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

DNI Calls Reporting On Government Surveillance 'Reckless'

Jun 8, 2013
Originally published on June 8, 2013 9:08 pm

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday said media reporting this week about government surveillance activities amounted to "reckless disclosures" that could hand terrorists a playbook to foil detection.

He said the surveillance measures are legal and said the reporting lacked full context:

"In particular, the surveillance activities published by The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress," Clapper wrote in a statement. "Their purpose is to obtain foreign intelligence information, including information necessary to thwart terrorist and cyber attacks against the United States and its allies."

Clapper said the ability to discuss the activities is "limited by our need to protect intelligence sources and methods" and that disclosing such information "can obviously give our enemies a 'playbook' of how to avoid detection."

A separate "fact sheet," put out by Clapper's office said PRISM — described by The Guardian as a massive, highly classified program — is "not an undisclosed collection or data mining program.

"It is an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government's statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)."

The fact sheet states that under Section 702, the government "does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers" and that no individual can be targeted "unless there is an appropriate, and documented, foreign intelligence purpose".

"Finally, the notion that Section 702 activities are not subject to internal and external oversight is similarly incorrect," it said, adding that collection of intelligence information "is subject to an extensive oversight regime, incorporating reviews by the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches."

Clapper's statement comes after several days of revelations about the extent of government surveillance activities by the U.K.-based Guardian, The Washington Post and other media outlets. On Saturday, Guardian reported the existence of an NSA data-mining tool called Boundless Informant that can produce a "global heat map" detailing on a country-by-country basis the "voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks."

Update at 8:20 p.m. ET. Investigation Underway:

White House spokesman Ben Rhodes says there is not yet an investigation into the leaks that brought the surveillance program to light, NPR's Ari Shapiro tells our Newscast Desk. But, Shapiro reports, "There is an investigation into whether the disclosure of these programs harms national security."

Rhodes says the review intends to "understand what potential damage may be done."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.