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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Christie Finesses Challenge Created By Senate Vacancy

Jun 4, 2013

Only time will tell how well New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie finessed a decision that seemed to pit his personal interests against those of the broader public.

But by calling an Oct. 16 special election to replace the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, it appears the governor took the most politically advantageous option available to him.

Christie insisted Tuesday that the only concern in his decision-making was the importance of elected representation for New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, the value of which outweighed the added costs of scheduling a special statewide election just a few weeks before the regularly scheduled election in November.

But cynics — who were legion Tuesday — assumed that Christie, who's running for a second term and is thought to have White House ambitions, wanted to ensure the biggest re-election vote margin possible, so he scheduled the special and general elections on separate dates.

According to that theory, Christie's move came as a result of worries that Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat who is running for the Senate seat, could have drawn big numbers of energized Democrats to the polls — which could have cut deep into Christie's expected victory margin in November.

So Christie needed at least a believable explanation for his decision, especially since scheduling the special election separately from the general will cost New Jersey taxpayers about $12 million more than holding both elections on the same day.

Christie anticipated the criticism, and provided this explanation:

"In the end, the cost associated with having a special primary and general election, in my mind, cannot be measured against the value of having an elected representative in the United States Senate when so many consequential issues are being debated and determined this year. The citizens of New Jersey need to have an elected representative to the U.S. Senate, and have it as soon as possible."

Sure, plenty of folks weren't buying it. But at least it was plausible.

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