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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Artist Plays Detective: Can I Reconstruct A Face From A Piece Of Hair?

Jun 28, 2013

Her techniques aren't super-sophisticated. She's not a leader in the field. She's more or less an amateur. This is what you can do with ordinary genetic engineering tools right now. Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg can find a cigarette lying on the sidewalk on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, and working from traces of saliva, by pulling DNA out of those saliva cells and using a bunch of simple algorithms available online, she can make some very educated guesses about what the smoker might look like.

She thinks she's got a probable lead on not only gender, but on more subtle things: eye color, hair color, facial structure, skin tone. The bit of green chewing gum she found next to a bodega on Wilson Avenue ...

... "probably" (while the probabilities may vary with characteristics) belonged to a Latino man who looks like this ...

And, although this isn't fair because she already knows what she looks like, when she tried retro-engineering herself from her own DNA, this is what she got ...

How she does this, you will see here, in this short (well, it's longer than I usually post, clocking in at more than 11 minutes) documentary shot by Kari Mulholland. The video takes us from Heather sitting in her doctor's waiting room pondering a little hair stuck under glass in a picture frame, and then we move on, to her decision to collect loose hairs left on subway seats, tabletops, to the business of breaking DNA out of ordinary saliva or hair, to her finding the genetic bits that code for eye color, hair color and facial features online, to her ultimate works: 3-D sculptures that are now shown in art galleries all over the world.

As commentator Ellen Jorgensen says, Heather's project is "a very accessible way for the public to engage with this new technology. It really brings it to light how powerful it is, the idea that a hair from your head can fall on your street and a perfect stranger can pick it up and know something about it, and with DNA sequencing becoming faster and cheaper, this is the world we're all going to be living in."

I guess so. What I don't know is, How close is she getting, really? What I do know, is that while getting her Ph.D. and doing her art, she has managed to learn whatever it is you need to know to do this, and it didn't seem to take her that long.

I'm thinking, this is a game a lot of people can, and one day will, play. I hope they're nice people.

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