New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

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/.

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

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

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

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Drone It To Me, Baby

Aug 30, 2013
Originally published on August 30, 2013 4:18 pm

Spies used them first, then the Air Force, then cops, then mischievous civilians; drones, for some reason, are what gawkers use to gawk. They're spy accessories. But not only spy accessories. Thanks to Jasper van Loenen, drones are about to expand their repertoire. The word "drone" is about to become a verb, as in "Drone it to me"...

For his graduation thesis at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Jasper, a young artist/designer, came up with a handy-dandy, easy-to-use assembly kit that lets you send small objects through the air to a nearby recipient — a sort of UPS of the sky.

I don't want to ruin this before you see it, but if you know somebody across campus who needs a telephone, a keyboard, a spare bicycle wheel, a surfboard, and you don't want to get out of bed and walk it over, with Jasper's kit all you have to do is open your window and do this ...

"I like programming," Jasper writes on his home page. "I'm interested in taking stuff away from the computer screen and finding ways to look at and interact with information." Since it is already possible, he says, to download an open-source gun, generate your own currency — why not a do-it-yourself drone? Why not, he writes, "claim your piece of sky"?

Postscript

Well, I know one reason why. Because videos are not like real life. If I tried something like this, a propeller would fall off, the plugs wouldn't work, the cargo would slip, dangle and crash to earth — something, different things, but always something would go wrong. Jasper knows this, too. Snooping around on his Vimeo site, I found a video of one of his earlier attempts to get a drone into the air. (That's what it looks like, anyway.) It's labeled "Quad in the Snow," because that's where he ends up, upside down ... in the snow:

But over the months, he apparently got better, and so, I suppose, might I. The real question here is how much room is there in our sky for all the ideas now being contemplated? Spybots, toybots, little moving vans, not to mention whatever Jasper and his pals think up next. Crows, sparrows and tree-perching birds (not to mention trees) can't go to court, but if they could, they'd be asking some judge: "Come on! You guys can't hog all the space. A little respect, please! We all need to share."

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