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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Treasury: New Debt Ceiling Fight Could Derail Economy

Oct 3, 2013
Originally published on October 3, 2013 3:30 pm

The Treasury Department is issuing a warning of dire economic consequences that could rival the Great Recession if Congress is unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling and the nation defaults on its obligations.

Treasury's report, "The Potential Macroeconomic Effect of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship," comes as Congress is still wrangling over a short-term spending bill to reverse a partial government shutdown that went into effect Tuesday. Later this month, House Republicans and Senate Democrats will need to agree to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling or face a possible default.

"[A] default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, and U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, potentially resulting in a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse," Treasury said in a statement.

The department said "political brinksmanship that hints at even the prospect of a default can be disruptive," (emphasis in report) citing the 2011 debt ceiling impasse, when consumer and business confidence fell sharply, job growth slowed and financial markets were stressed.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned that "Postponing a debt ceiling increase to the very last minute is exactly what our economy does not need — a self-inflicted wound harming families and businesses."

Update At 2:10 p.m. ET. Speaker Reportedly 'Determined' To Prevent Default

House Speaker John Boehner is reportedly telling colleagues that he's determined to prevent a federal default, according to The New York Times:

"One lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Boehner had indicated he would be willing to violate the so-called Hastert Rule if necessary to pass a debt-limit increase. The informal rule refers to a policy of not bringing to the floor any measure that does not have a majority of Republican votes.

"A spokesman for Mr. Boehner pushed back on the idea that the speaker would try to pass a debt-limit increase mainly with Democratic votes, but acknowledged that the speaker understood the need to head off a default.

" 'The speaker always, always prefers to pass legislation with a strong Republican majority,' said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner."

Reuters, trying to confirm the Times report, got a similar response from a Boehner aide, who was not named by the news agency.

"House Speaker John Boehner has always said that the United States will not default on its debt," the aide said. "He also always says that there aren't votes in the House to pass a 'clean' debt limit bill. That's why we need a bill with cuts and reforms."

Update At 12:00 noon ET. IMF Chief Weighs In

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, echoed comments she made last week on NPR's Morning Edition, as well as those made by Treasury Secretary Lew and the president. Lagarde said that the failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling was a far worse threat to the global economy than the current shutdown.

The BBC quotes Lagarde as saying it is "mission critical" that the debt ceiling be raised.

Update At 11:20 a.m. ET. Obama Echoes Treasury's Warning

Speaking at a small business just outside of Washington, President Obama echoed the Treasury Department's dark assessment on Thursday, blaming Republicans' "obsession" with dismantling the health care overhaul for the government shutdown and the looming fight over the debt ceiling.

The president said "the whole world will have problems" if the U.S. defaults on its obligations.

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