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: Zimmerman Juror Drops Book Plans

Jul 16, 2013
Originally published on July 16, 2013 8:40 am

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

  • Juror B37 has dropped her plans to write a book about the George Zimmerman trial. In a statement released by literary agent Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary Management, Juror B37 wrote, "I realize it was necessary for our jury to be sequestered in order to protest our verdict from unfair outside influence, but that isolation shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case. The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband's perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our 'system' of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our 'spirit' of justice." Juror B37 told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an anonymous interview on Monday night that she thought Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place," but that "it just went terribly wrong." Martin told The Wall Street Journal that the decision on the book "was joint."
  • BookRiot features photos of the Cleveland Public Library's outdoor "reading nest," an enormous nest for sitting and reading perched outside the library. Designed by the artist Mark Reigelman, the nest is made from more than 10,000 pieces of wood and measures 13 feet high and 36 feet in diameter.
  • Patrick Juola, one of the linguistic experts who helped The Sunday Times determine that The Cuckoo's Calling was written by J.K. Rowling, tells TIME magazine that writers' fingerprints can be found in the little words: "Pr[e]positions and articles and similar little function words are actually very individual. It's actually very, very hard to change them because they're so subconscious."
  • Following the news that Robert Galbraith is actually a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, our colleagues at The Onion reveal that J.K. Rowling is, in turn, a pseudonym for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: "Gingrich went on to say while he mostly tried to keep his political life separate from his fiction, the character of Ron Weasley was based almost entirely on Tom Daschle."
  • In 2011, the controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq failed to show up for part of his book tour, and speculation ran wild that he had been kidnapped, perhaps by al-Qaida. Houellebecq reappeared a few days later with no explanations. The Guardian reports that a French film company has now announced that it completed filming a movie starring the author and called L'enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq (The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq). Director Guillaume Nicloux has promised to reveal where the writer was for those mysterious several days. Houellebecq is notorious in France for his claim that Islam is "the stupidest religion" and his subsequent trial for inciting racial hatred. (He was found not guilty.)
  • The New York Times' David Carr explains why Barnes & Noble is good for Amazon: "One of the parties that might want to root for Barnes & Noble is Amazon. Sales of e-books fell immediately after Borders went under, leading some to suggest that reduced opportunity to browse the physical artifact resulted in less online buying."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.