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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Capitol Hill's Partisan And Racial Divide Cast In Bronze

Jun 19, 2013

A 7-foot-tall statue of famed, lion-maned abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was dedicated Wednesday on Capitol Hill is perhaps best understood as a bronze symbol of the partisan divide in Washington and of racial politics.

The ex-slave, who later became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, was a federal official and an important journalist of his day. It took years for a statue of him to land a spot because it became a proxy in the fight over voting rights and statehood for Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia officials years ago asked to have statues representing the district placed on display in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall just like the statues provided by the 50 states. They wanted two statues, one of Douglass and another of Pierre L'Enfant, the Frenchman who planned the layout of the district.

Republicans rebuffed the request, however, arguing that D.C. was not a state and therefore didn't rate the privilege of having representation in Statuary Hall.

The back and forth went on for years with national Democrats supporting the district, which has a nonvoting delegate in the House, for the usual reasons. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic and until recently was majority black. A politician's support for district voting rights and statehood has long been viewed by African-Americans as general solidarity with them.

For Republicans, there was little upside to the strongly Democratic district getting statehood or votes in Congress. Allowing the statues could be a step down a slippery slope since the district would receive yet one more attribute of a state.

A compromise was reached in September. Douglass, but not L'Enfant, would get a Capitol Hill spot, though in the Capitol Visitor Center, not Statuary Hall.

It probably helped the cause of Douglass' statue that he belonged to the GOP, like most abolitionists before and during the Civil War, and African-Americans after the war.

At the official dedication ceremony Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner noted that at the 1888 Republican National Convention, Douglass was the first African-American to have his name placed in nomination for the presidency. Benjamin Harrison, the eventual nominee and president, had little to worry about: Douglass got just one vote.

Allowing the Douglass statue also probably wouldn't hurt and might help the image of a Republican Party whose establishment knows it needs to attract more minority voters or at least not turn them off.

Meanwhile, Democrats like Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used the dedication event to call for the district to get a vote in Congress (Biden, Reid and Pelosi) and even statehood (Reid and Pelosi).

Douglass, who advocated for district voting rights himself, would have appreciated that. After all, he once said: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will."

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