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

2 hours 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: Sales Of Orwell's '1984' Spike After NSA Revelations

Jun 11, 2013
Originally published on June 11, 2013 7:17 am

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

  • As of this morning, Amazon sales of George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 had jumped 6,021 percent in just 24 hours, to No. 213 on Amazon's bestseller list. As NPR's Alan Greenblatt recently pointed out, many people have found uncomfortable resonances between Orwell's "Big Brother" state and the news that broke last week of U.S. government surveillance programs. The news can often be a major driver of book sales: In 2008, sales of Ayn Rand's conservative classic Atlas Shrugged spiked during the banking industry bailouts.
  • And after the news of the NSA surveillance broke last week, Twitter rose to the occasion with a collection of NSA-themed children's book titles: The Princess and the Pea-Sized Listening Device She Found Under Her Mattress and Everyone Snoops were among the best.
  • The Bronte Society has bought a piece of Charlotte Bronte's French homework — a composition on filial love — for £50,000 (nearly $78,000). If anyone's interested, I've got a lead on Thomas Pynchon's algebra notes ...
  • The independent Canadian publishing house McArthur & Company is closing down because of financial difficulties, Publisher's Weekly reported Monday. The owner, Kim McArthur, plans to begin a new project with Miron Blumental, called McArthur Blumental Creative, where she hopes to become a literary agent. The house currently publishes the famed Canadian author Margaret Atwood, among others.
  • In The Irish Times, Frank McNally wonders why Flann O'Brien hasn't had a bridge named after him yet: "If his ghost is still with us, Flann O'Brien/Myles na gCopaleen must surely suspect that there are dark forces at work somewhere to prevent his possible immortalisation by a piece of publicly-funded civil engineering."
  • For The Threepenny Review, James Fenton writes about the poet Philip Larkin: "You might love Larkin's poetry, you might love Larkin the man, as a difficult, impossible, incurably unhappy character. You can't love Larkin as you might love, say, George Herbert — in full confidence that you will love everything about him."
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