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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Netflix Rebounds From 2011 Stumbles By Listening To Audience

Oct 22, 2013
Originally published on October 22, 2013 7:13 pm



We have a few more numbers for you now from a superstar tech company that stumbled painfully and publicly back in 2011 but appears to be on solid footing again. I'm talking about Netflix. Now, remember when the company changed its prices and divided its DVD rental and streaming services, and then quickly reversed course when customers howled?

Well, yesterday, Netflix released its third-quarter earnings. In just the past year, the company's stock price has more than tripled. For the first time in the U.S., its streaming service has reached and passed the 30 million subscriber mark. And it earned 14 Emmy nominations for its original programs, including "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey.


KEVIN SPACEY: (as Francis) As for me, I'm just a lowly House majority whip. I keep things moving in a Congress choked by pettiness and lassitude. My job is to clear the pipes and keep the sludge moving. But I won't have to be a plumber much longer. I've done my time. I've backed the right man.

CORNISH: For more on the rise and fall and rise again of Netflix, I'm joined by Brian Stelter of the New York Times. Hey there, Brian.


CORNISH: So, I'm going to start in the middle back in 2011. What did Netflix and its then embattled CEO, Reed Hastings, do to get the company back on track after what were, you know, basically an embarrassing and damaging couple of months?

STELTER: I think the answer might be embedded in your introduction, when you were talking about how Netflix reversed course once it heard from its customers. Netflix listened to its customers and has continued to listen to its customers ever since. And that might be part of the secret to its success.

CORNISH: And he didn't just listen, he apologized, right? I remember that.

STELTER: That's right. A rather unusual public apology from a chief executive of a big company. Sometimes that's rather refreshing for people to see. But Netflix is quite good at knowing what its customers want and quite good at pleasing its customers by giving them more of what they want. Lately, its original programming strategy is evidence of this. By having original shows like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," Netflix is giving customers a reason to come back. And that sort of customer-centered strategy is probably partly the answer to what got them back on track.

CORNISH: Now, Brian, you write about an interesting challenge for Netflix, one that they're still trying to overcome. You call it the TV two-step. What is that and what are they doing about it?

STELTER: You know, it's every time you go from watching cable to watching something on Netflix. You have to pick up the remote control, change the input on your television, hope that the other box you've hooked up to your TV actually works. That's the two-step that many people know how to do, but many people don't know how to do. And what Netflix would like someday is to have a button on your normal remote control that pulls up Netflix automatically.

It'd like to be accessible through the cable set top box experience that most people are used to. It'll be nice for Netflix to show up on the on-screen guide right next to NBC and Fox News. Now, that's probably a long ways off, but Netflix is now talking to cable operators about making that happen, and it'll probably happen someday.

CORNISH: We've learned it's dangerous, frankly, to predict the future of a company like Netflix. I mean, a lot of people wrote them off two years ago. Do you see any warning signs now that this resurgence itself is fragile?

STELTER: The more bearish analysts that cover Netflix say that the concern for the company going forward is that it is spending an enormous amount of money on programming, mostly by licensing shows that have already been on television elsewhere. For example, "New Girl" and "Breaking Bad," you know, these sort of catch-up shows that are on Netflix. But it's also spending a lot on original programming like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black." And these more bearish analysts say that Netflix is going to have to walk a tight wire of sorts to make sure it can afford all of the promises it's made basically to pay for this programming while it continues to gain subscribers. They say it's going to be a challenge for Netflix to keep its balance sheet in a comfortable place.

CORNISH: That's Brian Stelter, a reporter for the New York Times. Brian, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.