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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Book News: Apple, DOJ Tussle As Ebook Price Fixing Trial Ends

Jun 21, 2013
Originally published on June 21, 2013 10:32 am

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

  • Apple and the Department of Justice wrapped up closing arguments Thursday in their three-week ebook price-fixing trial before U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. Apple attorney Orin Snyder said the company did not conspire with a single publisher to fix prices in the e-books industry," adding that if Apple is found guilty, "that precedent will send shudders through the business community" as companies look for new markets. Justice Department attorney Mark Ryan countered that Apple was in charge of "an old-fashioned, straightforward price-fixing agreement" with five major publishing houses. The government has since settled with those publishers. Cote, who had said before the trial that she thought the DOJ would be able to prove its case, hinted her views have changed, saying Wednesday that "the issues have somewhat shifted during the course of the trial." She is expected to rule in the civil antitrust case later this year.
  • For The Atlantic, essayist Joseph Epstein argues that Kafka is overrated: "Kafka found [life] unbearably complicated, altogether daunting, and for the most part joyless, and so described it in his fiction. This is not, let us agree, the best outlook for a great writer. Great writers are impressed by the mysteries of life; poor Franz Kafka was crushed by them."
  • New York Magazine's Vulture ranks the 185 Choose Your Own Adventure books in order "from most to least awesome-sounding." The top slot goes to Prisoner of the Ant People (super awesome), and the place of shame goes to The First Olympics. (U.N. Adventure was also a contender.)
  • Audrea Lim considers Tao Lin's Taipei within the wider history of drug literature: "If altered states were once, as the old Aldous Huxley chestnut has it, "doors of perception," then sometime between Huxley's era and the one depicted in Taipei, those doors seem to have closed."
  • Publishers Weekly is putting out its first ebook, an account of the Apple price-fixing case titled The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon and the "Big Six" Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight, written by PW senior editor Andrew Albanese.
  • An Oklahoma textbook salesman at John Wiley & Sons stole $2.8 million in textbooks, according to federal authorities. Christopher J. Brock allegedly sent thousands of textbooks as samples to fake professors at addresses under his control, and then resold them. According to The Jersey Journal, he used the money to buy, among other things, "high-end home furnishings."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.