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 10, 2013

Montgomery's homicide rate continues to climb.  Police say a woman was shot to death Tuesday evening.  The shooting occurred at the Paterson Court Housing area on Decatur Street.  The victim's name and age were not available.  Police said no arrests were made.  It was the city's 30th homicide this year. 

Sixth Graders Vaccination

Alabama health officials say most students entering the sixth grade this year will have to get a vaccination to protect them against whooping cough.  The state health department says the Tdap vaccine will be required for students entering the sixth grade who are 11 and older.  Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious and can be fatal.  There were 212 cases of whooping cough in Alabama last year.  During the first six months of this year, 73 cases have been reported. 

Alleged Prison Abuse

Alabama's prisons are again in the spotlight after a Montgomery-based organization released a report that alleged severe physical and sexual abuse of male prisoners by correctional officers.  Equal Justice Initiative Executive Directory Bryan Stevenson cites problems at Elmore Correctional facility, Donaldson Correctional Facility and Bibb Correctional facility.  Stevenson said the organization spent six months investigating allegations of inmate abuse at the three prisons.  Last year, EJI issued a report alleging sexual abuse and harassment of female inmates at Julia Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka. 

MPD Patrols

Mayor Todd Strange says the city is taking a proactive approach by increasing the number of police patrols in the entertainment district downtown.  The additional police presence comes after complaints surfaced that some people are taking advantaged of liberal alcohol policies.  The added police patrols in entertainment districts include undercover officers and more bicycle patrol officers. 

Blood Needed

The American Red Cross needs blood donors.  The agency has issued an emergency call for blood because donations were down about 10 percent in June and the first week of July, that translates into about 50,000 fewer donations.  A Red Cross official in Alabama said all blood types are needed especially donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.  There is also an urgent need for platelet donations, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients.