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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'Horrific Attack' On School In Nigeria; Dozens Dead

Jul 6, 2013

There's very disturbing news from Nigeria:

"At least 29 pupils and a teacher have been killed in a pre-dawn attack by suspected Islamists on a school in northeastern Nigeria, reports say." (BBC News)

The BBC's Will Ross, reporting from Lagos, adds that "it sounds like a horrific attack." Survivors say the gunmen set fire to buildings. Some of the students were burned alive, he reports, while "others were shot as they tried to run away."

Reuters, which is reporting that 27 students and one teacher were killed, says "it was the deadliest of three attacks on schools since the military launched an offensive in May to try to crush Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group whose nickname translates as 'Western education is sinful' in the northern Hausa language."

As the BBC adds, "Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it 'haram,' or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society."

In February 2012, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston noted that:

"The U.S. intelligence community is turning its focus to groups like al-Qaida's arm in Yemen or Islamic militias in Somalia such as al-Shabab. More recently, in Nigeria, a local separatist group called Boko Haram has taken aim at the U.S. It released a video message this week that called on jihadis to focus on the United States; their leader said President Obama was waging a war against Muslims.

"This is the kind of clarion call that al-Qaida used to sound. Experts are quick to say that it is unclear that Boko Haram has the reach to launch any attack against the U.S., but intelligence officials are watching the group all the same."

As Eric Guttschuss of Human Rights Watch told All Things Considered this past April, though:

"The International Criminal Court has opened up a preliminary examination and they have found that crimes against humanity have likely been carried out by Boko Haram, as well as serious human rights violations by the government security services."

Also earlier this year, Human Rights Watch reported that:

"Attacks by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram and abuses by government security forces led to spiraling violence across northern and central Nigeria. This violence, which first erupted in 2009, has claimed more than 3,000 lives. The group, which seeks to impose a strict form of Sharia, or Islamic law, in northern Nigeria and end government corruption, launched hundreds of attacks in 2012 against police officers, Christians, and Muslims who cooperate with the government or oppose the group.

"In the name of ending Boko Haram's threat to Nigeria's citizens, government security forces have responded with a heavy-hand."

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