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: World's Oldest Torah Scroll Found, Italian Scholar Says

May 31, 2013

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

  • A professor at the University of Bologna in Italy says he has found the world's oldest known complete Torah scroll. Hebrew scholar Mauro Perani says the manuscript had been mistakenly categorized as a 17th century work by a librarian at the university in 1889, and lay unnoticed in the archives until now. The sheepskin scroll, which contains the five books of the Pentateuch, dates from 1155 to 1225, according to carbon testing.
  • The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley, the Roman Catholic priest and novelist known for his outspoken opinions of his church, died Thursday morning, as NPR's Mark Memmott reported. He was 85. Greeley wrote more than 150 books, including nonfiction and thrillers. He once told The New York Times, "I suppose I have an Irish weakness for words gone wild. Besides, if you're celibate, you have to do something."
  • A new graphic novel about the Civil Rights movement has an unlikely blurber: former President Bill Clinton. The book co-written by Georgia Rep. John Lewis will tell the story of his fight for equal rights, including the 1963 March on Washington. Clinton wrote: "Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I'm so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America's young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands."
  • The French graphic novelist Julie Maroh, whose book Le Bleu Est une Couleur Chaude inspired the film which just took the Palm D'Or at Cannes, said that the film turned the relationship between two women into pornography for men. In a blog post, she called it "a brutal and surgical display, exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and made me feel very ill at ease."
  • Molly Fischer writes on Zelda Fitzgerland for The New Yorker: "Whether it's a critic restyling her as a feminist martyr or a novelist salvaging her story, the impulse to save Zelda animates the efforts of those invested in her legacy."
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