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

1 hour 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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U.S. Gas Prices Expected To Remain Low For Summer

May 12, 2013
Originally published on May 12, 2013 1:07 pm

Drivers will find this summer's gas prices are lower than last year's, the result of a spike in crude oil production. Government forecasters say a gallon of regular gasoline will cost about $3.50 this summer — a slide of more than 10 cents from last year.

Energy Department analysts say "the regular gasoline price will average $3.53 per gallon over the summer," citing lower crude oil prices. "The annual average regular gasoline retail price is projected to decline from $3.63 per gallon in 2012 to $3.50 per gallon in 2013 and to $3.39 per gallon in 2014."

As Danielle Karson reports for NPR's Newscast Desk, increased U.S. petroleum exports could keep domestic prices from taking a sharp dive, despite a slight slump in demand.

"U.S. refineries are also exporting a record amount of diesel and gasoline to developing countries, including China, where demand for diesel is through the roof," Diane reports.

Oil industry analyst Patrick DeHaan tells Diane that if gas companies "build domestic inventories too much, it will hurt their bottom line. Maintaining exports while not allowing inventories to grow out of control, is what they're likely trying to accomplish."

Last Memorial Day, the U.S. average for a gallon of unleaded was $3.636 — "down about 15 cents" from 2011, CNN reported. But prices rose at the end of the summer, due in large part to Hurricane Isaac.

The International Monetary Fund recently urged governments to cut subsidies and allow higher gasoline prices, seeing it as a way to encompass the costs of increased traffic, pollution and global warming, in addition to exploration, production and transportation.

As David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, told NPR's Linda Wertheimer on Morning Edition, the IMF "says that subsidizing energy or mispricing it aggravates budget deficits, crowds out spending on health and education, discourages investment in energy, encourages excessive energy use, artificially promotes capital-intensive industries," and creates other problems.

"Some governments spend more on energy subsidies than they do on education and healthcare," David said. "And nobody really thinks that's a great idea."

But, he added, "David Lipton, the number two at the IMF .... says it's better to do this the right way than to do it right away, but it's important to do it."

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