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: John Hollander, Master Of Poetic Forms, Dies At 83

Aug 19, 2013

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

  • The poet John Hollander died on Saturday from pulmonary congestion, his daughter told The New York Times. He was 83. A professor at Yale and the author of over a dozen collections of poetry, Hollander had a deep reverence for what he called, in an interview with The Paris Review, "the alchemy of syntax, the temples and sacred precincts of verse." A highly formal poet, he wrote in everything from saphhics to haikus. His playful and masterful book Rhyme's Reason defined various verses in poems written in that verse — i.e., a sestina about sestinas or a villanelle about villanelles. The poet J. D. McClatchy told the Times, "It is said of a man like John Hollander that when he dies it is like the burning of the library at Alexandria."
  • NPR's Petra Mayer reports from a weekend retreat for fans of the novelist Debbie Macomber: "Go to your nearest paperback rack, and odds are, you'll see two or three, or four, or — well, a lot of books by Debbie Macomber, an author The Sacramento Bee has dubbed 'the reigning queen of women's fiction.' "

The Best Books Coming Out This Week:

  • Marisha Pessl's Night Film is as lurid and sinister as the horror movies at the center of the novel. A disgraced journalist investigates the death of the daughter of Ashley Cordova, who is the daughter of Stanislas Cordova, director of hellish "night films." It's cinematic, full of foreboding emblems — a blood red coat, a painted eye. Read an exclusive excerpt here.
  • NPR's Barrie Hardymon wrote of The Good Lord Bird: "You may know the story of John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, but author James McBride's retelling of the events leading up to it is so imaginative, you'll race to the finish." Hear McBride speak to NPR's Scott Simon in an interview for Weekend Edition.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.