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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Badger, Bunny And Black-Cat Blues: 3 Tales Of Animal Noir

Jun 9, 2013
Originally published on June 10, 2013 12:46 pm

How do I like my summer noir? Hard-boiled, with brooding investigators, sharp wits, danger, crazy fights, bullets, chases and loves lost, unrequited, or dripping with passion. Or perhaps tempered by darkness in a cold, post-revolutionary world filled with intrigue, conspiracy and a resistance hanging in the balance. Even better, it should be part of a series, making it both binge-worthy and binge-able. And if it turns out it's a graphic novel featuring anthropomorphic characters? Best of all.

Anthropomorphism: We've practically been weaned on it — from The Little Caterpillar, Mother Goose and Charlotte's Web, to the army of Disney characters guarding the passage to adulthood like the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. As teens, we're turned on to the political satires like Animal Farm, with its pigs and dogs playing out tableaus of politics and human cruelty far more expressively than actual humans.

Reams have been written on our psychic response to stories told by animals, and the way animals can provide a voice to the oppressed under the mask of cute and cuddly. Plutarch wrote essays about it ("On the Use of Reason by 'Irrational' Animals" — definitely not beach reading, by the way). But that aside, most of us simply crave a good yarn well told.

Fortunately, graphic storytellers Bryan Talbot, S.M. Vidaurri and duo Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guardido all deliver with their anthropomorphic creations, wowing us with their words and art, and this very important message: Don't make the kitty angry, trust toads or give bunnies explosives.

Jody Arlington is a communications and policy strategist for the independent film and documentary community, and the owner of a truly astounding number of graphic novels. She also has a thing for creepy bunnies.

Three Books... is produced and edited by the team at NPR Books.

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