The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


WVAS Local News

Jul 19, 2013

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in June, which is lowest rate in more than four years.  The state Department of Labor said the June rate was down from 6.8 percent in May.  The rate is below the national figure of 7.6 percent.  Counties in the Black Belt region have the state's highest unemployment rates including Wilcox at 15.8 percent, Perry at 14 percent and Dallas County at 13.4 percent.  Shelby County's 4.5 percent was the lowest jobless rate among the 67 counties. 


July 31st is National Heatstroke Prevention Day and in keeping with that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is holding what it is describing as a "day of social media conversation." The agency will be posting precautions on Twitter and Facebook pertaining to children being left alone in hot cars.  Alabama Department of Public Health spokesman Dr. Jim McVay says heatstroke victims should be treated immediately.  National figures show that 21 children have died in hot cars this year. 

Tax Free Weekend

Alabama retailers are getting ready for the annual tax free weekend for back to school merchandise.  The state will waive its 4 percent sales tax from Friday, August 2nd through Sunday, August 4th.  The Alabama Retail Association reports that a record 274 Alabama cities and counties are waiving their local sales taxes that weekend. 

Economic Development

Macon County has received an economic boost with the announcement of a $10 million dollar expansion and 50 new jobs at the Halla Visteon Climate Control Plant in Shorter.  Mayor Willie Mae Powell joined company executives Thursday for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the plant which manufactures front-end assemblies for Hyundai and Kia vehicles.  The Halla Plant already employs 500 employees and is the largest employer in Macon County. 

No Apology

State Senator Vivian Davis Figures said she will not apologize for her remarks about Republican candidates.  The Democrat from Mobile said Thursday that she stands by her statements and there is nothing that warrants an apology.  GOP Party Chair Bill Armistead has asked her to apologize for saying she thought racism played a part in the recent dominance of Republicans in recent Alabama elections.  Figures made the comments Tuesday in a speech to Democrats in Jefferson County. 

Vigils and Rallies

Vigils and rallies are planned this weekend in Montgomery and dozens of other cities across the U.S. to press for federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.  His acquittal last weekend in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin touched off a series of protests.