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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Could LeBron And RGIII Help Sell The Affordable Care Act?

Jun 24, 2013
Originally published on July 8, 2013 5:26 pm

Who's going to be more successful at selling health insurance to young men this fall: NBA MVP LeBron James, NFL rookie of the year Robert Griffin III, or Mom? If officials at the Department of Health and Human Services get their way, all may be drafted.

"We're having discussions, active discussions, with a variety of sports affiliates," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed at a meeting with reporters this morning to relaunch the department's website for consumers, HealthCare.gov.

"We know the Red Sox were incredibly effective in Massachusetts when they rolled out their marketplace," Sebelius said, referring to that state's successful effort to market to young men when it was implementing its insurance mandate in 2007. "So it's a logical place to go."

Last week there were unconfirmed news reports of discussions between HHS and the NBA, whose season runs pretty much concurrently with the six-month sign-up period for the health law. But it's football season that will be in full swing when open enrollment for coverage through the Affordable Care Act launches Oct. 1.

Sebelius hinted today that the National Football League may be more than willing to take on the task.

"The NFL," she said, "in the conversations I've had, has been very actively and enthusiastically engaged, because they see health promotion as one of the things that's good for them and good for the country."

Getting young people, particularly young men, to sign up for coverage under the health care law is not just something that's good for them, however. It's critical to the entire success of the new insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. If only the older and sicker sign up, premiums will quickly become unaffordable.

Yet getting those young people to sign up is a challenge, said Sebelius, since they "may not get up every morning thinking about health insurance."

Enter Mom. It turns out that mothers, even more than sports stars or celebrities, have a profound influence on what even their grown sons do. Remember all those Campbell's Soup-NFL ads?

It turns out, says Sebelius, that those ads have something of a ring of truth. She said she was recently talking with an NFL player representative, and he told her that when it comes to the health insurance offered by the NFL, "the most influential person is the mother of the player, who can often get the player to do things that a wife, a spouse, a girlfriend, or the player himself doesn't do."

Added Sebelius, herself the mother of two sons: "It kind of confirmed my basic bias that moms still have a lotta influence."

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