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

1 hour 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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Srinivasan's Confirmation First For D.C. Circuit In 7 Years

May 23, 2013

For the first time in seven years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a judge to sit on the important federal appeals court for the District of Columbia. The Senate unanimously confirmed Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan on Thursday for the seat previously held by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Srinivasan was confirmed because he had huge bipartisan support in the legal community and because he served in both the Bush and Obama administrations, while having no record in partisan politics. But the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia still has three vacancies.

Two previous Obama appointees, Goodwin Liu and Caitlin Halligan, also had stellar legal credentials but were filibustered by Republicans who portrayed them as judicial activists. Halligan was opposed primarily because as New York solicitor general, she represented the state's pro-gun control positions in court. After Liu's nomination was blocked, California Gov. Jerry Brown quickly nominated him to the California Supreme Court, where he now serves.

The partisan war over judicial nominees has accelerated in recent years as Republicans have stalled and, in some cases, filibustered record numbers of appeals court and trial court nominees. It took nearly a year to win confirmation for Srinivasan, who had no formal opposition.

At the same time, the Obama administration has been slow to fill vacancies.

There are three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit, out of 11 seats. The last D.C. Circuit judicial nominee to win confirmation was Brett Kavanaugh in 2006. He had previously served in the Bush White House counsel's office and as a top assistant to then-special prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the investigation of President Clinton and his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

In the current politically polarized atmosphere, nominees to the D.C. Circuit face particular scrutiny because so many of them go on to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Four of the current Supreme Court Justices — Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — all served on that court first. And a fifth justice, Elena Kagan, was nominated to the circuit court by President Clinton but never got a vote.

Srinivasan, 46, is the first South Asian ever to serve on an appellate court. Born in India and raised in Lawrence, Kan., he likely would be high on the short list for a Supreme Court vacancy should one occur.

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