The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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'March' Sheds New Light On A Civil Rights Hero

Aug 14, 2013

While the cynics among us might argue that America's high ideals and lofty rhetoric rarely transcend their inscriptions on stone, few would disagree that the 1963 March on Washington was one of the nation's finest hours. It was a transformational moment, and a portent for future blows to segregation and injustice.

Congressman John Lewis helped plan the march, and on the eve of its 50th anniversary, he's collaborating with his staffer (and comics aficionado) Andrew Aydin to write March: Book One, an astonishingly accomplished graphic memoir that brings to life a vivid portrait of the civil rights era, Lewis' extraordinary history and accomplishments, and the movement he helped lead.

March opens with a prologue set on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Montgomery, Ala., during the violent events that became known as "Bloody Sunday" as police attacked peaceful, prayerful civil rights protesters. The book then jumps forward to the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration, as Lewis is sharing stories with young visitors to his congressional office.

Lewis' life as a civil rights pioneer is well-known, from sharecropper's kid in Pike County, Ala., to leader of the Nashville sit-ins and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to congressional leader and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

And yet March is a fresh and sometimes shocking work, even for those familiar with Lewis' life. Not just for its violence and its graphic re-creation of a dark time, but for its inside look at the leaders of the civil rights movement. In one disturbing scene, they shout insults at each other and enact other indignities as a way to prepare for the resistance and abuse they'll face in public.

For younger generations, March will be revelatory. So far, it's had enviable pre-publication buzz, and Lewis got a rock star's reception at the recent San Diego comic convention, Comic-Con. He's not just the first congressional member to pen a graphic novel, but perhaps even a real life superhero and role model for the young — and maybe the jaded.

New York Times best-selling comic-book artist and writer Nate Powell deploys his expressive and dramatic black-and-gray wash, praised in previous works like 2012's civil rights-themed The Silence of Our Friends. Powell's faithful representation of known historical characters and immersive creation of the time period stands out. His sense of pace and his affecting ability to tease out silent, intimate moments also set the book apart from traditional, text-heavy historical graphic storytelling. One senses, when reading this first volume, that its power, accessibility and artistry destine it for awards, and a well-deserved place at the pinnacle of the comics canon.

Graphic novel enthusiasts will note that March has its antecedents in another influential comic book: 1958's Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, which explained the basics of nonviolent and passive resistance, and influenced a young Lewis, along with many others involved in the civil rights movement. Lewis and Aydin — both of them believers in the power of the graphic novel — envisioned a work with similar impact when they set out to write March. And they've succeeded. March's message of reconciliation and hope in the face of violence, setbacks and disappointments still resonates — not just in the past, but today.

Jody Arlington is a communications and policy strategist for the independent film and documentary community, and the owner of a truly astounding number of graphic novels.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.