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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North Korea Fires Three Short-Range Missiles, Says The South

May 18, 2013
Originally published on May 18, 2013 2:04 pm

After a relatively calm few weeks, North Korea fired three short-range missiles Saturday, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said.

NPR's Louisa Lim reports that North Korea fired the missiles in defiance of international sanctions. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"North Korea launched two guided missiles this morning and a third in the afternoon, according to South Korea's defense ministry — all landed in waters off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula."

"This comes at a time when tensions had been ebbing, following months of escalating tensions, including threats of nuclear strikes. Pyongyang has recently withdrawn two midrange missiles which had been poised for firing on the east coast."

"The last time such short-range missiles were fired was just two months ago, in March. This latest launch comes just after the United Nations issued a report, saying international sanctions are reining in the development of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs."

The New York Times quotes Kim Min-seok, the defense ministry spokesman, saying the country remains vigilant "and prepared in case the launching of these missiles might be followed by a military provocation by the North."

Reuters has a bit more background:

"North Korea conducts regular launches of its Scud short-range missiles, which can hit targets in South Korea. It conducted a successful launch of a long-range missile last December, saying it put a weather satellite into orbit. The United States and its allies denounced the launch as a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead."

As we reported last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also replaced his defense chief with a relative unknown.

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