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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

U.S. Businessman Trapped By Chinese Workers Is Freed

Jun 27, 2013

American businessman Chip Starnes finally left his factory in China on Thursday after he and a union negotiator worked out severance payments for Chinese employees.

Starnes had been stuck inside his medical supply parts factory since last Friday. That's when workers, fearing they were all going to be laid off and that the company wasn't going to compensate them fairly, blocked all of the exits out of the plant. Starnes couldn't get out.

He told Nightly Business Report that the first few days of confinement were challenging, but the pressure was mostly psychological. "First couple of days were very, very tough. Nothing physical, more mental type stuff going on. Standing around you, anywhere you walk, 14, 16, 18 people following you."

Starnes, who is a co-owner of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, had laid off part of the factory's workforce and transferred their jobs to India, where he can pay workers lower wages, according to Bloomberg News. Some staffers had gotten severance pay, and the remaining workers started demanding severance, too.

Starnes spent six days in his facility before working out a compensation agreement with the workers even though they hadn't been laid off, reports The Associated Press. Details of the payments weren't discussed.

The AP notes that "it is not rare in China for managers to be held by workers demanding back pay or other benefits, often from their Chinese owners. Police are reluctant to intervene, as they consider it a business dispute."

"I just thought I'd have maybe a little more support on the outside from the local government or something, saying this isn't the right way, how to get something done," Starnes told Nightly Business Report.

Some Chinese workers believe direct action is the best way to solve labor matters rather than going through government channels, James Zimmerman, the former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce China told the Wall Street Journal.

"The perception of workers and petitioners in general is that they do not have effective legal remedies to protect their interests, and find that taking action into their own hands gets near-immediate results," Zimmerman said.

As for Starnes, he plans to rest and "let the dust settle, and we're going to be rehiring a lot of the previous workers on new contracts as of Friday," he told the AP.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.