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's Terrorism Fight Is Colored Gray, Not Black And White

May 24, 2013

It's difficult for an American president to govern through nuance, especially when it's necessary to persuade a majority of the people that certain actions are essential for national security. And effective persuasion usually requires clarity.

That's how you arrive at President George W. Bush's stark formulation "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists" after Sept. 11, and much of what sprang from it.

But if President Obama's newly recalibrated counterterrorism strategy as outlined in his speech Thursday demonstrates anything, it is his penchant for nuance.

It's a tendency required by the times. After more than a decade of two large-scale wars, Americans long ago hit the kind of war weariness that made them open to the notion of downsizing what Obama's predecessor had described as a "global war on terror" that could last decades.

But there are still enemies who seek to wage an asymmetric fight against the U.S. Thus the need for the kind of complex U.S. approach — in short nuance — that can be hard to explain or easy to misstate in the Twitter era.

For an example of this nuance, just take Obama's new guidance for when the U.S. will target individuals for destruction by drone. In the past, a terrorist suspect could apparently be targeted for that fact alone.

But the administration's new guidance, according to a White House fact sheet, requires that a suspected terrorist only be targeted if he's a "continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons. It is simply not the case that all terrorists pose a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons; if a terrorist does not pose such a threat, the United States will not use lethal force."

That's a distinction that's difficult to imagine the Obama administration's immediate predecessor making, with its more cut-and-dried approach.

But part of Obama's appeal to many Americans when he was first elected in 2008 was his promise of a smarter approach to counterterrorism than Bush's, one that would improve the U.S.' image abroad. That was a vow that appeared challenged, at least when it came to the Obama administration's controversial use of drones.

Obama greatly expanded the use of the remotely controlled unmanned vehicles, with their Hellfire missile payloads, far beyond anything that occurred under Bush. The result? Growing anger toward the U.S. in unstable places like Pakistan and Yemen, and in other nations with Islamic majorities across the region.

While the use of the high-tech weapons has engendered outrage elsewhere in the world, Americans have mostly embraced the tactic.

Recent polls indicate that a majority of Americans support drone attacks on terrorist suspects. Civil libertarians and human-rights activists like Code Pink protester Medea Benjamin, who interrupted the president's speech Thursday, may question the killing by drone of U.S. citizens abroad or of the innocent — but that doesn't appear to be a majority concern.

It's this widespread support of U.S. drone warfare among the public that has given Obama the latitude he has enjoyed until now to increasingly conduct these attacks. The president didn't mention in his speech the popularity of the drones with Americans among the reasons for continuing their use. Americans' support of the use of drones certainly has made this part of his counterterrorism policy easier than it would be otherwise.

Ironically, the one part of his counterterrorism policy in which Obama showed the least nuance has arguably been the most vexing: his campaign promise to close Guantanamo, freeing those detainees deemed as not dangerous while transferring the rest to the U.S. mainland for trial.

It's not by choice, of course. He ran into fierce congressional resistance when he first tried to make good on his promise in 2009 shortly after entering the White House, and all indications are that Republican lawmakers will do their best to thwart him again. And with most Americans agreeing with them that Guantanamo should remain open, their chances of winning are probably better than Obama's.

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