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: Malala, Girl Shot By Taliban, Calls Books 'Weapons That Defeat Terrorism'

Sep 4, 2013

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

  • Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban because she advocated for girls' education, helped open Europe's largest public library on Tuesday with a speech claiming that "pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism." The new library in Birmingham, England, where the 16-year-old is attending school, houses more than a million books and replaces a Brutalist building that Prince Charles once said resembled "a place where books are incinerated, not kept." Yousafzai, who was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, said in her speech, "I have challenged myself that I will read thousands of books, and I will empower myself with knowledge." She added, "I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through educating not only our minds, but our hearts and our souls."
  • The editor of The Paris Review, Lorin Stein, remembers his teacher, the poet John Hollander, who died last month: "To study with Hollander could be punishing, not because he bothered to punish his students (beyond shouting 'NO! NO! NO!' if, for example, you misidentified a passage of Eliot as Pound — he couldn't help that). The punishment was one's feeling that he lived more because he knew more, and was always learning more, so you would never catch up. Once, as a sophomore, I stumbled into a private lesson he was taking in Swahili. To get over the fact that one would never become like Professor Hollander was a lesson in itself."
  • The art and design blog Colossal features examples of "fore-edge" paintings — secret, exquisite paintings on the edges of books that are revealed when the pages are warped in just the right way.
  • Mary Gaitskill writes in Bookforum about the "sickening" appeal of Gillian Flynn's bestselling Gone Girl: "The only reason I kept reading was that I'd taken it with me on a long train ride, and it was better than obsessively checking my messages (which is something). As I read, I began to find the thing genuinely frightening. By the time the train ride was over, I felt I was reading something truly sick and dark — and in case you don't know, I'm supposedly sick and dark."
  • For Poetry magazine, Lemony Snicket (adorable alter-ego of adorable author Daniel Handler), selects 20 poems for a feature called "Poetry Not Written for Children That Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy." He begins, "The poems contained in this children's poetry portfolio are not made for children. Poetry is like a curvy slide in a playground — an odd object, available to the public — and, as I keep explaining to my local police force, everyone should be able to use it, not just those of a certain age."
  • Cole Haan's fall ad campaign features an unexpected new model: the 85-year-old Maya Angelou (looking extremely chic in all black). She recently told Vogue: "Eighty is OK. But eighty-five is a knockout."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.