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

57 minutes 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

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Verizon Makes Blockbuster Bond Sale To Buy Vodafone

Sep 11, 2013
Originally published on September 11, 2013 5:59 pm



Wall Street is buzzing about Verizon today. The telecommunications giant carried out the biggest sale in the history of the bond market, $49 billion worth of corporate bonds. Verizon will use the money to finance its recent mega deal with Vodafone.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the sale comes at a time when interest rates are rising. And companies that want to raise money can't afford to lose any time.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Today's bond sale by Verizon was almost three times the size of the previous record sale and it appeared to go off without a hitch. Investors lined up to buy the $49 billion in bonds and Verizon seemed to have no trouble raising the money it needed.

DENNIS SAPUTO: From what I understand, the orders were in excess of $100 billion.

ZARROLI: Dennis Saputo, senior vice president at Moody's, says investors appear to have a fair amount of confidence in Verizon, which is widely seen as one of the better run telecommunications companies. The company is part owner with a British company Vodafone of the wireless venture bearing its name. But last week, Verizon said it would buy out Vodafone's share of the venture for $130 billion. The deal will greatly increase the amount of cash Verizon gets every month.

And Saputo says the sale today suggests that bond buyers were eager to invest in the company.

SAPUTO: There is an enormous amount of cash on the sidelines sloshing around that is looking for a home in this, you know, still relatively low interest rate environment. And the rates that Verizon offered on this bond were very attractive and investors just gobbled it up.

ZARROLI: Saputo says Verizon is paying dearly for the Vodafone deal. The company will have to pay $5 billion a year in interest on the bonds it sold today and on stock dividends. But the company couldn't really afford to wait. Interest rates have been steadily rising. Next week, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet and it might ease up on some of the measures it's taken to stimulate economic growth. That would send rates even higher.

Jody Luri is corporate credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott.

JODY LURI: By, you know, next week this time, it's going to be a whole different ballpark theoretically in the bond market because we will at least have some clarity into what the Fed is doing.

ZARROLI: The rising interest rates made the cost of financing the Vodafone acquisition more expensive than it would have been a few months ago. But it's likely to pull in so much cash from the Vodafone deal that for now, at least, it will probably still come out ahead.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.



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