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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Special Election Called In New Jersey To Fill Vacant Senate Seat

Jun 4, 2013
Originally published on June 12, 2013 11:25 am



Funeral services for New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg will be held tomorrow in Manhattan, but the political maneuvering to replace the long-serving Democrat is already underway. Senator Lautenberg died yesterday. And today, New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, ordered a special election to fill the seat this fall. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, that is not what many in Christie's party wanted.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Christie's fellow Republicans might have preferred that he appoint one of them to serve until the next Senate election, which is scheduled for 2014. But Christie had other ideas.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I just thought it was too long a period of time for any person to have the sole authority to pick who represents us in the United States Senate. The right thing is to let the people decide, and let them decide as quickly as possible.

ROSE: Christie is calling for a special election to fill the seat this October with the party primaries a few months earlier in August. Republican leaders in the Senate did not have much to say about today's decision, but democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid did.

SENATOR HARRY REID: I'm happy with what he's done. I think people who serve in the Senate, when the election laws in the state call for it, should be determined by an election.

ROSE: New Jersey law does call for a special election to fill a vacant Senate seat, but there are conflicting interpretations of exactly when that election has to take place.

If Christie had tried to put it off until next year, Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray says, that could have opened the door to legal challenges. And Murray says a court might have ordered Christie to hold the election in November of this year, when the governor himself will be on the ballot for re-election.

PATRICK MURRAY: The reason why Chris Christie doesn't want to see that is not that this is going to cost him the election but that he really wants to win by 20 or 25 points because that's going to be his calling card when he runs for president in 2106.

ROSE: This would not be the first time Christie has disappointed his fellow Republicans. His public embrace of President Obama after Hurricane Sandy angered the conservative wing of the party.

Democrats in New Jersey may not be happy either. Christie's plan sets up a special election just three weeks before regular state elections in November. But when asked about the potential cost today, Christie didn't blink.

CHRISTIE: I don't know what the cost is, and I quite frankly don't care. I don't think you can put a price tag on what it's worth to have an elected person in the United States Senate.

ROSE: Christie did not say who he'll appoint to fill Senator Lautenberg seat until October, but he promised that decision soon. Joel Rose, NPR News, New York.



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