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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WATCH LIVE: Texas Lawmakers Debate Abortion Bill Again

Jul 9, 2013

Thanks to our colleagues at KERA, who in turn have gotten the feed from The Texas Tribune, there's a livestream of Tuesday's debate in the Texas House. The lawmakers are taking up legislation that would give Texas some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.

Last month, Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, drew national attention when she staged a nearly 11-hour filibuster that kept the legislation from moving forward. Tuesday's debate is expected to last through the day.

As NPR's John Burnett has reported, the bill:

"Would make abortions illegal after 20 weeks, instead of the normal 24 weeks, and it would require abortion facilities to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers and require abortion clinic doctors to gain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles."

Supporters of the legislation say the new standards would raise the level of health care for Texas women. Opponents say the bill would force most Texas abortion clinics to close and some women might turn to illegal, dangerous alternatives.

Republicans control both the state House and state Senate in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry is also a Republican. The bill is expected to pass both chambers and to be signed into law by Perry.

The state Senate's Health and Human Services Committee heard around 13 hours of testimony about the legislation on Monday and into early Tuesday, KUT News writes. It adds that:

"There won't be a vote on this bill for now. Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says the Senate will wait on the Texas House to approve its version of the bill. The full House is taking up the issue today."

Note: Rick Holter, KERA's vice president/news, reminds us that the two sides in the Texas debate have chosen colors to show where they stand: orange for those who oppose the legislation and blue for those who support it.

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