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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Football Needs A Guardian, Not A CEO

Jul 9, 2013
Originally published on July 10, 2013 8:03 am

Aaron Hernandez, who appears to be a monster, can no more be held up as representative of football than can Oscar Pistorius be fairly presented as an archetype of track and field.

But still, Hernandez does become a culminating figure. The sport is simply more and more identified with violence, both in its inherent nature and in its savage personnel.

For so long, of course, we were all complicit in ignoring how dangerous was America's favorite game. All of us — not just the coaches and players and fans, but no less the media and the team doctors, too. More recently, we've tended to excuse the virtual cavalcade of criminal actions committed by players away from the gridiron. Why, 29 NFL players have been arrested just since the Super Bowl.

Institutions — especially popular cultural ones — periodically need overhauls. With football right now, it isn't just a matter of tidying up. We need to somehow clean the Aegean stables of the stink of violence. This will be difficult, for violence is the very essence of the sport's appeal, and notwithstanding all the talk about concussions and thugs, football is more popular than ever. It is not like baseball found itself after the Black Sox scandal of 1919, when America seemed ready to abandon such a corrupt competition.

But there is a lesson there: Baseball, desperate, created the position of commissioner and brought in an outside magistrate, the federal judge, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

By contrast, the current NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, like all his predecessors, is an insider. He's been superb as a businessman — stiff-arming the players union, ransacking the networks' exchequers — but in response to revelations of how barbarous modern football really is, Goodell, like so many men who have been inoculated by football, has only reacted ... hesitantly, incrementally.

Now, yes, football extends well beyond the domain of the NFL –– from the cruel college system right on down to little boys scrimmaging –– but the NFL commissioner is, in effect, the spiritual head of the game. Where else do we turn for moral leadership? The NCAA? The presidents of the Southeastern Conference? The network pregame shows?

Our other team sports –– baseball, basketball, ice hockey, not to mention soccer –– all have strong foreign elements. Football is the all-American game, but, ironically, already middle-class all-American parents ­­–– even fathers who played themselves –– are showing a reluctance to allow their sons to play.

Whenever Roger Goodell steps away, his legacy will be determined not by how much his franchises grew in value but whether he saved our American sport from becoming a gladiator game. Or perhaps football can only be cleansed by someone like Judge Landis, with no previous commitment to the enterprise. Whether Goodell or an outsider, football now needs a guardian, not a CEO.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Frank Deford wishes the NFL would learn some lessons from professional baseball. He says what's worse than football's violence problem is what's happening off the field.

FRANK DEFORD: Aaron Hernandez, who appears to be a monster, can no more be held up as representative of football than can Oscar Pistorius be fairly presented as an archetype of track and field. But still, Hernandez does become a culminating figure. The sport is simply more and more identified with violence, both in its inherent nature and in its savage personnel.

For so long, of course, we were all complicit in ignoring how dangerous was America's favorite game. All of us not, just the coaches and players and fans, but no less the media and the team doctors, too. More recently, we have tended to excuse the virtual cavalcade of criminal actions committed by players away from the gridiron. Why, 29 NFL players have been arrested, just since the Super Bowl.

Institutions, especially popular cultural ones, periodically need overhauls. With football, right now, it isn't just a matter of tidying up. We need to somehow clean the Augean Stables of the stink of violence. This will be difficult, for violence is the very essence of the sport's appeal. And notwithstanding all the talk about concussions and thugs, football is more popular than ever. It is not like baseball found itself after the Black Sox scandal of 1919, when America seemed ready to abandon such a corrupt competition.

But there is a lesson there. Baseball, desperate, created the position of commissioner and brought in an outside magistrate, the federal judge, Kennesaw Mountain Landis. By contrast, the current NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, like all his predecessors, is an insider. He's been superb as a businessman - stiff-arming the players' union, ransacking the networks' exchequers. but in response to revelations of how barbarous modern football really is, Goodell, like so many men who have been inoculated by football, has only reacted - hesitantly, incrementally.

Now, yes, football extends well beyond the domain of the NFL, from the cruel college system right on down to little boys scrimmaging. But the NFL commissioner is, in effect, the spiritual head of the game. Where else do we turn to for moral leadership - the NCAA, the presidents of the Southeastern Conference, the network pre-game shows?

Our other team sports: baseball, basketball, ice hockey, not to mention soccer, all have strong foreign elements. Football is the All-American game. but ironically, already, middle-class all-American parents - even fathers who played themselves - are showing a reluctance to allow their sons to play so at risk.

Whenever Roger Goodell steps away, his legacy will be determined not by how much his franchises grew in value, but by whether or not he saved our American sport from becoming a gladiator game. Or perhaps football can only be cleansed by someone, like Judge Landis, with no previous commitment to the enterprise. Whether Goodell or an outsider, football now needs a guardian, not a CEO.

MONTAGNE: Commentator Frank Deford joins us each Wednesday. And today is a very special Wednesday for him. Frank will receive a National Humanities Medal from President Obama. And from all of us here: Congratulations, Frank.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yeah, congratulations. That is great news, Frank.

MONTAGNE: And this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.