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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Felony Arrest Of Student Who Bought Water Riles Many In Virginia

Jul 2, 2013
Originally published on July 2, 2013 11:27 pm

"We're the police."

"This is bottled water."

If an encounter between several young women and Virginia's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents had gone that smoothly, the participants might be looking back on a chance encounter as merely odd, perhaps even funny. Instead, they're coping with the aftermath of a brief flight from authorities that resulted in spending a night in jail and felony charges, now dropped, of hitting agents with a car. The state agency says it's reviewing the case.

The April 11 incident rose to prominence last week, after news spread that a University of Virginia student had been arrested by plainclothes ABC agents who tried to detain her and two fellow members of a sorority after they bought supplies for a charity event to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

Their purchases, made at a Harris Teeter grocery store around 10 p.m. that night, included a box of LaCroix bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream, reports The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va.

Last week, prosecutors declined to pursue felony charges against Elizabeth Daly, 20, and she began to tell her side of the story publicly.

"They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform," Daly, who was driving that night, told the Progress last week.

"I couldn't put my windows down unless I started my car, and when I started my car they began yelling to not move the car, not to start the car. They began trying to break the windows. My roommates and I were ... terrified," Daly stated.

As the story has gained attention, the Virginia ABC says it is conducting a second review of the incident, after an earlier review of the agents' actions found no problems.

Giving its version of events in a statement released Friday, Virginia's ABC says the first agent to approach Daly's car was a woman who raised her badge to investigate what she suspected to be an underage purchase of beer. When the car's occupants didn't comply with her instructions, the agency says, other officers joined in.

The group of agents reportedly numbered about six; the Progress reports that one of them drew their weapon and held it in a "ready" position.

"Rather than comply with the officers' requests, the subject drove off, striking two officers," the ABC said Friday. "She was not arrested for possessing bottled water, but for running from police and striking two of them with a vehicle."

"Another [agent] jumped onto the hood of the car as Daly and her friends dialed 911 to report the incident, according to the records," the Progress says. "The women apologized repeatedly minutes later when they stopped for a car with lights and sirens on, prosecutors said."

Daly admits that she and her friends panicked after being approached in the parking lot at night. Citing Daly's lawyer, The Progress notes that earlier that night, the women had listened to survivors of sexual assaults tell their stories, as part of a Take Back the Night event.

A passenger of the car spoke to the Progress as well, saying that the young women didn't know who the agents were until a Charlottesville police officer came to the scene. By that time, the women had been handcuffed.

"He helped me to the curb so that I could sit and calm down," said the woman, who did not want her name published. "He said to us that ABC officers have all the rights of regular officers, and then finally it became clear that these were ABC officers."

The case has prompted outrage in Virginia, where people have contacted the governor and other state officials to complain.

"They're calling the governor's office, they're calling our public affairs office, they're calling every office," ABC spokeswoman Maureen Haney tells the Progress. "We're hearing about it on Twitter, they're using our website's email form, they're commenting on our Facebook."

On Facebook, some users commented on a recent photo of plastic gallon jugs of clear liquid — part of a Moonshine bust posted by the agency — to say, "Might want to check if that's water or not. Could be embarrassing."

The matter has been jarring for Daly, who spent two months with felony charges hanging over her. She wrote a summary of her experience that has been posted online:

"This has been an extremely trying experience and one that has called into question what I value most: my integrity, honor and character. ... Cookie dough and ice cream for a fundraiser should not put you through an extremely degrading night and afternoon in jail, appearing in court, posting bond, having to pay an attorney ... not allowed to leave the state, causing you endless nights of no sleep, [a]ffecting your school work and final exams, wondering if you would be dismissed from school, wondering how this would damage your reputation and ability to get a job, all while waiting on pins and needles to see what the Commonwealth is going to offer you."

She concluded her statement by thanking her school, the dean, and others who have helped her and her family since the April incident.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit