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

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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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New Jersey's Christie Names Fill-In For U.S. Senate Seat

Jun 6, 2013
Originally published on June 10, 2013 5:38 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he would move quickly to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Democratic Frank Lautenberg, and he did. Today, Christie tapped the state's attorney general, Republican Jeff Chiesa for the job.

But Chiesa's moment in the Senate will be brief, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Jeff Chiesa is not exactly a household name in New Jersey, but he is well-known to those who've been following the career of Governor Christie.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: There's very few people in my life that I know better than Jeff.

ROSE: Christie says he's known Chiesa since they worked together at the same law firm in the early 1990s.

CHRISTIE: We've been together much of the time since then. I've appointed somebody who I have great faith and confidence in, and someone who I know almost as well as I know my own family.

ROSE: Chiesa followed Christie from private practice to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey. When Christie was elected governor, Chiesa worked for him again - first as chief counsel, then as attorney general. But Chiesa insists he will not be the governor's proxy in Washington.

INTERIM SENATOR JEFF CHIESA: I'm my own person. So when I go down there, I'm going to try to do the best I can to conduct myself in a way that I think is going to represent me and my family, in a way that we can be proud of and the people that I represent.

ROSE: But Chiesa won't represent them for long. He says he has no plans to run for the seat in a special election that's set for October. The governor's decision to hold that election three weeks before the state's regular election day, when Christie himself will be up for a second term, has annoyed members of both parties. Democrats charge that Christie is spending taxpayer money to avoid being on the same ballot as popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who's expected to run for the Senate seat. So does New Jersey native Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central.


JON STEWART: Oh, my God. That is such a self-serving, corrupt abuse of power. I miss New Jersey so much.

ROSE: Republicans aren't thrilled either. They were hoping the governor might appoint an interim senator to serve until November of 2014, or at least pick someone who's interested in running for the seat this year.

But Montclair State University political scientist Brigid Harrison says Christie has other concerns.

BRIGID HARRISON: Choosing a kind of placeholder candidate is not surprising, given the governor is up for reelection. Mr. Chiesa's appointment probably won't alienate anyone.

ROSE: Harrison says choosing someone who wants to run for the seat would risk alienating the other potential Republican candidates. So it is Jeff Chiesa, who begins his five-month tour as an interim U.S. senator on Monday.

Joel Rose, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.