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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Gerard Depardieu To Star In Two Chechnya-Based Films

May 16, 2013
Originally published on May 16, 2013 7:20 pm

Actor Gerard Depardieu is reportedly set to begin filming a new thriller with British actress-model Elizabeth Hurley, to be set in Moscow and Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Depardieu accepted Russian citizenship in a special dispensation from President Vladimir Putin last January, after the actor denounced a proposed new tax on the rich in his native France. He was subsequently given a luxury apartment in the Chechen capital by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Hurley broke the news on Twitter and has since been seen shopping in Moscow.

The film, to be called Turquoise, is said to be the first of two that Depardieu has signed on for.

Kadyrov's press secretary revealed that much when he denied rumors the actor will play Kadyrov's father, the late Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov.

The second movie is said to have a Chechen theme, though, and to be about the reconstruction of Grozny after the two Chechen wars.

This isn't the first time that Kadyrov has cozied up to celebrities. For his 35th birthday party in 2011, he invited American actress Hilary Swank, Belgian martial-arts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, violinist Vanessa Mae and singer Seal, both from Britain.

Human rights groups cried shame, pointing out that Kadyrov has been widely accused of gross human rights violations in quelling Chechnya's separatist rebellion. The charges include disappearances, assassinations of political opponents and torture.

Chechen officials later revealed that the celebrities had been paid to appear, and Swank said she "deeply regretted" having attended.

Depardieu appears to have no regrets about his association with Kadyrov, who has sent Instagrams of himself with an arm around the actor.

Kadyrov's press secretary says that Depardieu will give a news conference in Grozny next week, where he will reveal details of the movie plans.

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