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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Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners?

Jun 11, 2013
Originally published on June 11, 2013 9:58 am

If you woke up this morning thinking, "I really need to hear NPR's Linda Wertheimer say the words 'noisily unwrapping her Twizzlers,'" have I got good news for you.

Margot Adler had a story on today's Morning Edition about Broadway audiences and whether they're getting ruder, given recent incidents involving the aforementioned Twizzlers, rude texting, talking and other interruptions. She went to the TKTS line (where you wait for discount Broadway tickets) and asked some of the folks what they thought.

Some offered the usual explanations — say, that we're all used to sitting in our living rooms watching alone, and we don't remember what it's like to use our polite-company manners anymore. One speculated that as theater has gotten more casual (less dressy, drinks allowed), people's behavior has lost its polite formality.

Jan Simpson, the writer of one blog about Broadway, actually calls herself "old-fashioned" for wanting people to sit quietly while watching a show, which I can tell you caused the writer of one blog about popular culture to clutch her metaphorical pearls in horror at the thought that there's something modern about being a disruptive buffoon. Adler acknowledges that in fact, "in Shakespeare's time, they threw food on the stage." Of course, in Shakespeare's time, they died of various things we've cured, so let's not embrace that too eagerly.

What emerges is partly a generational issue setting younger audiences who want to tweet about the show while it's happening (mon dieu!) against older, perhaps more experienced audiences who take a less consumer-oriented and more art-patron-oriented approach to attendance. But surely, a person of any age is capable of doing without Twitter for a couple of hours. I can do without Twitter for a couple of hours, for example, and I've been known to tweet about people clipping their nails on the Metro.

It's a good thing, indeed, to avoid taking theater and making it a cloistered place for elites only (not that ticket prices don't get you a good part of the way there). But it's also a good thing to avoid giving free passes out of Rudeness Jail for everyone who simply prefers not to iron anything except cargo shorts.

OK, OK, I don't really care if you wear cargo shorts. But the pockets should not be stuffed with things that beep, smoke, smell like garlic or tempt you to whisper.


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