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The schools in Puerto Rico are facing massive challenges.

All the public schools are without electricity, and more than half don't have water. More than 100 are still functioning as shelters.

But Puerto Rico's secretary of education, Julia Keleher, tells us that the schools that are open are serving as connection points for communities. They've become a place where children and their families can eat a hot meal and get some emotional support, too.

With President Trump's announcement that he plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen as homeland security secretary, he still has one more Cabinet post to fill — health and human services secretary. A president having to find replacements for two Cabinet secretaries this early in an administration is unprecedented. But observers are more alarmed by the less visible vacancies at the sub-Cabinet level: hundreds of positions without a nominee, and a president who says he has no intention of filling many of the jobs.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations' chief cultural and educational agency. In a statement released Thursday, the State Department said the move won't take effect for more than a year, noting the withdrawal will be as of Dec. 31, 2018.

The news that about 70 children are missing from the Kansas foster care system is the latest in a string of concerns for lawmakers and child welfare advocates.

In 2015, world powers agreed to give Iran relief from some economic sanctions in return for inspections and limits on its nuclear program. Since the nuclear deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — took effect in January 2016, Iran has allowed inspections and is seeing some economic payoff.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been freed after five years in captivity by an extremist group in Afghanistan, the White House said Thursday.

Caitlan Coleman, now 32, was several months pregnant when she and her husband, Joshua Boyle, were abducted in 2012 while on a trip to Afghanistan.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Postal Service hasn't abandoned Santa Rosa, Calif., where hundreds of people are coping with total losses of their homes from an explosive wildfire. The scene in Santa Rosa has been compared with an apocalypse — but that didn't stop a mail truck from making the rounds in at least one devastated neighborhood this week.

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The seven-acre "Tent City Jail" in Phoenix that helped make former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio a household name has been quietly struck once and for all after housing inmates for nearly a quarter century.

The Arizona Republic reports that prisoners from the infamous jail, made of Korean-War-era tents to alleviate overflow from more conventional facilities, were transferred late Saturday to the nearby Durango Jail.

RT, the Kremlin-backed global TV network, will remove a series of provocative street ads appearing in Washington and New York, that appear to poke fun at Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The advertisements began appearing on bus shelters, cars and in subway stations recently. One read: "Stuck in traffic? Lost an election? Blame us!" Another teased: "Find out who we are planning to hack next."

Celebrators of National Handbag Day got quite a scare this week.

Tuesday's unofficial holiday was over by the time luxury brand Coach announced on Wednesday that it is changing its corporate name. The move is designed to better include the two other brands Coach owns: Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade.

Consumer outrage quickly followed the announcement, but it died down a bit after shoppers realized they could still buy Coach bags — only the corporate name was changing.

On that Sunday night in Las Vegas, Elle Gargano was listening to country music at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when she was shot in the back of the head.

Her friend got her under the stage at the concert to protect her and fellow concertgoers helped get Elle over the fence and out of the festival grounds.

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That's A Lot Of Pumpkin Pie

Oct 12, 2017

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The Coming Sewer Gold Rush

Oct 12, 2017

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Sen. Ben Cardin On The Iran Deal And Trump

Oct 12, 2017

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.

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Editor's Note: This story includes language that may be offensive to some readers.

When Donald Trump arrived in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., in 2002, he was welcomed as a "white knight," says former City Councilman Tom Long.

Trump bought a golf course there that had gone bankrupt after the 18th hole literally fell into the ocean in a landslide.

Long, a Democrat, says residents looked forward to Trump's promises of repairing the course and generating revenue and attention for the city.

Despite that goodwill, the relationship got off to a rough start.

Shortly before Election Day last year, some helpful-looking posts began popping up on Twitter: No need to stand in line or even leave home, they said — just vote by text!

The messages, some of which appeared to come from Hillary Clinton's campaign, had versions in Spanish, with gay pride flags and other permutations. They were also 100 percent false.

Where did they come from?

Abstinence may have found its most impressive poster child yet: Diploscapter pachys. The tiny worm is transparent, smaller than a poppy seed and hasn't had sex in 18 million years.

It has basically just been cloning itself this whole time. Usually, that is a solid strategy for going extinct, fast. What is its secret?

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

Thousands more people were fleeing their homes as some of the worst wildfires in California's history continued to sweep through wine country, leaving a trail of smoldering destruction and a death toll that authorities say has reached 31.

Kansas lawmakers considered tighter rules on payday lending during a committee meeting Wednesday, but they ultimately decided not to recommend more regulations for the short-term loans.

Kansas’ plans to migrate driver’s license records for about 2 million people from an aged mainframe to new information technology infrastructure remain troubled, a new report indicates.

Some portions of the already-delayed KanLicense project have been further postponed, a team of legislative auditors wrote in the report, with plans to carry them out after the project’s go-live date in early January.

Apple is about to close a deal with director Steven Spielberg to revive his Emmy award-winning series Amazing Stories for Apple TV. With it, Apple is entering a world in which Netflix has been a leader. But now, new competitors to Netflix are emerging at a surprising speed.

When the Iranian nuclear agreement was reached in 2015 there was a hope — and it was just a hope — that the deal would lead to a more moderate Iran.

As tough sanctions were lifted, Iran received billions of dollars in oil revenues that had been blocked. The country's international isolation eased, raising the possibility that Iran's friction with the U.S. and some Arab states might give way to greater engagement, at least in some areas.

No one is talking like that now.

The prime minister of Spain has two requests for the leader of Catalonia.

First: Clarify whether the region is, indeed, declaring independence from Spain. And second: If that is the case, take it back.

Otherwise, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says, Spain will suspend Catalonia's current autonomy, institute direct rule and possibly even jail the Catalan president.

The ultimatum comes with a deadline: Catalonia has five days for the first demand, and three additional days for the second, Reuters reports.

In just over four decades, obesity levels in children and teenagers have risen dramatically worldwide, though that rise has been far from uniform. In a new study published online Tuesday, British researchers and the World Health Organization say those levels have plateaued lately in high-income countries, "albeit at high levels," while the rise in obesity rates has only accelerated in regions such as East Asia and Latin America.

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