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

2 hours 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


It's The Final ScuttleButton Puzzle ... For Now

Jun 19, 2013

Some words I never thought I would utter: This is the last ScuttleButton puzzle that will ever appear on the NPR Web site.

With the cancellation of Talk of the Nation, and of course the weekly Political Junkie segment that goes with it, the long relationship between Political Junkie and NPR is coming to an end.

Thus, this is the last button puzzle, with the final winner (and t-shirt and button prizes) announced on Wednesday, June 26th — the final Junkie segment on TOTN.

There will also be a final Junkie column, up next week.

The good news: I'm making a serious effort to find new homes for these features, including the creation of a stand-alone Political Junkie on-air program, to run on public radio stations around the country. For more details about that, write me at

Meanwhile, first things first.

ScuttleButton is of course that waste of time exercise in which each Tuesday or Wednesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

The randomly-selected winner not only hears their name mentioned during the Wednesday Junkie segment (by me) but they receive a Political Junkie t-shirt and button in the bargain. Is this a great country or what?

You can't use the comments box at the bottom of the page for your answer. Send submission (plus your name and city/state — you won't win without that) to

Good luck!

Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:

Ould for U.S. Senate — James Ould was the unsuccessful Republican nominee against William Spong (D) in Virginia in 1966.

Mick is Sex — That's Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones.

Barack, You're Fired/Trump for President 2012 — Donald Trump threatened to seek the White House that year but backed away.

Bella For Senator (on hat) — Rep. Bella Abzug, the fiery Manhattan congresswoman who was well known for her omnipresent hat, sought the Democratic nomination from New York in 1976 but lost a squeaker to Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the primary.

Against State Income Tax/Sandman F Line — Rep. Charles Sandman unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor of New Jersey in 1965 and 1969. In 1973, he knocked off GOP Gov. Bill Cahill in the primary but then got trounced in November by Democrat Brendan Byrne.

Sobnosky Senator/The Strength to Do the Job (picture of a muscular arm) — Thought to be from an Ohio state legislative race.

So, when you combine Ould + Mick + Donald + Hat + F + Arm, you may just very well end up with ...

Old MacDonald Had a Farm. The famous nursery rhyme.

The winner, chosen completely at random, is Bonni Thoza of Stockton, Calif. Bonni She gets not only the coveted Political Junkie t-shirt — but the Official No Prize Button as well!

NOTE: A sincere thank you to all the thousands and thousands of loyal ScuttleButton fans who have participated in this silly little exercise over the years. If you wish to be informed about the future of ScuttleButton and Political Junkie — and if you are not already on my list — make sure you send your e-mail address to me at

Final Political Junkie column appears next week.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit