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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Get In Line! Enormous Powerball Jackpot Up For Grabs

May 15, 2013
Originally published on May 15, 2013 12:50 pm

If it seems as though lottery jackpots keep growing in size, you're right — the multistate Powerball lottery has ballooned to its third-largest size in history, and one or several lucky people could win Wednesday night's drawing.

At this writing, the Powerball is worth an estimated $360 million, with a $229.2 million cash value. The Associated Press says not only is this one of the biggest Powerball jackpots ever, it's the seventh-largest prize ever awarded in any lottery.

The last big Powerball winner was Pedro Quezada of New Jersey, who took home a $338 million prize in March. The jackpot has rolled over since then, although there have been smaller winners who've claimed $1 million prizes.

Why are the prizes so much bigger? Powerball officials say it's because ticket prices recently doubled, from $1 to $2 per ticket: "In these first draws we've seen a big jump in prize dollars moved to players and a big jump in dollars raised for good causes in each state."

The lottery has also made it "easier" to win, by dropping some of the red Powerball numbers. By easier, that means your chance of winning the grand prize has improved from one in 195 million to about 1 in 175 million. But those lucky few who do win are considerably richer: the group says the amount of money going to the jackpot fund is nearly twice what it used to be, meaning the average jackpot has risen from $141 million to $255 million. If you are just hoping to win one of the smaller grand prizes, the starting jackpot value has doubled from $20 to $40 million.

Remember — don't sit on a winning ticket for long, because states have deadlines between 90 days and a year. As Powerball's FAQ page reminds players, "The Universe is decaying and nothing lasts forever."

We're hoping that if there is a winner, he or she is as thrilled as this woman was last month: She Won $40,000! No, It Was $40 Million! Happy Dance Time!

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