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

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What Happens When The Pace Of Startups Slows Down

Oct 31, 2013
Originally published on October 31, 2013 12:45 pm

Since the financial crisis hit five years ago, there aren't as many Americans starting new businesses. In uncertain economic times, it's harder for entrepreneurs and investors to take the risk.

And if you look back over the past 25 years, it turns out the overall trend is toward fewer new businesses getting started, too — and that's not good at all when the country needs more jobs.

The Next Google

New businesses are really important for the economy. For one thing, they often come up with new technologies and better ways of doing things. And when they do that, a small percentage start growing very fast and hiring hundreds or thousands of people.

"Out of this vast number of startups, about 10 percent take off, and they create an enormous number of jobs," says John Haltiwanger, a professor at the University of Maryland. He's an economist who studies these young, high-growth companies.

"If you add up the job creation in the United States from just the fast-growing businesses, they account for over 50 percent of all job creation in the United States," Haltiwanger says.

So some of these are companies like Google, or before that, Starbucks or FedEx — and plenty more that aren't quite that big or well-known but that grew very quickly selling soy milk or mountain bikes or a break-out popular chain of hair-cutting salons.

"And do we know ahead of time who these guys are going to be? No, we actually don't. That's actually one of the most interesting issues. We can't even predict what sector they're going to be. We can't predict what location in the country they're in," Haltiwanger says.

But one thing we do know is that since the financial crisis, entrepreneurs just aren't starting as many of these businesses.

There are a couple of different ways to measure this. But Haltiwanger suggests looking at the total number of new firms created every year as a percentage of overall firms.

"It used to be the case, in any given year we were up in the 12, 13 percent range. Now we're down in the 7 or 8 percent range. ... We're talking about hundreds of thousands of less startups today than we used to see," he says.

Maybe some of this is longer-term demographics. As the baby boomers aged, there weren't as many younger people who are more likely to start businesses. And then when the financial crisis hit five years ago, the entrepreneurship rate fell more sharply.

"Young firms got really hammered in the Great Recession, and they've been very slow to recover," Haltiwanger says.

Cautious Investing

One reason it's been harder for people to start companies: money. Since the bubble burst, banks, angel investors and venture capital firms got much more cautious. But some of that is now starting to change.

"We will fill this space in less than a month, absolutely, with stuff," says Chris Pacheco, CEO of Bayesian Ventures. His new company is moving into a lab next to MIT in Cambridge, Mass. He's working on technology to help surgeons tell the difference between cancer cells and healthy cells.

The No. 1 reason he quit his job to start this business?

"The access to capital," Pacheco says. "I had somebody who was willing to give me capital in order to do this."

And in this area in particular — medical technology — there's plenty of optimism.

Johannes Fruehauf is opening an innovation center called Lab Central. It'll house Pacheco's company and a dozen other startups.

"Every single one of them has the potential to really change medicine," Fruehauf says. "The stuff that Chris is working on — you know, I'm a physician, so we cut out tumors, and we don't know if it's healthy or bad. Now you stick a probe into it and it's going to tell you ... cut more, cut less. These things are paradigm changing."

So Fruehauf sees entrepreneurship in America from where he sits as alive and well.

Still, Haltiwanger says, when you look across the country, the entrepreneurship rate hasn't recovered from the financial crisis.

"Each month that goes by, I'll say, I become a little more pessimistic that ... this is indeed stunting our growth," he says.

Haltiwanger says millions of Americans desperately need jobs. And the engine of job growth — these young, fast-growing companies — is still sputtering along at the lowest level in 25 years.

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