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

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President To GOP: Don't 'Burn Down The House' Over Obamacare

Sep 27, 2013
Originally published on September 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

"Do not threaten to burn the house down simply because you haven't gotten 100 percent of your way," he said.

It's not just a question for his presidency, Obama said, but holding the economy hostage was a bad precedent for future occupants of the White House.

Update At 1:50 p.m. EDT.

The Senate has voted to approve a "continuing resolution" to keep the federal government functioning past a Monday-night deadline, but it first voted to strip out a provision that would have defunded Obamacare.

The bill is certain to meet a roadblock in the GOP-dominated House, where key members have vowed to reinstate language aimed at derailing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Speaking at a news conference shortly after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., lashed out at House Republicans, saying their plans to stop Obamacare at the risk of a government shutdown amounted to "silly time-wasting" aimed at scoring "cheap political points."

We pick up our original post here:

On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ended a 21-hour speech railing against Obamacare and insisting that the Senate measure include language to block its funding.

As The New York Times writes, the Senate vote Friday "[sets] up a game of legislative Ping-Pong that will tip the government perilously close to shutting down on Tuesday." The paper adds:

"Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, has said he would reject anything but a plain budget bill, including Republican suggestions to delay the health care law or to repeal a tax on medical devices that would help pay for it.

"But House Republicans and Speaker John A. Boehner seem intent on not surrendering the budget fight without wresting concessions from the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama."

If the two sides can't compromise by a Monday-night deadline, a partial shutdown of federal agencies would begin first thing Tuesday, resulting in the furloughing of tens of thousands of workers.

No vote is expected in the House until at least the weekend, The Associated Press reports.

The Washington Post reports that Boehner on Thursday tried but failed to persuade the most conservative bloc of Republicans to "shift their ­assault on President Obama's health-care law to the coming fight over the federal debt limit." No dice.

The Post says "about two dozen hard-liners rejected that approach, saying they will not talk about the debt limit until the battle over government funding is resolved."

The AP says:

"At one point Thursday, GOP divisions burst into full view on the Senate floor as a pair of conservatives, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, forced the Senate to wait until Friday to approve its bill preventing a shutdown. ...

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused the conservatives of 'a big, big stall.' "

NPR's Tamara Keith reports on Morning Edition that should a shutdown be averted in the eleventh hour, the fight to defund Obamacare — along with a long list of other Republican demands — will simply shift to the next fight: raising the debt ceiling.

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