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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Romney Not Done With Politics

May 31, 2013
Originally published on May 31, 2013 4:10 pm

Mitt Romney may have lost the biggest prize in American politics last year, but that doesn't mean he's left the game for good.

While there's no evidence to suggest he's interested in a third consecutive run for the White House, the man who topped the 2012 Republican national ticket is signaling his intent to play a role in the 2014 midterm election.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Romney indicated what could be read as plans to return to the political hustings to campaign for 2014 candidates, presumably Republicans. The Journal reported:

"He is considering writing a book and a series of opinion pieces, and has plans to campaign for 2014 candidates. But he is wary of overdoing it. 'I'm not going to be bothering the airwaves with a constant series of speeches,' he told The Wall Street Journal, speaking from his home in La Jolla, Calif."

Some Democrats could barely contain their glee at the thought that Romney might return to campaign for Republicans in 2014, given his substantial Electoral College loss to President Obama, his less-than-scintillating campaign style and the "47 percent" baggage he carries.

Still, Romney could prove helpful to some Republicans.

First, as the party's most recent standard-bearer, he remains one of the GOP's biggest celebrities. In other words, he's a draw. In politics, like consumer marketing and pop culture, few things are as important as name and brand recognition. Romney certainly has those.

So if you're a major party organization with a fundraising dinner, having Romney on the bill might prove productive.

"I think that he would be very helpful to Republicans on the fundraising circuit," said Ron Bonjean, a principal at a Washington lobbying and communications firm who was a senior GOP aide on Capitol Hill. "He is an expert at raising money and can be helpful in a wide variety of districts, from moderate to conservative.

"However, if he was openly campaigning for Republicans, he would probably only be helpful to Republicans that probably [easily] won re-election last time around and would probably do so again."

In other words, Romney's value is rooted in his ability to attract donors, rather than win over voters.

He is, after all, a proven money magnet, with a platinum network and database of donors he has collected during two presidential runs.

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