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: Illinois School Board Restores 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower'

Jun 12, 2013
Originally published on June 13, 2013 7:35 am

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

  • A school board in Glen Ellyn, Ill., has voted to restore Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being A Wallflower to shelves, after a parent's complaint led to its removal from Hadley Junior High School earlier this year. The ban prompted a public outcry for the book's return that had the support of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. author Judy Blume and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Blume appeared in a protest video made by Glen Ellyn students that was shown to the school board prior to the vote, saying, "I love the book Perks of Being a Wallflower. Keep the book alive."
  • Who could be more suited to illustrating Alice in Wonderland than the surrealist painter Salvador Dali? Open Culture showcases his sinister, trippy illustrations for a 1969 edition of Lewis Carroll's classic novel.
  • Designer Phillipp Meyer has written the first graphic novel for the blind, according to Wired. The book, called Life, uses a tactile technique inspired by Braille – characters are represented by circles of raised bumps. He told Wired, "Most of the tactile material that is available for blind people is very information dense. It's always about information and not often about art."
  • Joyce Carol Oates considers Derek Raymond in The New York Review of Books: "Raymond's vision is wholly secular and fatalist and there is little sense of redemption in these blood-drenched pages."
  • OpenDyslexic, a free, open-sourced font designed by Abelardo Gonzalez, aims to help people with dyslexia read text more easily. According to Gonzales' website, the font works because "letters have heavy weighted bottoms to indicate direction." He adds that, "The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent confusion through flipping and swapping."
  • Poet laureate Natasha Trethewey speaks with The Los Angeles Review of Books about W.H. Auden's poem "Musee des Beaux Arts": "That was the poem that first showed me I wasn't alone, so many years ago, after I'd lost my mother. You know those opening lines: 'About suffering, they were never wrong [...]' That sentiment: here was the image of Icarus falling into the sea in the background and in the foreground the rest of the world was going on as if nothing had happened."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.