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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Baseball Prepares For Suspensions

Jun 9, 2013
Originally published on June 9, 2013 6:36 pm



Major League Baseball is preparing to hand down suspensions to some of its marquee players according to a recent ESPN report. It's the result of information the league obtained through a man named Tony Bosch, who reportedly supplied banned substances to athletes through his company Biogenesis of America.

Dave Zirin is sports editor for The Nation, and he joins us. Hello.

DAVE ZIRIN: Hey. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

VIGELAND: For those who perhaps haven't been following the Biogenesis' story and may understandably think we're still talking about the BALCO scandal, catch us up on Tony Bosch.

ZIRIN: Sure. Tony Bosch is somebody who runs a rather off-the-grid outfit known as Biogenesis that's known for doing anti-aging therapy in South Florida, a place where you would imagine there would be quite a market for that.

VIGELAND: Indeed. Indeed.

ZIRIN: But what he has really been doing allegedly is supplying several dozen or perhaps even more Major League Baseball players with banned substances, and not only banned substances but masking agents to then beat the test that Major League Baseball puts down to try to catch players who are running a foul of the agreement to stop banned substances, performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.

VIGELAND: This is really a game of whack-a-mole...


VIGELAND: ...that you ban one substance, and all of the sudden, somebody's going to come up with something else.

ZIRIN: I would make the case that baseball incentivizes steroid use because the salary differentials between the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues are so vast, and because Major League Baseball invest millions of dollars in the Dominican Republic where the poverty line is over 40 percent, and performance-enhancing drugs are legal and available over the counter in the Dominican Republic. And then once you get to the United States, there is a huge demand for ways to beat the test.

VIGELAND: Well, let's get to the players. Twenty of them named this week. You said there could be dozens.

ZIRIN: Oh, yeah.

VIGELAND: How significant is that?

ZIRIN: There's no way that Major League Baseball can win any of these if the Players Association - the union - puts up any kind of defense for the players. My sources and the sources of other people are saying that the Players Association might throw some of these guys to the wolves...


ZIRIN: ...because there has been a sort of sea change culturally among players to say, we need to uproot this stuff from the sport.

VIGELAND: You wrote about that you think that essentially, the solution of all these is to legalize performance-enhancing drugs. So please explain yourself.

ZIRIN: Well, first of all, my starting point is that the system is broken, that the problem with steroids and performance-enhancing drugs is not used, but it's abused. It's when they're taken in back rooms, it's when they're administered by nondoctors like Tony Bosch.

VIGELAND: Trainers. Yup.

ZIRIN: So then the question then becomes, how do you do it in a way that's actually safe and regulated and actually looks at some of these things for the positive effects that they have? Because the number one reason why players take these performance-enhancing drugs is to heal from injury over the course of 162 game season - people who should be the healthiest people.

Former athletes, usually by the time they hit 50, 60 years old, are an absolute mess from top to bottom. And I think if we're able to return this to a public health issue, you would actually create a safer system for athletes and, frankly, have healthier athletes once they retire.

VIGELAND: That's Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation. Dave, thanks for coming in.

ZIRIN: My privilege. Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.