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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Reports: 20 Major League Baseball Players May Be Suspended

Jun 5, 2013
Originally published on June 5, 2013 11:27 am

"Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks," ESPN's Outside the Lines reports.

"If the suspensions are upheld," ESPN adds, "the performance-enhancing drug scandal would be the largest in American sports history."

USA Today followed that story with this:

"Major League Baseball has been informed by Tony Bosch, head of the South Florida wellness clinic, that he will testify about his relationship with performance-enhancing drugs and dozens of baseball players, a move that could lead to suspensions for Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other notable major leaguers, according to a person familiar with the negotiations."

The New York Times has a similar report:

"The head of a defunct South Florida anti-aging clinic suspected by Major League Baseball of providing a number of players with banned substances has agreed to cooperate with the sport's investigators, potentially opening the way for player suspensions, according to a person briefed on the matter."

MLB.com, the league's newssite, is covering the news this way:

"Major League Baseball could be close to a far-reaching conclusion about Biogenesis that would be both historic in scope and a clear demonstration of its commitment to ridding the game of illegal steroids and human growth hormone. ESPN's Outside the Lines reports that Anthony Bosch, founder of the Miami-area Biogenesis anti-aging clinic accused of supplying performance-enhancing substances to a number of highly recognizable players, including Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Alex Rodriguez, has agreed to cooperate in baseball's investigation. ...

" 'I've already addressed everything related to the Miami situation,' Braun said [Tuesday night]. 'I addressed it in spring training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed. I don't know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I've already addressed it, I've already commented on it and I'll say nothing further about it.'

"Major League Baseball declined to comment Tuesday night."

Rodriguez, who has admitted using performance enhancing drugs in the past, has denied being a patient at Bosch's clinic. He has not played yet this season, due to injuries.

Cabrera, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, was suspended for 50 games last season (when he played with the San Francisco Giants) after tests showed he had elevated levels of testosterone. Of the new reports, he told USA Today that, "I don't know anything about it. ... If they suspend me again, I think that would be a harsh punishment because I already served my sentence. But it's up to them."

Cruz, a Texas Ranger, said Tuesday night that, "I cannot say anything. ... I guess it's part of the process. (The investigators are) doing their job. I don't have any other comment about it."

NPR has not independently confirmed the reports about the possible suspensions.

A related Two-Way post from January: Report: Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera Among Baseball Stars Linked To Doping.

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Players Union Says No Decisions On Discipline Have Been Made.

In a statement just sent to reporters, the Players Association says it:

"Has been in regular contact with the commissioner's Office regarding the Biogenesis investigation. They are in the process of interviewing players, and every player has been or will be represented by an attorney from the Players Association. The commissioner's Office has assured us that no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations."

The union adds that it "has every interest in both defending the rights of players and in defending the integrity of our joint program. We trust that the commissioner's Office shares these interests."

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