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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Pages

The Pomelo

Jun 8, 2013

The man was so beautiful. He appeared to be stepping out of the ad on the side of the bus, his hair illuminated in sun. Amelia saw the little slip of paper burst from his pocket when he pulled out his keys. It flipped in the air once, twice before it caught against the cement stairs right in front of her. She quickly shut her mailbox with the very tiny key that made her feel oversized and fumbling.

Carefully, so as not to rustle it, she pushed open the heavy metal door of the apartment complex and snatched up the piece of paper between two pale fingers. She looked down the street in the direction that he had gone, but the faces, the heads, the clothing — it was already all wrong.

The paper read:

Milk
Bread
Pomelo

"This is what he needs," she said to herself, softly. She ran her thumb over the last word, smudging the pencil a little.

Pomelo? She lifted her head and said the word slowly, her mouth moving as a fish blowing bubbles, "Pomelo? Pomelo?"

She hurriedly walked three, four blocks and entered the grocery store with its frozen, scent-less air.

She stood in the entryway, the automatic doors saying whoosh, whoosh as people funneled in around her.

"Can I help you?" asked someone in an apron. She could not tell if it was a man or a woman.

"Pomelo?" she said, but it came deflated and not how she practiced.

"Pomelos. Over there," the person said, and pointed at a bin of luminous green fruit, so large and round. A bin of discarded planets, lost without their moons. Amelia needed both hands to pick one up and this made her smile. She placed it back on the pile very gently. Then she turned around and left.

In later years, during the moments of greatest darkness, she would clutch the battered list to her chest and whisper soothing words to herself, "Pomelos are real. I am real. Pomelos are real. I am real."

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