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.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

2 hours ago
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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.

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WVAS Local News

Jul 8, 2013

State patrol officers say four people were killed in crashes in Alabama during the Fourth of July travel period.  Alabama Department of Public Safety officials say they investigated 434 traffic crashes, which resulted in 154 injuries.  The four traffic fatalities don't include traffic accidents that were investigated by other law enforcement agencies.

Junior Police Academy

The Montgomery Police Department's annual Junior Police Academy kicks off this week.  Its a chance for rising 6th graders to spend a week learning about the MPD and the city.  Community Policing Supervisor, Sgt. Patrice Toles says the academy is packed with several activities.  Those participating in the program will have a graduation ceremony at the end of the academy. 

Smoke Free

A new video campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation seeks to refute the argument that smoke-free policies at establishments like restaurants and bars hurt business.  The video features business owners talking about their experiences operating under local smoke-free laws.  The state does ban smoking in all government buildings.  Alabama is one of nine states spotlighted in the video.  Nearly, all of the states included in the campaign lack substantial statewide smoking restrictions and have high rates of smoking and smoking-related disease. 

New Job

Secretary of State Beth Chapman is taking a political consulting job with the Alabama Farmers Federation when she resigns her public office at the end of the month.  Federation officials say Chapman will start her new job Aug. 1st and work through the 2014 election.  The Alabama Farmers Federation is the sister organization of Alfa insurance and its political action committee is a major contributor to Alabama political campaigns.