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

2 hours 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
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3 Charts (And A Few Words) On The Rise Of Electric Bikes

Oct 29, 2013
Originally published on October 29, 2013 4:49 pm

We told you last week about how bicycles are outselling new cars in almost every European country.

When we delved a little deeper into the numbers, we found that while bicycle sales remained steady in a six-year period that began in 2006 (the top chart), sales of electric bikes exploded (the second chart).

Now, electric bikes — they have motors that engage when the rider needs it — aren't new. NPR's Anthony Kuhn rode one back in 2007 and told us about it. And it's worth noting that their sales are still tiny compared to the sales of regular bikes.

But the gains are impressive. In the Netherlands, COLIBI, the association of the European bicycle industry, says it's the "most important sales segment."

The U.S. appears to be following that trend.

Ed Benjamin, chairman of the Light Electric Vehicle Association, told EV World, that about 900 retailers carry electric-assist bikes across the U.S.

Speaking to NPR in 2010, Benjamin said electric bikes could catch on in the U.S. — but it depended on where you are.

"For example, I think electric bicycles are a very practical vehicle for a dense, flat city like New York City," he said. "But, you know, mountainous, or a place where you have a very large distance to go, they're not practical at all."

EV World has the figures:

"In the period from the summer of 2011 to 2012, some 70,000 units were imported into the United States. ... Then from July 2012 through June 2013, sales more than doubled to 159,000 units."

And where did it all begin? In China, as this 2010 story in The New York Times noted.

"[A]n estimated 120 million electric bicycles now hum along the roads, up from a few thousand in the 1990s. They are replacing traditional bikes and motorcycles at a rapid clip and, in many cases, allowing people to put off the switch to cars.

"In turn, the booming Chinese electric-bike industry is spurring worldwide interest and impressive sales in India, Europe and the United States. China is exporting many bikes, and Western manufacturers are also copying the Chinese trend to produce models of their own. From virtually nothing a decade ago, electric bikes have become an $11 billion global industry."

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