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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Edmar Castañeda And Friends On JazzSet

May 16, 2013
Originally published on June 20, 2014 4:07 pm

As a child in Bogotá, Edmar Castañeda and his sister took folk dance classes. Their mother made sure of that. Castañeda liked the dancing, but he really liked the live harp accompaniment. In Spanish, the harp is called the llanero. It's Colombian, not a classical harp.

When the family moved to Queens, Castañeda studied trumpet and discovered jazz, especially improvisation. So he put his loves together, working as a solo harpist in a New York restaurant and teaching himself the music people wanted to hear on an instrument they did not expect to see.

Now in his mid-30s, Castañeda is a world-traveling, collaborative musical marvel. He's an extroverted, sweet-tempered virtuoso; The Wall Street Journal calls him the "hippest harpist." A soprano saxophonist from Israel and a drummer/percussionist originally from the Bay Area round out his trio.

In November 2012, this trio and special guests played three nights at the Americas Society in Manhattan. The series fit Americas Society's mission to a T; both are designed to foster understanding of issues confronting the hemisphere, and increase awareness and appreciation of a diverse cultural heritage.

Castañeda wears a bright red cap, and his electric-blue harp is his orchestra. He walks those fluid bass lines under percussive chords and fast-moving melodies. Saxophonist Shlomi Cohen, born in Tel Aviv, came to New York to study jazz. Cohen plays funk with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra. Castañeda calls Dave Silliman "the man with four hands." Silliman is ridiculously productive as he paints with brushes on the snare drum, slaps the cajon he sits on and rattles his gourds.

Guest bandoneonist Héctor del Curto from Argentina now lives in New York, where he directed Forever Tango on Broadway. Vibraphonist Joe Locke is made in the U.S.; he and Castañeda played a duo concert at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival that aired on JazzSet. Vocalist Andrea Tierra from Medellín met and married Edmar Castañeda in New York. And Jorge Glem, the four-string guitar player, has won first place in more than one cuatro festival and competition events in his home country of Venezuela. One by one, they join Castañeda.

This series of concerts received support from Chamber Music America's 2012 Presenting Jazz program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (which also funds JazzSet) and the MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas Concert Series, with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Set List

  • "Double Portion" (Castañeda) featuring the trio
  • "Libertango" (Piazzolla) with guest Héctor del Curto, bandoneon
  • "Cuarto de Colores" (Castañeda) with guest Joe Locke, vibes
  • "Carrao Carrao" (traditional) with Andrea Tierra, vocals
  • "Entre Cuerdas" (Castañeda) with Jorge Glem, cuatro


  • Edmar Castañeda, harp
  • Shlomi Cohen, soprano sax
  • Dave Silliman, drums and percussion
  • Héctor del Curto, bandoneón
  • Joe Locke, vibraphone
  • Andrea Tierra, vocal
  • Jorge Glem, cuatro


Host: Dee Dee Bridgewater. Recording engineer: Bill Siegmund with Don Fierro and Andrew T. Shire. Surround Sound remix engineer: Duke Markos. Studio engineer: Ginger Bruner, KUNV in Las Vegas. Thanks to Sebastian Zubieta, music director, Americas Society; Jeanette Vuocolo, jazz program director, Chamber Music America.

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