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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Live Blog: Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger Goes On Trial

Jun 12, 2013
Originally published on June 12, 2013 11:07 am

Whitey Bulger is finally getting his day in court.

Our colleagues at WBUR are in the courtroom Wednesday as the infamous gangster's trial begins. He's accused of 19 murders and racketeering. As we wrote last week, James "Whitey" Bulger was captured in California nearly two years ago — after 16 years on the run. He's pleaded not guilty and may try to make the case that because he was an FBI informant he might have some sort of immunity.

You can follow WBUR's updates on its @wburLive Twitter page, or in the box we'll embed below. Wednesday's highlights are expected to include the opening statements from the prosecution and defense. We'll monitor and update as warranted.

There's also live blogging by:

-- WGBH.

-- The Boston Globe.

-- The Boston Herald.

And for much, much more about Bulger and the case against him, this package from WBUR is a good place to start.

Update at 11 a.m. ET. Defense Lawyer Says He'll Show Jurors "The Truth":

WBUR adds now that in his opening statement, defense attorney J.W. Carney said that defending Bulger is a "challenging task," but that he will help jurors see "what the truth is." And with the prosecution set to present as witnesses a range of seemingly shady characters — including a convicted killer — Carney has suggested to jurors that they may not be able to believe those who testify against his client.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET. Bulger "Did The Dirty Work Himself":

As the prosecution's opening statement gets underway, WBUR reports, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly is laying out some of Bulger's alleged crimes. "He was no ordinary leader," Kelly says of Bulger. "He did the dirty work himself."

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