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.

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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.

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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.

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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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What To Watch For In The World Series

Oct 23, 2013
Originally published on October 23, 2013 6:47 am
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For the first time since 1999, the two teams with the best record in baseball will meet in the World Series. The Boston Red Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park tonight.

Enough said, let's bring in NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.


GREENE: You're going to be at the game.


GREENE: So we have the two teams with the two best records. That has to tell us something about his World Series. Or maybe in this crazy world of sports it tells us nothing.

PESCA: Or in the crazy sport of baseball, actually you're right, it kind of doesn't. I mean you mentioned 1999, that was a stinker of a World Series. The Yankees swept the Braves. The Braves had a much better record even than the Yankees did. And then you go back to some recent series were teams that were wildcards and, quote-unquote, "snuck in" like in 2002. The Angel/Giants that went seven - that was a great World Series. So yes, there's not a whole lot of correlation.

In general the correlation between the regular season and the postseason often becomes tenuous. We see things like great players through the regular season slump. We see nobodies delivering the clutch. And that's because the baseball season is so long, it gives us a false sense of how good or bad anyone could be on a given day.

I mean if a guy is a 300 hitter that says what? Oh, that guy can hit. But if you take any seven-game snapshot may be he's a 180 hitter over that snapshot. You know, it's more likely he'll be a 320 hitter or a 300 hitter but there's far from a guarantee in the sport of baseball.

GREENE: So we'll watch to see who the heroes that will emerge.

PESCA: I'm being paid to, yes.


GREENE: Well, let's start with the St. Louis Cardinals. I mean a franchise that just a stays right towards the top. What makes them so good?

PESCA: That's it, steady efficiency. I mean they have a great farm system. They have so many good pitchers that they have Shelby Miller, a young 15-game-winner. He's like the sixth guy on their staff. They're very good from top to bottom. They have few weaknesses. They have the Cardinal Way which has been derided a little bit for its arrogance. I don't know if the players themselves buy into it, as much some of the very proud fans do.

But they do have an ethic of success and culture in getting things done. And they are a model organization in this sport.

GREENE: Well, besides the beards that the Boston Red Sox players have grown to bond together, what gives them the chance to come on top of the Cardinals?

PESCA: I think looseness. I think, you know, sheer talent from top to bottom. I think their strategy of hitting crucial game-winning grand slams in the last series, if they could light upon that strategy again...

GREENE: That would work, two of them and the American League championships series.

PESCA: Yes. And it has this great study in contrasts because you know Boston, which is this real loose team which is a team with a lot of characters who embraces them. And you have the Cardinals, a team that, you know, Adam Wainwright - starter in Game 1 - set up one of his last opponents, Adrian Gonzalez, was behaving in a Mickey Mouse fashion by being too enthusiastic. Some Cardinals players also criticized the Yasiel Puig for perhaps over-celebrating, and not knowing how the game should be played.

So, you know, you have this contrast between those who criticize others for being Mickey Mouse, and the Red Sox who are just plain goofy.


GREENE: Goofy and slow, right? I mean one thing we know about this we know about this World Series with the Red Sox involved, we're going to have some long games.

PESCA: They are pretty fast on the bases but, man, do they take their time. Clay Buchholtz, even with no one on base, their pitcher takes between like 18 and 26 seconds to deliver a pitch, one-nothing games going almost four hours. The Red Sox do take up a lot of your patience. But then, I guess, they deliver the big dramatic hits when it counts. Still, could we do that here in three and a half hours, guys? Is that too much to ask?


GREENE: The journalists who are going to be at Fenway tonight, you guys grow beards or something to bond over this whole thing?

PESCA: I can't help it. I got a five o'clock shadow at two.

GREENE: Nice, can't wait to see it. NPR's Mike Pesca, who will be at tonight's game at Fenway Park Game 1 of the World Series. Mike, thanks.

PESCA: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.