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 12, 2013

Forecasters are warning of dangerous heat in parts of Alabama.  The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for nine counties, mainly in northern Alabama.  Forecasters project that temperatures will soar into the mid and upper 90s in the area this afternoon and early evening.  The heat advisory is set to run from 1 p.m. through 7 p.m. 

Jury Selection

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in Montgomery federal court in the trial of Michael Smith, a former prison supervisor, accuse of beating an inmate to death at a prison in Barbour County and then covering it up when inmate Rocrast Mack died in August 2010.  The prisoner's family was pain $900,000 dollars to settle a lawsuit.  Federal Judge Myron Thompson has ruled jurors cannot be told about the settlement. 

Police Officer Recovering

A Prattville Police officer is recovering from injuries he suffered in a crash Tuesday evening that occurred during a high speed chase.  Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson said the officer, whose name was withheld, suffered minor injuries when he lost control of his police car and hit a concrete utility pole near East Memorial Baptist Church.  Chief Thompson said the officer was pursuing a suspect wanted on drug charges when the crash occurred on Old Ridge Road.  The unnamed suspect was apprehended.  Its not immediately known if criminal charges were filed. 

Abortion Law

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are challenging the legality of a new state law that tightens regulation on abortion clinics.  The new law is to take effect on July 1st.  Attorney Wayne Sabel tells WVAS the law would force five abortion clinics, including one in Montgomery, to close.  The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Montgomery federal court.  Supporter of the law contend the new regulations are needed to protect women's safety. 

Bronner's Comments

He is know for his outspoken comments on issues affecting Alabama.  David Bronner, the head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, told a civic group in Tuscaloosa Tuesday that Alabama is making a major mistake not to take advantage of the federal governor's push to expand Medicaid to the poor.  Bronner said its time for opponents of so-called "Obama Care" to "get over it."  Bronner said Alabama is leaving billions of dollars on the table along with new jobs for refusing to take part in Medicaid expansion.  Alabama is among 14 states to reject the Affordable Care Act. 

Not Guilty Plea

Former state Senator Lowell Barron of Fyffe entered a not guilty pleas and waived his right to an arraignment.  Barron's attorney, Joe Espy, filed the court papers Tuesday in Fort Payne.  Barron and a former campaign aid, Rhonda Jill Johnson, were indicted in April on six ethics and campaign finance charges stemming from Barron's unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2010.