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

1 hour 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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Airbnb Stays Are Illegal In New York, Court Rules

May 21, 2013

People who use Airbnb, the web company that pairs travelers with residents who rent out their homes on a short-term basis, are breaking New York City's laws, according to an administrative law judge. The vacation rental business was found to run afoul of the city's occupancy code; it also doesn't conform with a state law.

As CNET reports, New Yorkers who break those rules are likely to face legal proceedings only if a complaint is filed against them. Airbnb, based in California, was part of the recent proceedings only as an involved observer.

The ruling issued Monday afternoon is a defeat for Airbnb "host" Nigel Warren, who in February was accused of violating the city's residency code for renting out his East Village apartment for less than a week, as WNYC has reported. Warren now reportedly faces $2,400 in fines.

Questions over Airbnb's legality have risen along with the web service's impact on New York's tourism industry. According to Crain's, some 30,000 New York City residents are Airbnb hosts, accounting for hundreds of thousands of visits each year.

"That kind of demand is expected to generate around $1 billion in local economic activity in 2013," Crain's New York Business reports, "outstripping the impact of the city's booming cruise-ship industry five times over, according to figures cited by tech-industry leaders with knowledge of the site."

Complicating matters further, the economic impact of those visits largely skips the hotels in central Manhattan. A more detailed view of how Airbnb works comes from Chris Dannen of Fast Company, who describes how he made nearly $20,000 in nine months of using the site to rent out space in his apartment in Brooklyn, a popular destination for Airbnb visitors.

For its part, Airbnb has been asking legislators in Albany to modify a state law that bans apartment rentals of fewer than 29 days. The law was approved in 2010 and enacted in 2011.

"It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes," Airbnb said in a statementtells CNET. "Eighty-seven percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in — they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law."

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