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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The Tony Awards: Is This The Greatest Awards Show Opening Ever?

Jun 10, 2013
Originally published on June 10, 2013 10:57 am

Unless you've seen every awards show since the dawn of time (which would make you The Unluckiest Person In The World), you can't really answer the question of whether last night's opener of the Tony Awards, hosted for the fourth time by Neil Patrick Harris, was the best opening ever.

But if you're talking about awards shows in recent memory, the answer is that not only was it the best opener, but it utterly embarrassed just about everything except maybe Jimmy Fallon's "Born To Run" at the 2010 Emmys. It's funny, energetic, committed, and ultimately deeply and touchingly warm-hearted.

The next time you're tempted to give an Oscar host a pass on the basis that it's an impossible, can't-win job, and that the lazy, easy, corny, toothless humor that passes for patter is a fundamental of the awards format, and that the jokes can't be better and the numbers can't be better and the hosting can't be better and the crowd can't get excited, keep in mind that that's exactly what people who want to keep making lazy awards shows want you to think.

Sure, theater people have an advantage with musical numbers, but if you run the Oscars and can't figure out how to do for and with love of film what the Tonys are doing for and with love of theater, you are terrible at your job and should hand it off to someone else. This wasn't even the only great number — there was also a funny, biting bit from Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty, and Laura Benanti, all theater people whose TV shows (The New Normal, Smash, and Go On) were recently canceled.

As for the awards themselves, they proved very big for the play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, by Christopher Durang, as well as the offbeat revival of Pippin and the new musical Kinkyboots, which brought a first-ever Tony to its composer — Cyndi Lauper. Pam McKinnon and Diane Paulus were the rare pair of women to take directing honors in the same year for play and musical (for Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and Pippin respectively), and great speeches came from winners including Billy Porter for Kinkyboots, Cicely Tyson for The Trip To Bountiful, and Andrea Martin for Pippin.

Step it up, everybody else. The theater kids are making you look terrible.

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