New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

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: Did A Missing Testicle Make J.D. Salinger A Recluse?

Sep 5, 2013

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

  • Among the odder "revelations" coming out of a new J.D. Salinger biography is the claim that the author of Catcher in the Rye had only one testicle. According to David Shields and Shane Salerno, the biography's authors, two women "independently confirmed" the story. They go on to posit that testicle-shame may have been one of the reasons he became such a recluse. But given that wearing clothes is customary in many parts of New York (exception: the subway), it seems Salinger needn't have shunned society if he wanted to hide that particular problem.
  • U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey recalls her first encounter with Seamus Heaney, the legendary Irish poet who died last week: "When I finally did meet Seamus, at the garden party of the colleague who'd made those facsimiles for me, I was stunned by his accessibility and generosity of spirit — two things quite evident in his poems. Often it seems that there are writers who are their best selves on the page. That Seamus Heaney was as genuine and deeply admirable in person as in his poems was to me a gift, then as now."
  • British betting site Ladbrokes says Japanese author Haruki Murakami is a 3-to-1 favorite to win the Nobel Prize in Literature this October. Murakami is followed by Joyce Carol Oates (6-to-1) and Peter Nadas (7-to-1).
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf playwright Edward Albee gave an intriguing (if somewhat combative) interview to The Believer: "I do not invent characters. There they are. That's who they are. That's their nature. They talk and they behave the way they want to behave."
  • Novelist and critic Katie Kitamura explains to Guernica why "a really good, interesting novel will often let a little ugliness get into its words."
  • Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's fussy, mustachioed detective, is getting a new lease on life after Christie's estate agreed to let novelist Sophie Hannah revive him in a mystery coming out next fall. Hannah said in a press release, "I hope to create a puzzle that will confound and frustrate the incomparable Hercule Poirot for at least a good few chapters."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.