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

2 hours 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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In Gay America, Optimism Abounds As Stigma Persists, Pew Says

Jun 13, 2013
Originally published on June 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans say they feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago, and they're overwhelmingly optimistic that the trend will continue. But a sweeping new Pew Research Center survey also finds persistent levels of stigmatization and secrecy in the community.

"The Pew Research Center finds some 90 percent of LGBT people feel more accepted now than a decade ago, and believe that will continue," reports NPR's Jennifer Ludden. "They credit more personal interactions between gays and straights, high-profile advocates — like President Obama — and more same-sex parenting."

But many of the 1,197 adults who took part in the online survey — the first that Pew has conducted of the LGBT community — say they also see a strong stigma in American culture.

"For example, only slightly over half of folks in this community say they've told their mother about their sexual orientation," Pew's Paul Taylor tells Jennifer, "and just 4 in 10 have told their father."

Jennifer's full report will air on today's All Thing Considered. Here are more of the Pew study's findings:

  • The 40 percent of LGBT people who are bisexual are also the least likely to be "out" — most are married to someone of the opposite sex.
  • A third of LGBT adults say they've been rejected by a close family member or friend because of their sexual orientation.
  • Two in 10 LGBT people report being discriminated against by an employer.
  • Nearly a third say they've been rejected by their church or place of worship.
  • Almost 6 in 10 say they have been the target of jokes or slurs.
  • The median age when respondents said they felt they might not be heterosexual was 12.
  • The median age when they said they knew their sexual identity with certainty was 17.
  • Compared with the generation before them, today's gays and lesbians are coming out at an earlier age.

"Most who did tell a parent say that it was difficult," according to the study, "but relatively few say that it damaged their relationship."

The study also included a section asking respondents to name the public figures whom they see as being the most responsible for advancing LGBT rights.

Two names topped the list: President Obama (23 percent), who said in 2012 that he supports gay marriage; and Ellen DeGeneres (18 percent), the comedian and TV talk show host who came out in 1997. No other names were mentioned in more than 3 percent of responses.

"The lives of LGBT people are debated every day in this country, at ballot boxes, in legislatures, in the courts, in corporate boardrooms," Gary Gates, a demographer with the Williams Institute who consulted on the Pew report, tells Jennifer. "And it seems to me only fair that the public have some information about who they are and how they experience the world."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.