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: Germany's Longest Word Gets The Ax

Jun 5, 2013

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

  • Until recently, the German language's longest "authentic" word was the 63-letter Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, meaning "the law for the delegation of monitoring beef labeling," according to The Telegraph. But the law was recently repealed, leaving Germans with no reason to use it (except perhaps to lament the loss of the word Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz). Although it appeared in government documents, it hadn't made its way into the Duden German dictionary, where the reigning champion is the measly 36-letter word Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung, or "motor vehicle liability insurance." And the Telegraph notes that "a 39-letter word, Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, insurance companies providing legal protection, is considered the longest German word in everyday use by the Guinness Book of World Records."
  • The 25th annual Lambda Literary Awards (or "Lammys"), for "excellence in LGBT literature" were awarded Monday night in New York. Winners included John Irving, who won the Bridge Builder Award for being an "ally to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," as well as the bisexual fiction prize for his novel In One Person. Jeanette Winterson won the lesbian memoir category with Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Augusten Burroughs won a special Award for Excellence in Literature. The Wall Street Journal notes that the prize was given by The New York Times' Frank Bruni, who said of Burroughs, "He's not just a talented man, he's a freakishly talented one."
  • The Onion publishes an "op-ed" from Joyce Carol Oates with advice on becoming a famous author: "Success in writing takes serious commitment and a willingness to devote thousands of hours to the craft of having sex with key publishing professionals." (As you might have guessed, the article contains strong language.)
  • Jonah Lehrer, the disgraced journalist and author who was nabbed for fabricating quotes and other transgressions, is reportedly shopping a book about the science of love. Slate cites "sources in the publishing industry" for the tip.
  • For The Rumpus, Alec Michod interviews Colum McCann about writing: "It all feels like one big, long, complicated failure. Until it doesn't."
  • The Japan Times reports that two Japanese men were arrested for allegedly using an illegal smartphone app to steal about $2,000 worth of ebooks.
  • Brain Pickings' Maria Popova unearthed a 1947 recording of T.S. Eliot reading his poem "The Ad-dressing of Cats": "I bow, and taking off my hat, / Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!" (Incidentally, the book of poems in which it was published, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, went on to inspire the Broadway musical CATS.)
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