New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Defining A Hole Presents A Philosophical Quandary

Aug 21, 2013
Originally published on August 27, 2013 11:24 am



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


I'm Melissa Block. And a radio confession here. We had a hole in our program right here. We didn't have a piece just the right length to fill out this segment. It happens occasionally. Well, all summer, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has been helping us get rid of these little holes with some short stories about holes.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Today, we're going to examine the question, what is a hole anyway? What's it made of?

S. MARC COHEN: If you want to get lost in a philosophical thicket, just start asking yourself that question.

PALCA: S. Marc Cohen knows all about philosophical thickets. He's emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Washington in Seattle. So as a philosopher, he won't get lost in that thicket. He must know what a hole is made of.

COHEN: It's not made of anything, is it?

PALCA: Now, this is a problem, especially for philosophers who think the world is made out of things, a philosophy known as materialism.

COHEN: A materialist would be inclined to say that there aren't really any holes at all. There are no such things as holes. They're merely perforated objects.

PALCA: But since he's not a materialist philosopher, Cohen sees a problem with this perspective.

COHEN: Suppose you ask what a perforated object is. Aren't you inclined to say it's just an object with a hole in it? And there you are. Holes have come back.

PALCA: Okay. We can say holes exist. Well, then the question is, can we get rid of them? So let's say I dig a hole in the ground and fill it back up with dirt.

COHEN: The hole is gone, especially if you fill it with the very same dirt you dug out of it in the first place.

PALCA: Well, that was easy. But what if I fill it up with water? It's not an empty hole, but now it's a water hole and that's not a hole, right?

COHEN: It depends. Maybe it's the pond where there used to be a hole.

PALCA: So you can get rid of a hole by turning it into a pond, but what about the holes in this program that got all this started? How do we get rid of them?

COHEN: The holes in your programming get filled with stories like this one, I suppose.

PALCA: Hooray. I filled the hole in this program. Or did I? Or was it ever really there? Spooky. Joe Palca, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.