New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


For Obama, Outrage Over Syria Is The Easy Part

Aug 26, 2013

The present Syrian crisis ranks among the most vexing moments of President Obama's presidency.

The recent heart-rending images of Syrian civilians, many of them young children apparently killed by chemical weapons used by the government of Bashar Assad, have raised the volume on calls for the president to act.

But while there's a clarity to the outrage itself, for Obama things quickly get murky.

The president had most likely hoped his earlier "red line" warning to the Syrian regime on the use of chemical weapons would have dissuaded Assad from using chemical weapons. It didn't.

Instead, now that the weapons have been used, foreign policy experts say Obama must use U.S. military force if only to maintain credibility in the eyes of the world. The administration has given every indication the president intends to use force.

Secretary of State John Kerry furthered that view in a brief statement he delivered Monday at the State Department:

"There is a reason why no matter what you believe about Syria, all peoples in all nations who believe in the cause of our common humanity must stand up to assure that there is accountability for the use of chemical weapons."

But the use of U.S. force by Obama is complicated by a variety of factors, not the least the attitude of the American people. Weary from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans are disinclined to use the U.S. military in Syria. Depending on the poll, majorities are opposed to U.S. military involvement or even providing war materiel to the Syrian opposition.

Then there's the U.S. military itself. In a letter that Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently sent to Democratic congressmen, the nation's top military officer explained that Syria is a confusing muddle of competing interests — none of whom necessarily want the same thing as the U.S. Weighing in to help the opposition as it is currently constituted could have the unintended consequence of eventually harming U.S. interests. The outcome of the Libya intervention testifies to that.

Obama does at least have support for military action from congressional Republicans like Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee. So that gives him some bipartisan cover.

But that doesn't make the decision any easier for a president who would rather focus on his domestic priorities than a foreign riddle wrapped in an enigma like Syria.

All in all, Syria makes the president's coming fiscal fights with congressional Republicans over raising the debt ceiling and funding the federal government beyond October seem like easy problems by comparison.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit