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 25, 2013

New statistics prepared for Alabama counties reveal that agriculture, forestry and related industries have an annual economic impact in Alabama of $70.4 billion.  The data includes the number of jobs created that are related to the agriculture and forestry industries.  The report also includes the number of farmers in each county and the acreage farmed.  The study was conducted by Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. 

Beating Death Trial

A federal court jury will begin deliberations today in the trial of a former prison supervisor charged with fatally beating an inmate and trying to cover up what happened.  The jury of eight women and four men got the case Monday but told the judge they wanted to wait until today to begin deliberations in the case of former Ventress Correctional Facility Lt. Michael Smith.  The state Department of Corrections fired Smith after inmate Rocrast Mack died nearly three years ago.  In closing argument, prosecutors said Smith repeatedly hit Mack even though Mack wasn't resisting.  A defense attorney said Smith did his job to maintain order in the prison.  Smith is charged with violating Mack's rights, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. 

Pre-Kindergarten Program

Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program is expected to see a roughly 40 percent increase thanks to increased funding.  The Legislature increased funding for the pre-kindergarten program from $19.1 million to $28.5 million for fiscal year 2014.  Commissioner of the Department of Children's Affairs, Jeana Ross, says he plans to offer more details on the planned expansion later this week.