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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Remembering Mulgrew Miller On JazzSet

Jun 6, 2013
Originally published on June 20, 2014 3:15 pm

The pianist Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following a cerebral hemorrhage. The jazz world is grieving the loss of this "wonderful musician and great spirit," in the words of fellow pianist Kenny Barron. As saxophonist Loren Schoenberg so aptly says, "Mulgrew could levitate a bandstand."

Thinking about his piano alone, Miller's right hand was the great embellisher; the whole keyboard was his canvas. His left hand could stride and swing with great authority, and when the two hands got together, he sent the train down the tracks. Yet he could lay down a carpet of flowers. What a touch. Miller deployed all his gifts and accomplishments anew every time we recorded him, and he always seemed to be with us, grounded in the shared love of the music.

He expressed his credo as a writer with these words: "I strive to compose beautiful melodies and interpret them with a beat that dances."

Miller was born in 1955 in Greenwood, Miss. At 6, he started playing by picking out hymns and harmonies on the piano, always on the black keys. As he told WBGO's Gary Walker in an on-air conversation, he didn't realize that those keys are considered to be the difficult ones to play in.

Mississippi was ground zero for the Civil Rights Movement, and Miller lived that history. "I was in the first wave of children that integrated schools," he says. "I didn't go to school with white kids until I was in 10th grade."

At 14, when he saw Oscar Peterson on The Joey Bishop Show, Mulgrew Miller set his musical direction. First, he went to Memphis State University and met fellow pianists James Williams and Donald Brown. Then, Miller went on the road with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, conductor Mercer Ellington and — in an awe-inspiring sequence and back to back — vocalist Betty Carter, Newark-born trumpeter Woody Shaw, drummer Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, and drummer Tony Williams.

Later, "Professor Mulgrew" shared lessons learned from those experiences with his students. For eight years until his unexpected death, Miller co-led the Jazz Studies program at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., with his colleague David Demsey. WPU has one of the oldest jazz programs in the world; it began 40 years ago under bandleader Thad Jones.

Now, Miller's students and colleagues, bandmates, fellow musicians and jazz lovers worldwide are mourning his loss. We thank him and his family for sharing him. Here, we highlight four performances — solo and duo piano, his sextet Wingspan (the name is a tip of the hat to Charlie Parker, a.k.a. "Bird") and the Mulgrew Miller Trio.

Set List And Personnel

  • "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" (Duke Ellington)

Mulgrew Miller, piano (WBGO's 25th Anniversary Party on Park Place in Newark, N.J., April 2004)

  • "Like Someone in Love" (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen)

Miller, piano; Kenny Barron, piano (Detroit Jazz Festival Artist-In-Residence, 2010)

  • "Waltz for Monk" (Donald Brown)
  • "Farewell to Dogma" (Miller)
  • "When I Get There" (Miller)
  • "Eleventh Hour" (Miller)

Wingspan: Steve Wilson, alto and soprano saxophones; Duane Eubanks, trumpet; Steve Nelson, vibes; Mulgrew Miller, piano; Ivan Taylor, bass; Rodney Green, drums

  • "My Foolish Heart" (Victor Young)

Mulgrew Miller Trio: Miller, piano; Ivan Taylor, bass; Rodney Green, drums (Kennedy Center Jazz Club, October 2012)


Thanks to the 2010 Detroit Jazz Festival, Artistic and Executive Director Terri Pontremoli and Marketing Director Chris Harrington, and to Director of Jazz Kevin Struthers at the Kennedy Center. Recordings are by AuraSonic Ltd., New York; MetroMobile in the Midwest (Chicago); and Greg Hartman at the Kennedy Center. Surround Sound mixes are by Duke Markos.

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