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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Miami Heat Force Game 7 In NBA Finals

Jun 19, 2013
Originally published on June 19, 2013 9:40 am



It sure looked like the NBA season was coming to an end last night. World champions San Antonio Spurs - no, not so fast. The Miami Heat were not ready to give in. After a thrilling, improbable comeback, the Heat are still alive, pushing their NBA final series with the Spurs to the brink; a decisive Game 7 tomorrow.

Last night, the Heat were down by five points with just over 20 seconds remaining. They came back, forced overtime - and won. Final score: 103-to-100. One of the people in the crowd was NPR's Mike Pesca.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Of course, the Heat were going to win. For one thing, they'd alternated between wins and losses for a dozen games, and their last game was a loss. They were coming home to Miami, and they seem to suffer from binary motivational syndrome. This game was at the play hard part of the cycle. But it wasn't actually from a basketball standpoint that victory seemed assured; it was from a dramatic one.

Seven-part series have heft. Sevens are culturally significant - "Samurai," "Brides for Brothers," seals and signs - and heptalogies abound, like the seven-part "Harry Potter" series and the seven "Chronicles of Narnia." Anyway, it was a dramatic certainty that the Heat would get to a Game 7, though no one informed the Spurs, who led by 10 entering the third. Spurs big man Tim Duncan thought his team was in a good shape.

TIM DUNCAN: We had a lapse for a couple of minutes, here and there. As I said, up 10 points going into the fourth quarter, we like our chances.

PESCA: But the Heat came out firing, erased the lead, gave it back. And then with five seconds left, Ray Allen found himself - ball in hand - behind the three-point arc with a chance to tie, which he did. Afterward, the most prolific three-point shooter of all time said it was one of the most important shots he'd ever hit.

RAY ALLEN: This will go, you know, high up in the ranks because of the situation - it wasn't looking good for us. But I've known my whole career, sometimes you just get lucky, you know. When you win championships, it involves a little luck. And that, right there, was luck shining on our side.

PESCA: In the post season, it was Allen's fifth career game-tying or go-ahead shot with under 10 seconds left. It stunned the Spurs but not LeBron James, who had 32 points to go - with 10 rebounds and 10 assists - for the Heat. James described last night's game this way.

LEBRON JAMES: It was, by far, the best game I've ever been a part of.

PESCA: It was James' dominant fourth quarter that made the comeback possible. And the key to his newfound grit might have had something to do with James' atypically unadorned forehead. Since James' rookie year, he has relied on a headband for the purposes of sweat absorption and camouflaging some man-child pattern baldness. But playing without a headband, James came alive.

It fell off, accidentally, in the fourth quarter. He kept it off and would ultimately score 18 fourth-quarter and overtime points. After the game, Heat forward Shane Battier brought up, but then brushed aside, the comparison to another totemic item that caused a character to take flight.

SHANE BATTIER: I don't think that his headband's, you know, like the feather in Dumbo. You know, but ... (Laughter)... we want that aggressive LeBron.

PESCA: But the fact was, James entered the third quarter shooting an anemic three-of-nine, and finished the game an assertive 11-of-26 with yet another triple double. James and his teammates are drained but joyous. Spurs forward Manu Ginobili and his teammates are just drained

MANU GINOBILI: I have no clue how we're going to be re-energized. I'm devastated. But we have to. I mean, there's no Game 8 afterwards.

PESCA: No, it's the sevens that are wild. And Game 7 should be a fitting climax after an unpredictable Game 6 that had players making shots after shoes fell off, after headbands fell off, and after the NBA actually began roping the arena in yellow tape to prepare for a post game trophy ceremony. Ceremony be damned, drama was served. The final act is Thursday night.

Mike Pesca, NPR News, Miami. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.