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

2 hours 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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FBI Pick Is A Republican With Deep Roots In Law Enforcement

May 30, 2013
Originally published on May 30, 2013 1:13 pm

"Name any high office in federal law enforcement ... odds are Jim Comey's had it over the years."

That's some of what NPR's Carrie Johnson had to say early Thursday on Morning Edition about the man who she has been told, by two sources with knowledge of the decision, will be President Obama's choice to be the next director of the FBI.

Carrie broke the news about Comey on Wednesday evening. Then on Morning Edition, she added more details about the 52-year-old former deputy attorney general. For instance:

-- In 2004, when Comey was the No. 2 official at Justice during the George W. Bush administration, he rushed to a Washington-area hospital to be by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. Comey helped thwart White House counsel Alberto Gonzales' attempt to pressure Ashcroft into reauthorizing a controversial wiretapping program.

As Carrie and The Atlantic Wire remind us, Comey later testified before Congress that, "I was angry. I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general." At one point, he threatened to resign.

-- It was Comey who expanded the mandate of a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. That probe led to the prosecution and conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, for lying to investigators.

-- Comey's career also includes stints as the top prosecutor in New York City. While in that post, he prosecuted home styles guru and TV personality Martha Stewart for lying about stock trades. Before that, while working as a prosecutor in Virginia, Comey worked to take guns off the streets of Richmond.

If nominated and confirmed, Comey would replace FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is scheduled to depart in September. Mueller's 10-year term expired in 2011, but was extended for two years when finding a replacement proved too difficult.

Some of Thursday's related stories focus on the political angles related to the choice:

-- "By choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty winning confirmation of some important nominees. At the same time, Mr. Comey's role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration — in which he refused to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants when he was serving as acting attorney general — should make him an acceptable choice to Democrats." (The New York Times)

-- "The expected nomination would bestow an exceedingly important and sensitive post on a registered Republican who twice served as an appointee of President George W. Bush: first as U.S. attorney in Manhattan and second as deputy attorney general. However, Comey is widely viewed as an apolitical prosecutor and is best known for rebuffing pressure from Bush's White House to approve the reauthorization of a terrorist surveillance-related program in 2004. (Politico)

-- "The expected nomination of Comey, a Republican, was seen in some quarters as a bipartisan move by a president besieged by Republicans in Congress. But Chuck Hagel's prior service as a Republican senator from Nebraska did not spare him from a bruising nomination battle for secretary of defense." (The Washington Post)

As for issues that might raise questions about a Comey nomination, Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said Wednesday that "if he's nominated, he would have to answer questions about his recent work in the hedge fund industry. ... The administration's efforts to criminally prosecute Wall Street for its part in the economic downturn have been abysmal, and his agency would have to help build the case against some of his colleagues." As The Associated Press notes, "Comey was general counsel to Connecticut-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates from 2010 until earlier this year and now lectures at Columbia Law School."

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