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.

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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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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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Egypt's Interim Leader May Tap Emergency Law Used By Mubarak

Jul 9, 2013
Originally published on July 9, 2013 11:15 am

With the news still echoing across Egypt that more than 50 people were killed during a protest over the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, the country's interim leader issued a decree late Monday that gives himself sweeping powers until new elections are held.

The order "effectively makes the military-appointed president, Adly Mansour, all powerful," NPR Cairo bureau chief Leila Fadel tells our Newscast Desk. "He holds legislative and executive powers until a parliament is elected. And he has the right to declare a state of emergency for three months in consultation with a still unappointed Cabinet."

As NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson notes on Morning Edition, "the state-of-emergency law was one deposed leader Hosni Mubarak used for decades to shore up his autocratic rule." If it's imposed, that would mean the Egyptian military, which removed the democratically elected Morsi from office and put Mansour in his place, "could more easily clamp down on the coup opponents without having to legally answer for it."

Mansour's decree said amendments to Egypt's suspended constitution could be voted on within the next 4 1/2 months. That vote could then be followed by parliamentary elections. The vote for a new president could come early next year.

Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Institution's Doha Research Center, tells Soraya that Morsi's ouster, the deaths of his supporters at Monday's protest and the new decree from Mansour may serve only to embolden Islamists in Egypt who want Morsi returned to office and his Muslim Brotherhood colleagues back in key posts. "You have these radicals who are now making the case that democracy doesn't work and that violence is the only way forward," Hamid says.

But The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick reports there's another way to view the latest developments:

"Seeking to reassure Egyptians and the world about its intention to return to civilian democracy, the military-led interim government on Tuesday laid out a brisk timetable to overhaul Egypt's suspended Constitution, elect a new Parliament and choose a new president, all in the space of about six months.

"The release of the new timetable, issued in the name of the interim president, Adli Mansour, appeared intended to show steps toward civilian democracy after the military's mass shooting of more than 50 Islamist protesters on Monday raised new doubts about the democratic promises of the generals who ousted former President Mohamed Morsi last week."

Note: As sometimes happens with reports from overseas, news organizations aren't in agreement about how to spell Mansour's name.

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