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.

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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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Pakistan Elections: Sharif Victory Seen, Completing Comeback

May 12, 2013
Originally published on May 13, 2013 6:19 am

Nearly 14 years after being ousted from power by a military coup, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to lead the country once again. Unofficial results from Saturday's general elections predict a return to power for Sharif, 63.

Several media reports indicate the two-time former prime minister's Pakistan Muslim League will capture more than 100 of the 272 National Assembly seats directly elected in the vote. The final tally is still being conducted.

"Election officials said the turnout was estimated at around 60 percent, which is huge for Pakistan," NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Lahore for our Newscast Desk. "Nawaz Sharif is far outpacing his competitors," she says, including longtime rivals the Pakistan People's Party, led by the Bhutto family.

After five years in power, the PPP is in danger of placing third overall in the national vote, according to multiple early reports.

"Saturday's election should pave the way for the country's first transition from one elected government to another," says the BBC, which also reports that Sharif will not likely have to make a deal with either the PPP or other top rivals in order to form a government.

"Sharif, a social conservative, is likely to face a spirited opposition from former cricket star Imran Khan," Julie says from Lahore. "His [Khan's] party is on track to become the second-biggest vote getter in the election. A faltering economy, a potent militancy in the Pakistan Taliban, and crippling energy shortages are major issues facing the new government."

The victory would mark a distinct turnabout for Sharif, who was toppled in 1999 and replaced by Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif, a wealthy businessman, spent nearly seven years in exile in Saudi Arabia before being allowed to return to Pakistan in 2007. As The Australian reports, Musharraf is under house arrest in an Islamabad farmhouse.

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