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

2 hours 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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Texas Legislators Called Back For Special Session On Abortion Bill

Jun 26, 2013
Originally published on June 26, 2013 7:33 pm

After a vote on a controversial bill to restrict abortion in Texas was deemed to have fallen outside of the state's legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry has called for a special session to take up the issue, along with other topics. The session is scheduled to begin July 1 at 2 p.m., ET.

As our colleague Elise Hu reported, the proposed abortion law inspired a filibuster attempt from state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth:

"Davis stood and spoke continuously for nearly 11 hours in an attempt to block passage of SB 5, a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks and could effectively close all but five abortion clinics in the state. Supporters say the new, stringent standards raise the level of care for Texas women. The majority of Texas voters polled have shown support for restrictions on abortion."

A vote approving the bill was found to have occurred after the legislative session's official deadline of midnight, rendering the vote invalid.

That immediately led to questions of whether Gov. Perry would call lawmakers back to the Capitol — something he now says he's doing — to hold a special session that will take up the abortion issue as well as transportation and crime bills.

The Dallas Morning News reports on what it calls a "proclamation" from Perry:

"Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just," he said.

Perry also alluded to the throngs who flooded the Capitol Tuesday night and disrupted the Senate just as it was poised to break the filibuster of Sen. Wendy Davis and push through abortion regulations.

"We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do," Perry said.

From Texas, member station KERA reports that the opponents of the measure, who disrupted proceedings in the Capitol with their chanting and yelling, "say they're prepared to do it all over again."

It's unclear whether Davis will attempt another filibuster. But as Elise reports today, Davis has raised her profile extensively with her marathon speech.

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