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

5 hours ago
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Why Destroying Syria's Weapons May Be Tough, Despite Today's Deadline

Oct 27, 2013

The process of cataloging and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile took another stride Sunday, as the country met a deadline for submitting a formal declaration of its chemical arsenal. Weapons experts must also complete their inspection of all 23 storage and production sites today.

As of Friday, inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had visited 19 of the weapons sites, the BBC reports. A framework agreed upon by Russia and the U.S. calls for all of Syria's chemical weapons to be destroyed the middle of 2014.

The declaration by Syria "includes a general plan of destruction" of its holdings, the OPCW says. But the process of destroying the weapons is sure to be a complicated one, experts say.

"What is known publicly is that Syria has about 1,000 tons of chemical-weapons-related material," according to NPR's Geoff Brumfiel. "And we think most of that isn't actually chemical weapons — it's chemicals used to make chemical weapons."

As Geoff tells Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin, inspectors may need to take some of the weapons outside of Syria, where a civil war is still raging, in order to destroy the materials safely. And that may be tough to do — Norway recently rejected the idea of taking on the destruction.

Geoff details how the process works — and why it's so tricky. Here's some of his conversation with Rachel:

Geoff: "The good news about these precursor chemicals is that they're a lot less dangerous than chemical weapons themselves. For example, the nerve gas sarin is usually made of two chemicals, and one of which is actually a kind of alcohol that's used in all sorts of industrial processes.

"That alcohol could be pretty easy to dispose of. And one expert I spoke to thought it could even be sold... to help pay for the disposal of the other stuff.

"The other part of sarin is a lot nastier, and there are ways to get rid of it. One of them is hydrolysis. Basically, it involves mixing the chemical with a lot of hot water and other chemicals to break it down. And then you can incinerate those byproducts.

"It's a similar story for mustard gas and VX nerve gas — the two other agents that Syria is thought to have."

Rachel: Is that something that can take place inside of Syria?

Geoff: "Incineration and hydrolysis aren't all that complicated, but you do need a lot of infrastructure. To burn the chemicals, you need an incinerator with protections in place to keep it from leaking out into the environment; hydrolysis requires a lot of electricity and water.

"But Syria is a war zone. So obviously, you can't go taking the time to build these big, complicated operations.

Rachel: Are there chemical weapons that are already loaded into Syrian bombs and rockets? How do you dispose of those?

Geoff: "Finding them, hopefully, won't be a problem, because the Syrians are supposed to disclose all of their chemical stocks, and that includes munitions that are loaded.

"In terms of disposal, though, this is a real issue. Loaded munitions are fragile; they cannot be moved very easily, and they probably can't be taken out of Syria. So, anything that's already been loaded is going to have to be disposed of in the country — and that's going to be probably the most dangerous and difficult part of this entire process."

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