National News

A woman walks toward the international crossing gate in Nogales, Ariz., in March 2013.

Some Deportees Return To Mexico But Their Stuff Stays In The U.S.

Derek Lucas Reyes, 20, went from being undocumented in the U.S. to undocumented in his native Mexico.

He sits at a table after breakfast in a shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Sonora. At his feet is a paper shopping bag the Department of Homeland Security gave him for his belongings. Inside the bag: his deportation paperwork, a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other necessities he got from Mexican aid workers.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff begins to cry as she delivers a speech during the final report of the National Truth Commission on Violation of Human Rights during the military dictatorship from 1964-1985 in Brasilia on Wednesday. She is among the thousands who were tortured during that brutal period.

Brazil's Tearful President Praises Report On Abuses Of A Dictatorship

Brazil's national truth commission on Wednesday delivered a damning report looking at the abuses committed during that country's military dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985.

The 2,000-page document details for the first time a history of arbitrary detention, torture, executions and disappearances.

Until now, Brazil has sought to bury its difficult past.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was herself tortured during Brazil's dictatorship period, broke down when she addressed the nation Wednesday. She said the report had fulfilled three important objectives.

A laser weapon system on the USS Ponce has been deployed to the Arabian Gulf. The Navy released a video showing the system taking target practice.

Watch: Navy Ship Uses Energy Weapon In Arabian Gulf

It's not Star Wars on the high seas — but the U.S. Navy says it has made a "historic leap" by deploying a laser weapon system for the first time. The Navy released a video showing a LaWS — shorthand for "laser weapon system" — being used by the USS Ponce during target practice in the Persian Gulf.

In the video, the laser weapon, which the Navy says is tied into the Ponce's defense system, destroys several targets on the sea and in the air. The laser can also optically "dazzle" or disable an enemy craft.

The bright yellow steel bridge over St. John's River is an official border crossing between Liberia and Guinea. The Liberian-Guinean border has been closed since July to help curb the spread of Ebola.

Boredom On The Border Between Liberia And Guinea

They're from the same ethnic group. They speak the same language. And they live on both sides of the Liberia-Guinea divide in the area around Liberia's eastern border city of Ganta, in Nimba County. The families straddle the border, which is not fenced.

"Right over there is the border," says businessman Prince Haward, directing our attention to some rubber farms not too far away. "Those are the rubber farms you find in Guinea."

The Uber smartphone app is seen next to a taxi sign in Madrid, Spain. A Spanish judge this week ordered Uber to cease operations in the country. It's the latest challenge around the world faced by the ride-sharing service recently valued at $40 billion.

Uber's Troubles Mount Even As Its Value Grows

Uber, the ride-sharing service that is growing in value, is also watching its troubles mount.

It's latest woes are in California where, as NPR's Laura Sydell tells our Newscast unit, the attorneys general of San Francisco and Los Angeles counties are suing Uber. Here's more from Sydell's report:

Debate: Should We Genetically Modify Food?

Many plants we eat today are a result of genetic modifications that would never occur in nature. Scientists have long been altering the genes of food crops, to boost food production and to make crops more pest-, drought- and cold-resistant.

David Goldhill (second from left) talks with Dan Hilferty of Independence Blue Cross, Kevin Nazemi of Oscar Insurance and Sam Nussbaum of WellPoint in a conversation about health costs. Moderator Avik Roy is at far left.

Making The Human Condition Computable

For centuries, the central challenge in health care was ignorance. There simply wasn't enough information to know what was making a person sick, or what to do to cure them.

Now, health care is being flooded with information. Advances in computing technology mean that gathering, storing and analyzing health information is relatively cheap, and it's getting cheaper by the day. As computers continue to fall in price, the cost of sequencing a single person's genome is tumbling, too.

Gawker CEO Nick Denton is seen with chief strategy officer Erin Pettigrew (center) and president Heather Dietrick. Denton is stepping down as the president of the media company he founded.

Nick Denton Steps Down As Gawker's President

Nick Denton says he is stepping down as president of Gawker Media, the company he founded. A new seven-member managing partnership, of which Denton will be a part, will now run the media company, which owns Gawker, Jezebel, Deadspin and other popular websites.

Nikki Jones' preschool class at Porter Early Childhood Development Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Why The President Wants To Give Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Toddlers

Why does public school start at age 5?

Neuroscientists say the most important brain development begins at birth. Friedrich Froebel, who coined the term "kindergarten" in Germany in the mid-19th century, was among the first education thinkers to intuit this fact about the brain. His "child-gardens" were mixed-age classrooms of children from 3 to 7 years old, who learned through play.

Many Yazidis, like the ones shown here, managed to flee the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State and made their way to relative safety, like this camp near the northern Iraqi border crossing of Zakho. However, some 5,000 Yazidis, many of them women, are still being held hostage by the Islamic State.

For Yazidi Women, Escaping ISIS Doesn't Mean The Ordeal Is Over

Barzan is a young Yazidi man, with sad blue eyes. His mother, five of his sisters and his niece are being held by the so-called Islamic State, taken when the extremist group swept through the Sinjar area of northern Iraq in August.

They are seven of some 5,000 Yazidis still being held by the extremist Sunni group. The Iraqi women are enslaved and sold for sex.

His sixth sister is home with him now. She is just 15 and she was raped. And to protect her identity we're only using Barzan's first name.

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