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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Gingrich Cautions GOP About 'Overreach' On Scandals

May 17, 2013
Originally published on May 17, 2013 11:36 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was front-and-center during the Republican-led impeachment of President Clinton in 1998, is cautioning his GOP colleagues about the risk of appearing to be too eager as they dig into the scandals now dogging the Obama administration.

"I think we overreached in '98 — how's that for a quote you can use?" Gingrich told NPR's Mara Liasson for a story on Friday's broadcast of Morning Edition.

Now, says Gingrich, Republicans should proceed with caution. "They need to be calm and factual," he said. "For example, a [House] subcommittee ... should invite every single tea party, conservative, patriot group that was messed over by the IRS — every single one of them — to come in and testify, so that they build this deadening record of how many different people were having their rights abused by this administration."

The first such hearing, with the now-axed former head of the IRS, is set for this morning.

As we've been reporting, the Obama administration is faced with:

-- The IRS scandal, which involves the singling out of some conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

-- First Amendment-related objections about the seizure of Associated Press journalists' phone records.

-- Continued scrutiny over its response to the attack on Americans last September in Benghazi, Libya.

Gingrich's view about how Republicans should proceed echoes those expressed by other GOP leaders in a piece published Thursday evening by Politico:

"Republicans are worried one thing could screw up the political gift of three Obama administration controversies at once: fellow Republicans.

"Top GOP leaders are privately warning members to put a sock in it when it comes to silly calls for impeachment or over-the-top comparisons to Watergate. They want members to focus on months of fact-finding investigations — not rhetorical fury."

Earlier this week, The Washington Post's The Fix blog wrote that:

"Talk to any Republican political strategist about whether GOP leaders should spend their time talking about the terrorist attack in Benghazi or the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservatives and you will get a unanimous answer: IRS."

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