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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Kroger Buys Harris Teeter In $2.5 Billion Grocery Deal

Jul 9, 2013
Originally published on July 9, 2013 6:30 pm

In a merger of grocery chains, Kroger Co. is buying Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., the companies announced Tuesday. The move expands the reach of Kroger, already the nation's largest grocery chain, into the Mid-Atlantic region. The buyout values Harris Teeter at $49.38 per share, a premium of more than 33 percent over its share price earlier this year.

The $2.5 billion deal is one of the largest in the grocery sector in recent years. Kroger is taking on debt to finance the transaction, in addition to assuming around $100 million in debt from Harris Teeter, based in Matthews, N.C. Harris Teeter says its revenues for 2012 totaled around $4.5 billion.

The combined company will operate more than 2,600 stores in 34 states and Washington, D.C. There are currently no plans to close any stores, the two companies said in a joint statement issued today. Their integration plan calls for Harris Teeter to operate its existing 212 stores as a subsidiary of Kroger, with each company maintaining its own headquarters. Kroger is based in Cincinnati.

"Overall, the food and beverage industry is growing as the U.S. economy continues its slow recovery," NPR's Chris Arnold reports for our Newscast unit. "The industry gained 59,000 jobs over the past year."

The merger will bring Kroger new access to markets developed by Harris Teeter, which has specialized in "high-growth markets, vacation destinations and university communities" in the Southeast, the companies say.

"Harris Teeter is an exceptional company with a great brand, friendly and talented associates, and attractive store formats in vibrant markets run by a first-class management team," Kroger CEO and chairman David B. Dillon says. "They share our customer-centric approach to everything we do — from store format and merchandising to innovative loyalty programs."

A potential buyout of Harris Teeter had been discussed since the beginning of this year, when its market capitalization stood at $2.1 billion. As Bloomberg reported in February, Harris Teeter has seen its sales grow in each of the past 10 years. At the time, a target share price of $55 a share was seen as a possibility.

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