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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'Nobody Is Listening To Your Telephone Calls,' Obama Says

Jun 7, 2013

In his most extensive comments so far on the revelations this week about the electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting, President Obama told the American people Friday that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

During an appearance in San Jose, Calif., the president also made the case that programs allowing the National Security Agency to collect information about phone calls and Internet activity "help us prevent terrorist attacks."

Obama told Americans that "your duly elected representatives [in Congress] have been consistently informed on exactly what we're doing." He said Congress has reauthorized the programs "repeatedly since 2006." And the president said his administration has boosted the safeguards that protect Americans' privacy.

According to the president, the spy agencies collect information about "phone numbers ... and duration of calls." But, he said, "they are not looking at people's names and they are not looking at content."

What's more, "if they want to listen to a phone call they've got to go back to a federal judge," Obama said.

"In the abstract you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok," the president added. "But when you actually look" at what the government is doing, he argued, the reality is much different.

He called the data collection "modest encroachments on privacy" and said the programs are "narrowly circumscribed."

Related posts and stories:

-- Big Brother And Your Phone: Where To Draw The Line?

-- The History Behind America's Most Secretive Court.

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