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: Booksellers Irate Over Obama's Amazon Visit

Jul 31, 2013

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

  • President Obama's Tuesday trip to an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tenn., has raised eyebrows (and hackles) in the bookselling community. Publisher's Weekly ran a provocative story titled "Does President Obama Hate Indie Bookstores?" that called Obama's visit "a slap in the face" to booksellers. In an open letter to the president, the board of the American Booksellers Association called his choice "greatly misguided." It added, "The news this weekend that Amazon is slashing prices far below cost on numerous book titles is further evidence that it will stop at nothing to garner market share at the expense of small businesses that cannot afford to sell inventory below their cost of acquisition." Deputy Press Secretary Amy Brundage told PW that "what the president wants to do is to highlight Amazon and the Chattanooga facility as an example of a company that is spurring job growth and keeping our country competitive." As NPR's Bill Chappell reported Monday, Amazon announced a day before Obama's trip that it planned to add more than 5,000 jobs in the U.S.
  • In the wake of J.K. Rowling's recent admission that she wrote under the pen name Robert Galbraith, The New York Times asked several prominent writers what their pseudonyms would be and what kinds of books they would write using them. Carl Hiaasen said he would conceal his identity as "Rick O'Mortis," a fantasy author who would write "a series of vampire-romance novels set at an assisted-living facility in post-apocalyptic Boca Raton, Fla." He added, "Perhaps there could also be trolls and pythons."
  • Adam Johnson, who won this year's Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with his novel The Orphan Master's Son, has a new story in Esquire: "Nirvana," which is set in the Silicon Valley of the future. Johnson is known for his playful futuristic writing: In one memorable sentence, he writes, "The drone offers up its firewall like a seductress her throat."
  • The Oxford English Dictionary has put out a public appeal for anyone with documentation of the word "def" (in the sense of "cool" or "great") appearing before 1981 to come forward. The dictionary has recently been crowdsourcing some of its more problematic words.
  • An excerpt from George R.R. Martin's upcoming novella was published Tuesday on the Tor website. The novella, The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens, is set two centuries before the events of his popular Game of Thrones series, and recounts "the Causes, Origins, Battles, and Betrayals of that Most Tragic Bloodletting Known as the Dance of the Dragons."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.