The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Is Europe's Recession Really Over? It's Too Soon To Say

Aug 14, 2013
Originally published on August 14, 2013 11:29 am

These headlines this morning make it sound like Europe's economy is up and running again:

-- "Euro Area Exits Longest Recession on Record." (Bloomberg News)

-- "Euro Zone Emerges from Recession." (The Wall Street Journal)

-- "Euro Zone Economy Grew 0.3% in 2nd Quarter, Ending Recession." (The New York Times)

They're all based on the news that Eurostat, the keeper of economic statistics for the European Union, says GDP grew 0.3 percent within the EU's borders from the end of March through June.

The stories may turn out to be right. But, unfortunately, reports of the European recession's death are (to borrow from Mark Twain) greatly exaggerated.

As Olli Rhen, Eurostat's vice president, writes on his blog: "I hope there will be no premature, self-congratulatory statements suggesting 'the crisis is over.' " He calls the GDP report only another sign of "a potential turning point in the EU economy."

The quick conclusion by some economists and some in the news media that a slight rise in one quarter's GDP means a recession is over ignores how experts figure out when an economy is either in a significant downturn (a recession) or enjoying steady growth (an expansion).

In Europe, just as in the U.S., the official arbiter is a committee of economic researchers who look at much more than just quarterly GDP data. As the European Centre for Economic Policy Research says of its business cycle dating committee's work:

"First, we do not identify economic activity solely with real GDP, but use a range of indicators, notably employment. Second, we consider the depth of the decline in economic activity. Recall that our definition includes the phrase, 'a significant decline in activity.' "

It adds that the data it examines include GDP, investment, industrial production and "Euro area employment."

In other words, the referees will be waiting to see more numbers before deciding if the EU recession that started in the third-quarter of 2011 is really over.

Among the things they'll be watching, of course, is whether the third-quarter GDP figure released Wednesday is revised on Sept. 4 when Eurostat isues its next report about the second quarter. If the figure is revised down, that would certainly support the case that it's too soon to declare that happy times are here again. An upward revision would add to evidence that things are getting better.

All this underscores why CBS MarketWatch looked at Wednesday's news and reached this conclusion:

"For now, tempting as it may be, it might be better to keep the champagne on ice and pop the cork only when the euro zone is into a more sustainable recovery."

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