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

1 hour 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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Post Sandy: Jersey Shore Celebrates Memorial Day Holiday

May 27, 2013



And let's go now to the Jersey Shore. As Scott mentioned, businesses are re-opening. Most beaches and boardwalks were ready for the Memorial Day weekend crowds. But months after Sandy, some towns are still rebuilding - in some cases, just starting the demolition phase.

Here's Tracey Samuelson, from member station WHYY.

TRACEY SAMUELSON, BYLINE: For months now, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said the Jersey Shore would be ready for summer. Roughly 60 million tourists came here last year, and it's a pillar of the state's economy. So Christie spent much of last week opening boardwalks, to show that they're ready for those visitors. Here he is in Lavallette.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: This is the first symbol for us of making sure this week that everybody across the state, across the region and across America knows that the Jersey Shore is open for the summer and ready to receive our customers.

SAMUELSON: Lavallette's well on its way to recovery. The town claims that 95 percent of businesses were open this weekend. But Governor Christie acknowledges things won't be normal here this summer. Toms River homeowner Kathy Romanelli agrees. On her street last week, construction workers outnumbered residents.

KATHY ROMANELLI: Usually, it's bustling with people here, getting ready for the weekend. There's nobody here. It's awful.

SAMUELSON: Some of the houses, including Romanelli's, might look fine from the outside, but inside, they're gutted. Then we spot one with furniture.

So, they look pretty good in there, peeking through their window.

ROMANELLI: See the couch?


ROMANELLI: Disgusting.

SAMUELSON: Look closer, and the pink couch is speckled with mold.

ROMANELLI: These are, like, people that just left everything. They didn't do anything.

SAMUELSON: It's a recovery that looks very different house to house, town to town. In Mantoloking, one of the hardest-hit areas, the damage is much more visible. It looks like an angry giant burst through, bashing some homes clear off their foundations and stomping others. Traffic on the main road slows as people soak in the dramatic damage, the way the storm made some parts of people's private lives very public.

CHRIS NELSON: You know, look in this home. You can see that here's their outdoor shower with the shampoo bottle still attached.

SAMUELSON: Chris Nelson is special counsel the Mantoloking's mayor. As we drive on some roads that are still closed, he estimates a third of the roughly 530 homes in town will have to be completely rebuilt.

NELSON: You can see hangers in people's closets with clothes on them. It's horrible. And it's horrible that's it's this - you know, six months after the storm, and you're still seeing it.

SAMUELSON: But it took nearly four months just for the town to get its gas, electric and water fully restored.

NELSON: We thought the town would be, you know, inaccessible until summer.

SAMUELSON: Now, Mantoloking is trying to speed up the pace of recovery by organizing mass demolitions and debris removal for some of its residents. As part of a FEMA program, more than 50 homes will be torn down and debris cleared from another 43. It'll take a month and a half and cost nearly $3 million. Mantoloking was the first town to get its program up and running, but more than 20 municipalities are taking to FEMA about similar projects.


SAMUELSON: Raif Basilious is a civil engineer overseeing these demos.

RAIF BASILIOUS: The big home takes, like, two hours to be completely demolished.

SAMUELSON: A big home only takes two hours?

BASILIOUS: Two hours, yeah, to knock down. But to remove the debris out could take two days.

SAMUELSON: A small home might come down in an hour and fit in just two dump trucks, which feels sad. But these demolitions are also a welcomed fresh start, and there are signs of normal activity here. Cherry trees survived the salt water to bloom this spring. A UPS truck is making deliveries. And the beaches here will reopen in mid-June. For NPR News, I'm Tracey Samuelson. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.