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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

5 hours ago
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Tuesday Political Mix: Obamacare Official In The Batter's Box

Oct 29, 2013
Originally published on October 29, 2013 9:39 am

Good Tuesday morning, fellow political junkies.

As you go through your day, keep this in mind: at least you're not Marilyn Tavenner. When critics of the Obama administration's botched launch of the Affordable Care Act call for heads to metaphorically roll, Tavenner, the top official of the Health and Human Services agency that oversaw the ill-fated website project, is high on that list.

She will be the first senior Obama administration official to testify before Congress since the botched Oct. 1 startup of the Obamacare website.

The only person likely to have a worse time of it this week on Capitol Hill is HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, due to testify Wednesday before Congress.

With the World Series in full swing, in the language of baseball Tavenner is the first administration official up at bat. But unlike actual baseball, lawmakers not only get to pitch her high and tight fastballs, they also get to call balls and strikes.

With that, here are some of the more interesting pieces and tidbits of political news, analysis and reflection that caught my eye this morning.

The government shutdown and wobbly launch of the Affordable Care Act website now look like the ground the 2014 mid-term campaigns will be fought on, writes Politico's Alex Isenstadt. Of course, all that could change by next summer.

The Obama administration knew years ago that millions of Americans wouldn't be able to keep health insurance coverage they liked, even as President Obama promised that they would, NBC News' Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye reported.

A federal judge stopped parts of a Texas anti-abortion law that would have restricted access to abortions to many women by raising requirements for providers, reports Christy Hoppe in the Dallas Morning News. The ruling can expected to fire up both sides in the abortion debate in Texas, where it is already figuring prominently in the 2014 governor's race, and beyond.

With congressional budget negotiations as the backdrop, Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary and Obama advisor, channeled his inner Alexander Hamilton, telling Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep the national debt is an "asset" that can be used to invest in the nation's future growth.

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich has become a contrarian in his own party when it comes to the importance of the social safety net for the poor, the New York Times' Trip Gabriel reports. Kasich recently defied his state's Republican legislature and took Obamacare-related funding to expand his state's Medicaid program.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has expanded his lead over Republican Ken Cucinelli a double-digit lead on Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the Washington Post's Laura Vozella and Peyton M. Craighill report. McAuliffe's momentum increases the chance that Democrats could sweep all state-wide races. President Obama is scheduled to attend a McAuliffe rally Sunday to help boost turnout, especially of minorities and young voters, in a traditionally lower-turnout off-year election.

Graphics based on research by Bloomberg Businessweek's Eric Chemi help us visualize the states where House Republicans are likely to be most vulnerable because of the narrowness of their 2012 margins of victory.

The odds are still against the Democrats regaining control of the House, writes Andrew Gelman in the Monkey Cage blog on the Washington Post site.

The meaning of all the conspiracy theories and of the assassination of John F. Kennedy himself 50 years ago occupy the musings of Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker. He concludes that assassination exposed just how near America's light and dark sides are to each other.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit