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/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Why A Peanut Butter Test For Alzheimer's Might Be Too Simple

Oct 11, 2013
Originally published on October 15, 2013 12:47 pm

Alzheimer's disease can be tough to diagnose, especially early on. Doctors can order brain scans and assay spinal fluids. But existing tests are imperfect and some can be invasive.

So you might understand the appeal of an alternative that researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville tried. They had asked patients to sniff a dab of peanut butter during a routine test of cranial nerve function. Later, the team wondered if it could help them figure of it someone might be in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

In the test, a patient sniffs a little peanut butter one nostril at a time. The clinicians then measure the distance at which patients can detect the smell.

After administering the test about 100 times, Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute Center, says that she and her supervisor, neurologist Kenneth Heilman, noticed that patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease weren't able to smell as well from their left nostril.

"When we analyzed the data we were blown away," Stamps tells Shots. Impairment of the left nostril corresponded with a positive Alzheimer's diagnosis every time. It made sense to the Florida team, because with Alzheimer's, the left part of the brain is usually affected first. Smell, unlike sight, is ipsilateral: The side of the body sensing the stimulus and the side of the brain processing the information are the same.

They published the results of a preliminary study in the Journal of Neurological Sciences. Heilman's clinic has now started using the test to verify Alzheimer's diagnoses. The team is also looking to do a big, long-term study to confirm their findings to explore see if the sniff test could be used to actually diagnose Alzheimer's.

There's some promise there, but also a lot of doubt.

"The idea that smell is altered in Alzheimer's disease dementia patients is well known, and this is nothing new," neurologist David Knopman from the Mayo Clinic tells Shots.

Knopman says this study is nothing more than an interesting observation. The study itself acknowledges that the findings aren't fully verified. And the study sample of 94 patients (only 18 of whom were diagnosed with Alzheimer's) is too small to be conclusive.

Even if the researchers do a bigger study, Knopman is skeptical that the findings will prove useful. People can lose their ability to smell as they get older for many reasons, he says.

And there's another disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, that shares characteristics with both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Smell impairment is even more severe in DLS patients, Knopman says.

"It would get you into that ballpark of Alzheimer's versus Lewy body disease, but it wouldn't help you distinguish between those two," he says.

Stamps remains cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the test. "It's helped us tremendously," Stamps says. "Because if you see someone that doesn't have that asymmetry, that you think might have Alzheimer's, it's going to lead you to look more closely for other things."

But for now, Stamps warns: Don't try this at home. Having slight differences between your left and right nostrils is normal, and you might end up freaking out over nothing.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.