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

2 hours 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

Jun 6, 2013

Montgomery is losing its longtime deputy mayor to another Alabama city.  The Montgomery Advertiser reports Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes is stepping down to accept the job as city manger of Vestavia Hills, a suburban community located near Birmingham.  Downes' last day on the job will be July 3rd. 

Postal Worker Pleads Guilty

Federal prosecutors say a former Montgomery postal worker has pleaded guilty to shooting at two co-workers in December 2011.  The U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday that 30-year-old Arthur Lee Darby pleaded guilty to attempted assault of two postal employees, discharging a gun during a violent crime and possession of a firearm in a federal facility.  Officials say no one was inured in the shooting.  A September sentencing date has been set for the former mail handler.  The feds say Darby faces a possible life sentence. 

Department Store Shooting

Prattville police say a Georgia man was arrested after he was accused of firing a shot at two shoplifters Wednesday.  The incident happened outside a Belk Department store.  Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson said 57-year-old Donald Estes of Winston, Georgia, saw two females run from the store when he apparently decided to stop the suspects.  Authorities said no one was hurt and the two suspects fled the scene.  Estes was charged with reckless endangerment and was released on a $500 dollar bond. 

Bags of Food

More than 7,000 bags of foods were filled on Wednesday for the Montgomery Area Food Bank.  It's a project spearheaded by member of the Future Farmers of America.  The organization is holding its statewide convention this week in downtown Montgomery.