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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Ten Ring Fingers

May 19, 2013

She found the first ring on a night that smelled of body odor and beer. The bar's last customers had finally given up hope of taking her to bed and staggered away, leaving her to clean the stains of their desperation. She mopped the floor as quickly as possible to escape the place that made her feel uncomfortable in her own skin.

A glimmer of gold caught her eye. She bent down and pulled the thin metal band from a pile of grime. It was the first time she saw a wedding ring devoid of a ring finger; she wondered where the naked finger was now, and whether it felt exposed or liberated.

The next day, a frazzled middle-aged man scurried into the bar and asked her if she had found his wedding ring. She remembered seeing him with a brunette woman the night before, a woman who wore no rings.

She smiled apologetically and promised to let him know if it turned up. As soon as he left the bar, she slipped the ring onto her finger. That night, no men lingered around and she closed the bar a half hour earlier than the night before.

She found the second and third rings later that week. One was wedged between the wall and bar counter and the other lay near the main entrance. This time, two women entered to claim them, wearing the same clothes as the night before. She gave them the same answer she had given the first man. They glanced down at the three rings piled on her finger and left without saying anything.

She had spent little time in her life thinking about marriage, but now it invaded her mind. Every time she found a stray ring, she cleaned it and pretended like it was brand new, made especially for her. She entertained fantasies of the handsome men who had given her these rings, and although they always had different nationalities and personalities, they shared their mutual adoration for her.

In a few months time, every inch of her fingers was adorned with wedding rings.

Serving beer with metallic hands proved to be an arduous task, as the glasses kept slipping from her grasp. She no longer bothered to peek inside the tip jar in between serving customers: she knew that it would be empty. Her manager politely asked her if she could remove her rings during work hours, but she could not bare the thought of losing Adam, Julian, Pablo, Manuel, Conrad, Griffin, Nadim and Alex.

She made the mistake of coming to work five minutes late on a Friday night and found her manager waiting for her with his arms crossed. It was the first time she had ever been fired and all she could think about was how happy she was to have the rest of the night alone with her dreams.

As images of blue eyes and well-defined cheekbones swirled about in her mind, she sunk into her bed and allowed her body to leave an imprint on the mattress. She felt as if her body was the same, and yet the outline of her hands had changed. The indentations of each ring left a pronounced mark on the bed, making the shape of her finger resemble a caterpillar or centipede. They wormed their way around her mattress and became their own separate entities, shedding the rest of her body completely.

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