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

1 hour 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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When Will Fed Officials Ease Off The Accelerator?

May 23, 2013
Originally published on May 24, 2013 12:54 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some of the shine off the stock market.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: OK, after a big run up in prices, global stock markets stumbled today. Japan's Nikkei dropped more than seven percent. European markets are down two to three percent, and here in the United States the Dow and S&P averages are both down less than one percent. One reason for all this investors selling analysts say, is new indications from the U.S. Federal Reserve and Fed Chief Ben Bernanke about a pull back in quantitative easing. That's the economic stimulus program the Fed has been using to boost the economy.

Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Bernanke's comments and the Fed's minutes show Fed officials are inching closer to tapering off their stimulative bond purchases. Those purchases currently inject $85 billion into the economy each month.

During a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, the chairman of Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Texas Republican Kevin Brady, asked Bernanke when the process of removing the stimulus might begin.

REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN BRADY: At the pace we're going, do you think it's likely these actions will begin before Labor Day?

BEN BERNANKE: I don't know. It's going to depend on the data. If the outlook for the labor market improves and we are convinced that that is sustainable, we will respond to that. If the recovery were to falter, then we would delay that process.

YDSTIE: There are concerns that reducing the stimulus could undermine the financial markets which have risen sharply, fueled by the Fed's action.

Bernanke eased one big concern on that front yesterday. He said he now believes the Fed can exit its stimulative program without selling off the assets it purchased during its quantitative easing campaign.

Selling hundreds of billions of dollars worth of those assets could have seriously disrupted the financial markets.

John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.