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

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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


Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

May 25, 2013
Originally published on May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit




You know that sound. It means it's time for more Three-Minute Fiction excerpts. Now, these stories from Round 11 of our contest were chosen with the help of graduate students from schools across the country, including Johns Hopkins University, Indiana University and the University of Michigan. Our judge, Karen Russell, will be picking the final winner, and she chose our prompt: to write a story about a character who finds something they have no intention of returning. Our first story's character found a photo she wasn't meant to see.


SUSAN STAMBERG, BYLINE: (Reading) A photograph of two happy people in holiday clothing. One was her husband - looking festive - the other, a woman she had never seen before who was wearing a sweater knitted with falling snowflakes, white on a deep red. He had a drink in his hand. They were looking at each other, smiling. She pushed the picture into her pocket and began rehearsing what she would do.

She would leave it on his dresser, she would leave it on the coffee table, the kitchen table, on his dinner plate. She would thrust it toward him, throw it at him, wave it in the air where he could not see it clearly and grill him. Who the hell is this? Where were you? When was this? No. She would not complain, she would not confront, not again.


LYDEN: That was Susan Stamberg reading an excerpt from the story "Snowflake," written by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Massachusetts. Our next excerpt combines love and math in a story called "Geometry."

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: (Reading) Right before I opened your book, it occurred to me that you had intended for me to find it, that you felt it slip from you, saw the blue cover on black leather and left it anyway, that you felt - as I felt - a desire to collapse the space between us. Perhaps you - like I - had been perseverating over this distance and the implications it had for Euclidean geometry. Because the shortest route from Point A - my hand resting lightly on the gearshift - to Point B - your pocket - was not a straight line. The distance could not be traversed before first traveling to some other point not on that line.

It occurred to me, as I opened the pages of your book, that you not only recognize the fact of that other point, but also that I did not know how to find it. The journal was a map you had constructed to help me get there. I felt, as my fingers slipped into your pages for the first time, an overwhelming sense of gratitude that you would do this for me.


LYDEN: That was Bob Mondello reading an excerpt from the story "Geometry," written by Eugenie Montague from Los Angeles, California. If you want to find out what happens next, well, you can read both stories in their entirety at our website, Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more selections from Round 11 of our contest.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.