The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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: Museum, Kelly Clarkson Vie For Jane Austen's Ring

Aug 13, 2013

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

  • An anonymous donor has given £100,000 (about $155,000) to Jane Austen's House Museum in its effort to buy back the author's gold and turquoise ring from American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, who got it at auction for £152,450 (about $235,700) last year. After Clarkson purchased the ring, British culture minister Ed Vaizey issued a temporary export ban in the hopes that a British buyer would be found and the artifact would stay in the country. Austen had given the ring to her sister Cassandra, and it stayed in the family until it was sold at auction. The museum has until December to match what Clarkson paid. Museum fundraiser Louise West told The Associated Press that "it is very good for Jane Austen PR that a young, famous American pop star expresses a love for her."
  • Salman Rushdie describes the famously reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon while speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival: "Thomas Pynchon looks exactly like Thomas Pynchon should look. He is tall, he wears lumberjack shirts, and blue jeans. He has Albert Einstein white hair and Bugs Bunny front teeth."
  • The novelist Jane Vandenburgh has written an open letter to New York Review of Books editor Robert Silvers about the magazine's most recent issue, which features a stunning lack of female reviewers and authors. She writes: "Really? the only female 'author' the NYRB exhibits any interest in this time is the unfortunate Amanda Knox, where the theme of the review seems to be which lines are this poor girl's and which belong to her work-for-hire ghostwriter?"
  • Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has a book deal for an as-yet untitled book coming out in the fall of next year, Ballantine books announced Monday. In a statement, the senator said, "I am incredibly excited about this opportunity to expand on the work I have been doing through my Off the Sidelines initiative, encouraging all women — whether they're in the halls of government, executive boardrooms and corner offices or attending local government meetings, PTA meetings and even neighborhood gatherings — to make their voices heard." Political memoirs can be gateways to presidential runs, but Gillibrand has said she supports Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
  • In Granta's travel issue, Jamal Mahjoub describes being stuck in Djenné, Mali:
    "The car sat in the square. It looked as though it might have been left there by an alien race visiting from another planet. I watched the dust blow little eddies around the bald tyres as evening, once more, began to fall. I thought about the lizards that awaited me back at the hotel."
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.