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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Students At Harvard's Kennedy School Weigh In On Shutdown

Oct 18, 2013
Originally published on October 18, 2013 12:23 pm



Federal employees are making their way through a backlog of emails, voicemails and work now that the government has reopened.


Immigration services are verifying the status of workers.

MONTAGNE: Fishing inspectors are getting the crab season started.

GREENE: And, Renee, here in Washington, the National Zoo's Panda Cam is showing more adorable private moments between mama and cub.

MONTAGNE: NPR reporters across the country have been checking on how everyone's adjusting. We go first to Tovia Smith in the Boston area, where she visited with students at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: You might expect young, idealistic students of government to be among those most dismayed by the dysfunction in D.C.

AARON QUARLES: We really kind of identify this as a failure of leadership on multiple sides. The fact that we were going to drive our nation off a cliff, it's pretty sad.

SMITH: Students like Aaron Quarles say they're glad government finally reopened and averted the worst, but Congress hasn't exactly done itself any favors in the recruitment department with policymaker wannabes, like Brian Latko.

BRIAN LATKO: Right now, I just don't see a way it's going to change. And the idea of getting involved in actual development of policy or in politics itself in the current state of things, yeah, it's been a slight turnoff for me.

SMITH: But just slight. This is, after all, the Kennedy School, a citadel of public service, where banners fly all over campus paraphrasing the former president and imploring students to, quote, "ask what you can do."

SEE WANG: It's our school sort of mantra, and they don't let us forget it.

SMITH: See Wang says professors here have little patience for political finger-pointing or cynicism. Here, the government shutdown has been more a case study, and, as student Alister Martin sees it, a call to action.

ALISTER MARTIN: Certainly, people have dropped the ball. It doesn't mean that we will. And it's our duty to come here and to learn from each other how to make things right.

SMITH: Indeed, students have dissected the shutdown and blamed everything from campaign finance to the way members of Congress have drawn themselves politically safe districts where they have little need to compromise. Aaron Quarles says his generation will be much better at working together.

QUARLES: You know, thinking about the way we treat racial issues, the way we treat gender and sexuality issues, the way we can kind of just see across lines and figure out, hey, how do we figure out how to get things done. That's a little bit more our character.

DEBBIE CHEN: Well, can I just point out that it's not like we have a choice?

SMITH: That's first-year student Debbie Chen.

CHEN: We are saddled with, what, 3.6 or so trillion dollars of debt. So, we are going to have to be the ones who own up to the mess that was created, whether we like it or not.

SMITH: In some ways, that mess, says fellow student Josh Baugh, is also partly voters' fault.

JOSH BAUGH: We have shown a pattern of selecting leaders who tell us exactly what we want to hear. And people who challenge our, you know, strongly held beliefs, we take them down. We don't endorse them. We don't put them in power. And so, on one hand, it's on them, and on the other hand it's on us.

SMITH: It is easy to criticize from up here in the ivory tower, as one student put it. But we can't really say we'll be different till we're down in the trenches where they are. Tovia Smith, NPR News, Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.