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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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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Fancy Feet: Wild Cheetahs Excel At Acceleration

Jun 13, 2013
Originally published on June 13, 2013 6:02 am

Nature documentaries always go on and on about how fast a cheetah can run. Cats in captivity have been clocked at 65 miles an hour, the highest speed recorded for any land animal.

And yet, scientists know very little about how the animal runs in the wild, especially when on the hunt.

"You can look at it and say, 'Oh that's fast,' " says Alan Wilson, a veterinarian at the Royal Veterinary College, London. "But you can't actually describe what route it follows, or how quickly it's gone, or the details of [the] forces it has to exert to do that."

Wilson and his colleagues were curious to know more, so they tracked a group of wild cheetahs in the Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana, using a sophisticated radio collar they had designed.

"It has a GPS that gives you a position and speed five times a second," Wilson says. "It has got accelerometers, and gyroscopes and electronic compasses in it." Together, these instruments collected detailed information about the animals' movements — in particular how fast they ran, and when and how they changed directions.

The animals reached top speeds of 45 to 58 miles per hour, Wilson says. But "on an average hunt they're only achieving half the maximum speed." In other words, running at top speed didn't seem all that necessary for hunting. What mattered more was how fast the cheetahs could accelerate.

"We saw remarkably high accelerations, four times higher ... than we see for Usain Bolt when he ran his world record," says Wilson.

The animals were similarly quick in slowing down and turning sharp corners, Wilson says. "They can accelerate, they can maneuver. They can duck and dive. And that's what they need to do to capture their prey."

Data from the collars clearly showed that agility trumps speed, he says, especially in bringing a hunt to a successful end.

"That sort of end phase when they're maneuvering, when they're turning sharply, when they're stopping and starting, is when the prey will escape or not escape," says Wilson. So it's the last stages of the hunt where the cheetah's maneuverability plays a key role.

"We've all seen footage of cheetah chasing prey," says Andrew Biewener, a biologist at Harvard University who studies locomotion in various animals. But this is the first study, he says, to provide hard data on exactly how wild cheetahs move.

What's more, the collars are helping scientists paint a more complete picture of how cheetahs behave in their natural environment, Beiwener says, and that information could be a key to the survival of this endangered species.

The detailed data, he says, offer "more of a window into what kinds of habitats need to be protected to allow these animals to survive as increasing pressures are put on their natural wildlife areas."

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