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

2 hours ago
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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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Paula Deen's Sons Speak Up, But Her Empire Further Crumbles

Jun 25, 2013
Originally published on June 25, 2013 6:10 pm

It's been a downward spiral for Paula Deen since news of her deposition testimony as part of a racial discrimination suit went public last week.

On Tuesday, a few days following her video apology, her two sons, Jamie and Bobby, appeared on CNN to defend their mom amid the racial controversy, saying that they've never heard her talk the way she did in the deposition.

The brothers made the case that their mother is not a racist and that the N-word is not in their vocabulary. "We were not raised in a home where that word was used," Bobby said. He says this is a case of extortion and character assassination.

As part of the fallout, Food Network was quick to announce it was ending Deen's contract. And she has also lost a lucrative gig endorsing pork for Smithfield Foods.

But her food empire, estimated to be worth $6.5 million a year, hasn't fully crumbled.

Though some retailers may be feeling the pressure to end their relationships, for now, Paula Deen Cookware is still on sale at Target and other retail stores.

In an email to us, a spokesperson for the popular retailer said, "Target is evaluating the situation."

And Deen continues on as a spokesperson for the diabetes drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk.

In an email, a spokesman for the Victoza brand wrote: "We recognize the seriousness of these allegations and will follow the legal proceedings closely, staying in contact with [Deen]."

Meanwhile, a hostess at the Lady and Sons restaurant, which Deen operates with her sons in Savannah, Ga., said it's business-as-usual this week.

"We're booked up till 3 today," the hostess said of the lunch crowd when I called early this afternoon. That jibes with what The New York Times reported over the weekend, and with the deep connection that fans have told me they feel toward Deen.

Also on for Deen are appearances at the Metro Cooking Show in Washington, D.C., Houston and Dallas this fall.

A statement posted on the event website goes a long way to stand behind the queen of Southern cooking. It reads: "She has apologized, and we are taking her apology at her word."

In stating that Deen will stay on as a presenter at the show this year, the statement concludes, "This is a nation of forgiveness and second chances."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.