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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Jobless Claims Drop, But Stay In Recent Range

May 23, 2013

There were 340,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 23,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The decline follows something of a spike. But in reality, the drop just means that claims continue to run at the pace they've been setting since late 2011. Since then, the number of new filings each week has pretty much stayed in a range from the mid-300,000s to just under 400,000.

Still, according to Bloomberg News, Thursday's report is modestly good: "Fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the job market is sustaining recent gains."

Economists had been expecting to hear there had been 345,000 first-time claims last week. It's fair to note, of course, that when next week's report is released we may learn that the estimate's been revised — possibly to the 345,000 that was forecast.

Update at 10:15 a.m. ET. Sales Of New Homes Rise:

There was a 2.3 percent rise in sales of new homes in April from March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. At an annual rate of 454,000, sales were up 29 percent from April 2012 and — as in January — were running at a pace not seen since July 2008.

What's more, as The Associated Press notes, "the median price of a home sold in April was $271,600, the highest level on government records going back to 1993. "

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