The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Weekly Jobless Claims Drop; Mortgage Rates Edge Up

Aug 1, 2013

New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 326,000 in the week that ended July 27 — the lowest level for initial jobless claims in more than five years, according to the Labor Department.

Employment data for the month of July is due to be released Friday. But for now, the weekly jobless claims numbers are being hailed as another sign that the U.S. economy is gaining strength.

"This is good," Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi tells NPR's Newscast unit. "It's consistent with solid job growth — 200,000 jobs per month. You know, we need more because we have such a high rate of unemployment. But it's not too bad."

As we reported earlier, the employment data sent the S&P 500 index to a new height in early trading Thursday.

Separately, a new report finds average mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans increased slightly to 4.39 percent. The latest data from mortgage buyer Freddie Mac shows rates rose 0.7 percent for the week ending August 1. Last year at this time, rates for the same loans averaged 3.55 percent.

Fifteen-year rates also increased 0.7 percent, to an average of 3.43 percent. They, too, were lower a year ago: averaging 2.83 percent.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit