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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NSA Reportedly Allowed To Keep Some Domestic Communications

Jun 20, 2013

Special U.S. courts charged with authorizing electronic surveillance of suspected foreign terrorists gave permission to the NSA to retain in certain cases "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications, The Guardian reports.

According to the U.K.-based newspaper, which has published a series of exposes in recent weeks on secret U.S. surveillance programs, two documents (links here and here) submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) by Attorney General Eric Holder on July 29, 2009, detail the National Security Agency's procedures for holding onto data on U.S. citizens and residents that could have value for intelligence agencies or law enforcement — in some cases for up to five years.

The documents contain rules for the NSA to retain "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications "if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity."

The FISA-approved policies allow the NSA to retain data that could potentially contain details of U.S. persons from up to five years, the newspaper says.

The documents also detail when data on U.S. persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed and safeguards for analysts to ensure that a target of surveillance is located outside the U.S.

The Guardian writes:

"The broad scope of the court orders, and the nature of the procedures set out in the documents, appear to clash with assurances from President Obama and senior intelligence officials that the NSA could not access Americans' call or email information without warrants.

"The documents also show that discretion as to who is actually targeted under the NSA's foreign surveillance powers lies directly with its own analysts, without recourse to courts or superiors — though a percentage of targeting decisions are reviewed by internal audit teams on a regular basis."

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