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 24, 2013

Keep those seatbelts buckled, the advice comes from the Alabama Department of Public Safety for people traveling through the state during the long Memorial Day weekend.  Motorists can expect to see extra troopers on roads and highways participating in the nationwide "Click It Or Ticket" campaign.  Many of the state's city and county law enforcement agencies are participating.  Troopers, officers and sheriff's deputies also will enforce speeding and other traffic laws. 

Alabama Accountability

State Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice told the Board of Education Thursday that the biggest challenge in implementing the new Alabama Accountability Act is determining how to define a so-called "failing school."  Bice says the law's formula of targeting schools in the bottom 6 percent of math and reading assessments over the last six years is incorrect, because some of those schools could have made strides in the last three years.  He says there have also been legal questions raised about the new law.  The Accountability Act will give parents tax credits to assist them in moving their children from underperforming schools to non-failing schools.  A question still to be answered is if parent with children already in private school will be eligible for the tax credits.  The law also gives schools more flexibility in complying with state regulations. 

Montgomery Food Bank

The Montgomery Area Food Bank is expanding its reach.  The agency broke ground Thursday on a site to build an additional warehouse.  Food bank director, Parke Hinman said soaring demand for services prompted the expansion.  The Montgomery Area Food Bank is the largest distributing food bank in the state and doles out food in 35 of Alabama's 67 counties. 

Fatal Shooting

Montgomery Police are investigating a fatal shooting on the city's west side.  Authorities said an adult male was found shot to death Thursday evening in the 1000 block of Early Street.  Lt. Regina Duckett, a police spokeswoman, said detectives are conducting a death investigation.  No other information has been available.  The victim's name was withheld and no arrests were made.