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

1 hour 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

Washington State Butcher Spikes Pig Feed With Weed

May 20, 2013
Originally published on May 22, 2013 10:25 am

William von Schneidau, an intrepid butcher in Seattle, is giving a whole new meaning to "potbelly pig." Lately, he's been feeding marijuana refuse to the pigs he turns into prosciutto for BB Ranch, his butcher shop in the city's famous Pike Place Market.

Pot-scented bacon? Well, not quite.

The stems, leaves and root bulbs von Schneidau recoups from Top Shelf Organic, a medical marijuana dispensary, don't season the meat, he says. But the meat from the first few "pot pigs" he's butchered has been "redder and more savory" than what he usually works with, he says.

It's not clear whether the pigs feel anything from the weed in their feed, or how much, if any, THC — the psychoactive substance that gets humans high — ends up in the meat. Rather than an attempt to develop a new meaty treat for stoners, the "pot pig" experiment seems mostly to be an (effective) publicity stunt. Von Schneidau's first Pot Pig Gig event — where he promoted the product, as well as other local foods — sold out quickly. And he says all the media attention he has gotten is generating lots of interest in the next event he's planning.

Still, von Schneidau's creative reuse of a local waste product is part of a larger trend of small farmers looking for new, free sources of livestock feed, especially since prices for corn and soy have been on the rise. In addition to the pot refuse, von Schneidau has linked up ranchers and farmers in the region with a vodka distillery and with vegetable vendors at Pike Place Market who have waste that would otherwise end up as compost or in the landfill.

As we've reported, high feed prices have led some farmers elsewhere to seek out food scraps and even bakery byproduct — bread, dough, pastries and cereal — for their pigs and cattle.

Pigs have stomachs pretty similar to humans and can eat just about anything we eat. But we couldn't find any research on what happens when you feed them marijuana.

Scientists at the European Union Food Safety Authority looked into the safety of using hemp, a plant that's a close relative of marijuana, in feed for dairy cows. When the cows were fed hemp plants, enough THC made its way into their milk that the scientists recommended prohibiting its use. (However, feeding the cows hemp seeds was just fine, they found.)

Von Schneidau says he's all for finding out what his dietary supplement is doing for his pigs.

"If we had a vet that stepped up to the plate and wanted to check out their joints and mood, and what drugs make pigs happy, that would be great," he says. "But me, I just get out there, and cut them up, and put them on a BBQ, and eat them."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.