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 28, 2013

A federal judge says he will decide today whether to temporarily block a new Alabama law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to a nearby hospital.  U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson hear arguments from attorneys on both sides Thursday.  The law is supposed to go into effect Monday.  Plaintiffs says it is difficult for abortion clinic physicians to get hospital admitting privileges and the law would shut down three of Alabama's five licensed abortion clinics.  Attorneys for the state say the law will enhance the safety of women seeking abortions. 

Voting Rights

Alabama civil rights leaders say they'll be creative as they plan ways to protest the Supreme Court decision to throw out part of the landmark Voting Rights Act.  Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma urged Alabama residents to participate in an August 24 recreation of the March on Washington.  He also encouraged local protests of the ruling, which black leaders say pushes back gains made since the 1960s. 

Sunken Boat

A sunken riverboat in the Alabama River is refusing to become unsunk.  For a second day a wrecker service worked to raise the riverboat from a spot near the Montgomery Marina.  According to a story in the Montgomery Advertiser the boat is owned by the Capitol Oyster Bar.  Its sank last April.  The boat is about two-thirds of the way out of the water now now crews will try again today to finish the job.  Once the vessel is removed, Sabel Steel is set to salvage the parts. 

Birmingham Intervention

State officials say an intervention in the Birmingham school district could extend into September 2014.  Former State Superintendent Ed Richardson, who leads the intervention team, said the state board of education should not end the intervention prematurely.  The effort marks the state's fourth intervention in the local school system in 12 years.