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: Authors Lose Class-Action Status In Google Books Case

Jul 3, 2013

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

  • Google scored a victory this week when an appeals court ruled that the Authors Guild and other organizations couldn't collectively sue the tech giant over its digital library project. Writers groups alleged in a 2005 suit that Google violated copyright laws by scanning more than 20 million books for its online library without permission, but Google claims that it is fair use to display snippets of books in web searches. With the new ruling, authors may have to sue Google individually. Matt Kallman, a Google spokesperson, said in a statement, "We are delighted by the court's decision. The investment we have made in Google Books benefits readers and writers alike, helping unlock the great pool of knowledge contained in millions of books."
  • "Media strategist" Ryan Holiday says he promoted his book, appropriately titled Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, by using false tips and lies about the amount of his advance to trick media outlets such as Gawker into covering his book. He lays out his dastardly plan on The Observer's BetaBeat blog: "It went like this: I would grossly exaggerate the size of my book advance in a press release and let the gossip mill take this number and run with it. I would encourage bloggers and reporters to speculate that it was a celebrity tell-all about high-profile clients of mine like Dov Charney and Tucker Max. In effect, I'd be using the media's weakness for sensationalism to get them to expose their weakness for sensationalism."
  • Listen to actor Stephen Fry read Oscar Wilde's story "The Happy Prince" in deep, soothing, manly British tones.
  • For Bookforum, Sarah Leonard breaks down the contradiction embodied by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibit PUNK: Chaos to Couture: "Punks created these looks out of cheap materials and trash while living in cold-water flats and burned-out buildings, but the couturiers bring such skill and resources to bear on their ideas that, despite the obvious stupidity of calling an expensive chiffon gown punk, one can't help but admire the spectacle. In those of us with a tribal loyalty to the culture, this produces a giddy feeling: thrilling to the looks of a $6,000 jacket, while simultaneously despising its existence."
  • Victoria Barnsley, the longtime CEO of HarperCollins UK is stepping down, and will be replaced, delightfully enough, by Charlie Redmayne, CEO of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter website Pottermore (where, if you are so inclined, you can brew your own potions and practice the "Jelly-Legs Jinx"). He had worked for HarperCollins until 2008 as Chief Digital Officer.
  • For The Paris Review, Ted Scheinman infiltrates Jane Austen summer camp. From his diary: "E-mails from the braintrust inform me that I am to play Mr. Darcy at the Meryton Assembly on Saturday night, to which end I must shave my beard and attend two sessions of Regency dance instruction, all while perfecting my scowl."
  • The textbook company Cengage Learning said Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. CEO Michael Hansen had warned last month that bankruptcy might be a necessary step, as Cengage was struggling with more than $5 billion in long-term debt as of March.
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