The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Awkwardly Awaiting The Zimmerman Trial's Outcome

Jul 12, 2013

With the verdict looming in the trial of George Zimmerman, who's charged in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, suddenly speculation has turned to this: the possibility of angry protesters turning to violence if the outcome isn't the one they envisioned.

For more than a year, the case has sharply divided onlookers. Did Zimmerman racially profile the black male teen? Was he standing his ground and defending himself? Against that backdrop, it should come as no surprise that there's also a debate over whether even suggesting there could be post-verdict rioting is racist.

Yet with tensions running high, the threat of violence is very real. Just look at the riots and looting that happened in Oakland, Calif., after Oscar Grant was killed by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009, and after Mehserle's involuntary manslaughter conviction the next year. And you don't have to dig too deep on social media to unearth the ugliness on both sides of the current case — pro-Zimmerman and anti-Zimmerman.

Still, it's weird to be sitting around discussing human behavior like weather patterns, right? That storm front we've seen coming through could finally hit shore this weekend, and there are signs it could be a violent one!

Some folks reacted to the general oddness of this moment of nervous anticipation the way many of us react to uncomfortable moments — with dark humor.

As funny as that Twitter exchange is, it raises a question: How do you prepare for, maybe, possibly, there-could-be-but-we're-not-quite-sure-it's-going-to-happen, violent rioting?

Daniel Myers, a sociology professor at the University of Notre Dame, points out what should be obvious: If there's an opportunity for people to gather in big groups following the verdict, there's a chance for things to get out of hand. And don't let it be hot, because people go outside when temperatures are hot.

"You have to find ways of keeping people from gathering where events can occur," says Myers, who has done scholarly work on the racial rioting of the 1960s and '70s. "That's tough to do in a situation like this."

In Florida, police could put on a show of force and have officers lined up along the street outside the courthouse ready to act, but that introduces a new danger: clashes between the police and people in the crowd.

"Rumors spread that the police hurt someone, people gather ... and it increases chances for those sparks to go off," Myers says.

Technology could fuel the fire since it's easy to coordinate over your cellphone. Meet me at the corner of Toil and Trouble streets right now! Social media can also help quicken the pace. It wouldn't be the first time protests have been organized via Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. It's hard for officials to counteract that.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office has decided to be proactive with the Zimmerman trial by creating a video that urges people in the community who are unhappy with the verdict to "Raise Your Voice, Not Your Hands," by "standing together as one, no cuffs, no guns."

The concept isn't new. Back in the 1990s, after people died in riots following a previous Chicago Bulls' NBA championship victory, Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and Dennis Rodman urged fans to celebrate the team's achievements with style and dignity. A few years later, the Los Angeles Lakers stole that idea, and Glen Rice, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal asked their fans to celebrate their team's achievements with style and dignity.

However, this isn't a basketball tournament, and these aren't fans. And as Gene Demby pointed out earlier this week, this case has a lot of different issues tangled up in it.

"Who that message seems to be coming from will be critical as to whether people pay attention to the message," Myers says. "The mayor saying 'Don't riot,' could be seen as scolding."

Which brings me to this point: Preparing for the threat of violence in a tense situation isn't anything specially related to black people.

Back on June 7, 1963, Eugene "Bull" Connor — yes, the man best known for ordering cops to set fire hoses and dogs on black protesters in Birmingham — addressed a Citizens' Council rally (<--that's video of Connor's speech) ahead of the scheduled integration of the University of Alabama campus. The fear at the time? That white people would riot to stop black students from attending the university.

Anyway, here's what he told folks that day:

"Don't go around that university! Let the law enforcement agency — that's what you got 'em hired for — and the governor of the state of Alabama handle this thing," Connor said.

"Tell your friends when you leave here between now and Tuesday, 'Don't go up there, leave it alone. They gonna handle this situation. Just leave it alone.' "

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