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

1 hour 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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Notes On A 'Scandal': Fitz Is The Most Dumpable Man On Television

May 17, 2013

If you watch Scandal, you know that there, Fitzgerald Grant is the President of the United States, and that he goes by "Fitz." Now "Fitz," let's face it, is already a pretty punchable name, given that combined with his personality, it makes him sound like somebody with a beanie and a lot of polo shirts grew up, got even richer, had a son, and taught him how to give swirlies to the math team. Fitz is involved, on and off (currently off, or possibly on, but maybe off) (maybe half-off, like end-of-the-season shoes), with Olivia Pope.

Olivia is the protagonist of Scandal, and even though she is a terrible person*, she probably deserves better than Fitz.

(Did I mention this contains spoilers? It contains spoilers.)

Anyway, why does Olivia deserve better than Fitz? Because we all deserve better than Fitz. Did you hear me, O Women Of The World? If you are reading these words, you deserve better than Fitz. Unless, that is, you are Mellie, Fitz's wife, who exactly deserves Fitz, which is part of what makes the show's central romantic mythology kind of hard to give a hoot about. If Olivia had a lick of sense, she would make the "that's that" motion with her hands like she's smacking the dust off, say "ptooey," and go have sex with someone more worthwhile. Meaning: anyone.

And Fitz and Mellie would go off and have a whole bunch of evil babies and tour the world like the Von Trapp Family Singers, only they would be a troupe of lying, well-dressed hypocrites who would cry and complain instead of singing "So Long, Farewell."

Because honestly, Fitz is the worst. He is the absolute worst. In case you don't believe me, I am prepared to present my list of reasons.

1. Personally murdered an old lady with cancer to save his own neck.

2. Cheated on his wife and managed to blame both the wife and the cheatrix. (I just made that word up; I think we need it.) (Especially for this show.)

3. Found out he became president fraudulently, and instead of setting anything right, looked at everyone who fraudulently made him president and was like, "HOW COULD YOU? I AM THE SADDEST BOY IN ALL THE LAND."

4. Borrowed from the military a fellow named Jake, whose task was to stalk and spy on Olivia.

5. Possibly maybe directly or indirectly responsible for getting Jake thrown in The Big Box O'Jail, a terrible tiny hole in a cement floor where nobody has fun.

6. Somehow managed to feel betrayed when he found out that while he remained with his wife in the office he corruptly obtained, his cheatrix slept with the guy he hired to stalk her. WOE IS FITZ!

7. When sad, makes a face like he's trying to pass a kidney stone made of love and anguish.

8. Threatened his wife that if she didn't go away quietly and leave him and Olivia to restart their lives together, he would ruin her possible political future by falsely telling everyone she was a racist who only objected to his relationship with Olivia because Olivia is African-American.**

9. Oh, wait — that was after he bragged to his wife about how his relationship with Olivia was going to be a boon to race relations in America.

10. Clearly believes his simpering self-pity is his father's fault, because he can't even take responsibility for his unwillingness to take responsibility for anything.

11. Clearly believes the problems in his relationship with Olivia are more the result of the fact that she doesn't understand him and nobody understands him and WOE IS FITZ and less the result of the fact that he is a married corrupt sniveling jerkface weasel.


Olivia should dump Fitz. Mellie should dump Fitz. Everybody should dump Fitz. People who have never met Fitz should dump Fitz. White House tour groups should be brought through his office for the sole purpose of dumping him at the end of the visit. Strangers should be encouraged to queue up to dump him in more and more interesting and violent ways, like the "Calm down, get a hold of yourself!" line in Airplane!

Because Fitz is absolutely the worst.

*Helped fix an election, encouraged tormented employee to resume life as torturer, falsely set up only nice person in Washington to look like abusive boyfriend to save lover's behind, picked wrong guy as dangerous mole, doesn't know enough to keep her undies on when in the Oval Office.

** Olivia's idea.***

***Because Olivia is a terrible person.

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