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On a roadside in northern Sri Lanka, a dozen women in bright-colored saris squat in the shade of an open canvas tent, waving tattered photographs at passing cars. They're school portraits, now yellowing, of their children who disappeared more than a decade ago in the country's civil war.

The women weep and nod as each tells her own son's or daughter's story. Kasipillai Romee was 16. She wanted to be a doctor. Sheeva Kumar was 20. He went to work and never came home. Rajendran Uday was 22 when soldiers came at midnight and took him away.

A Juul pod is not an e-cigarette is not a vape pen is not a mod, as any serious vaper can tell you.

The Department of Homeland Security now has new leadership: Hours after acting Secretary Chad Wolf was sworn into that post, he named Ken Cuccinelli as his deputy. Cuccinelli is an immigration hard-liner who was once seen as President Trump's pick for the top job.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is officially joining the 2020 Democratic presidential race less than three months before voters start casting ballots.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experiences and depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country," Patrick said in an announcement video published online Thursday morning.

Ten Democratic candidates will debate next week in the fifth primary face-off, which has increasing importance, with presidential hopefuls set to face voters in fewer than three months.

Editor's note: This story includes graphic descriptions of torture techniques.

The new movie The Report — which comes out Friday and tells the true story of a U.S. Senate staffer who doggedly investigated the CIA's use of torture after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — is a look back on a controversial part of our country's past. But the CIA's torture program continues to have huge implications at the U.S. military court and prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where 40 accused terrorists are still being held.

When it comes to global health, the world has made remarkable strides over the past two decades. There has been unprecedented progress vaccinating kids, treating diseases and lifting millions out of poverty. The childhood death rate has been slashed in half since 2000. Adults are living an average 5 1/2 years longer.

Felony murder is not your average murder. Juvenile justice advocates call felony murder laws arcane and say they unfairly harm children and young adults. Prosecutors can charge them with felony murder even if they didn't kill anyone or intend to do so. What's required is the intent to commit a felony — like burglary, arson or rape — and that someone dies during the process.

Two witnesses seen as crucial to the case against President Trump in the impeachment inquiry testified Wednesday.

Much of what was said by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and George Kent, the State Department's top official on Ukraine policy, was previously known from their lengthy depositions released last week.

But there were some new things — and several moments that stood out. Here are seven:

1. A new detail from a new witness emerges

A U.S. appeals court opened the door for Congress to gain access to eight years of President Trump's tax records, setting the stage for a likely review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to revisit an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel that allowed Congress to subpoena the president's tax records. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed those records in March.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in a blistering report, says the U.S. Coast Guard's failure to adopt its safety recommendations, dating back 20 years, likely led to a Missouri boating accident that killed 17 people in July 2018.

The fatalities were among 31 passengers aboard an amphibious passenger vehicle called the Stretch Duck 7, which sank in a rapidly developing high-wind storm on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo.

Independent investigators say they have turned up no clear motive for the mass shooting that killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal complex on May 31.

The investigation revealed that in recent years, the shooter had begun purchasing firearms, body armor and silencers, and spending time online reading newspaper accounts of other mass killings. But the probe did not find any clear signs that might have served as a warning to city officials, the lead investigator said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is making a last-minute entry into the crowded Democratic presidential primary.

A source with direct knowledge of his decision tells NPR that Patrick has been making calls to Massachusetts and national elected officials and supporters to brief them on his plans and that he plans to formally enter the race as soon as Wednesday night.

Patrick's decision is about as last minute as it gets for a candidate who still wants to compete in the key early primary states: New Hampshire's filing deadline is Friday.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

More than 100 fires are raging in eastern Australia, and thousands of firefighters are battling the blazes amid brutally dry conditions that will likely get worse in the coming months. Police say the remains of one man were found in a burned forest in northeast New South Wales on Wednesday night.

Evo Morales may be out of the country, but he's not out of the picture.

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