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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Dan Kennedy: Fishing For A Tale

May 29, 2013
Originally published on May 31, 2013 12:03 pm

Dan Kennedy is a writer at heart, but if you ask him what he's versed in, you're bound to get myriad answers. The author and host of The Moth Podcast spent some time fighting fires, so he knows a thing or two about wildland fire-suppression tools. He's also held a marketing gig at a major record label, which inspired his best-selling memoir, Rock On: An Office Power Ballad. So when we asked Kennedy what he'd like to be quizzed on, he didn't respond with something broad like TV or movies — try "terrestrial and aquatic insects that trout eat to survive."

Kennedy sat down with Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg to chat about his numerous interests, as well as his new novel, American Spirit. The book is about an ad sales guy at a big magazine company whose life starts to crumble after a doctor's visit. After reading his own X-rays, Matthew determines he has four to six months to live and decides that he's now living the first day of the rest of his life.

"The things he does the next day get him fired before lunch," Kennedy says. In order to fill his days, "he basically just gets on the thruway in Westport, Conn., and three exits toward Manhattan, gets off at the fourth exit, comes back into town, gets wasted in his leased BMW in grocery store parking lots all day." In case you're wondering whether he wrote about any events in his own life, Kennedy admits to masking the lines between fact and fiction.

Given the list of marine life topics Kennedy felt comfortable talking about, we tried to create an interesting game about freshwater bass and trout. Turns out that was impossible. So in an Ask Me Another challenge called "Questions Not Really About Fish," Kennedy had to answer questions from Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton about types of fish referenced in pop culture. Think of that classic song by Heart or one of the pledge's nicknames in the quintessential frat movie Animal House.

About Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy lives in New York and is the author of the new novel American Spirit, and the memoirs Loser Goes First and Rock On: An Office Power Ballad. He is host of The Moth storytelling podcast and a contributor to GQ and McSweeney's. His stories have been featured on the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour.

Kennedy performs at The Moth in 2010 in the video below. The theme of the night was "Stiffs: Stories of the Nearly and Dearly Departed."

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