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.

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Apple Hires Burberry CEO To Improve Customer Experience

Oct 18, 2013
Originally published on October 18, 2013 12:23 pm



Two industries on opposite sides of the Atlantic this week were rocked by the same piece of news: Angela Ahrendts, the American who revived the fortunes of British fashion label Burberry - famous for its tartan rainwear - was hired away by Apple. Or, as one British paper put it: from Mackintoshes to Macs.

Vicki Barker reports from London.

VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: At this Burberry store in Central London, the distinctive camel, black and red Burberry check is barely evident on the racks, but is hinted at discretely in details like the shade of leather hand rails on the staircase.

Unobtrusive sales assistants hover, and a simple dark green wool coat with gold buttons costs... 1,895 pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: One thousand eight hundred and ninety-five pounds.

BARKER: About $3,000. But a Burberry coat is far more likely to be denominated in Chinese yuan, these days. Customers in rising Asia are happy to pay $24,000 for a mink cashmere leopard print interpretation of a traditional Breton fisherman's coat - in that distinctive Burberry camel color.

Under Angela Ahrendts' leadership, Burberry- to misquote Gilbert and Sullivan - has become the very model of a modern global retailer.

Yet when Ahrendts arrived from New York seven years ago, the brand once worn by Victorian polar explorers and British mountaineers had fallen on hard times, with licenses to use that famous Burberry check sold off indiscriminately. It was also widely counterfeited.

Justine Picardie is editor-in-chief of Harpers Bazaar magazine.

JUSTINE PICARDIE: It was the equivalent of the fake Rolex. And it was also worn by football fans - some might also say football hooligans. So the brand had lost its integrity.

BARKER: Ahrendts herself has said that in her first meeting with her management team on a quintessentially wet and chilly English day, not one of her 60 new colleagues was actually wearing Burberry.

What followed was a mix of hard work, buying back licenses, intensive collaboration with Burberry's star designer, Christopher Bailey, and a kind of alchemy Justine Picardie describes as retailing genius.

PICARDIE: What she did was to understand, firstly, what is the essence of Burberry, this Britishness and quality and heritage. And then, having understood that, to be able to move that forward into a contemporary environment.

BARKER: Ahrendts also wore the clothes, six feet tall, blonde, formidable yet unaffected, she was the woman her customers wanted to be. Rahul Sarma is a London-based retail analyst.

RAHUL SARMA: First of all, she elevated this brand significantly, upscaled it in the way that it became aspirational, became desirable once again. Secondly, I think she modernized it by bringing in technology.

BARKER: In fact, Burberry is one of the most technologically advanced luxury goods companies on the Internet.

The Burberry show is one of London Fashion Week's hottest tickets. But if you can't be in the front row with Kate Moss and Emma Watson, no worries — it's streamed live.

A fashion executive like Ahrendts may not have much to teach Apple about technology. But Andrea Felsted of the Financial Times says it's no accident that Ahrendts is actually the second fashion industry executive Apple has headhunted.

ANDREA FELSTED: Technology is becoming a luxury good in the same way as a high-end handbag. And so you want to bring in talent from those industries to really cement that luxury image.

BARKER: The high-tech, high volume atmospherics of a typical Apple store may seem a world away from the perfumed hush of that Burberry store. But Justine Picardie of Harpers Bazaar thinks both brands marry the virtual and the tactile to create a memorable retail experience, another reason, she says, Ahrendts will be a good fit for Apple.

PICARDIE: What she brought to Burberry, and what Apple are doing already, is to understand that it's not enough to just occupy the digital space: there's still got to be human contact, human experience, the luxury experience.

BARKER: Apple's gain could be Burberry's loss: the company's stock fell more than 2 percent on word of Ahrendts' departure.

For NPR News, I'm Vicki Barker in London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.