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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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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But Can Your Smartphone Pick The Fastest Checkout Line?

Sep 29, 2013
Originally published on September 29, 2013 11:22 am



You know how it goes. You're waiting in the line at the grocery store and all of the sudden something catches your eye - the latest People magazine or the shiny wrapper on a candy bar, maybe a package of refreshing breath mints. And before you know it, you impulsively grab all three. Retailers try to maximize our impulsive buying habits by placing these items strategically in our line of vision at the last moment before checking out at the store. But today, chocolate and chewing gum have to compete with smartphones for our attention. And guess who's winning? Let's just say retailers aren't so happy. Writer John Nathanson has written an article for the blog titled "Are Smartphones Making Us Less Impulsive?" John Nathanson joins us now from San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us, John.

JOHN NATHANSON: Hi, Rachel. Thanks for having me.

MARTIN: So, you write that retailers have a derogatory term for smartphones. They call them mobile blinders. What does that mean?

NATHANSON: Essentially what happens when we're standing in line at the checkout aisle, typically we are a captive audience. Now, I happen to work at a mobile application developer and so I am currently fighting on the other side of this battle. I'm developing apps that will keep you locked on your phone screen, whether you're checking Facebook, email, texting your friends. And so while you're doing that, that aisle happens to be primetime for mobile usage. So, what's happening is you are blind to all of the items in the impulse counter.

MARTIN: So, this is not good news for retailers. How important are those last-impulse buys?

NATHANSON: It turns out they're quite important, Rachel, especially to certain businesses, like the candy business, that happens to make up 30 percent of all the sales coming from the checkout counter.

MARTIN: How you come down to this personally when you're standing in line? Are you more distracted? Are you preoccupied with your smartphone or do you scan the checkout aisles for gummy bears.

NATHANSON: Well, I am the world's most impulsive shopper. I've been that guy who has gone in there and who has mostly chosen the gummy bears over the essentials. That being said, I am also now in the business of, and am obsessed with mobile devices. And so I first noticed this concept when, in fact, I had cut down on my own impulse shopping. I'm starting to save quite a bit of money through texting and emailing at the impulse counter.

MARTIN: Are grocery stores, retailers starting to fight back?

NATHANSON: Absolutely. They're going to start raising their voices. They will start using your mobile phone to get your attention, whether that's beaming advertisements and promotions and coupons during to your phone, whether that is using very futuristic technologies in the store, like facial recognition software to find you in the aisles and show you advertisements that they believe are relevant to you, based on everything from what you've bought before to theoretically even what you look like.

MARTIN: If that's true, there's going to be like a giant hologram gummy bear following you around in the grocery store.

NATHANSON: I will not be able to escape it. You know, if that gummy bear won't jump in the basket at the checkout counter, it'll find me and stalk me.

MARTIN: John Nathanson. He joined me from San Francisco. Thank you so much for talking with us, John.

NATHANSON: Thank you for having me, Rachel.


MARTIN: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.