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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MTV Promises To Be About Music For An Entire Half Of A Day

Jun 12, 2013

Well, this is news.

MTV, VH1, and CMT sent out a press release this morning announcing that on July 4th, which they're calling "Music Independence Day" (!) (!!), they will "dedicate their channels exclusively to music."

ALL DAY LONG. If by "all day long," you mean "from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern and Pacific." (Hey, what's a day, right? 12 hours, 24 hours, these are semantics.)

You might think that MTV, VH1, and CMT would not need a special declaration to devote a 12-hour block to music, but you would be wrong. IT'S MUSIC INDEPENDENCE DAY, WOOOOO! The way for artists to get in on it, it turns out, is to sign up on the Artist Platform. You might think the Artist Platform would be where a band is raised above a screaming crowd to fight Labelzilla, but in fact, the Artist Platform is an MTV/VH1/CMT portal for artists to have their own pages, sell stuff to fans, and even get a chunk of the ad revenue. And some early returns suggest that it's doing at least some good for some bands.

So all you have to do to get in on this whole 12-continuous-whole-entire-hours-of-music extravaganza is sign your band up with MTV's effort to become the new online social home of bands and artists. (At the time Artist Platform was announced in August 2012, they explicitly stated it was meant to replace the success MySpace had for a long time in providing social support for musicians.) In return, people will be able to communicate with your band online (where else can they do that, after all?) or leave you a "tip."

They'll spend those 12 hours introducing folks to the bands from Artist Portal who are lucky enough to make the cut, as well as serving up plenty of existing superstars, both through their own music and through other artists they love.

The level of irony in calling it "Music Independence Day" when you're supposed to get to your fans through the gritty upstart known as Viacom is rather breathtaking, but hey – if you've been complaining that MTV isn't about music anymore, you're about to get your way for 12 continuous, delicious, synergy-creating hours.

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