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 http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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WVAS Local News

May 17, 2013

Alabama's unemployment rat has dipped to 6.9 percent.  Governor Robert Bentley said the preliminary April rate is below the 7.2 percent recorded in March and the 7.4 percent measured a year ago.  Bentley said the state saw two positive signs in April.  The number of people employed increased and the number of people in the labor force increased. 

Amendment Reaction

Members of the Alabama Senate Democratic Caucus have renewed their call for Gov. Robert Bentley to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act.  Senator Billy Beasley of Clayton was among those at a press conference Friday who said an executive amendment proposed by the governor to delay the tax credit component by two years is too little, too late.  The governor said he was offering an executive amendment to maintain the flexibility portion of the Accountability Act, but to delay the implementation of tax credits that would allow children in failing schools to transfer to non-failing schools. 

Campaign Laws

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws. But Representative Mike Ball of Madison says he doesn't want to give in on House GOP proposals concerning political contributions by corporations and utilities, including the influential Alabama Power Co.  Ball is sponsor of the House version of the finance law changes.  The Senate will have to decide whether to accept that version or force a compromise committee to settle discrepancies.  Monday is the session's final day.