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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On National Doughnut Day, Free Food And Feel-Good History

Jun 7, 2013
Originally published on June 3, 2016 1:37 pm

We here at The Salt tend to look at themed food holidays with a heavy dose of skepticism. Most of these days sound more like marketing schemes than true reasons for a national day of remembrance.

So we were pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a bona fide historical reason to chow down on a deep-fried pastry today to mark National Doughnut Day.

Turns out, during World War I, women volunteers with the Salvation Army would fry up and hand out doughnuts as a form of comfort food to American GIs serving overseas. To honor these women's service and raise funds during the Great Depression, in 1938 the Salvation Army's Chicago branch declared the first Friday in June to be National Doughnut Day. These "dough girls" or "dough lassies," as they were called, continued the tradition during World War II.

Doughnuts held a special place in American servicemen's hearts during the Vietnam War as well. Angie Williams, wife of former Vietnam POW Orson Swindle, told the U.S. Naval Institute's blog that her husband invented his own version of National Doughnut Day during the six years he was held captive at Son Tay prison camp. Apparently, Swindle — who had dropped more than 50 pounds during his captivity — convinced his jailers that Nov. 10 was National Doughnut Day, which he described as a big national holiday for Americans. As Williams recounts in the blog:

"A few weeks went by, and to everyone's great surprise, on November 10 the prisoners at Son Tay prison — known for being one of the worst —and also for the failed rescue attempt — were served sticky buns and — Orson was the hero of the day!"

These days, doughnuts are a $12 billion industry. And corporate vendors will be more than happy to use Friday's occasion to push their sugary treats on consumers.

Many of them are offering doughnuts for free. (But good luck trying to score a cronut — free or otherwise. Lines for this croissant-doughnut hybrid reportedly start forming at 6 a.m. outside a New York bakery.)

You'll have better luck at Krispy Kreme, where customers can get a free doughnut of any variety (get the details). At Dunkin' Donuts, the free doughnut comes with the purchase of a beverage.

While you're there, you can also check out the company's new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich, a bacon, egg, cheese and pastry concoction. Of course, after a meal like that, it will probably comfort you to know that this is also National CPR/AED Awareness Week, designed to make sure Americans know how to use an automated external defibrillator. Hope you brushed up on your resuscitation skills, folks.

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