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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Koreas Agree To Talks But Can't Decide What Kind Or Where

Jun 7, 2013
Originally published on June 7, 2013 1:50 pm

The two Koreas have agreed in principle to talks aimed at mending their almost nonexistent relations, but they are stalled on the question of where to meet.

South Korea has suggested that high-level talks take place in its capital, Seoul, but North Korea has countered that only lower-level negotiations should take place and they should be held in its border city of Kaesong.

The rival Koreas have not met face to face for such negotiations since February 2011.

Pyongyang on Friday says that's because "relations have been stalemated for years and mistrust has reached the extremity."

South Korea has not yet responded to the counterproposal, which could be a stalling tactic reminiscent of the summer of 1951, when North Korea held up talks for weeks arguing over such minutiae as the height of chair legs at the negotiating table. (More than a quarter-century later, Hanoi argued similarly over the shape of the table in an apparent effort to stall talks on ending the Vietnam War).

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that North Korea on Friday reopened a Red Cross hotline with the South that was cut in March amid rising tensions on the peninsula this spring. Another hotline linking the two countries' militaries remains cut off.

Some experts say North Korea is partly responding to pressure from China to tone down its rhetoric. As Reuters notes:

"North Korea's moves come ahead of a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday in California. North Korea's actions, including its latest nuclear test in February and threats to attack South Korea and the United States, are likely to be high on the agenda. ...

"China told a North Korean delegation that visited Beijing late last month that North Korea should stop conducting nuclear tests and focus on economic development, a source with knowledge of the talks told Reuters."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.