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/.

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Summers' End: A Metaphor For Obama's Economic Agenda

Sep 16, 2013
Originally published on September 16, 2013 4:35 pm

By taking his name out of consideration for the Federal Reserve chairmanship this weekend, Lawrence Summers became a metaphor for the difficulties President Obama has had in pursuing his economic agenda.

And the end of Summers, at least as Ben Bernanke's potential successor, signaled that the president's inability to get traction on his economic agenda is likely to get worse, not better. Now even lawmakers in his own party are willing to break with him on high-profile economic decisions.

The president's most significant successes in enacting his economic plan came early in his presidency when fears of a second Great Depression hounded the nation. His American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act and his effective takeover of major U.S. auto companies occurred within months of his entering the White House. He signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law.

Those successes showed how national emergencies can give presidents greater leverage to advance their policies.

As the economy has improved and fears receded, however, Obama's ability to achieve the other pieces of his economic to-do list has been, at best, spotty. The change in House control from Democratic to Republican in January 2011 was certainly a huge factor.

A jobs plan Obama unveiled with considerable fanfare and sent to Congress in 2011, for instance, went nowhere. The only pieces of his economic agenda he has been able to accomplish since Republicans won the House — like extending payroll tax holidays or allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those with the highest incomes — have come only grudgingly during bouts of fiscal brinksmanship with GOP lawmakers.

Summers' surprise announcement to drop out of the Federal Reserve chase adds a new twist to Obama's problems. Summers was widely viewed as Obama's preferred choice. Summers, after all, had been one of Obama's top White House advisers during the crisis.

Summers' decision came after several Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee told White House officials they wouldn't support the former Clinton-era Treasury secretary and top Obama economic adviser for the Fed post. To some, Summers had partial culpability for the 2008 financial and economic crisis as a big proponent of deregulation during the Clinton years.

Before, Obama could always count on Democrats for support on the big economic questions. Now, even that's in doubt.

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