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/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

In Symbolic Move, U.S. Cuts Trade Privileges For Bangladesh

Jun 27, 2013
Originally published on June 27, 2013 4:45 pm

The U.S. suspended some trade benefits to Bangladesh on Thursday, citing unsafe working conditions. But in the near term it appears unlikely to have a major impact on the country's crucial garment industry.

Here's why: Bangladesh was suspended from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, so U.S. duties will rise on a range of items from tobacco to plastic. But this program doesn't cover garments — Bangladesh's main export to America.

Less than 1 percent of Bangladesh's nearly $5 billion in exports to the U.S. are covered by the GSP, according to The Associated Press.

However, the Obama administration's decision could have two consequences.

As Reuters notes: "Obama's decision would be a repudiation of working conditions in Bangladesh following the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in April that killed 1,129 people and the Tazreen factory fire in November that killed 112. It also could influence the European Union's decision whether to suspend trade benefits for Bangladesh, which would have far more impact since Bangladesh's clothing and textiles exports receive duty-free treatment there."

The AP reports that congressional leaders have pushed the Bangladeshi government to improve worker safety in the country.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza building has drawn attention to unsafe working conditions.

Our friends at NPR's Planet Money even asked if buying a T-shirt from the country is good or bad for its people.

But as we've reported in the past, some of the changes in Bangladesh are coming from Western retailers who use the country's cheap labor to make fast fashion.

The garment industry has low margins, and this creates great pressure to keep wages low — though there have been some efforts to improve conditions.

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