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

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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/.

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U.N. Condemns U.S. Embargo Of Cuba, Again

Oct 29, 2013
Originally published on October 29, 2013 5:02 pm

In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.

"State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki brushed off the news, saying the U.S. has a right to make its own decisions about its economic relations with other countries. She says the U.S. doesn't think this annual U.N. debate does anything to advance a constructive discussion about the issue."

The three nations that abstained from today's vote were Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau, all of which have opted out of voting on the issue in previous years.

The embargo has stood since 1960.

"The U.S. policy against Cuba is suffering from an absolute international isolation and discredit and lacks every ethical or legal ground," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said, according to Agence France-Presse. He said that while restrictions have eased somewhat, "sanctions remain intact and are being fully implemented."

According to a report introduced by Parrilla (and reproduced online by Cuba's state agency Granma), the embargo has cost Cuba more than $1.1 trillion since it first began.

"Because of its declared purpose, the political, legal and administrative framework on which the blockade rests qualifies as an act of genocide," the report says.

U.S. Ambassador Ronald D. Godard, the senior area adviser for Western Hemisphere affairs, issued the U.S. interpretation of the issue. "By the Cuban government's own account, the United States is one of Cuba's principal trading partners," he said.

Godard noted, "In 2012, the Cuban people received more than $2 billion in remittances and other private support from the United States. This was made possible by U.S. policy choices."

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