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

1 hour 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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Decade Later And Across An Ocean, A Novel Gets Its Due

May 19, 2013
Originally published on May 19, 2013 6:18 pm

Sometimes you need some distance to appreciate a classic.

That was certainly the case for John Williams' novel Stoner. When it was originally published in 1965, the only publication to mention the book at all was The New Yorker, in its "Briefly Noted" column. The novel received admiring reviews over the years, but sold just 2,000 copies and was almost immediately forgotten.

Fast forward to today and the book is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. It is a best-seller across much of Europe, including the Netherlands, where it has been the best-selling novel for the past two months. But it is not the action-packed thriller or steamy romance you might expect to be topping the charts. It is a quiet, slim novel about a young man who leaves a hardscrabble farm in Missouri to become a literature professor in 1910.

"It sort of pays tribute to a man whose life is, in one sense, utterly ordinary, but, in another sense, rich as anyone's life can be," said Edwin Frank, who runs New York Review of Books Classics, which republished Stoner in 2006.

But in the mid-1960s, Americans weren't drawn to that style.

"That kind of realism was not in any sense fashionable at that point," Frank said.

So the novel and Williams, who died in 1994, faded into obscurity, forgotten to all but a few aficionados.

When New York Review of Books Classics republished Stoner, it was reviewed quite well, but sold modestly at first — until it caught the attention of Anna Gavalda, one of France's best-selling novelists. She had to read Stoner in English — there wasn't a French translation — but she says she still felt a deep connection with the book.

"I think it's a book I could have written myself because I feel really close to the author and the narrator, who, in my opinion are probably a bit of the same person," she said.

Gavalda liked it so much that she asked her editor to buy the rights, so she could translate it herself. And the book took off.

"My books sell really well in France," she explained, "so when all the other European editors saw that it was me who translated this book, they were all curious about why Anna Gavalda translated it, and so they all bought the rights."

Back in New York, Frank can only speculate as to why Stoner has so moved European readers like Gavalda.

"[Stoner] resonates I think, partly, because of the art with which the story has been told," he said. "So even as he sets the scene in Columbia, Missouri, at the same time, it could be anywhere."

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