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

Russia Conducts Record Military Exercises

Jul 20, 2013
Originally published on July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Today, Russia is wrapping up its biggest military maneuver since the Soviet era, an exercise that's designed to test its military readiness on land, sea and in the air. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports that it may also be an effort to show Russia's Far Eastern neighbors that it is still a force to be reckoned with.

COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Russian President Vladimir Putin watched part of the war games this week at a firing range in southern Siberia.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Foreign language spoken)

FLINTOFF: He said Russia's forces were tested in unfamiliar territory and that they showed a high degree of combat readiness. The territory was Russia's Far East and some analysts say the maneuvers were a message to neighbors, such as China, Japan and the United States. Igor Korotchenko is the editor-in-chief of National Defense magazine, and he watched the exercise as a guest of Russia's defense minister.

IGOR KOROTCHENKO: (Foreign language spoken)

FLINTOFF: He says the maneuvers are not meant to threaten anyone but to show that Russia wouldn't be an easy prey. Korotchenko points out that the exercise included forces that have nuclear capability as a deterrent to countries that outweigh Russia in terms of conventional forces. He's not naming names, but that label only applies to the United States and China. Russian military expert Alexander Goltz points out that the war games included chemical and biological warfare defense brigades. He says Russian defense officials fear that some countries in the region might resort to such weapons.

ALEXANDER GOLTZ: It shows that Russia is seriously thinking about possibility of huge conflict on Korean peninsula.

FLINTOFF: Officially, the roster of Russian forces in this exercise is impressive - 160,000 troops and more than 5,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 70 ships from Russia's Pacific fleet and 130 war planes, including strategic bombers. But Goltz says those numbers don't add up. There are far too many troops and too few personnel carriers, for instance. On the first day, he says, the official number was 1,000 tanks and other vehicles.

GOLTZ: Next day, they suddenly understood that it means that we have one vehicle for 160 guys.

FLINTOFF: He says defense officials later altered the numbers to make them seem more plausible but that they still conflict with publicly available information. The result, he says, that it's difficult to assess whether the maneuvers were as successful as defense officials claim. Still, he says, the exercises do amount to a big achievement for Russia's military, which has been struggling to become a modern force. It's an effort that Putin has committed to, promising more than $615 billion in new defense spending through the year 2020. Corey Flintoff, NPR News, Moscow.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.