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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WVAS Local News

May 17, 2013

The sponsor of Alabama's new private school tax credits said he intends to block the governor's proposal to delay the tax breaks for two years.  Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said families of children trapped in failing schools need the option of school choice now.  Marsh said Thursday he intends to kill the governor's proposal, either by getting the Legislature to reject it or never bringing it up for a vote.  Earlier in the week, Governor Robert Bentley said he wants to delay the tax breaks until 2015 to give failing schools time to improve. 

First Charging Station

The city of Montgomery has installed its first public charging station for electric vehicles.  It's located near the entrance to the Riverfront tunnel on Commerce Street.  Mayor Todd Strange made the announcement at his weekly press briefing.  Mayor Strange says there are around 100 drivers of electric cars in the city.  An Alabama Power Company official says the station is one of the first in the state. 

Denied Bond

A Montgomery newspaper reports that an ex-Marine enlisted man and his female acquaintance have each been denied bond in connection with the April 1st shooting death of a Montgomery woman.  A district judge ruled Thursday that a grand jury will decide whether to indict Marquis Cheatham and Dominique Atkinson of North Carolina.  The two are accused of killing Ashley Cheatham on Lower Wetumpka Road.  Prosecutors said Marquis Cheatham was an active duty Marine based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina who allegedly plotted to kill the victim, who was his wife. 

Crime Scene Visit

Prosecutors in Lee County are opposing a bid by a shooting suspect to visit the Auburn apartment complex where three people were shot to death and three others were wounded last year.  Attorneys for Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery were in court Thursday asking a judge to let their client visit the scene of the shooting at University Heights Apartments.  Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker didn't rule on the issue.  Leonard is charged with capital murder charges.  No trial date has been set.