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

1 hour 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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A New Front in the War on Obamacare: Twitter

May 16, 2013
Originally published on May 16, 2013 6:48 pm

A simple idea: attack Obamacare tersely.

On the same day House Republicans scheduled their latest symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare, as part of their full-court press against the law they also took to Twitter to say, in three words, why they oppose the legislation.

Speaker John Boehner led the GOP tweet slaps that used the trending hashtag #ObamaCareInThreeWords: "Repeal for jobs" and "Scares small businesses" showed up on his timeline.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor attacked with a fusillade of his own tweets:

"Run by IRS," "21 Tax Hikes" and "2000 IRS Agents" were a few that surfed on the wave of public outrage at the Internal Revenue Service for allowing some employees to target for greater scrutiny conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

But while the White House may have had a tough time figuring out quick and effective responses to GOP hits on Benghazi and the IRS, a war fought in the succinct world of social media is one fought on a battleground the Obama White House knows as well as anyone in Washington.

The White House let slip the trolls of political war. Aides struck back with the tweet "It's.The. Law." and provided a photo of President Obama's signature on the Affordable Care Act. Later, they added "No lifetime limits" and "Young adults covered" among other tweets. And they invited those helped by the law to "Share your story."

So it went between partisans much of Thursday. "No gender discrimination," tweeted Stephanie Cutter, an official at Organizing for Action, the reincarnation of the Obama 2012 presidential campaign apparatus. "IRS in control" tweeted Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

Ah, good times.

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