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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Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit

May 15, 2013

A scholarly publisher has issued a warning to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian who writes about what he calls "predatory" practices in the scholarly publishing industry, threatening him with a $1 billion lawsuit for his blog posts criticizing the company.

Beall is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado; he writes about the journal industry on his personal blog, Scholarly Open Access.

More specifically, Beall identifies and lists journals that he says prey on academics' need to publish their research. Such companies often charge a "handling fee" that requires authors to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars if a paper is published.

One publisher named on "Beall's List of Predatory Publishers 2013" is OMICS Publishing Group, which told him this week that it "intends to sue Mr. Beall, and says it is seeking $1-billion in damages," reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

And because OMICS is based in India, The Chronicle says, it also warned Beall that he could also face a prison sentence if an Indian court finds him guilty. There has been no indication that a lawsuit has been filed.

The message from OMICS came in a letter from its attorney at IP Markets, a law firm described on its own website as the "largest Intellectual Property rights management firm" in India.

"I found the letter to be poorly written and personally threatening," Beall tells The Chronicle. "I think the letter is an attempt to detract from the enormity of OMICS's editorial practices."

The Chronicle, also spoke to IP Markets' Ashok Ram Kumar, a senior lawyer. with IP Markets, who said of Beall, "What he has written is something highly inappropriate," adding, "He has committed a criminal offense."

Beall explains his criteria for scholarly publishers on his blog. The factors he looks at range from adhering to ethical standards and codes of conduct to being transparent about ownership and staffing. A warning sign, he says, is when a publisher creates dozens of journal websites at once. Or they might plagiarize the submission guidelines they provide authors.

An article on predatory publishers in The New York Times featured Beall last month. It described another ploy of unscrupulous publishers: creating scientific conferences that have names similar to — and none of the prestige of — established gatherings.

The Times article also mentioned the OMICS Group, and its director, Srinubabu Gedela, noting that the publisher "has about 250 journals and charges authors as much as $2,700 per paper."

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