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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What Makes Start-Up Tumblr Worth $1.1 Billion?

May 20, 2013
Originally published on May 21, 2013 8:54 am



From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


I'm Robert Siegel. Some big numbers are being thrown around in Silicon Valley today. This morning, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced that Yahoo is buying Tumblr, a social media and blogging startup. The price, $1.1 billion and that for a site which last year earned a tiny fraction of that amount in revenue.

So, either Mayer is making big gamble or this is simply business as usual in the tech world today. NPR's Steve Henn explains that what makes a startup worth more than $1 billion.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Yahoo's purchase of Tumblr is just the latest in a string of billion-dollar-plus acquisitions of hot social media startups over the last couple of years. Facebook recently bought Instagram for more than a billion. At the time, Instagram had no revenue at all and just a dozen employees. Then, Microsoft bought a company called Yammer for 1.2 billion and now, Tumblr.

What these companies all have in common is that they all have big fast-growing user bases and their core services were good fits for the technology giants that gobbled them up. But figuring out how much to pay for a firm with little or no revenue is still a crapshoot. This morning, when Wall Street analysts asked Yahoo's CFO Ken Goldman how the company arrived at its billion-dollar-plus purchase price for Tumblr, they were told this.

KEN GOLDMAN: We looked at forward EBITDAs multiples out a few years. We looked at a edifying value in terms of monthly active users and unique users.

HENN: If you're not an accountant, that probably just sounds like gibberish. And even if you are, what it boils down to is that Yahoo executives really just took a guess. They looked at the size of Tumblr's audience, which is large, more than 100 million people. And then they looked at how fast the service is growing and then they estimated what kind of advertising revenue Tumblr could generate in the future if it really got serious about selling ads.

Then, they came up with a figure.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A billion dollars.

HENN: Actually, 1.1 billion. But if this still sounds kind of nuts, consider this. Clark Fredrickson, at emarketer, says Tumblr's audience is already many, many times bigger than, say, a site like the New York Times.

CLARK FREDERICKSON: Sure. I mean, Tumblr is far, far bigger than many, many news media websites. It has very strong engagement.

HENN: And Tumblr users have blogs. They invest their time and soul on the site. They're not likely to just give them up or not come back next month. Plus, Tumblr's users, their demographics, are attractive.

FREDERICKSON: Younger users, you know, frankly, a group of people that Yahoo has had a tough time attracting in the last three to five years.

HENN: Still, when Marissa Mayer got on that conference call this morning to explain the deal, Wall Street analysts understandably had lots of questions about how Tumblr would ever pay for itself.

FREDERICKSON: Someone asked her about when they would, you know, really roll out the ad products. And her response was a quote from "The Social Network," the film.


JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: (As Sean Parker) You don't even know what the thing is yet, how big it can get, how far it can go.

HENN: And in tech hubs from Silicon Valley to New York, life is imitating art. For years now, entrepreneurs have focused on building services that attract huge audiences. Only after they've done that and people are engaged with these services every day, the entrepreneurs begin to focus on how to make money from these sites, how to sell ads. First, they build the site, then they figure out what it really is, then they make money.

Today, Marissa Mayer said Tumblr was ready for that final step.

MARISSA MAYER: As we promised this morning, we are not going to screw this up.

HENN: By buying Tumblr, Mayer says she expects to increase traffic to Yahoo's websites by 50 percent a year.

MAYER: More than 300 million monthly users. When you add that to the more than 700 million monthly users already on Yahoo, we have a global audience that exceeds a billion monthly users.

HENN: If those numbers prove out and Yahoo can add advertising to Tumblr without alienating its users, this deal could be profitable for everyone, even at this price. Steve Henn, NPR News, Silicon Valley. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.