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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TV, Movie Streaming Services Want To Grow With Kids

Jun 19, 2013
Originally published on June 19, 2013 9:40 am



Netflix offers children's programs which can be screened on computers or TVs. And it says streaming of those programs goes up over the summer, about 30 percent. It's not hard to figure out why - school's out. Screens are on. This month we're focusing on media for kids, and our media critic Eric Deggans says that Netflix - as well as its rival, Prime Instant Video from Amazon - are both trying to capture a big and growing market.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: There's a secret war brewing for the attention of children everywhere. And the soldiers in that conflict are the cutest characters you can imagine.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Thus the Power Puff Girls were born.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) My name is Turbo.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) SpongeBob SquarePants. Ha ha ha.

DEGGANS: The stars of TV's most popular kids shows are all over Netflix and Amazon.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #1: (As character) Dora, come get me.

DEGGANS: On Monday, Netflix announced it will get 300 hours of programming from Dreamworks animation, the home of "Madagascar," "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda." It's an important move for Netflix, Because last month, rival Amazon picked up episodes of Nickelodeon shows such as "Dora the Explorer" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."


TOM KENNY: (As Spongebob) Order up.

DEGGANS: Turns out, TV series aimed at children are an important part of each online service's success strategy. And they're not just buying up old kids shows, they're planning to make their own. That's why, when Amazon developed a batch of original shows, it selected just two adult comedies and three kids shows.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters) (singing) In a creative galaxy, creative galaxy...

DEGGANS: Creative Galaxy is a series from the producer of Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues."


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #2: (As character) Pompoms make me feel excited. They light me up. And when we're lit up by something, we put it in our idea box.

DEGGANS: It's for preschoolers who love art projects. But it's also a chance for Amazon to build loyalty with kids and create characters they will love for years to come. Now, I've been watching my eight-year-old daughter navigate kid shows on Netflix. And now I understand why kid's and family shows fill 20 percent of all the hours their customers stream online.

Netflix has put some thought into this: their kids area features a strip with pictures of characters, so my girl can click on images to pick a show. On a desktop, laptop or tablet computer, the area's background is a light blue, so I can see from across the room where she's surfing. The upshot: Kids can control their own viewing, but in a controlled space.

And because small children like to watch the same thing over and over, they can do it on a laptop or tablet, or someplace where they're not holding the family TV hostage. Parents out there, you know what I mean. This week, Netflix also rolled out an online guide for parents. I'd love to get periodic emails on what my kids are watching.

And Amazon could make it a little easier for kids to navigate on their own. Still, my young one now draws zero distinction between calling up a "SpongeBob" episode online or switching to Cartoon Network on cable. Which offers an important lesson. The same way young people taught us graybeards to use social media - crowding onto Facebook, Twitter and tumblr before we had any clue what those names meant - today's kids might teach us to erase all of TV's technological boundaries - with a little help from a talking sponge and a wisecracking alien.

INSKEEP: Eric Deggans is the TV and Media Critic for the Tampa Bay Times.


INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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