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 14, 2013

A coalition of civil rights and political organizations are participating in a pilgrimage to save Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act today.  The caravan starts at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and will make stops at the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.  The Never Forget, Never Again Pilgrimage will conclude at the Alabama State Capitol at 4 p.m.  The coalition is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  The provision is being challenged by an Alabama County. 

Hayneville Fire Update

State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk has told WVAS News the large fire that consumed several businesses in a Hayneville strip mall was not intentionally set.  Paulk says electrical engineers will be on the scene of the Hayneville Plaza blaze today to try and determine an exact cause, but he says investigators do not believe there was any criminal activity. 

Grand Jury

Authorities in Lowndes County say a grand jury next month will consider the state's case against a man charged with killing two Montgomery children and their caretaker.  Deandra Lee remains in the Lowndes County jail without bond in connection with the June 2012 triple slaying.  Nine -year-old twins and a 73-year-old man were found shot to death on a rural road in Lowndes County.  The triple homicide case is scheduled to go to a grand jury in late July.