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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Who's Watching When You Look For Health Information Online?

Jul 9, 2013
Originally published on July 9, 2013 11:54 am

When it comes to sensitive health information, government-run websites appear to do a better job protecting your privacy than many news and commercial sites.

A brief survey published online by JAMA Internal Medicine looked at how 20 health-related websites track visitors. They ranged from the sites of the National Institutes of Health to the health news section of The New York Times online.

Thirteen of the sites had at least one potentially worrisome tracker, according to the analysis performed by Dr. Marco Huesch, an assistant professor of health policy at the University of Southern California.

He also found evidence that health search terms he tried — herpes, cancer and depression — were shared by seven sites with outside companies.

The federally run sites and those affiliated with medical journals generally raised fewer flags than media sites. "It's wonderful to have consumers taking charge of their health," Huesch tells Shots. "But to see how common the third-party harvesting tools was left me disappointed."

Huesch says he's concerned that these tracking and sharing capabilities could erode consumers' trust in sources of online health information. Eventually, they might decide it's too risky to look for help on the Web. He cites confidentiality worries in the early days of AIDS that kept many people from getting tested and treated.

"Let's be very honest, I think this is a massive regulation failure," he says. The federal government, including the Federal Trade Commission, hasn't been aggressive enough in safeguarding privacy, he says. "We should be a little more mature in how we regulate these information markets."

He's pushing for better controls, not a blackout. "I'm not down on data," he says. "I want it treated with respect." Information could be used for good, he says, such as tailoring vaccination campaigns to reach people who are most likely to benefit.

For more information on how the technology and market for your online information work, see the archive of coverage on the topic by The Wall Street Journal. Huesch says the newspaper's stories inspired him to investigate the health sites.

If you're interested, you can do some research yourself. Try Ghostery, one tool Huesch used to find trackers. It's free. I aimed it at Shots and found nine items, most are related to social media, commenting or internal analysis. One called Rocket Fuel is a third-party tracker that Huesch flagged.

"Rocket Fuel is a tool for sponsorship messaging, which is stated in our privacy policies," NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher Bross tells Shots. "We do not share search terms, and what we do share is what's clearly stated in the privacy policies." For more details, you can find NPR's privacy policy here and terms of use here.

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