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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We Are All Part-Time Vegans Now

Sep 26, 2013

Have you enjoyed a salad of greens and fresh veggies for lunch recently? Or a dinner of pasta (made without eggs), mixed with olives and tomatoes? If so, even if you ate cheese or meat or fish on other days, you're a part-time vegan.

Writing in The New York Times last week, Mark Bittman argued that the fall season is a fabulous time to take up a part-time vegan diet, because so many locally-grown fruits and vegetables are available. The more of us who opt to do that, he said, the better:

It's increasingly evident that a part-time vegan diet—one that emphasizes minimally processed plant food at the expense of everything else—is the direction that will do the most to benefit human health, increase animal welfare and reduce environmental impact.

I care a lot about animal welfare and it's pretty clear too that meat-eating is linked to global warming, as Bittman detailed in an earlier column.

For these reasons, and because it strikes me as profoundly realistic, I am attracted to Bittman's part-time-veganism advocacy, which he develops fully in a book that I plan to read. That volume is called Vegan Before Six, with "six" as in six o'clock: be vegan before dinnertime, eat other foods in moderation at and after dinner.

Why do I say this is a "realistic" view? Because, let's face it, full-time veganism or even vegetarianism isn't for everyone. My own way of eating is conventionally described as pescatarian: I eat fish, but not other meats. I don't count as a vegetarian because of the fish, and because I eat cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.

But according to Bittman, I'm also a part-time vegan; I sometimes eat meals with no animal products at all. And over time, I would like to become more of a part-time vegan.

Now, I'm really aware that the notion of a part-time vegan diet as a laudable goal will upset some full-time vegans. Kathy Freston, a vegan, admits it does give her pause to support the vegan-before-6 concept: "If vegan is better for animals and the environment before 6, surely it's also better after 6," as she puts it.

Other vegan activists go further, arguing that veganism is not merely about food choice but also involves a life commitment to fight speciesism in all its forms. From this perspective, ethical veganism overlaps with, but is more than, dietary veganism.

Freston is right though, I think, to recognize the benefits of any degree of veganism: part-time veganism can be "transformational," she says, echoing Bittman. It's better for our health, for animals and for the Earth. She even predicts that those of us who embrace part-time veganism may well shift over time to make veganism more and more a part of our lives.

Here is a perspective — Bittman's, Freston's — that is open, inviting and inclusive. It is in this spirit that I'm wishing everyone a happy, and maybe even a transformational, autumn.


Barbara's most recent book is How Animals Grieve. You can up with what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

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