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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Court Says Some Morning-After Pills Must Be Available OTC Now

Jun 5, 2013
Originally published on June 5, 2013 6:00 pm

A federal appeals court has dealt the Obama administration yet another blow in its quest to keep at least some age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraceptive pills.

In a three-paragraph order, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that although the government's appeal of a lower court decision removing all age restrictions on morning-after pills is still pending, at least some medications must be made available over the counter immediately.

Specifically, the panel said that while the requirement for one-pill versions of the morning-after pill to be made available without age restrictions can be delayed while the appeal is considered, that is not the case for "two-pill variants," which include generic products Next Choice and other levonorgestral tablets.

Ironically, the FDA had sought to produce a compromise by approving in late April an over-the-counter version of Plan B One-Step, a one-pill version that would be available on pharmacy shelves but only to those 15 and over who are able to produce proper identification.

But Plan B One-Step costs in the neighborhood of $50, while the generic two-pill formulations cost about $20 to $35.

The saga of trying to move emergency contraception from a prescription-only to an over-the-counter product has been ongoing for more than a decade through two successive presidential administrations.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman, who has overseen the case since 2005, has made it clear that he thinks the government has dragged its feet to the point of violating the law.

But few expected the New York-based appeals court to agree with Korman, even in part, by denying the government's request to stay his April 6 order while the appeal is being heard.

The government — via the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services — had no immediate comment on the ruling. Representatives would say only that they were "reviewing the order" from the appeals court.

Those who have been pursuing the case, however, had a bit more to say.

"Today's decision from the 2nd Circuit marks an historic day for women's health," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has represented some of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "Finally, after more than a decade of politically motivated delays, women will no longer have to endure intrusive, onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions to get emergency contraception."

What happens next remains unclear. Some lawyers say the government might be able to appeal to the full 2nd Circuit. But more likely, if they insist on fighting, government attorneys would have to seek relief from the Supreme Court justice who oversees the 2nd Circuit — Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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