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: Newly Found Pearl Buck Novel To Be Published This Fall

May 22, 2013

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

  • A never-before-seen novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl Buck that was discovered in a Texas storage unit will be published in October. Publisher Open Road Integrated Media describes the book, titled The Eternal Wonder, as "the coming-of-age story of Randolph Colfax, an extraordinarily gifted young man whose search for meaning and purpose leads him to New York, England, Paris and on a mission patrolling the DMZ in Korea," according to The New York Times. The newspaper reports that Buck "is believed to have completed the manuscript for the book ... shortly before she died of cancer in 1973, said her son Edgar S. Walsh, who manages her literary estate."
  • Mark Ford writes about Vladimir Nabokov and his greatest creation, Humbert Humbert, for The New York Review of Books: "The golden-tongued Humbert, one must always remember, is possibly the greatest rhetorician since Milton's equally persuasive and dangerous Satan."
  • At first glance, you might think that The Washington Post actually liked Martin Amis' widely-detested novel Lionel Asbo. The front cover boasts a Post blurb stating: "Amis is a force unto himself. ... There is, quite simply, no one else like him." But as Ron Charles points out, the newspaper eviscerated Lionel Asbo, and the blurb comes from a review of another Amis book that The Post reviewed 23 years ago. There's something almost impressive about that level of shamelessness.
  • Ayad Akhtar, who won the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year, is publishing three new plays with Little Brown, publisher Reagan Arthur announced Monday. (Check out Akhtar's essay for NPR Books about the literature of faith in America.)
  • The Paris Review excerpts from Martin McLaughlin's new translation of the letters of Italo Calvino: "Although I am small, ugly and dirty, I am highly ambitious and at the slightest flattery I immediately start to strut like a turkey."
  • A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone hand-annotated and illustrated by J.K. Rowling sold for a spectacular $227,421 at Sotheby's on Tuesday, in an auction to benefit the free-speech group English PEN. As we noted Monday, Rowling's marginalia explain the origins of Quidditch (a fight with her boyfriend) and reveal the original mascot of Hufflepuff House (a bear, instead of a decidedly non-menacing badger).
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