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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Newspaper Reveals Source For NSA Surveillance Stories

Jun 9, 2013
Originally published on June 10, 2013 6:32 am

The Guardian newspaper has identified the source for a series of reports it's published in recent days on secret U.S. surveillance activity as a former technical assistant for the CIA who now works for a private-sector defense and technology consulting firm.

The U.K. newspaper broke the story of the NSA's acquisition of phone metadata and monitoring of Internet data through a program called PRISM. On Sunday, The Guardian revealed Edward Snowden, who now works for Booz Allen Hamilton, is the source of the classified leaks.

The newspaper says Snowden, 29, asked that his name be made public as the source of the leaks.

In a video that is part of the Guardian's story, Snowden talks about his decision to come forward.

"I don't want to live in a society that does these sorts of things," he says in the video, dated June 6.

"I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," Snowden says.

He says he's been a systems engineer, systems administrator, senior adviser for the Central Intelligence Agency and a solutions consultant.

"When you're in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator, for some of these intelligence community agencies, you're exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee," he says in the video. "Because of that, you see things that may be disturbing."

Snowden says felt compelled to become a whistleblower because "these things need to be determined by the public, not just someone who was hired by the government."

The Guardian writes:

"In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: 'I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,' but 'I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.'

"Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. 'I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.'"

The newspaper reports that three weeks ago, while Snowden was still working at the NSA office in Hawaii, he copied "final documents" that he intended to disclose and informed his supervisor that he "needed to be away from work for 'a couple of weeks'" for medical treatment of his epilepsy.

The report says he boarded a flight to Hong Kong on May 20, where he has remained since.

"He chose the city because 'they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent,' and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government," the newspaper says.

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET. Justice Department Statement:

"The Department of Justice is in the initial stages of an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by an individual with authorized access," according to a statement from Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre.

"Consistent with long standing Department policy and procedure and in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, we must decline further comment."

Update at 6:59 p.m. ET DNI Statement:

In a statement, Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, referred the matter to the Justice Department, adding: "The Intelligence Community is currently reviewing the damage that has been done by these recent disclosures. Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law."
Update at 6:23 p.m. ET 'Did Absolutely Nothing Wrong':

Glenn Greenwald, the reporter on the Guardian story, was interviewed by Tess Vigeland, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered. In part, he said:

"His attitude is that he believes he did absolutely nothing wrong, he did the right thing in his view. ... and because he feels like he did the right thing, he doesn't want to hide in shame or try and evade public detection. He wants there to be a debate triggered around the policies that are very consequential and yet very secret."

Meanwhile, Booz Allen Hamilton released a statement on Snowden's actions:

"Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, has been an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii," the statement said. "News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter."

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