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

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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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5 Takeaways From Obama's Susan Rice Appointment

Jun 5, 2013
Originally published on June 5, 2013 3:42 pm

It wasn't exactly a surprise to hear that President Obama named U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his next national security adviser.

Almost as soon as it became clear that her role in the administration's Benghazi talking-points snafu meant Senate Republicans would never let her be confirmed as secretary of state if Obama nominated her, the possibility of her taking over from Tom Donilon as Obama's top national security aide was frequently mentioned.

Still, speculation is one thing; an actual appointment, another. So what to make of Rice's appointment?

Here are five ways to look at it:

1. Obama values loyalty.

The appointment could be seen as a reward for Rice's early loyalty to the president. Rice, who held important posts in the Clinton administration, took a chance on then-candidate Obama during his 2008 White House run, when it was still unclear whether he or Hillary Clinton would become the Democratic nominee. Rice eventually became his foreign policy adviser, a critical role for a presidential candidate who at the time, was light on international experience.

2. Obama to GOP: In your face.

So much for the charm offensive. As trash-talking scorers sometimes say to their defenders in basketball — a sport both Rice, a former point guard, and Obama played in prep school — her selection is a glaring "in your face" to Republican opponents of both Rice and Obama. The national security adviser post requires no Senate approval, so conservatives opposed to her (not all of them are) will just have to deal with it.

Not only is Rice not going away, she'll have a high-profile position. Republicans will be reminded of their inability to deny her a Cabinet-level position every time they see her in photos with the president, or when she visits Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers.

3. It's all Benghazi, all the time.

Rice's new role pretty much guarantees that anytime she's in the news, some conservatives will bring up her role in the Benghazi affair. So the appointment is likely to give the Benghazi line of attack on Obama a new lease on life.

4. The White House has its privileges.

Even as Obama's foes try to confound his second-term agenda, he has ways to confound them. There are appointments, for example, that don't require Senate confirmation and presidential powers, like executive orders, to achieve certain ends.

5. Then there's the diversity issue.

One of the ironies of the first African-American president's time in office — a president whose immediate household is all female — is that he's drawn criticism for not having enough minorities or women in senior positions in his administration.

Several of his second-term selections for top jobs have quieted that particular criticism. The choice of Rice can be seen as one more significant step in that direction.

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