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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Huge Boost In U.S. Oil Output Set To Transform Global Market

May 14, 2013
Originally published on May 14, 2013 5:48 pm

U.S. oil production is rising sharply and increased output from shale will be a "game changer" in global energy markets in the coming years, according to a new report out Tuesday by the International Energy Agency.

"U.S. shale oil will help meet most of the world's new oil needs in the next five years, even if demand rises from a pick-up in the global economy," the Paris-based agency said in its five-year outlook, called the Medium-Term Oil Market Report.

"North American supply is an even bigger deal than we thought. A real game changer in every way," said Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA's executive director.

She said that North American production has set off a "supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world" and urged the United States to dismantle the Export Administration Act of 1979, which bans the sale of U.S. crude abroad, except to Canada and Mexico.

"This issue is on the table. I think it has to be addressed because if there are no export licenses for crude, then the industry will find different ways, as they are looking for now already with processed, half-processed products, things like that," van der Hoeven said.

The IEA report forecasts:

"North American supply to grow by 3.9 million barrels per day from 2012 to 2018, or nearly two-thirds of total forecast non-OPEC supply growth of 6 [million barrels per day]. World liquid production capacity is expected to grow by 8.4 [million barrels per day] – significantly faster than demand – which is projected to expand by 6.9 [million barrels per day]. Global refining capacity will post even steeper growth, surging by 9.5 [million barrels per day], led by China and the Middle East."

As NPR's Tom Gjelten reports:

"Petroleum engineers have always known about the untapped underground oil in the United States, but it was unreachable, trapped in tight shale rock. Then the engineers figured out how to crack the rock. Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — got that 'tight oil' finally flowing in places like North Dakota."

Canada, one of the world's largest petroleum exporters, has also gotten oil from tar sands.

Those combined factors have resulted in a "steeper than expected" rise in North American production.

On the demand side, Gjelten reports, it's no longer the big industrialized countries such as the United States that are also the biggest oil users. The IEA predicts countries such as China and India will need more oil than the industrialized counties at "some point" in the future.

"But it's happening. And it's happening fast. It's faster than expected," van der Hoeven says.

One big reason for rising supply is that energy consumers are expected to look more toward natural gas to fill their needs. Antoine Halff, head of the IEA's Oil Industry Division, says trucks and trains, for example, will turn away from oil.

"In fact, we're now expecting that we're going to see some transition of transport demand from oil to natural gas before the end of the forecast period," Halff says.

Meanwhile, The Daily Ticker, quoting, says the average U.S. gas price is now $3.58 a gallon, down from nearly $3.75 a year ago.

"Analysts speculate that this is the result of a rise in crude oil production and a decrease in consumer demand. 'We have seen rising crude oil inventories playing a role in lower gasoline prices,' Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at, tells The Daily Ticker. 'Last year there were a few major refinery incidents. Really we've had a lack of unexpected refining problems and that's kept pressure at the gas pump down.'"

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