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

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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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Is He Or Isn't He? Much Confusion Over Snowden And Venezuela

Jul 9, 2013
Originally published on July 9, 2013 10:00 pm

Update at 9:40 p.m. ET. Snowden Likely To Seek Asylum In Venezuela

According to Glenn Greenwald, the U.S. journalist who has been at the forefront of the NSA leak case, former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is likely to seek asylum in Venezuela, reports the Associated Press.

"In an interview immediately after speaking to Snowden by online chat, Greenwald said Venezuela, one of three Latin American countries that have offered Snowden asylum, is the one most likely to guarantee safe passage for the former contractor, especially as the United States pressures other nations not to take him once he leaves his current limbo at a Russian airport."

Greenwald told the AP that a resolution to the situation is still unclear and could take "days or hours or weeks."

Our original post continues:

Don't search for "Snowden" on Twitter right now unless you want to end up totally confused.

Or just want to be amused.

We'll walk through the dizzying developments of the past hour or so:

-- First, Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee of Russia's state Duma, tweeted that "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden had accepted an asylum offer from Venezuela. Snowden, as you probably know, is thought to be in legal limbo at the transit zone of Moscow's airport. He's trying to avoid being sent back to the U.S., where he would be prosecuted for spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs.

-- Pushkov's tweet led to a flurry of retweets, an Associated Press report about Pushkov's statement, and a slew of stories on news sites around the Web.

-- Then Pushkov deleted his tweet. Uh-oh. That's usually a sign that someone thinks he shouldn't have said what he just said.

-- Pushkov came back minutes later with a tweet that said, "Information that Snowden accepted an offer of asylum from Maduro came from 18-hour release of 'Vesti 24.' " That's a Russian news channel.

-- But Vesti 24 wasn't mentioning this scoop on its website or on its Twitter page. Hmm. Instead, NPR's Corey Flintoff told us from Moscow that "Vesti 24's 7 p.m. is quoting Pushkov" about Snowden's supposed-decision.

-- Meanwhile, reports popped up that the government of Venezuela had "confirmed" that Snowden accepted its offer. But the story those reports were citing had Pushkov, not Venezuelan authorities, as its source.

So, we had a couple circles. Pushkov cited Vesti 24, which cited Pushkov. And the Venezuelans cited Pushkov, who cited Vesti 24, which was citing Pushkov.

Got that?

Meanwhile, where will Snowden end up if he does leave the transit area of Moscow's airport — where he's been the past two weeks?

As we've said, Venezuela is among the likely places. He may need a private jet to get there, though.

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