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/.

Pages

WVAS Local News

Jun 18, 2013

As required by the new Alabama Accountability Act the State Department of Education released a list of so-called "failing schools" Tuesday.  Parents with students in those schools can move their children to a non-failing public school or private academy and receive tax credits worth about $3,500 dollars annually.  State Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says the 78 schools on the list are at various performance-levels within the definition of a failing school.  Eight Montgomery schools landed on the list including six middle school, an elementary school and the Children Center.  Parents of students in the listed schools will be notified of their options by July 1st. 

School Tax Credits

Alabama's Department of Revenue says the state's new private school tax credits don't apply to students who are already in private schools, even if they are zoned for a failing public school.  The department has been developing regulations to implement the Alabama Accountability Act, which the governor signed into law in March.  State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said the law is clear that the tax credits are to offset the cost of transferring students out of failing public schools and it start with the semester beginning in August.  She said tax credits for parents will depend on their child transferring to a private school that is accredited by an agency recognized by the state and that accepts scholarships provided under the new law. 

State Employees Pay Raise

Scores of Alabama state employees are going to get their first raises in five years.  Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to reinstate merit raises starting Jan. 1st.  They can be up to five percent annually for meritorious performance.