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

1 hour ago
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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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Experts Agree: 'Psychiatry's Bible' Is No Bible

May 17, 2013
Originally published on May 21, 2013 8:05 am

When the American Psychiatric Association releases its new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- DSM-5 -- this weekend, lots of journalists and commentators will refer to it as "psychiatry's bible."

That's a term that makes the manual's authors and other mental experts cringe.

"Bible implies that it's been handed down by some deity as the absolute truth," says Michael First, a psychiatrist at Columbia University who's had a hand in the past two revisions of the DSM. "We don't consider this to be a bible. It's a guidebook."

Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, also wants people to know the DSM isn't some sacred text. "It's a dictionary, not a bible," he says.

The DSM has taken on biblical proportions over the years because its list of several hundred disorders is often used to decide whether a particular behavior is abnormal and insurance will cover a problem. DSM-5, for example, has provoked lots of debate about new diagnoses like Binge Eating Disorder or Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in children.

But insurance coverage and defining what's normal are not why the DSM was created. It was created to solve a communication problem.

Before DSM-III came along in 1980, "It was really chaotic," Insel says. "We had no common language" for describing mental disorders. The new manual provided clear definitions for the first time, he says, so that "when one person says major depressive disorder another person will know what that is."

Revisions since then have updated those definitions and added or eliminated diagnoses based on the latest research, First says. "The DSM is a synthesis of the best knowledge at this moment in time," he says. "So DSM-5 is the culmination of research in the past 20 years."

That makes the DSM "a tool used by clinicians to take care of patients," not a bible, First says.

Insel adds that the DSM only becomes a problem when mental health professionals forget that and start "looking at the manual instead of listening to their patients. That's never a good outcome."

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