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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Disinfect All ICU Patients To Reduce 'Superbug' Infections

May 29, 2013
Originally published on May 30, 2013 4:41 pm

Hospitals can sharply reduce the spread of the drug-resistant bacteria in their intensive care units by decontaminating all patients rather than screening them and focusing only on those found to be infected already, researchers reported Wednesday.

A study involving more than 74,000 patients in 74 intensive care units nationwide found that cleaning all ICU patients with a special soap and ointment reduced all infections, including MRSA, by 44 percent. For the patients in group that got disinfected no matter what, there were 3.6 infections per 1,000 days in the hospital. That result compared with a baseline of 6.1 infections per 1,000 days beforehand.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest to evaluate strategies for controlling infections with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Infections with these "superbugs" have become a big problem.

"Patients in the ICU are already very sick, and the last thing they need to deal with is a preventable infection," said a statement by Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, head of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which funded the study. "This research has the potential to influence clinical practice significantly and create a safer environment where patients can heal without harm."

Some states have started requiring hospitals to screen patients for MRSA. This study tried to figure out if that was really the best strategy.

For the study, hospitals were randomly asked to try one of three strategies: testing ICU patients for MRSA and isolating those infected; testing patients for MRSA and disinfecting those infected; or disinfecting all patients.

The researchers found that disinfecting all patients was much more effective inreducing MRSA and other infections, too.

"This study helps answer a long-standing debate in the medical field about whether we should tailor our efforts to prevent infection to specific pathogens, such as MRSA, or whether we should identify a high-risk patient group and give them all special treatment to prevent infection," said Dr. Susan Huang of the University of California, Irvine, who led the study, in the news release.

"The universal decolonization strategy was the most effective and the easiest to implement," she said. "It eliminates the need for screening ICU patients for MRSA."

The researchers said the approach could also be effective for reducing other emerging infections that are resistant to treatment.

They cautioned, however, that doctors will have to watch closely to make sure the germs don't become resistant to the disinfecting soaps and ointments.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Michael Edmond and Dr. Richard Wenzel of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine said the study illustrates the "folly of pursuing legislative mandates when evidence is lacking." State laws mandating MRSA screening should be repealed, they say.

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