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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Rubber Ducky, You're (Not) The One. Hong Kong Quacker Spawns Others

Jun 4, 2013
Originally published on June 4, 2013 3:39 pm

Perhaps it was inevitable. Given the huge popularity of the six-story, yellow rubber ducky that's been bobbing around in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, companies in a number of mainland Chinese cities have decided to copy it.

New ducks have popped up in the central city of Wuhan, the ancient city of Xi'an, the northern port city of Tianjin and Hengdian, a town in Zhejiang province that is home to a massive movie studio.

The duck doubles have raised questions over copyright issues, according to China Daily.

When contacted by China Daily, the companies that set up the ducks in Tianjin and Wuhan "declined to reveal their motives, or say if they had the authorization to do so."

The newspaper adds:

"Li Jingjian, an intellectual property lawyer in Beijing, said the ducks may violate the rights of the designer or other entities holding rights to the original duck.

'Generally, if something resembles another thing and has made people believe that they are related, it can be seen as copyright infringement,' he said."

The man behind the original duck in Hong Kong, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, told The Wall Street Journal that he had no copyright agreements with any of the knockoff duck-makers on the mainland.

"If people want the real duck, they have to come to me," he said.

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, Hofman said he wasn't at all amused by China's sudden overpopulation of giant ducks.

"I've always said the rubber duck is a yellow catalyst," he told the Journal. "Right now what it is showing is that there is a lack of trust in China, and that is an enormous problem."

As Mark Memmott has reported, Hong Kong's duck was temporarily deflated last month for maintenance.

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