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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Macy Gray: 'I Still See My Voice As Odd'

Jun 24, 2013
Originally published on June 24, 2013 1:40 pm

Macy Gray says the whole point of being an artist is not having any limits or constraints — unless you put them on yourself. Many people know Gray for her unique voice and the 1999 hit single "I Try." Now, 14 years later, she's gone multiplatinum, won a Grammy Award, and put out six albums. Her most recent is a collection of cover songs, appropriately titled Covered. She's now touring with Grammy-winning saxophonist David Murray, doing vocals for the title track of his new album, Be My Monster Love.

She spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about how far she's come, and the roots behind her latest music projects.


Interview highlights

On how she feels about her voice

"I still see my voice as odd. It never went away. I'm still in turmoil about my voice, but I feel very blessed that a lot of people like it, and that I'm able to sing at least good enough to, you know, do stuff like 'I Try' and '[Be My] Monster Love.' "

On doing cover songs

"It's something I've been toying around with for a while, like doing a cover album. We did these selective rock tunes and turned them into my own version of a soul song.

"Any time you create something, it's naturally gonna come out as your own or your own style or what you're used to or what you're best at, you know?"

On collaborating with other artists, including saxophonist David Murray

"A lot of collaborations you hear are — you know, they're friends, and they happen to be in the same place, and it all happens really organically. I used to studio hop. I used to hear about people being in-studio, and then I'd run and act like I was in the neighborhood, and then I'd get on the record, you know. [Laughs].

"We [Gray and Murray] did a show in Paris called Afro-Picks. It was a tribute to Fela Kuti and other African artists. And then ever since then, we've been working together. And now I'm doing a full-on tour with him, and we did a record, [Be My] Monster Love, together. So it's just sort of growing at its own pace."

On advice for aspiring artists

"Take the time to get really, really good at what you do, and then put yourself out there. 'Cause once you get really good at what you do, then people find you, you know. Then people start talking about you, and then they come to you. And your life gets a lot easier, you know."

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