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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NASA: Sun Getting Ready For A 'Field Flip'

Aug 8, 2013
Originally published on August 8, 2013 3:05 pm

Our nearest star is about to pull a once-in-11-years move by swapping its north and south magnetic poles.

The sun's polarity switch is a natural part of "solar max" — the period of peak activity during what averages out to be roughly an 11-year cycle. According to NASA, this year will mark the fourth time since 1976 that scientists have observed the 180-degree pole flip.

"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University says on NASA's website. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."

The reversal marks the midway point of solar max, but it's a gradual process, says Phil Scherrer, another Stanford-based solar physicist.

"The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity," he says.

While those ripple effects will go largely unnoticed on Earth, they will affect the size and shape of the undulating magnetic envelope that surrounds the solar system out to a boundary with interstellar space known as the heliopause. (The Voyager probes, launched in 1977, are hovering near that boundary now.)

Just before the switch, the magnetic field becomes very wavy, and as the Earth passes through it, it's likely to "stir up stormy space weather around our planet," NASA says.

"The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," Scherrer writes. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."

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