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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Book News: Amazon May Be Called Before Parliament Over Taxes

May 17, 2013
Originally published on May 17, 2013 9:39 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Amazon faces a grilling from members of Britain's Parliament over its extremely low U.K. corporate tax payments, Reuters reported Friday. As NPR noted on Thursday, Amazon has the subject of intense scrutiny after it was revealed that the Internet retailer's U.K. unit paid only slightly more in taxes than it received in government grants because its sales are routed through Luxembourg. But investigations by The Guardian and Reuters found evidence that Amazon should be subject to a higher U.K. tax rate. Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, told Reuters, "We need to very urgently call back Amazon to question them around what you've uncovered; to look at that in relation to what they actually told us when they gave evidence to us and of course if they were economical with the truth or not totally honest in their evidence to us last time, that is a very serious thing."
  • The Nation magazine and AARP both announced this week they are launching ebook lines. The Nation's ebook publishing imprint, "ebook Nation," will kick off with State of the Union, National Essays, a collection of essays by the late Gore Vidal. Meanwhile, AARP has teamed up with RosettaBooks for a series of original ebooks on such topics as "caregiving, brain health, and driver safety," according to MediaBistro. Digital imprints are becoming increasingly common, particularly for media organizations – The New York Times and The Washington Post, for example, publish their own ebooks.
  • Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel spices up The New York Times' usually bland "By the Book" series: "I love Jane Austen because she's so shrewdly practical: you can hear the chink of cash in every paragraph."
  • Anne Applebaum argues that Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In is actually nothing new: "This is not a book that belongs on the shelf alongside Gloria Steinem and Susan Faludi. It belongs in the business section."
  • And, last but not least, Jen Doll reports on the dire state of the apostrophe for The Atlantic Wire: "The apostrophe has been forgotten or purposely left behind in an increasing array of words."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.