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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Court Rules Vacation Rental Site Illegal In New York

May 22, 2013
Originally published on May 22, 2013 9:29 am



Here's some news for travelers. If you can't afford - or don't want to pay the price for - a hotel room, maybe you've used the cheap lodging site Airbnb. If so, you have to take New York City off your list. The popular website has suffered a major setback in court. A judge in New York ruled that an Airbnb user in Manhattan violated local laws when he rented a room to an out-of-towner.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz reports.

ILYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: The only difference between Nigel Warren and thousands of other New Yorkers who've occasionally rented out their homes through websites like Airbnb, is that Nigel Warren got caught. After getting a violation notice last September, Warren calculated the possible fines, figured he could be on the hook for as much as $30,000, and decided to take a chance by fighting the charges in court. This week, the decision came in the mail.

NIGEL WARREN: My immediate reaction was a mixture of relief and - you know, as to what it could have been, along with, obviously, disappointment.

MARRITZ: Warren will pay a penalty of $2,400 on behalf of his landlord. But the judge dismissed four out of five violations, including for ones for lack of sprinklers and fire alarms. On balance, Warren says...

WARREN: This is awesome. This is a far better outcome than it could have been.

MARRITZ: But on the big question, illegal occupancy, the city prevailed. And that could have consequences for Airbnb. The site has grown rapidly, as people around the world have embraced the idea of person-to-person rentals. But in many cities, these arrangements may violate local codes.

DAVID HANTMAN: We were very disappointed overall.

MARRITZ: David Hantman is Airbnb's head of Global Public Policy. By intervening on behalf of a user for the first time, the company had hoped to establish that some rentals can be done legally. That gambit failed. The city of New York did not immediately comment on the case.

For NPR News, I'm Ilya Marritz in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.