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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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
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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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An Abstract Look At The Food We Eat

Jun 9, 2013
Originally published on June 11, 2013 10:42 am

When photographer Ajay Malghan looks at this image, he sees the Virgin Mary. But you might see something entirely different — a flower petal, maybe. Or a sea slug.

Or how about ... a carrot? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a picture of a sliced carrot.

And this? It's not a supernova. It's not the Eye of Sauron. It's a strawberry.

These intriguingly abstract images are part of a photo series called Naturally Modified — the brainchild of photographer Ajay Malghan. To create them, he shines colored lights through thin slices of fruits and vegetables onto light-sensitive paper. So what you end up seeing isn't a picture of the food itself, but an ethereal image of its shadow.

Malghan, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, began this project two years ago as a statement on genetically modified foods. "There are so many steps introduced from farm to table," he says. "Everything's so processed now. ... They're adding stuff, so why can't I?"

Incongruous colors and extreme close-ups turn familiar food into foreign, almost alien abstractions. "It kind of removes you from it," says Malghan. "It makes you realize how little we know about stuff."

Malghan has experimented with other edibles as well, including deli meats.

Although the project began as a statement on GMO foods, he says that it has since taken on a life of its own. And he no longer has a specific goal in mind.

"I don't want someone to go into a gallery and have a preconceived notion," he says. Nowadays, he'd rather have his images appreciated as abstract works of art, and he encourages viewers to walk away with their own interpretations.

"If you can slightly change the way people see or think or perceive, I think that's pretty much it," he says.

So enough talk. Let's leave these pictures to speak for themselves.

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