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

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

Editor's note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to, on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

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3 Things You Need To Know About The NBA Finals

Jun 6, 2013

We won't dwell on the obvious. If you care about basketball at all, you know by now that Game 1 of the NBA finals is set for Thursday night in Miami, where the hometown Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs.

Time: 9 p.m. ET.

Broadcaster: ABC-TV.

Led by LeBron James, Miami is defending its 2012 championship. Led by Tim Duncan, San Antonio is looking to win its fifth title.

It's a best-of-seven series.

With those basics out of the way, let's zero in on three things you might want to know if some hoops nut corners you in conversation:

-- Tony Parker's "Cat Quickness." On Morning Edition, NPR's Tom Goldman waxed eloquently about how basketball purists swoon over the Spurs' style. The players share the ball, move quickly and shoot well. They play "team basketball," something that's not seen a lot these days in the star-dominated NBA. But along with Duncan, the big man who anchors the team, there is a Spur to watch. Tom says that guard Tony Parker's "great shot and cat quickness" make him a "defense-shredding machine."

-- LeBron James' Quest For Revenge. In his first trip to the finals, as a Cleveland Cavalier in 2007, James watched the Spurs celebrate "on our home floor" after San Antonio won the championship. "I have something in me that they took in '07," he told reporters Wednesday. "I won't forget that. You shouldn't as a competitor. You should never forget that." With the Heat, James lost again in his second trip to the finals — in 2011. "I've lost enough," he also said Wednesday. "I don't need any more fuel from losing. I've lost two finals, so I don't need any more fuel from losing the finals."

-- "Old Guys Rule." Perhaps this aging blogger is biased, but this entry in Vibe's "9 Things To Know Before Making Your Pick" story struck a chord: "Tim Duncan and Ray Allen [of the Heat] will both play huge roles in this series, both at the age of 37. Allen was huge in Game 7 against Indiana, and Duncan has been huge all season. The two veterans will be big."

Bonus shot:

The Spur who gets the daunting assignment of guarding James is 21-year-old Kawhi Leonard, a second-year player from Los Angeles. You may hear his name a lot — either because he has some success stopping the league's best player or because he gets steamrolled by James. Listen closely to whether ABC's broadcasting team gets Leonard's first name right. According to ESPN's Rick Reilly, it's pronounced "Kuh-why."

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