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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Game 4 Of The NBA Finals A Moment Of Truth For Lebron James

Jun 13, 2013
Originally published on June 13, 2013 6:35 pm



Conventional wisdom holds that LeBron James of the Miami Heat is the best basketball player on the planet. But despite all that talent, he's had some struggles on the court, most notably now in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. James has failed to crack 20 points in any of the three games so far and at times he's looked indecisive against a very good Spurs defense.

As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, tonight's game is a moment of truth, as LeBron James and the Heat try to even the series.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: LeBron James began the finals secure in his title as BPP - Best Player on the Planet. After three games, he still holds the title, but it's lost a little luster, even though things started well.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: James, backs it in.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: How do you top that?

GOLDMAN: Game 1, he had a coveted triple double: double figures in rebounds, assists and points, although only 18 points. Remember, this is a man who scored at least 20 in 33 games in a row this season. Game 2, 17 points and other contributions as the Heat won big. Game 3, 15 and no free throws by a 6'8, 250 pound man who's proved he can bull his way to the basket and get fouled any time he wants.

Yesterday, James bluntly assessed Tuesday's performance.

LEBRON JAMES: I'll be better.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And what would better mean for you?

JAMES: Better than last night. I played like (censored by network).

GOLDMAN: Better than bleep, means a much more aggressive performance. James is a great facilitator who constantly strives to make the best basketball play, even if that means giving up the ball. Tonight, on the road in a must-win game, James understands it's critical to get himself going. One way is trying to break free from San Antonio's smothering half court defense by running in the open court.

JAMES: If I can get the ball and transition where I'm facing my defender or maybe just one other defender, I can kind of break their defense down.

GOLDMAN: Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra will do what he can.

ERIK SPOELSTRA: We'll work to make sure that he's getting to places where he can be comfortable and confident.

GOLDMAN: Which begs the question, is James uncomfortable and lacking confidence even after a career year in which he won his first NBA title, a fourth Most Valuable Player Award and an Olympic gold medal?

MARK STEIN: I really thought after last season when he did all these things, I thought he was past this.

GOLDMAN: Past the debacle of the 2011 finals, says ESPN NBA senior writer Mark Stein, when James shrank on the biggest stage and was described as passive and uncertain, as heavily favored Miami lost to Dallas. To be fair, Stein says, the Heat are facing another Texas team, San Antonio, with championship DNA. The Spurs have won four titles since 1999 and a defense that, in hoop-speak, is packing the paint, swarming James when he gets near the basket and daring him to shoot from outside.

Also, Miami's other big stars, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, are, respectively, hurting and ineffective. Still, all eyes are on James as the designated BPP as he tries not to revert to 2011. Is he, in fact, a flawed best player on the planet or, as Mark Stein wonders, is James a victim of these talkative times?

STEIN: One of the most fascinating what-ifs in sports is what if Michael Jordan played in the Twitter era and we dissected his every tongue wag the way we do now with guys like Lebron. So I do feel a degree of sympathy for him there because it is such a different environment. But you're right, a player of his stature, we shouldn't be having this kind of discussion.

GOLDMAN: Yesterday, James grunted and cursed at practice as another jumpshot fell short. Those will go in tonight, he says, as he works mightily to bring his team back and turn around the discussion from what ails Lebron to will Miami repeat. Tom Goldman, NPR News, San Antonio. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.