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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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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Experts Doubt NSA Leaker's Claim About Wiretaps

Jun 12, 2013
Originally published on June 12, 2013 11:02 am

Edward Snowden's claim that as systems administrator for a defense contractor in Hawaii he had the authority "to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president," just isn't plausible, says a former national security lawyer at the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Steve Henn zeroed in on some of the things that Snowden, who has come forward to claim he's behind the recent explosive leaks about surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, has been heard saying in interviews with The Guardian.

Carrie Cordero, the former Justice and DNI lawyer, is now director of national securities studies at Georgetown University Law Center. She tells Steve that "the notion that this individual has the authority to go ahead and ... 'wiretap' people is just ridiculous."

Without discussing the details of how such surveillance programs work and the safeguards that are in place to protect privacy, Cordero says Snowden's claim "does not resemble anything close to what I observed within the intelligence community."

Might he have had the ability to wiretap individuals, if not the authority? Susan Freiwald, a cyber law and privacy expert at the University of San Francisco School of Law, notes that the NSA appears to be collecting huge amounts of "metadata" from communications companies — basically, master files of which numbers are connecting to each other. But Steve says that "for an analyst sitting in Hawaii to initiate a wiretap on anyone anywhere he or she would need much, much more" — perhaps most notably, the ability to "monitor new calls, emails and chats in real time."

The communications and Internet companies, Steve adds, "have said in no uncertain terms that they are not granting the NSA unfettered access to their servers — or turning over data on the scale necessary to make a system like this work."

"I think it's quite likely they are telling the truth," Freiwald says.

Wednesday's related stories include:

-- Head Of NSA To Testify Before Congress. (The Associated Press)

-- "Sources: No Signs Edward Snowden Has Left Hong Kong." (CBS News)

-- "Edward Snowden's Girlfriend Lindsay Mills: At The Moment I Fell Alone." (The Guardian)

Update at 11 a.m. ET. Snowden Resurfaces:

NSA Leaker: 'I'm Neither Traitor Nor Hero. I'm An American'

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