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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Brazil's President Offers Carrot And Stick To Protesters

Jun 22, 2013
Originally published on June 22, 2013 2:16 pm

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has pledged a nationwide overhaul of public transportation, improved funding for schools and a crackdown on corruption in response to sometimes violent anti-government protests that have roiled the country for the past week.

In a 10-minute address broadcast on Friday, Rousseff broke her silence on the protests, saying she would spend more money on public transportation and divert some of the country's oil revenues to pay for education, The Associated Press reported. She also addressed widespread anger over government corruption.

"I want institutions that are more transparent, more resistant to wrongdoing," Rousseff said. "It's citizenship and not economic power that must be heard first."

But she also denounced attacks by protesters on government buildings and acknowledged concern about security ahead of a visit by Pope Francis in late July. She threatened to put the army on the streets if the violence continued.

"I assure you, we will maintain order," Rousseff said.

In an interview with NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said the rising expectations of the country's emerging middle class were in part the cause of the protests.

"I think there is a widespread view that they reflect aspirations by citizens who have benefited from rising living standards for [further] improvements in their lives," Patriota said.

Although the demonstrations began as a protest against a hike in the public bus fare, The New York Times reports:

"In São Paulo, the nation's largest city, protesters [Friday] blocked roads leading to the airport and thousands rallied at a downtown plaza to protest a measure backed by conservative legislators, known as the gay cure, that would allow psychologists to treat homosexuality as a form of mental illness.

"The protests continued even though one of the main groups that had been behind the original demonstrations here said that it would not call for any more marches in São Paulo. The group indicated that it had won the concessions on bus fares it had demanded and that it was concerned that some members of allied groups, like left-wing political parties or social movements, had been singled out and beaten up at the demonstrations.

" 'We won the fight, so we are going to take time to think about what to do next,' said Rafael Siqueira, a member of the group Passe Livre, which had pushed for the rollback of a bus fare increase.' "

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