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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Residents Heading Home In Blasted Quebec Town

Jul 9, 2013
Originally published on July 9, 2013 7:35 pm

"A majority of the 2,000 people forced out of their Lac-Mégantic, Que., homes following the massive rail tank-car explosions Saturday morning are being allowed to return home today," CBC News reported Tuesday.

But as that was happening, there was still no word about the fate of dozens of their neighbors. When we left the story Monday evening, officials were saying they had raised the confirmed death toll to 13. But many people were unaccounted for. That's still the case. The CBC writes that, according to police, "some 50 people are missing — a figure that includes the 13 unidentified bodies that have been recovered since the train derailed at about 1 a.m. ET Saturday."

Meanwhile, the investigation continues into why more than 70 tank cars filled with oil rolled into the town and derailed. According to The Montreal Gazette, "The chairman of the company whose train exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic says he is certain it was tampered with."

Lac-Mégantic is east of Montreal, near the border with Maine.

Update at 5:45 p.m. ET. Fifteen People Now Confirmed Dead:

NPR's Jeff Brady confirmed with Quebec police officials that 15 people have been confirmed dead from the accident. This leaves the number of missing at about 35 people, as teams continue searching the area.

A criminal investigation has also been launched but at this point police do not think the accident was an act of terrorism.

Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. "We Could Feel The Heat On Our Faces":

Here & Now spoke with Manon Farmer, who "lives in Lac-Mégantic and was awakened by the explosions, a few blocks from her home, on Saturday overnight. 'I came out of my bed, went to my window and saw my neighbor's house lit like a big huge sunrise,' Farmer said. ... Then, there was another giant boom.' "

Farmer continued:

"We could feel the heat on our faces," she said. "We were told that this cloud came to about 3,000 degrees — can you imagine how hot that is? You could hear all kind of exclamations. And voilà, our beautiful patrimonial — little city — is gone in ashes."

She believes her town will come back:

"Of course, and with pride and everything — it's just like Ground Zero in New York," Farmer said. "People love their community here and it's going to be rebuilt and the trees that are down are going to be replanted, and of course it's going to be done. And as you know, in troubles like this — like take New York, 9/11 — people come together, hearts open up. That's what's so wonderful about it. We become who we really are."

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