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

2 hours 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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Justices Rule In Favor Of Employers In Discrimination Cases

Jun 25, 2013
Originally published on June 25, 2013 11:10 am



And the Supreme Court was actually already having a busy week. Yesterday it handed down rulings in two other notable cases, both dealing with worker's rights. The justices split five to four along ideological lines to make it harder for employees to win discrimination lawsuits. The court raised new hurdles for plaintiffs who say they were victims of bias and then faced retaliation for raising the issue. NPR's Carrie Johnson has more.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: In the first case, the Supreme Court turned back a lawsuit filed by an African-American kitchen employee at Ball State University in Indiana. Maetta Vance alleges she was picked on by a white woman who made the job a racially hostile environment. The key issue in the case is whether that white woman counted as a supervisor and how the court majority defined workplace supervisors under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lawyer Daniel Ortiz argued for Vance in that case.

DANIEL ORTIZ: So, the question is whether you just have only the power to hire and fire, promote, that sort of thing, should count; or also having the power to, day to day, manage what someone else does in the workplace should make one a supervisor as well.

JOHNSON: Justice Samuel Alito and four other conservative justices adopted the more restrictive definition. The court majority said only people who have the authority to hire or fire a worker should be considered supervisors under the law. But the dissenters, led by Justice Ruth Ginsburg, said that ignored reality in today's workplace. Michael Foreman, a law professor at Pennsylvania State University, agrees.

MICHAEL FOREMAN: If you're working out in an oil derrick somewhere or you're working some situation where the team leader, the person there doesn't have the ability to fire or hire you, which was the Supreme Court's definition, but they have the ability to make your life miserable through racial harassment or sexual harassment, and now there's an additional hurdle for the employee to jump through.

JOHNSON: A spokesman for Ball State University says the school's pleased to bring the lawsuit to a close. In the second employment case of the day, another five-justice majority overturned a jury verdict for a Texas doctor who claimed he suffered unlawful retaliation. Dr. Naiel Nassar, who has Middle Eastern roots, said the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center withdrew a job offer after he complained about religious and ethnic discrimination. The court majority, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, made it harder to win those kinds of retaliation cases, rejecting an argument by the U.S. and friends of the court, including Michael Foreman.

FOREMAN: The argument by the U.S. government and our amicus brief and others was the law really says if it's a motivating factor, you violated the law. Here, the majority says, no, it has to be the but-for cause of the discrimination.

JOHNSON: In other words, the doctor needed to show he would not have been fired but for his employer's retaliation. Daryl Joseffer argued the case for the medical center.

DARYL JOSEFFER: If an employee who knows he's on thin ice with his employer can choose to complain of discrimination and thereby get himself, you know, preferential treatment - after that, the employer really has to be careful with him and not treat him equally but treat him specially just because he made an accusation - then, yes, it gets much dicier for employers to do what they're supposed to do.

JOHNSON: In her dissents in both cases, Justice Ginsburg said the new hurdles would help employers get rid of lawsuits before they ever went to trial and cause workers to lose in all but a handful of cases. She urged Congress to weigh in and restore those workplace protections for employees. Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington.


GREENE: And you're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.