The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Fix Is In For Congressional Obamacare Glitch

Aug 7, 2013

Finally, the federal HR department has released the health rule much of Capitol Hill has been waiting for.

There's now an explanation from the Office of Personnel Management on how members of Congress and much of their staff will get their health insurance starting next year.

At issue is a tiny provision of the health overhaul law that caused a large stir on Capitol Hill. It required all members of Congress and much of their staff to give up their federal worker health insurance as of the end of 2013 and begin taking part in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges instead.

What was unclear, however, at least until last week, is whether those 11,000 or so people would be able to continue receiving the same employer contribution to their health insurance — some 75 percent of the cost of coverage — as the rest of the federal workforce.

After some apparently high level intervention (President Obama himself promised senators in a closed door meeting he was working on the issue), White House officials confirmed last week that yes, those who switch to exchange coverage will be able to continue to receive government insurance contributions towards that coverage.

"The amount of the employer contribution for Members of Congress and official staff will be the same as for other Federal employees," said a question-and-answer document issued by OPM.

But the rule declined to make another key determination: exactly who among the 20,000 or so Capitol Hill workers will have to drop their federal coverage and switch to the exchanges.

According to the health law, those required to make the switch are "all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a member of Congress." Most people had been interpreting that as excluding those working for House and Senate committee and leadership offices.

OPM, however, said that "Because there is not an existing statutory or regulatory definition, OPM believes Congress is best able to make the determination as to whether an individual is employed by the 'official office' of the Member of Congress."

Under the proposed rule, most years Congress will have to make that determination by October. This year, however, members will have an additional 30 days to decide who gets what kind of coverage.

Not everyone is satisfied with the solution, however. Policy analysts from the Heritage Foundation, who argued in a paper last week that the administration lacked the authority to make any kind of fix to the congressional coverage glitch, say the new rules are plainly beyond what is legal for the administration to propose.

"It was bad enough the Congress had to pass the law to find out what was in it," wrote Edmund Haislmaier in a post on the Heritage website. "Now the Administration is ignoring the law when they don't like what they find."

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