The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


A Troublemaker Emerges In Zimbabwe Elections

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



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Zimbabweans are preparing to vote in national elections at the end of this month. Robert Mugabe is running for a sixth term as president and you wouldn't want to bet against him. He's been Zimbabwe's only president since that became an independent country in 1980.

Amnesty International reports that police and military have been staging raids and arresting human rights and democracy activists, which has been common in Zimbabwe. But a new face has entered the political sphere - not a candidate, but an anonymous Facebook poster who calls himself Baba Jukwa and he claims to be an insider in President Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF Party.

So over the past three months, Baba Jukwa has been exposing corruption within the party, calling politicians out by name and often providing cell phone numbers urging Zimbabweans to ring them up and demand answers. We're joined now by Human Rights Watch senior researcher, Dewa Mavhinga, who joins us from the BBC in Johannesburg. Mr. Mavhinga, thanks so much for being with us.

DEWA MAVHINGA: Thank you so much for having me.

SIMON: People talking about Baba?

MAVHINGA: Absolutely. They talk in the town and in the streets, on the buses. Everyone's talking about Baba Jukwa.

SIMON: Can you tell how solid his information is?

MAVHINGA: Well, it's very difficult to verify independently because some of the information he claims to be from within the inner circle of those around President Mugabe, but certainly it creates a lot of interest and in some cases, some of his predictions have come to pass in ways that really points to credibility on the part of this character.

For example, he had warned that individuals within the ruling party were plotting to kill a former minister of parliament, Edward Chindori-Chininga, and indeed within a week this official died in a suspicious car accident.

SIMON: Now, I mean, saying that almost any politician of any prominence other than President Mugabe is vulnerable to being killed mysteriously, wouldn't that be a truism in Zimbabwe?

MAVHINGA: Yes, it is, but particularly if you look at the tensions in the countries we approach elections that will be held on July 31. So, yes, that is true.

SIMON: Mr. Mavhinga, I realize that you're with Human Rights Watch; you're not a political pollster or expert, but would you be astonished if someone other than President Mugabe won this election at the end of the month?

MAVHINGA: Well, if we have conditions for free and fair elections, it would be possible. But if you look at Zimbabwe's key institutions, at the leadership level they are extremely partisan and highly politicized towards President Mugabe and his party, ZANU-PF, which would make it very difficult for someone outside of Mugabe's circle to take over power.

SIMON: Because it occurs to me that it could be somebody who's even close to President Mugabe who after all I believe is 89 and might be trying to strengthen their hand for whatever happens in the next couple of years.

MAVHINGA: It would appear so and judging by the nature of the information that is being revealed by this character, there is some credit to that fear, but really no one knows who this character is. It might be someone very close to Mugabe within ZANU-PF, or it could be someone working with one of the many factions that (unintelligible) here, or indeed someone in the grouping being led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

But certainly this character or this group of people have some inside information and have raised the interest and tension around this coming election.

SIMON: What kind of difference do you think Baba Jukwa might make, if not just in this election but to Zimbabwe at this point?

MAVHINGA: Well, certainly this character has used social media to raise awareness among citizens. He has also been encouraging citizens to register to vote to be aware of where the politicians are, so it is pushing further the boundaries to ensure that there is a way in which citizens can bypass and evade the current laws that inhibit freedom of assembly and access to information because these are directed primarily at the traditional media, which is print media.

But now we have a new platform to give access to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans on a daily basis and ensure that they're also acting to promote their basic right.

SIMON: Dewa Mavhinga is a native of Zimbabwe and senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, joining us from the BBC in Johannesburg. Thanks very much for being with us.

MAVHINGA: Great pleasure. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.