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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'Devastated' Quebec Town Waits For Word About Missing

Jul 8, 2013
Originally published on July 8, 2013 6:53 pm

With 40 people still missing after massive explosions Saturday in the center of their town, the people of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, begin the week "with fears that the death toll from a weekend rail disaster could surge," CBC News writes.

The people there, the news network adds, are devastated by the accident that left the center of the town looking like a war zone. According to The Montreal Gazette, "the city's downtown core was almost completely destroyed by the blast. It housed a mix of commercial and residential units in historic buildings."

When Monday dawned, it was known that at least five people had been killed when freight tankers loaded with crude oil derailed and exploded in the small town near the Maine border. "The search for victims in the charred debris has been hampered by the fact two of the train's cars continued to burn Sunday morning, creating concerns of other potentially fatal explosions," the CBC says.

It's hoped that some of those now counted as missing were away from their homes when the tanks exploded and haven't yet gotten in contact with relatives or authorities.

As for how more than 70 tank cars detached from a locomotive after they were parked several miles from Lac-Mégantic — and then rolled into the town on their own — the investigation continues. There's word of a fire aboard the locomotive before the tank cars separated and began rolling. The Gazette writes in an editorial that:

"Early reports that the conductor had left the freight train parked unattended — with brakes supposed locked in place — in the nearby town of Nantes, with another conductor expected to take over several hours later, are troubling. Preferable would be more simultaneous transfer of responsibility. As it turns out, five minutes after the conductor left, a fire broke out in one of the locomotives. But while firefighters in Nantes put out the flames and reports last night suggested someone representing the company arrived to inspect the train and found no damage, it still remains to be seen whether proper regulatory procedures were followed — and if they were, whether the inspection failed to detect brake damage possibly caused by the fire."

The CBC is also live blogging here.

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