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

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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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Wal-Mart Has Its Own Plan To Help Bangladeshi Garment Workers

May 15, 2013
Originally published on May 15, 2013 3:30 pm

Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.

The announcement by the world's largest retailer comes nearly three weeks after the collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka that killed more than 1,100 people. The New York Times on Wednesday reported that a Wal-Mart contractor from Canada produced jeans at one of the factories in the collapsed complex.

Wal-Mart said it would not join H&M, the parent company of Zara, Benetton, Marks & Spencer and other European labels in an agreement to conduct independent inspections and to help pay for safety upgrades at factories where they manufacture clothing.

Instead, Wal-Mart has said it will "conduct in-depth safety inspections at 100 percent" of the 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh and publicize the results on its website.

"Walmart believes its safety plan meets or exceeds" the plan put forth by other manufacturers, the company said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the retailer "will get results more quickly."

The Times reports:

"Wal-Mart promised to stop production immediately at factories if urgent safety problems were uncovered and to notify factory owners and government authorities of improvements. But the company ... stopped short of committing to help underwrite the improvements — one of the crucial aspects of the Bangladesh safety agreement adopted by European companies."

Reuters writes:

"Walmart's approach may be faster, but touches only a fraction of Bangladesh's estimated 6,500 garment factories. The European-led accord will take months to implement, but covers a wider spectrum."

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