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

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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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Lawmakers Work To Gauge Public Mood On NSA And Leaker

Jun 10, 2013
Originally published on June 10, 2013 8:17 pm

When it comes to secrets leaker Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency's phone records and Internet snooping, some in Congress face a dilemma.

Namely, how to read public opinion.

Speaking off the record, aides for Republican and Democratic House lawmakers told me they are getting constituent calls on both sides: from those urging that Snowden not be prosecuted and those insisting he should be.

An aide for one congressman told me her boss's staff was holding off on issuing a statement until it had the chance to further gauge the voters' mood.

Another aide told me that of all the calls received by her House member's office on the NSA program, not one supported it.

These are just anecdotes, but they give a sense of how much the public appears to be sending mixed messages right about now. A new Pew Research Center poll clarifies matters a little. It reports that a majority, 56 percent of Americans, back the NSA phone tracking as an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism.

Of the public feedback, Sabrina Singh, a press secretary with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat on the House intelligence panel, said: "Our constituents are concerned about it [the NSA data-gathering]. And we think that's good because Congresswoman Schakowsky believes that the American people deserve transparency. And she welcomes this debate."

Among the anti-leak hard-liners have been Rep. Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the Senate counterpart. Both have said the leaker responsible for the recent NSA stories should be prosecuted.

A theme from some lawmakers who so far have been critical of the NSA data-gathering efforts is that, as policymakers, they were either completely unaware of the programs or mostly in the dark.

Intelligence officials plan to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday to throw a little light on the programs for all House lawmakers via a late afternoon briefing. A similar briefing for all senators is planned for Wednesday.

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