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

Obama To Challenge GOP With 3 Federal Appeals Court Picks

Jun 4, 2013
Originally published on June 4, 2013 8:10 am
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama will nominate three new judges this morning to the powerful Federal Appeals Court in Washington D.C. The announcement is expected to come in the White House Rose Garden, and as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, there could be a few thorns.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: On their face, none of the nominees is particularly controversial. Patricia Millett is a veteran appellate lawyer who worked in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Cornelia Pillard is a law professor at Georgetown, and Robert Wilkins is federal district judge who was confirmed unanimously in 2010. Millett and Pillard have both argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. All three nominees, like President Obama, graduated from Harvard Law School.

It's not easy, though, for anyone to win confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, second only to the Supreme Court in its national influence. By filling three vacancies all at once, Obama could shift that court's relatively conservative political balance. Of the 14 full-time and senior judges on the court now, nine were appointed by Republican presidents, only five by Democrats.

With today's high-profile announcement, Obama is effectively challenging Senate Republicans to confirm his picks or risk a showdown over the Senate's longstanding filibuster rules. A group of Senate Republicans, led by Iowa's Chuck Grassley, wants to simply eliminate the vacancies in Washington and shift two of the openings to courts with heavier caseloads elsewhere around the country.

Grassley said last night: It's hard to imagine any reason for three more judges in Washington, no matter who nominates them. The White House countered, though, all three vacancies were occupied with Republican support during the Bush administration. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.