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 http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Book News: Amazon Posts Loss As It Focuses On Long Game

Jul 26, 2013

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

  • Amazon reported an unexpected second-quarter loss Thursday of about $7 million — though revenue rose 22 percent — as it continues to bet big on investments in digital content. The Bookseller summarized Amazon's strategy of "building new warehouses, growing services and ... [buying] a hoard of digital rights content for its film streaming service." It adds , "In the three months from April to June [Amazon] announced an expanded video licensing agreement with Viacom, as well as deals with NBC Universal Cable & New Media. The company also opened Kindle Worlds, which allows writers to write fan fiction around 'popular worlds.' " Amazon's stock took a hit on the earnings news. But Forbes points out that "a 3% loss in after-hours trading on a shorter-than-expected report on a single quarter doesn't mean that much to [CEO Jeff] Bezos, and it shouldn't mean that much to Amazon's investors, either." In other words, don't be thrown by the numbers: Amazon is thinking big.
  • Author Geoff Dyer writes about trying to teach himself how to smile, in spite of the fact that "the Dyer visage in repose, its default setting, is that of a man whose jam has regularly been stolen from his doughnut."
  • The literary website The Omnivore has started a dating service, to "fulfill your bodily needs as well as your intellectual ones." The Omnivore isn't the only place to look for a bookish love connection — The New York Review of Books is also famous for its cerebral personal ads.
  • The latest Barnes & Noble nostalgia piece comes from Michael Agger at The New Yorker: "Going to Barnes & Noble became a Saturday afternoon. It was as if a small liberal-arts college had been plunked down into a farm field." Remember when Barnes & Noble was the enemy?
  • Neil Gaiman made a video game called "Wayward Manor," which will come out this fall. Gaiman told Mashable that he's tried (and failed) to do it before: "Back in the late 1990s I spent a lot of time working with various gaming companies. What tended to happen is I put an incredible amount of work in these things and just as something was about to happen, the company was about to go bankrupt."
  • For The Telegraph, Horatia Harrod considers miniature books: "There is a certain madness to the world of miniature books. The smallest ones, which measure less than a quarter of an inch, cannot be opened; even if they could, their type could not be read without the aid of a microscope."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.