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

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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/.

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HPV Vaccination Might Help Reduce Risk Of Throat Cancers

Jul 19, 2013
Originally published on July 23, 2013 4:29 pm

A study of women in Costa Rica is raising hope that getting vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, could lower the risk of throat cancers.

The research doesn't show that. It would take a much bigger and longer study to do that – if such a study could ethically be done at all.

What this study does show is that among the nearly 6,000 women in the study, those who got vaccinated against two strains of the virus had 93 percent fewer HPV throat infections four years later.

Since the virus is strongly linked to throat cancers, that should reduce the risk of these malignancies.

If it does, there's no reason to think the vaccine wouldn't lower risk of throat cancer in men, too. But that involves another set of inferences that the new study can only suggest, not support.

Two HPV vaccines are already approved for prevention of cancer of the uterine cervix in women. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, involved one of the vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix. (The other is Merck's Gardasil.)

The questions raised by the study are important ones.

This year more than 41,000 Americans will get a diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer – affecting the throat, base of the tongue or tonsils. Nearly three-quarters of them are men.

Once cigarette smoking was the main cause of these cancers. But HPV infection is rapidly displacing cigarette smoking as the main culprit. (One relatively bright spot: HPV-caused throat cancers are less lethal than those due to smoking.)

A 2011 study found that HPV-associated throat cancers have increased from 16 to 72 percent of all such malignancies. That shift could reflect a decline in smoking-related throat cancers, an increase in those from oral sex – or both.

"If recent incidence trends continue, the annual number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers is expected to surpass the annual number of cervical cancers by the year 2020," the study's authors said.

Earlier this summer the role of HPV in throat cancer got a big dose of attention when actor Michael Douglas suggested his case was probably caused by HPV acquired through oral sex with women. He later amended that, saying he couldn't know the exact cause.

Heterosexual men appear to be at the same or somewhat higher risk than homosexual men of getting HPV throat infections through oral sex, perhaps because vaginal secretions contain more of the virus than are found on the skin of the penis.

It's hard for sexually active people to avoid HPV infection. Something like 80 million US adults have it, though 90 percent of the time their immune systems clear it over a period of months to years.

For the other 10 percent who get persistent HPV infections, it would clearly be a great boon if the two HPV vaccines already approved turned out to prevent throat cancer, too. But it's going to take more research – and perhaps some creative interpretation of the results – to show it.

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