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 21, 2013

The Alabama Statehouse is virtually empty today after members of the House and Senate ended their sometimes contentious 2013 regular session late Monday night.  Lawmakers approved dozens of bills that included a sweeping change in state gun laws, authorizing bond issues to rebuild storm damaged schools and National Guard armories; passed legislation to revise the state's campaign laws and allowing school systems to hire armed guards.  Legislators dealt Governor Bentley a setback by rejecting his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years. 

Assistance Offered

Governor Robert Bentley said he has spoken with Oklahoma's governor and offered whatever assistance the state needs in the wake of Monday's monster tornado.  Bentley said he remembers Oklahoma was one of the many states that provided assistance to Alabama following a string of deadly twisters that pummeled the state in April 2011. 

New Building

A new probate and revenue office has opened in east Montgomery.  The offices, located next to Burlington Coat Factory on Atlanta Highway, was officially dedicated Monday.  Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed said the facility will serve a growing population on Montgomery's eastside.