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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Google Fights Glass Backlash Before It Even Hits The Street

May 13, 2013
Originally published on May 13, 2013 11:57 am

Google Glass isn't even for sale yet, but it's already facing backlash.

There have been articles in the Atlantic and Wired mocking techies who have a pair, and even Saturday Night Live got in on the jabbing at the technology.

The New York Times ran a front-page story about Google Glass and privacy, and the gadget has been banned from a bar in Seattle and casinos in Las Vegas.

But for the earnest Googlers who helped create Glass, and the enthusiastic techies who already have their hands on a pair, all this hate can be a little bewildering. Most of the people I've talked to who have the fancy eyewear just love them.

"Just taking a hike on a Sunday, I've been blown away by taking pictures and taking video," said Javier Echeverria.

Mary Lambert got cooking instructions using Glass. "The friend who I was doing it with could see what I was doing and was like 'No no no, that's all wrong,' which was really helpful and I didn't expect it," she says.

Right now, Google Glass might be the world's worst spy camera; if you go out in public with a pair on, you are guaranteed to attract attention. Still, the idea of techies mounting a tiny screen and a little camera to their faces makes millions of people uncomfortable.

According to Sarah Rotman Epps, a tech analyst at Forrester Research, that is why Google is rolling out Glass to the world slowly in stages.

"Google has been incredibly transparent ... with their Glass rollout," Epps says. "They realize that Google Glass will require shifting social norms to be accepted."

In that regard, the past few weeks have been rough for Google. If the company is going to turn around the public's impression of this product, it will need some help — from people like Sarah Hill.

Hill is a storyteller for the Veterans United Network and a volunteer for Veterans Virtual Tours. She wants to use Google Glass to take World War II vets on virtual tours of places they might be too old or frail to visit in person.

"Places like the World War II memorial, Arlington National Cemetery [or] Pearl Harbor even," she says.

Hill is convinced that leading a virtual tour for veterans while wearing Google Glass would be completely different for them than showing the group just a DVD. She says it gives them the ability to ask questions and request certain sights and sounds, like the waves on the beaches of Normandy or the waterfalls at the World War II memorial.

"And when people ask those ... veterans, 'Have you ever seen your memorial?' before they pass away, they can say, 'Yes I did,' " she says.

Google is hoping that people like Hill could begin to help the public imagine the positive things they could do with the gadget.

Last week, Google released a video of Andrew Vanden Heuvel, a high school physics teacher from Grand Rapids, Mich., using Glass to go on a virtual field trip to CERN and the Large Hadron Collider.

Sam Aybar wants to build an app to identify packaged foods that are free of the allergens that make his son sick. The app would use bar codes to create a list of safe products.

"I think Glass could be really helpful for 5 [million] to 10 million families in the United States that are dealing with food allergies," Aybar said.

For many tech enthusiasts, the upsides of Glass seem obvious.

"I've spent my life essentially helping to build the Internet, and this thing is the Internet in your field of vision," says Web pioneer and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. "For me that's the big thing ... that's the killer app."

Andreessen, who founded Netscape, among other Internet properties, is now funding startups hoping to build apps on Glass.

But even in the Andreessen household, Glass has created controversy. He says his wife has likely wanted to rip them off and throw them out the window.

"I think she's been tempted to do that with almost every piece of gadgetry we own," he says.

And battles like that could determine whether Google Glass becomes the next iPhone or has a fate more similar to Apple's Newton.

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