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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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Topping The Art-Collection Charts

Jul 13, 2013
Originally published on July 13, 2013 1:22 pm



You know Americans love lists - 100 best films, best barbeque joints, best cheesecakes. Each year, ARTnews magazine compiles a list of the biggest spenders in the art world. Some of the names may be familiar, some are surprising, some maybe a little of both. Milton Esterow is the editor and publisher of ARTnews and joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.

MILTON ESTEROW: Nice to be here.

SIMON: Are these folks just big spenders or something more?

ESTEROW: They are of course big spenders, but at the same time there are so many different kinds of collections as there are collections. Some collectors are happy, some are tormented. Some buy very little, while others can't help themselves. Why do people collect? Well, I once interviewed the great art historian Kenneth Clark and he once said that it's like asking why we fall in love. The reasons are quite so different. And it's very true.

SIMON: Forgive a couple of stereotypes but are there a lot of Saudi princes or Russian billionaires on this list?

ESTEROW: I haven't counted them all. One of my favorites is not Saudi and not a Russian prince. Let's call him Mr. D. He collects impressionist paintings and a good friend of mine was at his mansion not too long ago and the collector said before you look at them I just have to switch something on. And when he was exactly about five feet away from the Monet the sound system was activated and the room was abruptly flooded with Debussy.

SIMON: Debussy?

ESTEROW: Debussy, yes. And the historian stepped back a pace or two. The music stopped. Next, he went to the next Monet, beautiful water lilies and this triggered Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Finally, the historian stands in front of the Van Gogh and suddenly he has Frank Sinatra singing "I Did it My Way." And this collector obviously was enjoying himself. And that's the reason why anybody should buy art - because you experience it and you want to live with it.

SIMON: You're not one of those who believes in buying it as an investment.

ESTEROW: Absolutely not. The stock market is safer.

SIMON: Mm-hmm. Mr. Esterow why is it, I gather, that art prices are rising? I've even heard the term skyrocketing.

ESTEROW: Well, you have the so-called 1 percent of collectors. We're talking about the billionaires. It's those folks who are wanting to buy the important artists of today and yesterday and the supply keeps diminishing. For example, Monet cannot paint anymore paintings and neither can Van Gogh. And so when an important Van Gogh comes up at auction, a major one, it's going to go through the roof.


SIMON: Milton Esterow is editor and publisher of ARTnews, speaking from New York. I hope your paints stay dry. Thanks for being with us, Mr. Esterow.

ESTEROW: A pleasure to be here.


SIMON: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.