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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Wednesday Political Mix: Obama's 'Read My Lips' ACA Problem

Oct 30, 2013
Originally published on October 30, 2013 11:40 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

The Affordable Care Act should dominate Wednesday's news cycle thanks to scheduled high-profile appearances by President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defend the law.

President Obama plans to be in Faneuil Hall in Boston later Wednesday. His appearance is meant as a blaring reminder that Obamacare's roots were in Massachusetts and Republican. It was in that very hall that Mitt Romney, Obama's 2012 GOP rival for the presidency, as governor signed into law the health-care insurance legislation that became model for the national law.

Meanwhile, Sebelius will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee where she will be grilled by Republicans about the infamously rocky launch of the federal health exchange website.

Republicans have also begun hammering the Obama administration about the insurance cancellation letters many people are getting from their old insurers forced to end certain policies under the new law.

With that, here are some interesting items of political news or analysis that caught my eye this morning.

  • Obamacare's critics are increasingly seizing on a very real problem the president created for himself. Before the law's 2010 passage and after, the president reassured Americans that if they liked their health care plans and doctors, they could keep them. But that's not true in many cases. The Washington Post's Lena H. Sun and Sandhya Somashekhar capture the situation. It's a "read my lips" problem for the president. Like President George H.W. Bush, he made a high-profile promise that is being violated. Meanwhile, WaPo's Sarah Kliff recently explained in detail the reasons for the cancellations.
  • School districts and local governments in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (and presumably elsewhere) are reducing the hours of part-time workers to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under Obamacare, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's Kelly April Tyrrell.
  • Republicans have portrayed Obamacare as a huge threat to the U.S. economy that will beggar many Americans. But some investors spot a potential goldmine, writes Adam Davidson of NPR'sPlanet Money in The New York Times Magazine.
  • As talks begin Wednesday between congressional budget negotiators, there were indications the White House might not insist a deal include new tax revenues in exchange for removing part of the sequester cuts, The Wall Street Journal's Damian Paletta and Janet Hook report.
  • National Journal gives ammunition to both sides of the argument about the ultimate meaning of a defeat Republican Ken Cuccinelli next week in Virginia's governor's race. Sarah Mimms writes that if he loses, which some polls suggest is likely, it will be a one-off event due more to his particular failings as a candidate. Josh Kraushaar, on the other hand, writes that Cuccinelli's failure could signal a larger GOP crackup since the Tea Party forces behind his nomination may not draw the right lesson.
  • Little about the unraveling of former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s life and career has been predictable. That now includes the way he surrendered himself to federal prison authorities in North Carolina. The Chicago Tribune's Katherine Skiba reports Jackson caused initial confusion that resulted in his being turned away by prison officials by showing up at prison several days too soon but that he's now begun serving his sentence for his federal conviction.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.