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/.

Pages

China Scraps Some Controls On Lending Interest Rates

Jul 19, 2013
Originally published on July 19, 2013 10:00 am

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

"The central bank said it hoped the move will lower financial costs for companies.

"However, it did not scrap an existing ceiling on deposit rates, currently set at 110 percent of benchmark rates, which many economists see as the most important step Beijing will eventually need to take in liberalizing its interest rate regime."

As The Wall Street Journal interprets the news, this is a "key step" in liberalization of the country's interest rate regime. One analyst told Reuters the move was "a big breakthrough in financial reforms."

As The Associated Press sees it, this is a "move toward creating a market-oriented financial system to support economic growth."

Bloomberg reports that the shift had been telegraphed by the Chinese government.

"Today's announcement builds on pledges by Premier Li Keqiang to expand an overhaul of interest rates, a development the World Bank says must be a priority in reform of the financial system," the news service says. "China's one-year benchmark lending rate has been held at 6% since the last reduction in July 2012."

The AP notes this is the first major economic reform implemented under the government of President Xi Jinping.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.