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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Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story

May 15, 2013
Originally published on May 15, 2013 6:45 pm

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.

You can read it yourself here. The May 7, 2012, story cites unnamed sources who told the news agency that the CIA had thwarted a plan by a Yemeni affiliate of al-Qaida to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner. That despite White House assertions that it was unaware of any such plot.

The AP's story said the would-be bomber planned to use an "upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009." It said the new bomb had a better detonation system than the underwear bomb and was constructed using no metal parts to make it difficult or impossible to detect at airports. The AP wrote:

"The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It is not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

"The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no al-Qaida plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden's death. The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way."

But, as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, there's much more to the story:

"As we understood it then and still understand it, that suicide bomber that AP refers to in its story was actually a double agent working with Western intelligence agencies," Dina says.

Although the double agent did hand the new underwear bomb technology to U.S. officials, "they had hoped the agent could do more [and] ... one consequence of the story is that this agent's identity was blown," she says.

Dina says the bomb was of special interest because of who made it — Ibrahim al-Ashiri, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's master bomb maker.

"Ashiri is also thought to be behind the printer-cartridge bomb that was supposed to target cargo jets over the U.S. a couple of years ago and the underwear bomb of Christmas 2009," she says.

Ashiri is considered a genius at building bombs and authorities had hoped to use the double agent to get at him, Dina says:

"Officials tell us the plan was to reinsert the agent into al-Qaida's arm in Yemen after [authorities] got their hands on the bomb," but the AP leak made that impossible.

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