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

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Why Scientists Are Trying Viruses To Beat Back Bacteria

Oct 18, 2013

Not all viruses are bad for us. Some of them might even help up us fight off bacterial infections someday.

Naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages attack specific types of bacteria. So researchers at the University of Leicester decided to try and take advantage of phages' bacteria-destroying powers to treat infections with Clostridium difficile, a germ that that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Over the last six years, microbiologist Martha Clokie has isolated hundreds of phages that can kill various strains of C. difficile. Now her lab has teamed up with the pharmaceutical company AmpliPhi to try and turn phages into a product, perhaps a pill, that could be used in humans.

There's no guarantee the approach will work, and so far it hasn't been put to a rigorous test in humans infected with C. difficile. Still, there are some good reasons to check it out.

C. difficile is difficult to treat with antibiotics and is resistant to many of them. Another problem is that the germ often strikes when people take antibiotics to treat other infections. The antibiotics kill good bacteria along with the bad, weakening the gut's defenses against C. diff.

Doctors are using fecal transplants and synthetic poop as possible solutions. But Clokie says that phages could be a useful alternative. "We're simply harnessing the natural enemy of the bacteria," she tells Shots.

Unlike bacteria, Clokie says, phages are very specific about what they attack—right down to the sub-species. In fact, a single phage wouldn't be able to take on all the strains of C. difficle. So Clokie is working to develop a cocktail of viruses that would be able to kill the most common strains.

While the bacteria can evolve and try to outsmart the viruses, the viruses can do the same, Clokie says. They've been involved in this arms race for thousands of years.

As long as they can come up with the right cocktail, there's a very good chance that this phage therapy could work, according to Tim Lu, an associate professor of bioengineering at MIT. "If you know what you want to kill, it's kind of like a silver bullet targeting that bacteria," he tells Shots.

And delivering the phages to a person's gut shouldn't be a challenge, Lu says.

Phages are already approved for use in meat and poultry production. Manufacturers sometimes spray food with phages that target listeria, a common food-borne bacterium.

But using phage therapy in humans is a bit more complicated. "Phages were discovered before antibiotics came around," Lu says. And they've been used in humans, he says. But the problem is, they have yet to be tested in well-controlled clinical trials.

There's also the question of intellectual property. Phages are naturally occurring, and therefore they're difficult to patent, which could discourage pharmaceutical companies.

Ultimately, Lu says, "The science is real." The stuff does work. But, he says, "It's a change in the way we think about treating infections, I think that's the biggest hurdle in a way."

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