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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Microsoft, FBI Say They've Disrupted $500 Million Botnet

Jun 6, 2013
Originally published on June 6, 2013 12:11 pm

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

In a blog post published late last night, Microsoft said this was its "most agressive botnet operation to date" and the "first time that law enforcement and the private sector have worked together" to "execute a civil seizure warrant as part of a botnet disruption operation."

In English, what happened here is that about 5 million computers worldwide were infected with a program that recorded the passwords of bank accounts online. The so-called Citadel botnet — one of the largest known in the world — then sent the credentials to a network controlled by criminals. Using the passwords, they were able to take funds from the accounts.

According to Reuters, which broke the story, thieves were able to steal from dozens of banks, including "American Express, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, eBay's PayPal, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo."

What Microsoft and the FBI did was seize some servers central to the botnet, therefore disrupting communication with about 1,400 of those nodes.

Reuters explains:

"While the criminals remain at large and the authorities do not know the identities of any ringleaders, the internationally coordinated take-down dealt a significant blow to their cyber capabilities.

"'The bad guys will feel the punch in the gut,' said Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel with Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit."

The BBC reports that Microsoft has begun a lawsuit against the anonymous ringleader, who the company believes is based in Eastern Europe and nicknamed "Aquabox."

"In addition, the FBI is working with Europol and police forces in many other countries to track down and identify the 81 'lieutenants' that helped Aquabox keep Citadel running," the BBC reports.

Another thing worth noting is that some of the malware came with pirated versions of the Windows operating system.

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