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. Navy Approves Use Of Lowercase Letters

Jun 14, 2013
Originally published on June 14, 2013 6:33 pm

A recent directive issued by the U.S. Navy was transmitted in the customary format, using all uppercase letters. Sailors, it said, are:

"AUTHORIZED TO USE STANDARD, MIXED-CASE CHARACTERS IN THE BODY OF NAVY ORGANIZATIONAL MESSAGES."

It marks the end of an era for the Navy (and the Marines). Since the early days of Morse code, which doesn't distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters, the Navy has been using the all-capital format. Then, teletype machines came along in the 1850s, and they "were made up of only three rows of keys and did not allow for lowercase letters," according to The Military Times, which notes:

"While it might have been necessary to transmit all uppercase messages in the past, it's arguably a hindrance today. A typography study from the 1950s at the University of Minnesota showed reading speeds slowed by about 14 percent when reading all-caps messages over a 20-minute period."

So, it's faster. But it turns out to be cheaper, too. In an age of cost-cutting and sequestration:

"The Navy gains significant cost efficiencies by eliminating the current Defense Message System (DMS) infrastructure and simply using the existing email infrastructure for final delivery," says James McCarty, the naval messaging program manager at U.S. Fleet Cyber Command. "By utilizing this methodology we will be able to send messages at 10 percent of the cost and size of current systems."

According to McCarty: "Lowercase messages are here to stay; they provide a more readable format, which can be delivered to and shared on any of the current Web 3.0 technologies (chat, portals, wikis, blogs, etc.)."

There's one more reason for the change: Many young sailors were apparently uncomfortable with using all uppercase letters, something that is today often interpreted in email and social media as SHOUTING.

"If an ancillary benefit is that sailors reading message traffic no longer feel they're being screamed at ... that is a good thing, too," a Navy official told The Wall Street Journal.

But McCarty acknowledges that change might not prove so easy for everyone.

"Some of the fleets were stuck in their ways and really wanted to keep the all caps," he said. "But it was inevitable. It had to happen."

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