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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Spoken Dish Asks Southerners: What Is Your Food Identity?

Jun 17, 2013
Originally published on June 18, 2013 4:11 pm

Does cast-iron skillet cornbread, hot and crispy from the oven, transport you back to your grandma's kitchen? Do you cook with certain ingredients as a link to your roots in the South? If so, "A Spoken Dish" wants to hear your story.

The Southern Foodways Alliance is teaming up with Whole Foods Market and Georgia Organics in this video storytelling project as a way to celebrate and document food memories and rituals of the American South.

The goal is "to document the palate of a changing South," says A Spoken Dish producer Kate Medley. "We wanted to look at both how people cook and how they approach what lands on their supper table," Medley tells The Salt.

The answer to the question "What is your food identity?" Medley says, can reveal a lot about a person's history and values.

She describes the stories collected so far on the Spoken Dish website as "a patchwork quilt" of tales from all walks of life.

For instance, cattleman Will Harris shares his mama's egg bread recipe, a quick batter of egg, buttermilk, cornmeal and bacon grease (The recipe is below). The fourth-generation owner of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga., Harris says egg bread was served at most meals — "certainly if you had company," he says. Sometimes, egg bread and milk was the only food on the table.

"Greasy, flat, thick, moist. Just good stuff," Harris recalls. "If you weren't killing hogs or cows or chickens because there weren't any ready, and the vegetables weren't ready, you made egg bread."

Geno Lee of Jackson, Miss., tells how his grandfather used to host civil rights leaders at the Big Apple Inn in the 1950s and '60s. NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers' office was just above the café on Farrish Street, once the bustling center for African-American life in Mississippi's then-segregated capital city. Today, the Big Apple still serves pig-ear sandwiches, an old-fashioned delicacy found in pockets of the South.

Jennifer McCormick of Atlanta recalls going fishing with her grandfather. They'd go to Catfish Junction Lake armed with a giant tub of chicken livers for bait. After a day of fishing, they'd return home for a big catfish fry.

"But the grossest thing about the whole day to me was that my grandfather loved fried chicken livers," McCormick says. "So whatever bait we had leftover — that we'd been sticking our nasty hands in all day long — he would have my grandmother clean and fry up for him for dinner." She found that tradition "disgusting."

The tales are a model for the future, says John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi. "It's difficult to balance the Web's want for short content with the SFA's want to deliver stories of substance about Southern food culture," Edge says.

With A Spoken Dish, Edge says, Kate Medley has accomplished "the perfect balance."

You can submit your own Southern food story through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #aspokendish. But even if you're not Southern, we're curious: What's your food identity? Share your stories in the comments below.

An Egg Bread Recipe From Will Harris

Beat one egg just a little with a spoon.


1 ¼ cup buttermilk

1 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 big tablespoons bacon grease

Pour into a black iron skillet.

Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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