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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Turkish Police, Anti-Government Protesters Clash

May 31, 2013
Originally published on May 31, 2013 6:03 pm

Turkish police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannons to break up what are being described as the worst anti-government protests in years.

Reuters reports:

"Thousands of demonstrators massed on streets surrounding Istanbul's central Taksim Square, long a venue for political unrest, while protests erupted in the capital Ankara and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir."

Al-Jazeera, quoting an AFP photographer, says that more than 100 people were injured, and the BBC reports that several of those injured were hurt when a wall collapsed during a police chase. At least 60 people were arrested, the Qatar-based news agency says.

NPR's Andy Carvin has been following developments he's monitoring on Twitter.

The protests were sparked Friday when police broke up a four-day sit-in by people angered about redevelopment plans for a portion of Taksim Square, known as Gezi Park. The Gezi Park protest started Monday after trees were removed as part of the redevelopment plan. The controversial redevelopment project is aimed at easing congestion around Taksim Square but also involves building a shopping center over Gezi Park.

But the protests quickly widened into a broader demonstration against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration, according to The Associated Press.

Al-Jazeera reports that the protests in Ankara saw police firing tear gas "to disperse people trying to reach the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).":

"The demonstrators, mostly young supporters of the opposition Republican People's Party, had planned to protest against new laws restricting the sale of alcohol and chanted: 'Everywhere is resistance, Everywhere is Taksim.' "

Mert Burge, 18, who came to support the protesters after reading on Twitter about the police use of tear gas, told the AP that "this isn't just about trees anymore, it's about all of the pressure we're under from this government."

"We're fed up, we don't like the direction the country is headed in," Burge said.

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