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.

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"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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Obama Administration Turns Attention Toward Africa

May 26, 2013



U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in the capital of Ethiopia this weekend. He was attending the 50th anniversary summit of the African Union, and he was laying the groundwork for President Obama's trip to Africa in the next month. Our East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner is in Addis Ababa. He joins us now. Hi, Greg. Thanks for being with us.


MARTIN: So, you spent the day with the secretary. How was he received?

WARNER: Oh, he was warmly received. He had a busy schedule. I should mention that I'm talking to you now from a giant warehouse, a sort of big tent that they've set up for the journalists, kind of just adjacent to where the heads of state are meeting. He was very clear about the intention of his visit last month when he announced it, that this was in large part about the United States needing to play catch-up in Africa economically because other countries are getting very involved. And the secretary mentioned China, of course, but there's also Brazil and Japan and Russia and Iran. So, Kerry came here to try to change that. And the other thing clearly on the secretary's agenda is the increasing military importance of the African Union in intervening in some of the most troubled areas in Africa today. We're talking Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo. There's talk about Mali. So, Kerry also came here just to publicly recognize that.

MARTIN: You mention some of the conflicts on the African continent. There's another one really heating up right now in Nigeria. The government there is battling Islamist militants in the north, as you know. Now, the Nigerian government is accused of all kinds of atrocities. Did Secretary Kerry address what's happening there?

WARNER: Yeah. Kerry actually spent a lot of time talking about Nigeria and how the stakes are incredibly high. The country has some 80 to 90 million Muslim citizens - somewhere around that. And if Nigerian soldiers, in fighting terrorism, are seen as committing these atrocities against Muslims and not just against terrorists, that creates a very, very dangerous situation for the country and for the region, of course. Secretary Kerry had a chance to speak with the president of Nigeria directly at the lunch that they organized for all the heads of state.

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: We have talked about the imperative of Nigerian troops adhering to the highest standards and not themselves engaging in atrocities or in human rights violations. That is critical. And the balance comes by having strong leadership.

MARTIN: Next month, Gregory, President Obama, as we mentioned, is making a trip to Africa along with the first lady. Are there any clues from Secretary Kerry's trip as to what might be on the president's agenda when he visits?

WARNER: The president's scheduled to visit three countries: Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa. And the president himself has already made it clear that American investment is a big, big part of what he's trying to encourage. The question for both Kerry's visit and for President Obama's visit is how does that political trip translate into businesses actually deciding to invest. 'Cause I can just say from experience, you know, walking into Ethiopian restaurants the past few days that I meet a lot of foreign investors who have all kinds of big plans, you know, for solar panel factory or a mobile phone business. But invariably that person is not American. They're Chinese or they're Brazilian or Israeli. So, that's a question that everybody's trying to answer is why more Americans aren't investing. But clearly, these back-to-back visits and then another forum that's supposed to happen in August, it's all about trying to get Americans to think about trying to make their fortune in Africa.

MARTIN: Gregory Warner. He is NPR's East Africa correspondent. Gregory, thanks so much for talking with us.

WARNER: Thank you, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.