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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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


Parking Industry Tries To Make Your Life Easier

May 22, 2013
Originally published on May 22, 2013 9:29 am



Finding a parking space, probably not at the top of the list of things you like to do. Well, experts in parking think they might be able to change that. One key, they say, is for developers to think about the parking experience when they're designing malls or apartment complexes, instead of just treating it as an afterthought.

This came up in Florida this week, at the International Parking Institute's annual conference. Reporter Kenny Malone, from member station WLRN, was there.

KENNY MALONE, BYLINE: Let's go ahead and address this head-on. Most people do not have great associations with parking. Exhibit A: Joni Mitchell on parking lots.


JONI MITCHELL: (Singing) Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They pave paradise, put up a parking lot.

MALONE: Exhibit B: Seinfeld on parking garages.


JASON ALEXANDER: (as George) This is great.

MICHAEL RICHARDS: (as Kramer) Look, I thought it was green 22.

JERRY SEINFELD: (as Jerry) I remember orange. I thought it was orange.

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Elaine) I didn't pay attention.

ALEXANDER: (as George) Oh, this is just what I need.

MALONE: And Exhibit C.

I'm holding in my hand here a parking ticket from the City of Miami Beach.

That's me on parking citations. I got ticketed on South Beach last year, I recorded a voice memo. I was frustrated.

My initial reaction is (bleep). Yeah. So, bit of an uphill PR battle for the parking industry.

CASEY JONES: We have a lot of work to do, no doubt.

MALONE: Casey Jones shows me around the expo. He oversees parking at Boise State University and he also volunteers as the chairman of the International Parking Institute's board.

During my time at the conference, I heard people refer to Jones as both the spokes model for parking and a parking rock star. He certainly does have a way of making you think differently about the parking industry.

JONES: We're not a whole lot different than the hotel industry. We rent space just like a hotel would.

MALONE: It might not be obvious, but that's a bold statement and part of the key to fixing parking's image problem. Jones explains that in the past, parking was just about storing cars - you packed them in like sardines to maximize revenue. Think of past parking as a privilege - pay up or else.

But in the last decade, that paradigm has shifted. And this expo shows exactly that.

JONES: Highly doubtful that we'll find a copy machine over here in the Xerox booth.

MALONE: Jones walks us over to David Cummins, a vice president from Xerox. Cummins explains that Xerox is working on something called...

DAVID CUMMINS: Occupancy detection.

MALONE: A camera that can spot open parking spaces and then let drivers know. In fact, the Xerox team that changed computers forever by inventing the mouse 40 years ago, they're actually working on customer service-based parking projects.

CUMMINS: Yeah, I could introduce you to them. They're right there.

MALONE: All signs at the expo point towards the parking industry trying very hard to make your life easier. There's a garage that helps you find your lost car. Sensors and digital signs that can help you find open spots. And pay by phone technology - lots of pay by phone technology.

Laurens Eckelboom is with Parkmobile.

LAURENS ECKELBOOM: Change, I truly believe will start to disappear in the next 20 to 25 years.

MALONE: The conversation, at the conference at least, is about helping drivers get in and out of spaces as conveniently as possible. Lost cars, digging for change, circling for spots like a buzzard, Casey Jones says that is not good for anybody.

JONES: People carry with them these experiences, and the negative ones a lot longer than the positive ones. So I can probably remember, just as you can, that first parking ticket and it felt terrible. Well, we don't have to do that anymore. We can give customers tools so that they can make decisions. So they can avoid that all together.

MALONE: There was a kind of institutional battle cry bouncing among the attendees. Almost everywhere you go - a performing arts center, a restaurant, a trip downtown - parking will be people's first and last experience. As one parking professional put it: Success in this industry is when your customers don't even notice you at all.

For NPR News, I'm Kenny Malone in Miami.


MITCHELL: (Singing) ...pave paradise, put up a parking lot.

GREENE: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.