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: Barnes & Noble's CEO Quits

Jul 9, 2013
  • Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Jr. resigned Monday following several grim earnings reports and the company's recent announcement that it would stop manufacturing its own Nook tablets. A new chief executive wasn't named, but Michael P. Huseby has been named president of Barnes & Noble and chief executive of the Nook division. New York Times reporter Julie Bosman suggests the changes may be "a step toward separating the digital and retail divisions, as the company has indicated it might do. Barnes & Noble has been in talks over a potential sale of its digital assets, as well as its 675 bookstores."
  • Queen Elizabeth II is looking for a librarian (not, alas, the affable owner of a library van parked outside Buckingham Palace, à la Alan Bennett). The Royal Collection is advertising for "an exceptional scholar and bibliophile" to run the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. The job, which was first spotted by The Telegraph, pays £53,000 (about $80,000) a year, and the librarian would be expected to work a civilized 37.5 hours a week managing the "unique collection of 125,000 books, manuscripts, coins, medals and insignia."
  • A12-foot fiberglass statue of Colin Firth has been planted, half-submerged in a lake in London's Hyde Park, recreating that memorable scene in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice miniseries in which Firth's Mr. Darcy emerges dripping and tousle-headed from a pond. Of course, Jane Austen's original novel did not include Mr. Darcy's entry into the Pemberley wet T-shirt contest.
  • Open Culture highlights a letter from Charles Bukowski, the poet that Pico Iyer once called the "laureate of American lowlife." The letter, a response to an invitation to do a poetry reading, begins by demanding airfare, a hotel and $200. ("Auden gets $2,000 a reading, Ginsberg $1,000, so you see I'm cheap. A real whore.") It ends cheerfully: "They say it's 101 degrees today. Fine then, I'm drinking coffee and rolling cigarettes and looking out at the hot baked street and a lady just walked by wiggling it in tight white pants, and we are not dead yet."
  • On Wednesday, President Obama will present the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to honorees including writers Joan Didion ("for her mastery of style in writing") and Marilynne Robinson ("for her grace and intelligence in writing"). The editor of The New York Review of Books, Robert Silver, will also be honored, because he "elevated the book review to a literary art form." The medals are awarded annually by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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