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


Janis Siegel On Piano Jazz

Jun 14, 2013

Janis Siegel has been a member of the seminal vocal group The Manhattan Transfer for 30-plus years. Along the way, the group has recorded more than 20 albums and collected eight Grammy Awards, and Siegel also has nine solo albums under her belt. On this installment of Piano Jazz, she sings tunes penned by, among others, Billy Strayhorn, Steven Sondheim and Annie Lennox, joined by accompanist Gil Goldstein on piano and accordion

The session kicks off with Sondheim's "The Story of Lucy and Jesse," from the musical Follies. Siegel sings this tale of two unhappy women longing to trade places in an uptempo style, and she finishes the tune by scatting over Gil Goldstein's accompaniment.

"That is some song," says Marian McPartland, "You've seen the show, I guess?"

Siegel admits to never having seen Follies.

"But that piece in particular struck me as a kind of vocalise," Siegel says. "It's almost the kind of wordplay that Jon Hendricks might use. I've had quite a bit of practice with that in The Manhattan Transfer."

Siegel remembers Ahmet Ertegun, of Atlantic Records fame, arranging for The Manhattan Transfer to fill in for Bobby Short at the Carlyle Hotel in New York in the mid-1970s.

"It was pretty wild," she says. "We had Mick Jagger and David Bowie coming in to see us."

And the roots of this Piano Jazz session stretch back to that gig, as well, as McPartland recalls during a recent conversation about the session.

"I was playing in the famed Bemelmans Bar, and I used to hear The Manhattan Transfer playing in the main room at the Carlyle. I would go across the hall to hear them," McPartland says.

The session continues as Siegel and Goldstein swing toward the jazz side of things with the ballad "Whatever Possessed Me," by Tadd Dameron and Bernard Hanighen. Siegel's vocal recalls the lyrical Chet Baker, who recorded the tune in the mid-1960s, and she leaves room for a piano solo by Goldstein at the bridge. They bring the pace back up with "I Know the Way to Brooklyn," before a poignant arrangement of "Make Someone Happy."

"That's so quiet, sort of Satie-like," McPartland says.

Breaking Out The Accordion

The next tune features an instrument new to Piano Jazz, as Gil Goldstein pulls out his accordion for a Montmartre-flavored duet with host McPartland on "Prelude to a Kiss." Not a usual fan of the accordion, McPartland says, "I had a ball doing that."

Next, Siegel and McPartland duet on the Billy Strayhorn tune "Lotus Blossom," but with an alternate lyric from the composer, titled "All Roads Lead Back to You."

Siegel flashes forward with a wee-small-hours arrangement of the 2003 pop tune "A Thousand Beautiful Things," by Annie Lennox. The intimate duet, with Goldstein on the accordion, takes on the effect of a Parisian chanteuse's song of longing during the German occupation. Siegel has recorded an album featuring jazz versions of songs by women of the contemporary pop vanguard, including Lennox, Bjork and Suzanne Vega.

To end the show, Seigel and McPartland get together on one more Duke Ellington tune, "I Ain't Got Nothing but the Blues." Siegel is at ease and has fun belting out the soulful lyric, with easygoing yet swinging piano accompaniment by McPartland.

"It's great to hear all those tunes written by women on the show," McPartland says, reflecting on the show. "It's so wonderful that Janis was able to do that."

And it certainly is great hearing these two talented women together.

Originally recorded Oct. 17, 2006. Originally broadcast on April 20, 2007.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit