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

Congressional Recess Isn't A Cease-Fire; It's A Chance To Reload

Aug 2, 2013
Originally published on August 2, 2013 6:32 pm

As Congress heads off for its 2013 summer recess, who could blame a citizen for thinking that maybe the slogan above the House dais should be changed from "In God We Trust" to "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here."

Experts in government like Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have repeatedly warned that compromise, the lubricant that makes the U.S. system work, has been a missing ingredient in recent Congresses, especially in the House. And there were no signs Friday that anything will be different when Congress returns in September from its five-week break.

Instead, the last vote taken by the GOP-controlled House Friday indicated the kind of fall it's likely to be. The House took its 40th vote to undo President Obama's signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act. The vote on the bill, which would ban the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing Obamacare's individual mandate provision, was a two-fer.

The bill took aim at two subjects anathema to many voters in the Republican base — the same IRS that targeted conservative and other groups, and Obamacare. The bill passed by a 235-185 vote.

But the vote was strictly symbolic. The Democratic-controlled Senate will ignore it, so President Obama doesn't even have to worry about vetoing it. And that won't matter to GOP lawmakers: They'll be able to tell their constituents back in their home districts that they're fighting the good fight nonetheless.

Democrats, meanwhile, will use the recess to claim they are on the side of angels against an obstructionist Republican Party that can only be stopped if Democrats are again given control of the House.

More fights, good or otherwise, are due upon Congress' return from recess. There will be a battle over funding the government past September and another over raising the federal debt ceiling, in which another GOP attempt to defund Obamacare may figure.

If there are any compromises between Democrats and Republicans out there, they're so far over the horizon as to be impossible to see at this point.

The congressional recess, then, is properly seen as a chance to reload. It's not a cease-fire.

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