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

1 hour 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: Lydia Davis Wins Man Booker International Prize

May 23, 2013

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

  • American author Lydia Davis was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, worth about $90,000, at a ceremony Wednesday in London. Davis is renowned for her works of (very) short fiction. One story, "Samuel Johnson Is Indignant," reads in its entirety: "that Scotland has so few trees." Another, called "Certain Knowledge from Herodotus" says, "These are the facts about the fish in the Nile:" Sir Christopher Ricks, chairman of the judges, is quoted in the official announcement: "Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories? Or perhaps miniatures? Anecdotes? Essays? Jokes? Parables? Fables? Texts? Aphorisms, or even apophthegms? Prayers, or perhaps wisdom literature? Or might we settle for observations?" (In any case, Samuel Johnson was indignant about the lack of trees in Scotland, and Herodotus had some odd conceptions about the breeding habits of Nile fish.) Other finalists included American writer Marilynne Robinson, who was considered the frontrunner (her novel Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005), and the French novelist Marie NDiaye, whose Three Strong Women made a splash in 2012.
  • Keith Richards, the wraith-like Rolling Stones guitarist, told The Sun tabloid that he owes 50 years' worth of library fines. The Sun said "experts" (economists? librarians? other irresponsible library patrons?) estimate that means about $30,000 in fines.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts will write a book about "fighting for the middle class," according to a press release sent out by her publisher, Henry Holt. Although parts will be autobiographical, it adds, "the main focus of the book ... will be the conflict America now faces between giant institutions and the needs of everyday citizens." The Democratic lawmaker's book, not yet titled, will be published in 2014.
  • It's rumored that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin also is coming out with a book. A report in the National Review cites "a source close to Ryan" who stressed that the book won't be a "tell-all" about the failed Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, but a combination of policy and autobiography.
  • Amazon announced Wednesday that it will let writers of fan fiction sell their work through its site, though authors will share profits with the original copyright holder and with Amazon. Long a staple of Internet subculture, fan fiction has slowly begun to receive more serious academic consideration. (Check out Katherine Arcement's great essay about it for the London Review of Books.) But until now, it was illegal to sell fiction based on copyrighted works — books such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which began as Twilight fan fiction, needed to be substantially altered before they could be sold for profit.
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