The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Hipsters Off The Hook: The Truth Behind Abandoned Backyard Chickens

Jul 11, 2013
Originally published on July 15, 2013 11:15 am

From the headlines this week, I almost expected to see a hen clucking outside NPR's headquarters this morning.

"Chickens Flood Shelters As Backyard Farmers Call It Quits," Time exclaimed. "Hipster farmers abandoning urban chickens because they're too much work," Canada's National Post wrote. As the headlines would have it, hens are getting dumped once their egg-laying years are over.

But are hipsters really the fair-weather farmers they're being portrayed as? Not necessarily.

A closer look at at the backyard farming industry reveals another underlying cause for the spike in unwanted chickens. And it's not the hens that are the major problem but the roosters, says Susie Coston of Farm Sanctuary in New York.

Urban chicken farming has exploded in popularity over the past few years. (Who doesn't want a pet that makes your breakfast?) In response, many cities have made it legal for residents to keep egg-laying hens, but they still prohibit roosters. The gentlemen are just too loud for urban living, Coston says.

Here's where the problem begins. When urban farmers order hens online, as is popular, suppliers can't tell 100 percent if they're sending a lady or a gentleman.

And that means many city dwellers end up getting roosters, when they really wanted hens. Once the poor fellows start crowing, their fate is sealed: It's either the frying pan or the local humane society.

"Roosters are being treated very differently from hens," Coston says. "We probably get 400 or 500 roosters each year at just one of our sanctuaries."

But for urban dwellers who want to raise backyard chickens, there's a way around this mystery-chicken-sex problem: Adopt an adult chicken — or better yet, adopt a hen from a factory farm, says John Reese of the Marin Humane Society.

The animal adoption facility he runs in Novato, Calif., gets most of its chickens from factory farms. "They're called spent hens," he says. The little ladies still have some egg-laying left in them, but they're just not as productive as younger birds.

"The factories slaughter most of them for food," Reese says, "but we save some of them from the soup and [let them] enjoy the leisure life in Marin County."

Reese also says he hasn't seen an uptick in abandoned birds. "We literally have the extreme opposite situation here on the north side of San Francisco," he tells The Salt. "Over the past few years, we've just had a steady rise in chicken adoptions."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.