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: Sci-Fi Author Jack Vance Dies At 96

May 30, 2013

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

  • Science fiction and fantasy author Jack Vance died Sunday evening, his son told The Associated Press. He wrote more than 60 books, including The Dying Earth. In 2009, writer Michael Chabon told The New York Times that "Jack Vance is the most painful case of all the writers I love who I feel don't get the credit they deserve. If 'The Last Castle' or 'The Dragon Masters' had the name Italo Calvino on it, or just a foreign name, it would be received as a profound meditation, but because he's Jack Vance and published in Amazing Whatever, there's this insurmountable barrier." Vance was 96.
  • On Wednesday, the National Book Critics Circle announced the creation of a new prize, The John Leonard Award, for a first book. John Leonard was an editor of The New York Times Book Review and a founding member of the NBCC. Kurt Vonnegut once said of him, "When I start to read John Leonard, it is as though I, while simply looking for the men's room, blundered into a lecture by the smartest man who ever lived."
  • Blink author Malcolm Gladwell told a panel that the New York Public Library is a "massive money sink of a mausoleum," adding that it "should be focused on keeping small libraries open, on its branches all over the city. ... Go back into the business of reaching people who do not have access to books. And that is not on the corner of 42nd and Fifth."
  • Author Terry Eagleton savaged the recently-published letters of J.M. Coetzee and Paul Auster for the Times Literary Supplement:" It threatens us with a whole new genre in which readers will relish Martin Amis's thoughts on chartered accountancy simply because they are the thoughts of Martin Amis, or queue to hear a talk by Bono on tropical diseases just because he has played so many gigs."
  • Poet Don Share has been named the new editor of Poetry magazine. Christian Wiman, the current editor, will step down in June. Share is a senior editor at the magazine, and has written several collections of poetry. You can read two of his poems over at The Paris Review.
  • Pulitzer prize-winning author Steven Millhauser has a new short story, called "Thirteen Wives," in The New Yorker: "People sometimes ask, 'Why thirteen wives?' 'Oh,' I always say, putting on my brightest smile, 'you can't have too much of a good thing!' "
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