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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When Alexia Boggs was applying to law school, she initially considered all the big specialties, but none of them seemed quite right.

"I was looking for a field of law where none of my family could ever seek my help," she says, sarcastic but also not really joking.

Nasty, brutish and short.

Until about the last decade or so, that's how many of us were accustomed to thinking about Neanderthal life.

But a lot has changed since then, not least of which is the emergence of smoking-gun DNA evidence that Neanderthals are, in fact, family.

Now a new study runs counter to earlier thinking by suggesting that Neanderthals reached maturity at about the same rate as modern humans.

One of the public's unanswered questions about Russia's attempts to break into election systems last year was which states were targeted. On Friday, states found out.

The Department of Homeland Security said earlier this year that it had evidence of Russian activity in 21 states but it failed to inform individual states whether they were among those targeted. Instead, DHS authorities say they told those who had "ownership" of the systems — which in some cases were private vendors or local election offices.

Installing solar panels on your home could become more expensive, depending on how President Trump responds to a decision Friday by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The ITC found that low-cost, imported solar panels from China and other countries have hurt two domestic manufacturers. They are Georgia-based Suniva and Oregon-based SolarWorld.

President Trump is facing a decision on whether to extend the ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. This week, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke sent the White House her recommendations for "tough and tailored" security vetting, to replace the current ban, which expires Sunday.

Though the brunt of Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico, the island's water worries continue. On Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported that the Guajataca Dam in the northwest is "failing" causing flash flooding. Buses were trying to evacuate people from the area "as quickly as they can," the service said.

The Dam failure is causing flooding downstream on the Guajataca River.

A flash flood watch is also in effect for much of the island through Friday evening with continued rainfall.

Compounding Puerto Rico's devastation in the wake of Hurricane Maria is the fact that so much is still unknown. Because most of the island's cellphone sites are out of service and the power grid is down, it has been difficult or impossible to connect with the people who live there — whether from the mainland or from another part of the island.

Atlanta resident Silkia Babilonia, who lives in Atlanta, says that since the storm, she hasn't been able to reach friends and family on the island's west side.

Iran unveiled a new ballistic missile Friday, showing off the weapon during a military parade in Tehran. "When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission," President Hassan Rouhani said.

John McCain on Friday imperiled Republicans' latest Affordable Care Act repeal and replace effort when he said he "cannot in good conscience" support the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill. But McCain did also say he could at some point support the substance of his fellow Republicans' proposal.

"I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Sens. [Lindsey] Graham and [Bill] Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment," McCain said. "But that has not been the case."

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Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain may, once again, be the savior of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The Arizona Republican announced in a statement on Friday that he opposes the latest GOP legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Can Teaching Civics Save Democracy?

5 hours ago

Young adults are losing faith in American Democracy and have difficulty distinguishing between "fake news" and reliable news. That's according to a new research paper out from Tufts University.

The solution? Support civic learning programs in K-12 education at the state and local level, the researchers argue.

"We know that if you study civics in high school you are more likely to be an informed voter," says Peter Levine, co-author of the paper and an associate dean for research at Tufts.

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