The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe'

Jul 13, 2013
Originally published on July 13, 2013 1:22 pm

I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of Anthony Weiner, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.

Mr. Weiner is now running for mayor of New York. This week Eliot Spitzer, the former governor who resigned following a scandal, announced that he'll run for New York City comptroller.

One of his opponents on the ballot, by the way, is the madam of the "escort service" of which the governor was once a customer. I'll bet Martha Raddatz and Jim Lehrer would arm-wrestle to moderate that candidates' debate!

In recent years a whole string of briefly-disgraced politicians of both parties have run and won following the kind of scandals that were once presumed to leave an American politician so shattered they'd have to become lobbyists.

When the story of President Clinton's involvement with a White House intern broke in the 1990s, I had a sandwich someplace one night — some people might call it a bar — and heard a happy cacophony of accents, gossiping.

They were British, French, and Italian reporters chirruping, "You Americans are such Puritans. This would never be a story in our country," after which I wanted to ask, "Then what brought you all the way over here?"

President Clinton was acquitted at his impeachment trial; he still soars near the top of those Most Admired Person in America polls.

But we may not be blase in the European manner. A lot of the American politicians who have run for office following sex scandals say that enduring such public disgrace has deepened their character. As Mr. Spitzer told the Morning Joe show this week, "You go through that pain, you change."

So Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former prime minister, is unapologetic about what are called his "bunga-bunga" parties. But American politicians stray and say that it builds character.

If any group is entitled to complain that they've been maligned by the press blaring about such scandals, it's not politicians. It's Puritans.

This week Edmund S. Morgan, the distinguished historian of early America, died at the age of 97. In The Puritan Dilemma and other books, Mr. Morgan, in the words of the Washington Post, "showed that the Puritans had a healthy interest in sex, despite their reputation for dour rectitude."

I guess you don't become Founding Fathers by "dour rectitude" alone. It turns out that not even the Puritans were such Puritans.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean sex scandal and by now, I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down - or in the case of Anthony Weiner, pec-flexing with his shirt off - as Europeans like to think they are.

Mr. Weiner's now running for mayor of New York. This week, Eliot Spitzer, the former governor who resigned following a scandal, announced he'll run for New York City comptroller. One of his opponents on the ballot, by the way, is the madam of the escort service of which the governor was once a customer. Ha, I'll bet Martha Raddatz and Jim Lehrer would arm-wrestle to moderate that candidates' debate.

In recent years, a whole string of briefly disgraced politicians of both parties have run - and won - following the kind of scandals that were once presumed to leave a American politician so shattered, he'd have to become a lobbyist.

When the story of President Clinton's involvement with a White House intern broke in the 1990s, I had a sandwich someplace one night - some people might call it a bar - and heard a happy cacophony of accents gossiping. They were British, French and Italian reporters chirruping, "You Americans are such puritans. This would never be a story in our country." After which I wanted to ask, "Then what you brought you all the way over here?"

President Clinton was acquitted at his impeachment trial. He still soars near the top of those most-admired-person-in-America polls. But we may not be blase in the European manner. A lot of the American politicians who've run for office following sex scandals say that enduring such public disgrace has deepened their character. As Mr. Spitzer told the "Morning Joe" show this week, "You go through that pain, you change." So Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former prime minister, is unapologetic about what are called his bunga-bunga parties. But American politicians stray, and they say that it builds character.

If any group's entitled to complain that they've been maligned by the press blaring about such scandals, it's not politicians; it's puritans. This week, Edmund S. Morgan, the distinguished historian of early America, died at the age of 97. In "The Puritan Dilemma" and other books, Mr. Morgan, in the words of the Washington Post, showed that the Puritans had a healthy interest in sex, despite their reputation for dour rectitude.

I guess you don't become Founding Fathers by dour rectitude alone. Turns out that not even the Puritans were such puritans.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S A SIN")

PET SHOP BOYS: (Singing) It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin. It's a sin. Everything I've ever done, everything I ever do, every place I've ever been, everywhere I'm going to, it's a sin. At school, they taught... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.