.

"I'm not demanding that anybody live on this exclusively," he says. "It's supposed to be an easy staple meal."

And as for the people who were shocked, even rankled, by Rhinehart's assertion that he knew what the human body needed, he's thrown them a bone.

He now has a team of advisers, including a doctor to help him get the nutrient ratios right: Xavier Pi-Sunyer at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. One of the big changes he made was to the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the formulation.

Soylent's main ingredient is oat starch; the rest are industrial nutrients like calcium carbonate and magnesium gluconate. It's gluten-free, vegan and halal. "It's supposed to be something anyone can enjoy," Rhinehart says.

The product might still draw criticism for its lack of disease-fighting phytonutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables. "I wanted to keep it to bare essential nutrients," says Rhinehart. "At this point, until we know more about phytonutrients, it's better to stick to strictly essentials."

Rhinehart has now been consuming Soylent for about 10 months. He says he makes two to four shakes a day, during the week. (His fridge contains only Soylent, water and beer, he claims.) On the weekend, he goes to restaurants with friends — what he calls recreational eating.

After a few months of Soylent, Rhinehart wrote that he felt better than he'd ever felt, physically and mentally. And today?

"Back then, I was coming off a terrible diet, but yeah, I still feel great," he says. "I still get blood tests, body metrics, and everything still looks good."

Come December, Soylent will begin shipping to everyone who has pre-ordered it. (The cost is about $65 for a week's supply of meals, or about $3 a meal.)

And Rhinehart will be moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where warehouse space is cheaper, he says. And will those famous LA tacos tempt him to give up Soylent during the week, we had to wonder?

"I like food, I really do," says Rhinehart. "There are just other things I find more interesting right now. Food is not nutrition to me, it's art. After I finish paying off my student loans I'll go to more art galleries and I'll eat more food."

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