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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Not Everyone Cheers Turkey's Move To Tighten Alcohol Rules

Jun 7, 2013
Originally published on June 7, 2013 4:46 am

The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things — including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits aren't any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values on the population

Turkey has long tolerated and, in some quarters, embraced the Bacchanalian fruit of grape and grain. The modern republic's revered founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, set a strong example — so strong that when he died in 1938 of cirrhosis of the liver, many Turks assumed it was from what one biographer discreetly termed "his strenuous lifestyle."

It's a crime in Turkey to insult Ataturk, so eyebrows were raised when the country's new dominant leader, conservative Muslim Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appeared to intentionally slight both Ataturk and his successor Ismet Inonu, though he didn't name them while defending the new alcohol restrictions in a speech to ruling AK Party members.

"How come a law that was made by two drunks," thundered Erdogan, "has been recognized while one that follows the values of faith is unacceptable and must be rejected?"

Some people were shocked by Erdogan's language, but even Turkey's tipplers have to admit that he has a point. The restrictions in this law – no television advertising, no alcohol sales within about 100 yards of a school or place of worship – are the kind of limits already in place in some Western democracies. Furthermore, establishments with tourism licenses are exempt from the law's ban on sales after 10 p.m.

But that exemption doesn't apply to the numerous small convenience stores, called "tekels," that dot Turkish streets. In Beyoglu, arguably istanbul's most Westernized district, one tekel owner would give only his first name, Ramazan. He says the new rules are an economic nightmare for him, unless his customers radically adjust their schedules.

"We sell most of our alcohol after 10," he says, adding "What do they expect, people to start drinking at 5 so they can be done by 10? Most shops like this will wind up closing, I think."

Around the corner at the Urban Cafe, young Turks and visitors are enjoying their libation of choice in a setting that might be found in any Western city: premium spirits behind the bar, a lounge cover of Nirvana on the sound system, and cigarette smokers mingling out on the sidewalk, happy for the warm spring night.

Manager Cem Gul — with a shaved head, Dead Kennedys T-shirt and earring — says these seemingly modest restrictions are alarming secular Turks, because they're just the latest move by the AK Party to slowly reshape the country into a more conservative Muslim state. And the problem is, he's not sure anyone can do much to stop it.

"Of course everyone's talking about this interference in their personal lives. But there's too much going on," Gul says. "A bomb goes off here and then there's an alcohol law. People don't have time to respond. What I'm really worried about is if this party wins another election, there'd be no one who can stop them."

He pauses and then shrugs philosophically, "Me for example, I'm an atheist. They can ban me from drinking, but they can't make me pray."

Gul's smile suggests that while he respects those who follow the straight and narrow, he's more of a follower of what the late W.C. Fields is reputed to have said: "Everyone has to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things, including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits are not any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values.

NPR's Peter Kenyon has more in this letter from Istanbul.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Turkey has long tolerated and in some quarters embraced the bacchanalian fruit of grape and grain. The modern republic's revered founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, set a strong example. So strong that when he died in 1938 of cirrhosis of the liver, many Turks assumed it was from what one biographer discreetly termed his strenuous lifestyle.

It's a crime in Turkey to insult Ataturk, so eyebrows were raised when the country's new dominant leader, the conservative Muslim Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appeared to intentionally slight both Ataturk and his successor, Ismet Inonu, though he didn't name them while defending the new alcohol restrictions in a speech to ruling AK Party members.

PRME MINISTER RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: (Foreign language spoken)

KENYON: How come a law that was made by two drunks, thundered Erdogan, has been recognized while one that follows the values of faith is unacceptable and must be rejected?

Some people were shocked by Erdogan's language, but even Turkey's tipplers have to admit that he has a point. The restrictions in this law - no television advertising, no alcohol sales within about 100 yards of a school or place of worship - are the kind of limits already in place in some Western democracies. Furthermore, establishments with tourism licenses are exempt from the law's ban on sales after 10:00 p.m.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC)

KENYON: But that exemption doesn't apply to the numerous small convenience stores called Tekels that dot Turkish streets. In Beyoglu, arguably Istanbul's most Westernized district, one Tekel owner would give only his first name, Ramazan. He says the new rules are an economic nightmare for him, unless his customers radically adjust their schedules.

RAMAZAN: (Foreign language spoken)

KENYON: We sell most of our alcohol after 10:00, he says, adding what do they expect, people to start drinking at 5:00 so they can be done by 10:00? Most shops like this will wind up closing, I think.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND CROWD CHATTER)

KENYON: Around the corner at the Urban Cafe, young Turks and visitors are enjoying their libation of choice in a setting that might be found in any Western city: premium spirits behind the bar, a lounge-y cover of Nirvana on the sound system, and cigarette smokers mingling out on the sidewalk, happy for the warm spring night.

Manager Cem Gul - head shaved, Dead Kennedys T-shirt, earring - says these seemingly modest restrictions are alarming secular Turks because they're just the latest move by the AK Party to slowly reshape the country into a more conservative Muslim state. And the problem is he's not sure anyone can do much to stop it.

CEM GUL: (Foreign language spoken)

KENYON: Of course everyone is talking about this interference in their personal lives. But there's too much going on, says Gul. A bomb goes off here and then there's an alcohol law. People don't have time to respond. What I'm really worried about is if this party wins another election, there'll be no one who can stop them.

Gul pauses, and then shrugs philosophically.

GUL: (Foreign language spoken)

KENYON: Well, me, for example, I'm an atheist, he says. They can ban me from drinking but they can't make me pray.

Gul's smile suggests that while he respects those who follow the straight and narrow, he himself is more of a follower of the late W.C. Fields, who's reputed to have said: Everyone has to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink.

Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Istanbul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.