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

1 hour ago

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

5 hours ago
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Supreme Court Will Hear Case On Executions And Mental Disability

Oct 21, 2013
Originally published on October 21, 2013 2:40 pm

The standard by which a person is judged to be mentally competent enough to face execution for a crime will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed Monday to hear a Florida case revolving around that issue.

The capital punishment case, Hall, Freddie L. v. Fla., centers on the standard for judging mental disability and how state officials arrive at that judgment. The case will be argued in Washington early in 2014.

"In the new case, attorneys for Freddie Lee Hall contended that Florida courts have adopted a 'bright line' rule that a person is not mentally retarded unless their IQ falls below 70," reports SCOTUSblog. "The state Supreme Court found that Hall had an IQ of 71. In an earlier stage of Hall's case, before the Supreme Court had decided the Atkins case, he had been found to be mentally retarded, the petition said."

Last December, Florida's Supreme Court affirmed Hall's death sentence in a ruling that included its earlier finding that, "While there is no doubt that [Hall] has serious mental difficulties, is probably somewhat retarded, and certainly has learning difficulties and a speech impediment, the Court finds that [Hall] was competent at the resentencing hearings."

Hall was condemned to die for the 1978 murder of Karol Hurst, who was 21 and pregnant when she was abducted after visiting a grocery store. He was tried separately from an accomplice, who was sentenced to life in prison. The pair were also blamed for killing a sheriff's deputy.

This past summer, Florida executed John Errol Ferguson; the U.S. high court had denied his request for an appeals hearing based on claims of long-standing mental illness.

A Christian Science Monitor story about Ferguson's case sums up some of the questions revolving around capital punishment and mental competence:

"Because the death penalty is a form of state-authorized retribution for crime, it is essential that the condemned prisoner appreciate the significance of the punishment, legal experts say. Without that appreciation, the process would lack any retributive purpose and amount to a government killing without an accepted justification. T hat would violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, according to legal experts."

In 2002, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that bans the execution of people deemed to be mentally retarded.

The court agreed to hear Hall's case Monday morning, in issuing its Order List. In that list, the court said it will hear a case on penalties for bank fraud. It also requested additional information about a separate case involving the U.S. government's authority to punish foreign banks for not turning over data that are protected by secrecy laws.

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