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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IRS Officials To Be On Hot Seat

May 21, 2013
Originally published on May 21, 2013 11:18 am

Both the former IRS commissioner who was in charge when the agency singled out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny and the man who replaced him will be appearing at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday morning.

Douglas Shulman, an appointee of President George W. Bush who left the IRS last November, and acting commissioner Steven Miller (who is losing his job because of the scandal) are due at the 10 a.m. ET hearing.

Also set to testify: J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration, who reported last week on the "inappropriate" criteria that some IRS personnel used when considering the applications for tax-exempt status from groups who identified themselves as "tea party" or "patriot" organizations.

On Friday, Miller told a House committee that "foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection." He insisted the actions were not partisan. Republican lawmakers did not buy his explanation. Democrats, while expressing outrage over the singling out of some groups, tried to make the case that because the extra scrutiny began in 2010 — when Bush-appointee Shulman was running the IRS — partisanship was not a factor.

Tuesday's hearing will be Shulman's first opportunity to address the scandal in public. We'll watch for news from the hearing and update.

Related post: Turnabout Is Fair Play: Senators Have Many Questions For IRS.

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Our Headline On The Hearing:

'I Was Dismayed' To Learn What Agency Did, Ex-IRS Chief Says.

Update at 10:15 a.m. ET: The hearing has begun and is being webcast here.

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