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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Director Mueller Told Senate Panel FBI Uses Drones

Jun 20, 2013
Originally published on June 20, 2013 7:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good Morning.

In one of his final appearances on Capitol Hill, normally media-shy FBI Director Robert Mueller made some news. Mueller, who's retiring in September, acknowledged that the FBI has started to deploy unarmed drones in the U.S. Still, he played down how often agents use those drones.

NPR's Carrie Johnson has more.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley got right to the point.

SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY: Does the FBI own or currently use drones, and if so, for what purpose?

ROBERT MUELLER: Yes and for surveillance.

JOHNSON: FBI Director Robert Mueller has learned a thing or two about Congress after nearly a dozen years in the job. So later in his Senate Judiciary testimony, Mueller decided to elaborate.

MUELLER: Well, it's very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident where you need the capability.

JOHNSON: Incidents like the abduction of a five-year-old boy earlier this year in Alabama, where the kidnapper hid the child in an underground bunker for days. Mueller told lawmakers the bureau's developing a policy for how it uses surveillance drones.

And others pointed out that federal agents along the Southwest border have used unarmed drones for a while. It's the reach of that technology and the boom in the commercial market that worries California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.

SENATOR: I think the greatest threat to the privacy of Americans is the drone, and the use of the drone, and the very few regulations that are on it today.

JOHNSON: Feinstein says she's far less concerned about a U.S. surveillance program that keeps Americans' phone records for years in a huge NSA database.

But that view is not shared by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who want to impose new restrictions on the dragnet data collection and force the Obama administration to share more details about the secret program. To which FBI director Mueller injected a note of caution.

MUELLER: Inevitably, the communications are the soft underbelly of the terrorists. They've got to communicate, and to the extent we can intercept those communications, to that extent, we can prevent terrorist attacks.

GRASSLEY: Mueller says if Congress changes the law, the FBI will abide, but he says transparency can have a price.

JOHNSON: Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.