New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

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


Two Alligators Topping 720 Pounds Each Caught In Mississippi

Sep 3, 2013
Originally published on September 3, 2013 6:24 pm

Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.

The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.

"In the world of alligator hunting, anything can happen. But not even Nostradamus could have predicted how this opening weekend would unfold." according to a report in The Clarion-Ledger.

It took more than an hour Sunday for Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., and five others to catch their 723.5-pound gator in Issaquena County, which sits along the Mississippi River in the central portion of the state.

"I yelled, 'Oh my gosh we caught the Loch Ness monster!' " Trammell tells ABC News. "It was totally unbelievable."

A few miles south, a three-person team that includes Dustin Bockman of Yazoo City fought a 727-pound gator for two hours, The Clarion-Ledger reports.

After they killed the animal, things didn't get easier — they needed to bring in their catch to be weighed and verified. Finally, they settled on taking the gator to a sandbar to wait for help.

"Tired, hungry, we'd been pulling on a 700-pound gator for four hours, and we really needed a nap at that point," Bockman tells the newspaper.

For both hunting parties, it took far longer to bring the animals in than to catch them. And in each case, other hunters pitched in to get the Brobdingnagian gators into their boats. For Trammell's group, a boat lift was required to hoist the gator for photographs.

Earlier this year, a Texas teenager brought in "a record 800-pound alligator during his first public gator hunt with his dad," as KHOU News reported. At 14 feet in length, the animal was estimated to be between 30 and 50 years old.

As wildlife managers in Texas noted, alligators can grow old — and big — in protected areas where hunting licenses are granted very conservatively. In most states that allow alligator hunts, the season is short, and hunters are required to take classes before they get their licenses. The state of Mississippi began issuing alligator hunting licenses in 2005.

Like tortoises and crocodiles, alligators are believed to benefit from "negligible senescence," a scientific term that essentially means an animal doesn't show symptoms of aging. It also often means that the animals will continue growing as long as they're alive. This facet of the story was thrust upon us by a search-engine fluke that brought us the question "Are crocodiles immortal?"

Even the big gators seen in the United States this year might seem like little lizards next to the largest saltwater crocodiles on record. In 2011, for instance, "an allegedly 21-foot-long" crocodile was caught in the Philippines. It reportedly weighed 2,369 pounds.

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