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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Police Say Ricin-Laced Letters Sent To New York Mayor Bloomberg

May 29, 2013
Originally published on May 30, 2013 6:11 am

Police in New York say preliminary tests of two threatening letters sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg contained traces of ricin.

The anonymous letters, both addressed to Bloomberg, were opened Friday in New York at the city's mail facility and Sunday in Washington, D.C., at the headquarters of the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, according to authorities.

Reuters, quoting a police statement, reports that both letters "contained threats against Bloomberg and mentioned the gun debate."

Police say preliminary testing indicated the presence of the deadly poison ricin. They say mail sorting personnel who came into contact with the letters were not showing any symptoms, but that some officers who later examined the one in New York were, according to The Associated Press.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that the letters were going for secondary testing to confirm the results, because preliminary tests are sometimes inaccurate.

The AP reports that chief New York City police spokesman Paul Browne says both letters contained "an oily pinkish-orange substance" but he would not comment on specific threats or where the letters were postmarked.

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Police Won't Say If They Think Both Letters From Same Person:

Police spokesman Browne wouldn't say if the letters were handwritten or typed, the AP reports. He also declined to say if investigators thought both letters were from the same person nor whether they might be linked to with other ricin cases.

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