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: Mich. School System Won't Ban Anne Frank's 'Pornographic' Diary

May 13, 2013

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

  • Last week, the mother of a seventh-grader in Northville, Mich., filed a complaint seeking to keep an unexpurgated version of Anne Frank's Diary off of middle school shelves because she felt a passage describing the female genitalia was "pornographic." But a review committee has decided to keep the book in the curriculum. In a letter excerpted by the Observer & Eccentric, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Robert Behnke states that "the committee felt strongly that a decision to remove the use of 'Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition' as a choice within this larger unit of study would effectively impose situational censorship by eliminating the opportunity for the deeper study afforded by this edition."
  • Lisa Levy challenges Alain de Botton's How To Think More About Sex in the Los Angeles Review of Books. "There is something ersatz, if not quite fraudulent, about de Botton's entire intellectual enterprise," she writes, adding that it might be "the most boring book ever written about sex." (However, that hardly seems fair in light of Foucault's History of Sexuality, Vol. II.)
  • In an op-ed for The Guardian, author Lionel Shriver denounces the media focus on her weight and fitness instead of her work in recent interviews: "The trivilialisation of my life, character and career in the print media this last month – the reduction of what I write and believe to how I work out and what I eat – is yet more evidence of a communal mental illness."
  • "He left the hostel and took the stone path down to nothing good," Ben Marcus writes in a new short story in this week's New Yorker.
  • Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers, an account of life in the slums of Mumbai, India, that won the National Book Award, will be adapted into a play by David Hare for London's National Theatre.

The Best Books Coming Out This Week:

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, though it probably doesn't live up to her last novel, 2007's Half of A Yellow Sun, is still an engaging treatment of race and identity in the U.S. and Nigeria. She spoke with NPR's Scott Simon over the weekend.
  • Ru Freeman's On Sal Mal Lane is a lovely portrait of Sri Lanka in the lead-up to the country's civil war.
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