Charles Mahtesian

The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Charles Mahtesian is Politics Editor for Digital News.

Prior to coming to NPR, Mahtesian spent five years as Politico's national politics editor, where he directed its political and campaign coverage and authored a blog on the American political landscape.

He joined Politico after five years as the editor of the National Journal's Almanac of American Politics, the biennial book often referred to as "the bible of American politics."

Before that, he spent eight years as a national correspondent for Governing magazine, where he covered state legislatures, governors and urban politics.

He began his career reporting on elections and congressional redistricting for Congressional Quarterly, where he was also a contributing writer to the books "Politics in America" and "Congressional Districts in the 1990s."

Prior to coming to NPR in his current role, Mahtesian had served as an election night analyst for NPR and was a frequent guest on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Talk of the Nation"; MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and on FOX News, C-SPAN, CNN and the BBC.

He has written for a variety of newspapers, journals, and magazines including Politico, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, National Journal, Congress Daily, Government Executive, and Campaigns and Elections.

He earned his bachelor's degree in politics from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and his law degree from American University.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For all the money spent, doors knocked, ads aired and miles traveled by candidates this year, the 2014 elections will likely come down to the votes cast by a relatively small universe of places.

Whether it's because of their size, demographic make-up, or the unique spot they occupy, these places will have an outsized role in state — and possibly national — politics this year.

Here are seven of them:

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Shortly after Rep. Eric Cantor's surprise defeat in the Republican primary, Cantor announced his plans to step down soon from his position as House majority leader. This will leave a void in the GOP leadership, an open spot that's sure to attract plenty of interest.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Voters in three states go to the polls tomorrow in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio. It's the beginning of an eight-week stretch of primaries that should give us a good idea of how the political landscape is shaping up for this November.

NPR's political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that. Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE MAHTESIAN, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

Update at 6:34 p.m. ET: 14 Reported Injured

Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tim Nelson says 14 people are reported to have been injured, six in critical condition, in the blast and have been taken to area hospitals.

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.