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 26, 2013

Some are claiming victory over Tuesday's Voting Rights ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, others are calling it a travesty.  The High Court ruled that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.  Alabama State University Political Science professor Dr. Birdie Larkin said the decision will force voting improprieties to be fought on a case by case basis.  Supporters of the ruling include Republican Representative Jim McClendon, who hails from Shelby County, the county that brought the challenge to the Supreme Court.  Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the decision will save the state money during elections.  Congress could resurrect the preclearance requirement with new rules, but for now the 5-4 decision represents a major change across the South. 

Domestic Violence

Police continue to investigate a domestic dispute in which a man shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself.  Emergency personnel were called to a home in the 3600 block of Carriage Oaks Court around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday.  The husband and wife were taken to a local hospital where the man later died.  The woman was last reported in critical condition.  Police say the shooting stemmed from an argument between the two.  No names have been released. 

Traffic Stops Probe

State officials have completed a probe of traffic stops in Bibb and St. Clair counties in which drivers were asked to provide anonymous blood, breath and saliva samples as part of a study.  Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement, Spencer Collier, said that people who were asked to five samples didn't report undue pressure to participate in the voluntary study.  He said law enforcement officers had limited contact with participants while researchers collected the samples.  Officials said the samples didn't influence any arrests.  Collier said participation in the study was not authorized by any state department and he suggested to Gov. Robert Bentley that state officers refrain from participating in the program in the future.  The study was part of an initiative backed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.