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/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Creator Of Popular Schwinn 'Sting-Ray' Bike Dies

May 13, 2013
Originally published on May 14, 2013 5:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, this hour, we remember the man behind a famous bicycle design. Now, if you spent your childhood riding a bike with big handlebars and a banana seat, then you owe Al Fritz your thanks. The former executive for the bike company Schwinn died last week. In 1963, Fritz introduced the model known as the Sting-Ray, and it got a boost with ads on the TV show "Captain Kangaroo."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Captain will be back after these messages.

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #2: It's Schwinn bike time again, boys and girls.

CORNISH: The Sting-Ray was born after Fritz traveled to California, where kids were modifying bikes to look like suped-up, chopper-style motorcycles. He returned to Schwinn's Chicago headquarters with the concept.

MIKE FRITZ: He brought the idea back, and the rest is history.

CORNISH: That's Mike Fritz, who joined his father at Schwinn in 1973.

FRITZ: He got universal disapproval for the idea. People thought it was a stupid idea. But at the time, my dad was vice president of engineering research and development; and he certainly had the clout to push through a concept, even if he was the only one that believed in it.

CORNISH: And that belief paid off. The Sting-Ray turned out to be one of the more successful products in Schwinn's history. It was soon copied by other bike manufacturers. Al Fritz had worked his way up at Schwinn, from welder to vice president for engineering, research and development. And his son says he was forever tinkering.

FRITZ: I was the envy of the neighborhood. I used to get the new bike ideas, the new bike prototypes, long before they ever saw it in the marketplace. One of the great ideas that he had at one time - that never really flew - he developed a windshield, sort of a Plexiglas windshield, that bolted to the high-rise handlebar. And it made it look that much more like a motorcycle. And he brought that home, and we tried it out. And I had the pleasure of going back and saying, Dad, when it's windy out, it makes the bike unstable.

CORNISH: Mike Fritz, also a bicycle engineer, remembering his father, Al Fritz, who died last week at age 88.

(SOUNDBITE OF QUEEN SONG, "BICYCLE RACE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.