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

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 21, 2013

Alabama's Emergency Management Agency is working with officials in Oklahoma to determine whether additional resources are needed in tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma.  The EF4 twister nearly wiped out the town killing more than two dozen people and leaving more than 200 injured.  State EMA spokeswoman Yasamie August said the agency has been in contact with EMA officials in Oklahoma. 

2013 Legislature

The description of the Legislature's 2013 session depends on a legislator's party label.  The Senate's Republican leader, President Pro Tem Del Marsh, of Anniston called it the best session since Republicans gained a majority in the 2010 election.  The Senate's Democratic minority leader, Vivian Davis Figures, called it the worst session of her legislative career.  Democrats failed to pass their top priority, which was expanding the state Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.  Republicans passed the Alabama Accountability Act, loosened restrictions on guns, started the consolidation of state law enforcement agencies, and kept a promise to commit to the repayment of money removed for the Alabama Trust Fund.  The session ended at midnight Monday. 

Constitutional Amendment

Monday night, the Alabama Legislature approved a bill that will put a Constitutional amendment in the hands of the voters.  If passed, the amendment would prohibit the state from recognizing laws of other states in making legal decisions if they violate the public policy of Alabama.  It would also prohibit applying foreign law in violation of the rights of citizens. 

More Layoffs

Alabama's chief justice expects to lay off 150 employees after the state's new fiscal year starts Oct. 1 unless the court system gets more money than the Legislature appropriated.  Chief Justice Roy Moore says he's grateful that the General Fund signed the governor on Monday increases the court system's appropriation by $5.6 million to $108 million for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.  But he says that is $8.5 million short of what's needed to maintain the current staff.  The new budget includes a provision that allows the governor to release extra funding to some state programs if tax collections exceed expectations.  It specifies that if he wants to release any money, he must give $8.5 million to the courts first.