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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Random Acts Of Tipping

Jul 7, 2013
Originally published on July 7, 2013 2:21 pm



Making a living serving food in a restaurant can be a tough business. With most of your income coming from tips, customer service is of paramount importance. If you treat the customers particularly well, you might get a generous tip. But at most restaurants that is not likely to get anywhere near the $500 mark. But for one frequent diner, a $500 tip is now the norm. Seth Collins is travelling around the country giving $500 to restaurant servers in every state - and he's carrying out these seemingly random acts of generosity as a tribute to his brother who died a year ago today. Seth Collins joins us from his home in Kentucky. Seth, thanks for being here.

SETH COLLINS: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: So, why is this the way that you've chosen to honor your brother?

COLLINS: Well, when we found his will, the last thing in it was that we go out to dinner and leave an awesome tip. And he said I'm not talking about 25 percent. I mean, $500 for pizza. So, we did that. And raised the money from friends and family just to make it happen. And then I thought I would just share the video with friends and family. The first video went viral and people ended up donating up to now over $60,000. It only seemed fair once I started thinking about that to try to give back to as many places as I could.

MARTIN: I wonder was your brother in the food service industry? I mean, what was his connection to this idea?

COLLINS: He had always been a generous tipper. It's actually funny. My mom had just told me a story that even when he was young, when he just had an allowance and no job, is he saw that they didn't leave what he considered a generous tip. He would take a couple dollars of his own money and toss that on the table to help bolster the amount of the tip.

MARTIN: And what is the reaction from the waiter or the waitress in the moment?

COLLINS: Different people, I think, react to it in their own way. Some people, when they shocked, sort of shut down. It's just they're trying to bottle in that emotion so that they don't start crying or something. And they let that out later.

MARTIN: And what do you do when it's all over?

COLLINS: I'm really not sure what I'll do. I'm sure I'll keep giving whatever money we have. A lot of people have asked will I take it international? And I really want all the money to be given to the waiters and waitresses rather than spending it on traveling to Ireland so that I can leave a 500 euro tip there.

MARTIN: Seth Collins. He is traveling around the country giving out $500 tips in honor of his brother, Aaron. He joined us from his home in Kentucky, with his cat in the background. Thanks so much, Seth.

COLLINS: Thank you.

MARTIN: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.