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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Asparagus Helps Lower Blood Pressure (At Least In Rats)

Jun 8, 2013

Here's another reason to eat asparagus, in case you were looking for one.

Researchers at the Kagawa Nutrition University in Japan fed a diet consisting of 5 percent asparagus to rats with high blood pressure. As they report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published online on May 30, after 10 weeks, the rats on the asparagus diet had lower blood pressure than the ones fed a standard rat diet without asparagus.

The rats on the asparagus diet also had less protein in their urine, a sign of a healthier kidney. And they had less activity of ACE, or angiotensin-converting enzyme. Drugs that reduce the activity of ACE are used to treat hypertension in humans.

The Japanese researchers think a compound found in asparagus called 2"-hydroxynicotianamine is responsible for inhibiting ACE activity in the rats. There's not a lot of literature on hydroxynicotianamine. It seems to be found in buckwheat sprouts, buckwheat leaves and buckwheat, where it also seems to be an ACE inhibitor.

Of course, it's far too soon to known whether 2"-hydroxynicotianamine has a similar effect on humans. But if it does, perhaps this could open new vistas in the treatment of hypertension. In fact, for the treatment of high blood pressure, this could be the dawning of the age of asparagus.

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