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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WVAS Local News

May 20, 2013

It is shaping up to be a long day at the Alabama Statehouse.  Today is the final day of the 2013 regular session.  There are several key pieces of legislation awaiting consideration.  It includes a bill that would allow workers to keep guns in in their vehicle while at work.  On another matter, Alabama's governor isn't getting support from key Republicans or Democrats for his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.  Democratic Senator Quinton Ross of Montgomery said the law should be repealed not delayed. 

Fatal Shooting

A fatal shooting in Montgomery over the weekend is under investigation.  Police said 56-year-old Anthony Lamar Brown is being held on a $75,000 bond after he was charged with murdering his wife.  Officer said 33-year-old Shamieka Brown was shot inside her home on Oak Street.  The shooting occurred early Saturday morning.  It was Montgomery's 24th homicide of the year. 

Firefighter Arrested

A Montgomery firefighter was arrested Friday a State Trooper and Lowndes County Sheriff's Deputies following a high speed chase.  The Department of Public Safety said 21-year-old James Green was taken into custody after he allegedly drove his motorcycle 140 miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone.  Green was charged with several driving-related offenses, including attempting to elude law enforcement. 

Tax Preparer Sentenced

The former owner of a Montgomery tax preparation business will serve four years in federal prison.  The Justice Department said Larreka Jackson received the prison term last week after she pleaded guilty to using stolen identities to collect tax refunds.  Jackson was also ordered to pay more than $721,00o dollars.  Federal prosecutors said Jackson and Chiquanta Davis operated a business called Tax Time and used as a front to falsely file tax returns.  In September, Davis was sentenced to 66 months in prison. 

New Rape Trial

A Pike County judge has overturned a Troy man's two rape convictions and ordered a new trial, saying prosecutors failed to share evidence relevant to the man's defense.  36-year-old Andre Lamon Ellis was granted a new trial Friday.  A jury in March sentenced Ellis to 85 years in prison after convicting him of raping two women at Hunter's Mountain Mobile Estates.  The judge said prosecutors failed to disclose to Ellis' lawyer interviews in which one of the victims made inconsistent statements.  They also didn't share a police affidavit that says one victim examining a photo lineup identified a suspect other than Ellis.  The Pike County district attorney's office is reviewing options with the Court of Criminal Appeals.