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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


2 Killed When UPS Cargo Plane Crashes In Alabama

Aug 14, 2013
Originally published on August 14, 2013 1:36 pm

We're monitoring the news from Birmingham, Ala., where a UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday morning. UPS says the incident involves UPS Flight 1354, which was traveling from Louisville.

The flight, which would normally last about 45 minutes, had been scheduled to land before 5 a.m. local time, according to several flight-tracking websites. Louisville is in the Eastern time zone, while Birmingham is in the Central.

We'll update this post as details emerge.

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: Residents Report Close Call

As the UPS jet headed for a nearby hillside, the last house it passed over belongs to Cornelius and Barbara Benson, who say the plane clipped the tops of two pine trees in their yard, the news site reports.

"I thought at first it was the End Time," Barbara Benson says of the loud crash and the bright red flash that followed.

"Judging from the broken treetops in the Bensons' yard, the plane had flown 20 feet or less above their home," says.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET: Two Crew Deaths Reported; Details From NTSB

The two-person crew of the plane — a pilot and co-pilot — died in the crash, Birmingham Mayor William Bell tells CBS and Reuters. Bell reportedly visited the scene this morning.

In a news conference held hours after the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board expressed its condolences to the pilots' families, according to Lousville reporter Gene Kang of WHAS 11.

"The crash occurred while on approach to Runway 18," the NTSB says. The agency is sending investigators to the scene.

Update at 9:05 a.m. ET: The Crash Scene; NTSB Sends Team To Site

The crash site is outside the fence-line of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport, in a hilly green area. That information comes from the scene, where a reporter for the website says large parts of the plane lay some 50 yards apart in the field. Multiple fire trucks were spraying the smoldering field this morning.

Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, tells The Associated Press that there are no homes in the immediate area of the crash.

Local residents tell that they were told they do not need to evacuate the area — but that they also lost power, as it seems the plane may have clipped power lines on its way to the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is sending a team to Alabama to help investigate the crash. The agency says it will hold a news conference at 9:15 a.m. ET.

Update at 7:55 a.m. ET. No Word On Crew, UPS Says:

The flight originated in Louisville, according to news reports. From there, WAVE-TV writes that it was an "Airbus A300 mid-size cargo carrier." And the station adds that:

" 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the crew,' said UPS spokesperson Mike Mangeot. He said there is no immediate information on the [two] crew members' conditions or the possible cause of the crash.

"According to Mangeot, UPS typically has two flights to Birmingham each day: one during the day and one at night."

On its Twitter page, UPS writes that it "has been notified of an incident involving one of our aircraft near Birmingham, AL."

Our original post, 7:11 a.m. ET:

From WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala.:

"We have breaking news out of East Birmingham this morning where a large plane has crashed near the Birmingham airport.

"According to initial reports a UPS Cargo Plane has crashed near 19th Avenue North and North East Lake Boulevard. Alabama's 13 has a crew on the scene and according to the crew the plane is burning and the crew is not allowed to get closer due to explosions. There have now been at least 3 explosions. There could be debris covering about half a mile."

Birmingham's WBRC-TV reports that:

"A spokesperson for the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport has confirmed a plane crash on Wednesday morning. Toni Herrera-Bast says a large cargo plane crashed around 5 a.m. near North East Lake Boulevard. The crash scene is not within the airport fence. Two people were on board the plane. At this time, they have not been located."

We'll update as we hear more.

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