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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Insurers Picked For California Health Exchange

May 24, 2013
Originally published on May 24, 2013 8:01 am



More, now, on the new federal health care law. States are preparing for that law to take effect. In California, officials have now unveiled plans - and prices - for millions of residents who will be using a new health insurance exchange to purchase their coverage next year. This is a key test of the federal health law's ability to draw competitive bids from insurance companies. Sarah Varney reports.

SARAH VARNEY, BYLINE: Perhaps the lesson of California's efforts to keep insurance premiums in check is, carry a big stick. State lawmakers had granted those running the state marketplace considerable power to negotiate on behalf of about 5 million Californians who don't get coverage through their jobs.

And negotiate, they did. Nearly three dozen health plans submitted bids. The state rejected those that were priced too high, or skimped on doctors and hospitals; and picked four of the largest commercial insurance companies and a handful of regional health plans.

The premiums for plans - from the bare-boned to the fully-loaded - were lower than most consumer advocates and analysts had predicted. Betsy Imholz, with Consumers Union, was at the press conference in Sacramento on Thursday, that had the celebratory feel of a space shuttle launch.

BETSY IMHOLZ: I'm impressed. I actually think that they are good prices. They're kind of within the realm of what is - hoped for.

VARNEY: For example, a 40-year-old living in Oakland, Calif., who earns about $4,000 a month could buy a decent policy for $317 a month. Low- and moderate- income households will be eligible for federal income tax credits, to offset the price of private insurance. Premium prices still need to be approved by state regulators.

I'm Sarah Varney, in Sacramento.

GREENE: And that story is from our partner Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.