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

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

Pages

Tom Clancy Dies, Left 'Indelible Mark' On Thriller Genre

Oct 2, 2013
Originally published on October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died. He was 66 years old. Beginning with the publication of his 1984 megahit The Hunt for Red October, Clancy wrote a string of blockbuster thrillers inspired by his fascination with military hardware and history.

Clancy didn't mince words when he talked to would-be writers. "If your objective is to write a book, get a computer and write the damn book," he told members of the military at a 2004 writing workshop. "Yes, you can do this if you try hard enough. It's a lot easier than you realize it is."

Clancy was speaking from experience. He wrote Red October in his spare time while he was still in the insurance business. After it was turned down by major publishing houses, he took the manuscript to the Naval Institute Press, which had never published fiction before. Fred Rainbow had worked with Clancy on a couple of pieces for the institute's magazine, Proceedings.

"He went from [being] a person with very thick glasses and an insurance agent to a rock star," Rainbow says. Red October rose quickly to the top of the best-seller list and was Clancy's first book to be made into a film — it was a tense Cold War drama with the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. vying to gain control of a runaway Soviet submarine.

After the book and film came out, Rainbow says, Clancy had a big fan in the White House. "He became what I would call a pet rock of President Reagan," Rainbow recalls. "[Reagan] loved to have him over for dinners, because it was the great American dream — an insurance agent, best-selling novelist ... this was Ronald Reagan's delight, so he opened a lot of doors to Tom Clancy from that point on."

Clancy went on to build an empire. Among his best-selling books, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of all Fears were turned into movies featuring major stars. Jack Ryan, first introduced in Red October, became a recurring character in Clancy's stories of military maneuvers and clandestine operations.

"I think what makes Tom Clancy is that people cared about Jack Ryan," says thriller writer Brad Meltzer. "He gave America a character that represented America right back at them. They saw this character that was like us; they saw someone who was terrified about the Cold War but wanted to do something about it."

Meltzer adds that Clancy has left an indelible mark on the thriller genre. "I in my books write thrillers that are full of government secrets, that are researched with people at the highest levels of that government," he says. "I wish I invented that genre. I didn't. Tom Clancy did."

And Clancy never stopped. His next book, Command Authority — starring Jack Ryan — is due out in December.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tom Clancy, one of the best-selling authors in the world, has died at the age of 66. He was being treated for an undisclosed illness at a Baltimore hospital. Beginning with the publication of "The Hunt for Red October" in 1984, Clancy wrote a string of best-selling thrillers, many of which were turned into blockbuster movies. Clancy's fascination with military history and hardware began as a hobby when he was selling insurance in Baltimore. NPR's Lynn Neary has this remembrance.

LYNN NEARY, BYLINE: Tom Clancy didn't mince words when he talked to would-be writers. Here he is speaking to members of the military at a writing workshop in 2004.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

TOM CLANCY: If your objective is to write a book, get a computer and write the damn book. Yes, you can do this if you try hard enough. It's a lot easier than you realize it is.

NEARY: Clancy was speaking from experience. He wrote "The Hunt for Red October" in his spare time while he was still in the insurance business. After it was turned down by major publishing houses, he turned to the Naval Institute Press, which had never published fiction before. Fred Rainbow had worked with Clancy on a couple of pieces for the institute's magazine Proceedings.

FRED RAINBOW: He went from a person with very thick glasses and an insurance agent to a rock star.

NEARY: "The Hunt for Red October" rose quickly to the top of the best-seller list and was Clancy's first book to be made into a film. It was a tense Cold War drama with the U.S. and the Soviet Union vying to gain control of a runaway Russian sub.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER")

ANTHONY PECK: (as Lieutenant Commander Thompson) He's heading right into the torpedo. What's he trying to do, kill himself?

SCOTT GLENN: (as Commander Bart Mancuso) Thompson, we have a firing solution on the Russian Alfa. Can we shoot back?

PECK: They didn't shoot at us. I can't attack a Soviet submarine without authorization.

NEARY: After the book and film came out, Fred Rainbow says Clancy had a big fan in the White House.

RAINBOW: He became what I would call a pet rock of President Reagan. He loved to have him over for dinners because it was the great American dream, an insurance agent, best-selling novelist, best-selling flight movie. You know, this was Ronald Reagan's delight, so he opened a lot of doors to Tom Clancy from that point on.

NEARY: Clancy went on to build an empire. Among his best-selling books, "Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger" and "The Sum of All Fears" were turned into movies featuring major stars. Jack Ryan, who he first introduced in "The Hunt for Red October," became a recurring character in his stories of military maneuvers and clandestine operations.

BRAD MELTZER: I think what makes Tom Clancy is that people cared about Jack Ryan.

NEARY: Thriller writer Brad Meltzer.

MELTZER: He gave America a character that represented America right back at them. They saw this character that was like us. They saw someone who was terrified about the Cold War but wanted to do something about it.

NEARY: Clancy, says Meltzer, has left an indelible mark on the thriller genre.

MELTZER: I, in my books, write thrillers that are full of government secrets, that are researched with people at the highest levels of that government, and I wish I invented that genre. I didn't. Tom Clancy did.

NEARY: And Clancy never stopped. His next book is due out in December. Lynn Neary, NPR News, Washington.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.