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

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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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Coal Industry Concerned By Obama's Climate Change Plans

Jun 26, 2013
Originally published on June 26, 2013 11:13 am



And before leaving on his trip to Africa, President Obama had some other words on another subject. He announced a wide-ranging plan to address climate change. Rather than taking that plan to Congress and fighting it out, Obama is using his executive powers to implement it without new laws. The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The biggest source of those emissions is coal-fired facilities.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports that has the coal industry and its supporters worried.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: As President Obama spoke to a crowd at Georgetown University Tuesday, the hot, humid weather seemed a fitting backdrop to his climate change speech. The president periodically wiped his face with a handkerchief as he laid out the problem.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, about 40 percent of America's carbon pollution comes from our power plants.

BRADY: Obama says the country already limits toxic substances in the environment such as mercury, sulfur and arsenic.


OBAMA: But power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free. That's not right. That's not safe, and it needs to stop.

BRADY: The president said new rules are needed, not just for proposed power plants, but for existing ones. Republicans from coal states couldn't wait to criticize the president's plan. In fact, some didn't wait. Here's Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, hours before the president's speech.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Declaring a war on coal is tantamount to declaring a war on jobs.

BRADY: On the Fox News channel, Representative Ed Whitfield - also from Kentucky - said the president's plan would harm an already ailing coal industry.


REPRESENTATIVE ED WHITFIELD: He obviously does not have much interest in states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Wyoming, where the coal industry is so vitally important and we're losing jobs dramatically.

BRADY: In West Virginia, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he would look for ways to challenge the constitutionality of the new rules. Just a few years back, burning coal generated about half the electricity in the U.S. Last year, the Department of Energy says that number declined to 37 percent. The U.S. coal industry worries President Obama's plan could put it out of business.

LISA CAMOOSO MILLER: Potentially, his actions could make it so that coal power would cease to exist in America.

BRADY: Lisa Camooso Miller is a vice president with the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Her group campaigns to keep the coal industry a profitable part of the U.S. economy. In coming months, you can expect to hear this argument repeated many times as the EPA develops its new rules.

MILLER: If coal were to be erased from the electricity grid in America, it will not be erased from the globe. And what it will provide is affordable and reliable electricity for our competitors in the global marketplace.

BRADY: Another point Miller mentions often: the billions of dollars being spent trying to make burning coal a cleaner proposition. It's not exactly clear what the coal industry's future will look like after these rules, because no one knows what the rules are yet. The president's plan doesn't include details, just broad mandates. That left some on the political left unsatisfied.

The group Public Citizen criticized the president for not going far enough in developing specifics, but many others who are concerned about climate change welcome the president's words. Vicki Arroyo is executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center.

VICKI ARROYO: You know, I don't think there's time for cynicism at this point. We have really lost a lot of time debating in Washington whether or not climate change is happening, even though the vast majority of Americans know in their bones that something is different now.

BRADY: Arroyo says other parts of the president's plan also are important, such as helping low-lying places like Florida deal with the effects of climate change. The president also said the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada will not get his approval if it contributes significantly to carbon pollution. The biggest announcement, though, remains the EPA mandate.

Now the agency begins an ambitious public process to develop the new rules. Obama says he wants a draft ready in about a year, with the final rule in place in 2015. Jeff Brady, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.