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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Moving In With Manufacturers, Amazon Delivers A New Approach

Oct 28, 2013
Originally published on October 28, 2013 11:58 am

Amazon's business is built on three basic concepts: faster delivery, greater selection, and cheaper prices.

In service of that, it has built enormous warehouses staffed largely by robots that shuttle around, pulling goods out of bins at remarkable speed. It can take just a matter of minutes to go from order to shipment.

And lately it's pursuing a program where Amazon goes directly into manufacturers and manages their logistics and online retailing.

"It fits right into world domination for Amazon, because what this is doing is now allowing them to even broaden wider the scope of products that they're going to offer," says Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst for NPD Group.

He says Amazon's Vendor Flex program benefits manufacturers, because they can sell more of their products directly to consumers. And it gives Amazon a bigger warehouse footprint, enabling it to ship more goods faster and cheaper.

"It's kind of like a win-win-win. There are three wins," he says, for the manufacturer, Amazon and the consumer.

"The only ones that's not going to win are traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, which now have just gotten an additional competitor in categories that they've traditionally not had online competition in," he says.

Amazon declined to discuss the program, but it has shopped Vendor Flex to various manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble.

It allows Amazon to set up shop and hire its own workers within a manufacturer's warehouse or facility. Amazon essentially runs the e-commerce and logistics for the manufacturer, which can sell direct to the consumer.

John Replogle is CEO of Seventh Generation, a cleaning products company that has worked with Amazon since the online retailer's early days. Although he declined to comment about Vendor Flex, he says the company is thinking about new sales channels.

"I think the notion of what it means to be a big box is being redefined," Replogle says.

He says for his company, direct online sales make up a low, single-digit percentage of sales. But he expects it to double in the next few years, because fewer people want the traditional suburban experience of hauling bulky consumer products in their cars.

"If you look at the consumer today, it tends to be young and well-educated," he says. "And increasingly, what they're doing is living in urban centers. Their shopping behavior is shifting increasingly to online and in urban centers. So, as we think about strategically how we position ourselves, we've got to move with that consumer."

Wal-Mart and others also realize that, and are responding by beefing up their online presence and delivery speeds. But retailers like Wal-Mart also have a big advantage over purely online retailers. Namely, they have physical locations close to their consumers.

"Wal-Mart has a huge, much larger logistical footprint than Amazon," says Tom Forte, an Internet analyst with the Telsey Advisory Group.

And by partnering with manufacturers, Amazon is essentially trying to expand its geographic footprint quickly, to get closer to the customer.

Forte calls faster delivery the new frontier of Internet competition. EBay's eBay Now service is experimenting with delivery of goods in an hour, and Google's Shopping Express promises same-day delivery.

"Amazon's adding fulfillment centers outside of major metropolitan areas, and eBay and Google are leveraging the retail stores within the major metros," Forte says. "So they should, at least in theory, be able to get the merchandise faster to the consumer than Amazon, which I think's a risk for Amazon."

But Amazon, too, is running its own same-day delivery experiments in Seattle and Los Angeles.

"The average consumer visits a grocery store 2.2 times a week, so one of the reasons that Amazon is rolling out grocery is they want that frequency of purchase," Forte says.

And, he says, that's only skimming the surface of what's to come.

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