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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Immigration Issue Shows Big Money Doesn't Always Win In D.C.

Jul 30, 2013
Originally published on July 30, 2013 7:17 pm

Big Money often gets what it wants in Washington. But not always.

In few policy debates is that more true than in the proposed overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.

The big donors and corporate leaders of the Republican establishment mostly favor remaking U.S. immigration laws to give those now here illegally an eventual door to citizenship and to increase the annual quota for guest workers.

A letter sent by major GOP donors, business chiefs and political strategists Tuesday to House Republicans underscores as much. Among the signers of the letter from Republicans for Immigration Reform: sugar baron Pepe Fanjul Jr.; Charles McNeil, CEO of NexGen Resources, an energy company; and Karl Rove, who needs no introduction.

An excerpt from the letter from Republicans for Immigration Reform:

Standing in the way of reform ensures that we perpetuate a broken system that stifles our economy, leave millions of people living in America unaccounted for, maintain a porous border, and risk a long-lasting perception that Republicans would rather see nothing done than pass needed reform. That is not the path for the Republican Party.

It may not be the path for the party as a whole, but that doesn't mean it isn't the path for some Republican members of Congress. They might invite a primary challenge if they voted for any legislation that gave legal status to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

The current effort recalls the push by major GOP donors and the business lobby, often one and the same, to support earlier efforts to revise immigration laws in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, there was an open letter to Congress from a group of Texas business types urging lawmakers to pass legislation to revise the immigration laws.

Those attempts during the Bush administration came to naught; there was just too much grass-roots opposition to the notion of giving legal status to immigrants who either entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas.

Much money has been spent since the last immigration overhaul go-round. The Sunlight Foundation estimates that between 2008 and 2012, more than $1.5 billion has been spent on immigration lobbying. "We count 6,712 quarterly lobbying reports filed by 678 lobbying organizations in 170 sectors mentioning 987 unique bills, associated with more than $1.5 billion in lobbying spending," the foundation wrote.

But the chances of an immigration overhaul seem no less fragile now than seven years ago. Indeed, they might even be worse. The last time a comprehensive revision of the nation's immigration laws was being discussed, the Tea Party movement didn't exist.

The Tea Party wasn't there to threaten primary challenges to Republican incumbents who support "amnesty" for immigrants. It wasn't there to ensure that GOP lawmakers clearly heard the fierceness of the opposition to providing a citizenship pathway.

This explains the timing of Tuesday's letter. Lawmakers are heading home to their districts for the August recess. As Carlos Gutierrez, a Bush administration commerce secretary and former Kellogg Co. CEO who heads the Republicans for Immigration Reform, told CNBC: "The month of August is very key because they go back home and they go to town hall meetings and they hear from the extreme hard-liners, the anti-immigration [side] ..."

That's what Big Money is trying to overcome. But while it has money on its side, as we've seen before, that doesn't mean it will have the votes at the critical moment.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit