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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'More Than Honey' Sees A World Without Bees

Jun 13, 2013

An amiably shaggy combination of science lesson, whimsical musing and alarm bell, More Than Honey isn't as urgent as its eco-catastrophic subject — the possible destruction of the world's critically important honeybee populations — might seem to require. But the documentary's most memorable vignette is suitably unnerving: a visit to northern China, where the threatened disappearance of bees has already come to pass, leaving workers to pollinate fruit trees ... by hand.

Even in a country whose economy is predicated on cheap labor, the scene is chilling. Bees are far better pollinators than humans, and they work — where they're still working — for free. With the globe's bee-free expanses likely to increase, pollinating could soon join picking as one of those essential tasks that fall to the poorest and most exploited agricultural workers.

There's no single reason for the decline of bees, suggests More Than Honey director Markus Imhoof, whose family has kept the honey-producing apians for generations. The filmmaker hails from the Swiss Alps, where flowers, fruit, honey and bees exist in synchrony, with only low-tech human intervention. Even there, however, diseases and parasites are devastating hives.

Things are worse in China, where Mao's war on birds shattered the natural order, and in the U.S., where industrial-scale beekeeping and the indiscriminate use of pesticides has fueled the phenomenon known as "colony collapse."

The film's first stop is California, which produces as much as 90 percent of the world's almonds. The trees require the ministrations of untold numbers of bees, whose hives are trucked to the orchards by the hundreds on huge flatbeds, by companies whose insects also pollinate other crops throughout the country. The stresses of travel kill bees, sometimes by the millions. Fungicides and varroa mites also undermine colony health.

Imhoof's visit to China is brief, probably because bad news about its food supply is not encouraged by that nation's censors. Then it's off to Australia, the only continent whose bees have not been infested by the varroa mite. There, bee researchers (including the director's daughter) are working on a disease-resistant breed. The last stop is Arizona, where one honey harvester believes that the hardier Africanized (aka "killer") bee is American agriculture's great yellow-and-black hope.

The director — best known for his Oscar-nominated 1981 Holocaust drama The Boat Is Full — takes this journey at a relaxed pace, shifting periodically between science and commerce. Adding to the lyrical tone is a violin-keyed score by Swiss composer Peter Scherer, formerly of the eclectic '80s art-punk group Ambitious Lovers.

One of the ways in which the movie is about more than honey is in its explication of bee behavior, communication and society. The individual insects may not distinguish themselves during their brief life spans, but a bee colony is a "super-organism"; Berlin neurobiologist Randolf Menzel likens a colony's processes to those of a human brain, and his comparison doesn't favor the human.

Supporting Menzel's analysis is striking macro-lens footage of bees, deftly photographed by Attica Boa. Some of the close-ups are CGI-enhanced, and they include a simulation of bees in flight through outer space. The poetic moment could be merely a playful ode to the insect, but it also might be seen as a symbolic departure. Like humans in so many dystopian sci-fi flicks, the hard-pressed bees look to be seeking a more compatible home on another planet.

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