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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Snowden Reportedly In 'Informal' Asylum Talks With Iceland

Jun 19, 2013

Edward Snowden, the man commonly called "the NSA leaker" for his role in publishing documents that exposed a secret U.S. surveillance program, would reportedly not receive special treatment from the United Nations if he applies for asylum. The AP says Snowden is in "informal talks" with Iceland about applying for asylum there.

Snowden's last known location was Hong Kong, where he was when revelations about the secret PRISM program first came out. At the time, Snowden told The Guardian, which published several stories based on the information he provided, that he would like "to seek asylum in a country with shared values." He named Iceland as a prime example.

But as Iceland's ambassador to China explained to the South China Morning Post, an applicant for asylum in Iceland must already be in the country. In an email to the newspaper, Ambassador Kristin Arnadottir also said that Iceland's Ministry of the Interior handles all asylum applications, reports the web site Ice News.

The Morning Post reports that U.N. official Nazneen Farooqi, of the High Commissioner for Refugees' office in Hong Kong, said they don't give special priority to certain cases.

"We prioritize older cases," she said at a press conference about World Refugee Day (which is today).

The newspaper says that means an application could take months or years to process. And it adds that Farooqi was speaking in hypothetical terms, as her office does not discuss — or affirm the existence of — specific asylum claims.

As The Two Way reported last week, Snowden isn't alone in feeling an affinity for Iceland. It has also served as a haven for WikiLeaks and U.S. expatriate Bobby Fischer, who died in Iceland in 2008.

Citing officials in Iceland, the AP says that a WikiLeaks spokesman "who claims to represent Edward Snowden has reached out to government officials in Iceland about the potential of the NSA leaker applying for asylum in the Nordic country."

The news agency says that WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson held informal talks with staff members working in the Interior Ministry and for the prime minister. According to Icelandic government official Johannes Skulason, WikiLeaks' Hrafnsson says he is in touch with Snowden and is exploring the asylum process.

We should note that in Fischer's case, the former chess champion was in legal limbo while in Japan, with the U.S. government wanting to speak with him about breaking a sanction against Yugoslavia. In that case, Iceland extended citizenship to Fischer outright, and Japan chose to send him to the country.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.