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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Arab-Americans: A 'Growing' Community, But By How Much?

May 30, 2013
Originally published on May 30, 2013 9:53 am

One-and-a-half million Americans today claim Arab ancestry, according to a new Census Bureau report.

That's less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

Still, Maryam Asi, a demographer at the Census Bureau who co-wrote the report, says the Arab-American community is "growing," with a 76 percent increase since 1990 and 25 percent increase since 2000.

Some advocates of the Arab-American community, however, have raised questions about whether these numbers reflect the actual size of the population.

"The census undercounts our community. It always has," says Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

Berry's organization estimates the total Arab-American population to be closer to 3.6 million — more than double the Census Bureau's latest estimate. That number is based in part on research by polling firm Zogby International, according to the Arab American Institute's website.

Reasons for the discrepancy between the estimates, the Arab American Institute claims, may include:

" ... the placement of and limit of the ancestry question (as distinct from race and ethnicity) [on the Census Bureau's American Community Survey]; the effect of the sample methodology on small, unevenly distributed ethnic groups; high levels of out-marriage among the third and fourth generations; and distrust/misunderstanding of government surveys among recent immigrants."

The current census definition of "Arab ancestry" also excludes Arab League countries such as Somalia and Sudan as countries of origin. Census Bureau officials say defining who is Arab is a work in progress.

"We are working with experts and community leaders on how to make changes for the 2020 census," explains Roberto Ramirez, chief of the Census Bureau's Ethnicity and Ancestry Statistics Branch.

Despite the debate over the overall population size, advocates agree that the latest census report does provide a window into economic differences within the Arab-American community.

Arab-Americans have a higher median household income ($56,433) than the national median ($51,914). Within the community, Lebanese-Americans, who make up one in three Arab-American households, lead at $67,264, with Iraqi-Americans at the lowest end at $32,075.

While homeownership among Arab-Americans overall is below the national rate (66.6 percent), Lebanese and Syrians are more likely to own homes, with rates at 71.6 percent and 69.2 percent, respectively.

Berry says these trends reflect the community's immigration history. Lebanese and Syrians were part of the first major wave of Arab immigrants beginning in the late 1800s, while Iraqis are among the newest groups to settle in large numbers in the U.S.

Understanding the financial gaps among Arab-American groups is also instructive for social service and advocacy groups, Berry explains.

"It gives us an opportunity to look at the kinds of services offered to the community and ask, 'Are we giving sufficient resources?' " she says.

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