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

1 hour 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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Boehner: Who's Going To Jail For What IRS Did?

May 15, 2013
Originally published on May 15, 2013 9:34 pm

He doesn't want to know who's going to resign, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday morning.

He wants to know: "Who's going to jail" for what IRS personnel did to some conservative groups?

As we've been reporting, IRS officials have admitted that during the 2012 campaign cycle some groups that applied for tax-exempt status were put through extra scrutiny if their paperwork mentioned the "tea party" or included words such as "patriots" — signals that they might be engaged in political activity (which would rule out giving them tax-exempt status).

The IRS says this wasn't about partisan politics, but was a misguided effort by some lower-level employees to streamline their work.

Conservatives have howled. President Obama has called such actions by the IRS "outrageous." Attorney Gen. Eric Holder has ordered an investigation to see if any laws were broken. A Treasury Department inspector general has issued a report that says "ineffective management" at the IRS led to the use of "inappropriate criteria" during the application reviews.

Update at 2:50 p.m. ET: IRS Employees May Have Violated Hatch Act:

When asked what criminal charges might come from the FBI's investigation of the IRS, Holder said in testimony before Congress on Wednesday that there was the potential for civil rights violations, false statements and violations of the Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act, enacted in 1939, prohibits federal employees belonging to the executive branch from engaging in partisan activities.

Related stories and posts:

-- "5 Takeaways From IRS Report." (Politico)

-- "IRS Inquiries Crossed The Line, Tea Party Groups Say." (Morning Edition)

-- "Controversies Risk Starving Obama's Agenda Of Air." (It's All Politics)

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