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

1 hour 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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Flaxseed: The Next Superfood For Cattle And Beef?

May 17, 2013

Flax is the oily seed usually spotted in the nutritional supplement or cereal aisles. It's marketed as a superfood because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

Omega-3s may do all kinds of good things for humans — like protect against Alzheimer's, heart disease and even cancer — so it seems reasonable to think they could also protect the health of animals.

That's what has Jim Drouillard, a professor of animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, wondering whether flax might be good for beef cattle. In a series of experiments over the past 10 years, he found that feeding flaxseed to cattle in the five months before slaughter reduced inflammation and the need for antibiotics, and offset some of the negative effects of a corn-based diet. It also had an unexpected benefit for consumers.

"We were interested in improving the health of the animals, but we also saw that we could get a large increase in omega-3s in the [meat]," Drouillard tells The Salt.

Drouillard had stumbled upon omega-3 enriched beef, and some people who sell beef took notice. Their hunch was that consumers might prefer to get their omega-3s from beef rather than salmon, tuna or walnuts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture got on board, too.

"Assuming a lot of people are not going to eat flax or be able to afford salmon, one of our arguments [for flax-fed beef] is that there are a lot of people who like to eat beef," says Scott Kronberg, a research animal scientist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service who has done his own research on the benefits of flax-fed beef.

Earlier this year, a Kansas startup, NBO3 Technologies, launched its GreatO ground beef product at a grocery chain in Buffalo, N.Y. The company says a 4-ounce serving contains 200 to 350 milligrams of omega-3s (that's less than a fifth of the amount of omega-3s found in a similar portion of salmon).

And in Osceola, Iowa, Peter Woltz is giving his cattle flax for the omega-3 enriched beef sticks, summer sausage and jerky products he sells online and at farmers markets under the brand name Timber Ridge.

Before he got into the flax-fed beef business, Woltz raised cattle on a conventional feedlot. But he says he decided to sell it because it required too much crisis management.

"There's always the risk of disease," he says, "so you have a very active antibiotic program, and sometimes you give it to them whether they need it or not. That turned me off."

When Woltz heard that there were opportunities to produce "all natural" beef without hormones, additives or antibiotics, he was intrigued. "It sounded like a more sane, responsible way of producing beef," he says. Drouillard's flax feed also appealed to him as a way to make a niche product.

About one-fifth of Woltz's cattle now eat flax in the last 100 days before slaughter, when it makes up about 8 of their feed. And he says those cows are healthier than the ones that don't get flax.

"It was a real surprise to us how big the health benefits to the [flax-fed] herd were," he says. "Pinkeye outbreaks are very common in raising cattle, but in six years of doing this, I have never seen a flax-fed cow with pinkeye."

Woltz says he believes his herd of flax-fed cattle will continue to grow. "It's just a question of how fast do we want to expand the herd."

But Kronberg of the USDA cautions that the economics of flax-fed beef aren't yet well understood. "Flax is pretty expensive nowadays, and the profitability of beef production is not always so good," he says. "So it will be interesting to see how these companies do."

Across the pond in Europe, animal science researchers are enthusiastic about flax, too. They're feeding it to dairy cattle to improve their digestive health and reduce methane emissions from their belching.

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