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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


50 Years On, Research On Sex Can Still Be A Lightning Rod

Jul 26, 2013

The world has changed a lot since a divorced mother of two teamed up with a St. Louis gynecologist to study the physiology of sex.

Masters and Johnson's first book, Human Sexual Response, made Virginia Johnson and William Masters household names in the 1960s. More than any other scientists before them, they approached sex as a biological process to be observed, measured and analyzed.

Virginia Masters died this week at age 88. Her work is credited with dispelling many long-held myths about sex, from the thought that penis size matters to the notion that old people don't do it.

"We've gone through tremendous change," says Eli Coleman, director of the program in human sexuality at the University of Minnesota. He says he remembers when Masters and Johnson couldn't get their work published in medical journals. "That just isn't the case any more," Coleman told Shots. "Masters and Johnson were pioneers, and they legitimized the field. We're seeing the results of their courage and labor."

But research on sex can still be a tough sell, even in an age when Internet porn has made it possible for people to view every imaginable form of sexual conduct.

Research projects that have the word "sex" somewhere in them continue to run into trouble with critics in Congress and advocacy groups.

They include a project at the University of Minnesota funded by the National Institutes of Health that was designed to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases for homosexual men who looked for sexual partners on the Internet. The Traditional Values Coalition called that a "government-funded gay porn site."

"Did you know that your paycheck was hit in order to fund a study on how to use condoms correctly?" Fox News pundit Sean Hannity asked this spring. He was talking about a $423,500 study at the Indiana University's Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender, and Reproduction on barriers to condom use. Hannity claimed the project, which got federal stimulus funding, failed to create jobs. The university says that in fact about nine researchers were employed for three years, and the research is studying how to increase proper condom use to reduce STDs and pregnancy.

"Sex is still a very volatile subject," says Jennifer Bass, director of communications for the Kinsey Institute. "The questions we had 50 years ago are different, but some of those questions still remain. Why do people do what they do even though they know about the consequences? Why do smart people get involved in dangerous situations? How does sex influence people's lives and choices?"

With the NIH research budget shrinking, scientists who study sex will find the hunt for funds no easier. "But I think there is a lot of support of basic science research in the area of sexuality," Coleman says — at least from other scientists.

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