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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


IRS Witness Turns Down Questions At Congressional Hearing

May 22, 2013
Originally published on May 22, 2013 6:40 pm



Another day, another heated hearing on Capitol Hill about the IRS. The agency's leadership has faced angry questions over its flagging of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. At today's hearing, the most anticipated witness answered no questions. Instead, she took the Fifth, as we hear from NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Lois Lerner is the IRS official who blew open the scandal two weeks ago, answering what it turns out was a planted question at a conference for tax attorneys. She said the targeting of groups with Tea Party and patriot in their names was wrong, insensitive and inappropriate. In recent days, congressional committees have grilled two former IRS directors, but Lerner is the one who oversees the part of the IRS responsible for the singling out.

And even before the hearing started, her attorney made it clear she wouldn't be answering questions. When called on, Lerner made brief remarks.

LOIS LERNER: I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.

KEITH: Then she plead the Fifth, citing an ongoing criminal investigation and allegations from members of the committee that she had lied to Congress.

LERNER: Because I'm asserting my right not to testify, I know that some people will assume that I've done something wrong. I have not.

KEITH: This didn't sit well with South Carolina Republican and former prosecutor Trey Gowdy.

REPRESENTATIVE TREY GOWDY: She just testified. She just waived her Fifth Amendment right to privilege. You don't get to tell your side of the story and then not be subjected to cross-examination. That's not the way it works. She waived her right to Fifth Amendment privilege by issuing an opening statement. She ought to stand here and answer our questions.

KEITH: She didn't. Committee chairman, California Republican Darrell Issa, allowed Lerner to leave and the committee then questioned the former director of the IRS, the inspector general and the deputy director of the Treasury Department for some five hours, eliciting a couple of apologies, but no major revelations. Tamara Keith, NPR News, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.