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

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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 Urges Egypt To Quickly Elect Next Civilian Government

Jul 4, 2013
Originally published on July 4, 2013 9:48 am



On this Fourth of July, we've been following developments in Egypt, where the military has deposed the elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Obama says the U.S. is watching with, as he put it, deep concern. And he urged the generals to transition to an elected civilian government as quickly as possible.

NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about what role, if any, America plays in this situation. Good morning.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee

MONTAGNE: How much influence does the U.S. have in Egypt?

HORSLEY: Well, it's pretty limited. That was certainly true when Mohamed Morsi became president. With his roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, he would not have been the United States government's first choice. And the U.S. would not have chosen to see Morsi removed from power the way he was yesterday. Ultimately, President Obama says it's up to the Egyptian people to decide what happens in that country.

That said, Obama has encouraged - first Morsi, and now the Egyptian armed forces - to try to be respectful of all the Egyptian people, to avoid violence and try to build a government in which the different factions feel represented. In his statement last night, Obama urged the military not to pursue arbitrary arrests of Morsi or his supporters and, as you said, to return power to an elected civilian authority just as quickly as possible.

MONTAGNE: Well, Morsi and many of his supporters are, in fact, detained as of this morning. But, you know, one obvious connection to the U.S. has to Egypt is the money that it sends every year - a billion-and-a-half dollars. What happens to that?

HORSLEY: Right, the president said he's directed the relevant agencies in his administration to review what the military takeover means for U.S. aid. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs an appropriation subcommittee on foreign aid, suggests there's not a whole lot to review. Leahy says the U.S. law is clear: aid must be cut off whenever a democratically-elected government is deposed through military coup. And the senator says it's time for the U.S. to reaffirm its commitment, that power should be transferred at the ballot box, not through arms.

Now, Obama's statement was less definitive. The U.S. could be reluctant to shut off money immediately to Egypt, for fear of losing what little leverage it has there.

MONTAGNE: And, Scott, what's happening with Americans who are in Egypt in the midst of this unrest?

HORSLEY: Well, the president called this a very fluid situation. The State Department has already ordered all of its nonessential diplomatic personnel out of the country. And it's also issued a warning to American visitors, saying they should put off traveling to Egypt for the time being, and suggesting that Americans who are already in the country should leave.

The advisory notes that the security situation in the major tourist centers - like Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh - has been fairly calm, but warns of violent protests in the major cities and cautions that even a peaceful protest can quickly become violent.

MONTAGNE: NPR's White House correspondent, Scott Horsley. Thanks very much.

HORSLEY: My pleasure, Renee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.