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

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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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Do Sit Under The Apple Tree With These Romantic Reads For Memorial Day

May 27, 2013

Each May we end the month and begin the summer season with a grateful nod to our veterans, especially those who gave their lives in service to our country. And this year, we mark an anniversary that may not be as obvious as Pearl Harbor or D-Day, but is certainly as important: 1943, the year WWII paused before it turned around. The year the Allies were able to stop Axis victories and advances on all fronts. It would be a few more months — well into 1944 — before the Allies seriously started pushing Hitler back, but 1943 was the beginning of the end. It was also the year American women — not content with their roles as riveting Rosies — began to put on uniforms en masse.

And while the war was a cavalcade of horrors and a worldwide social cataclysm, it was also, let's admit it, a very romantic era. The global unrest, coupled with a surge of patriotism and military urgency, fueled a sense of "living for the moment," since who knew what the next hour or day or month might bring? Romance was in the air for the men who were heading off to war and for the women who were waiting at home for them.

My grandparents met in Washington, D.C., right as war was brewing, and when my grandfather joined up, they shared a pile of correspondence over the years that resonates with love, affection, uncertainty and longing. Bob and Edith are long gone, but their letters remain, a reflection of what so many young people experienced then, and a window into a time, a place and two people we never would have had otherwise — if they hadn't been forced by an ugly war to keep in touch through pen and paper and the occasional photograph.

I can't think of a better way to honor my grandfather this weekend than to pick up a book that reminds me of everything he and his brothers-in-arms fought for so many years ago.

Bobbi Dumas is a freelance writer based in Madison, Wis. She mostly reviews for Kirkus Media, and she discusses books on her blog,

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