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

2 hours 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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Wal-Mart Pledges Fresher Produce By Cutting Out The Middleman

Jun 3, 2013
Originally published on June 4, 2013 4:02 pm

The nation's largest retailer announced Monday that it will be delivering produce from farms to stores faster by buying fruits and vegetables directly from growers.

The plan is to source about 80 percent of fresh produce directly, explained Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Wal-Mart U.S., during a conference call that we participated in Monday morning.

In many instances, Sinclair says it will be possible to "cut out the middleman," but he added that local wholesalers will continue to "play an important role for us in the areas we serve."

The announcement comes on the heels of complaints that Wal-Mart isn't staffing its stores with enough employees to stock shelves efficiently or manage produce, resulting in complaints about the freshness of fruits and vegetables on display. As The New York Times reported in April, internal Wal-Mart memos showed the company struggling with "low customer confidence in its produce and poor quality."

To address such concerns, Sinclair says, Wal-Mart will launch Fresh Produce School training for 70,000 associates. Managers and employees will be taught, for example, to identify fruits and vegetables that should no longer be on the shelves — and in general, they'll learn more about handling of produce.

And if Wal-Mart shoppers aren't happy with the quality of a peach or pear, the retailing giant is reinforcing its commitment to a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

Sinclair says there's no need to return the food item: Just bring in a receipt, and the store will refund shoppers for the full amount, "no questions asked."

Sinclair said Wal-Mart is on target to meet its commitment to increase the amount of local produce found in retail stores by the year 2015 (a pledge made in 2010). There have been complaints, however, that some small farmers aren't benefiting from the initiative.

And with the goal of making nutritious food more affordable, Sinclair says Wal-Mart is open to new opportunities. One incentive program I wrote about in March, where health insurers nudge shoppers to buy broccoli instead of brownies by offering rebates, is an example of attempts to incentivize healthy choices.

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