A 2009 study found that dogs have the intelligence of a two-and-a-half-year-old child. They can also understand up to 250 words and gestures. And they've had a long time to get it right. We started domesticating dogs 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, and that domestication runs deep. It turns out, even dogs who have never heard a human yell "roll over" might still understand basic commands. A new study found that stray dogs can understand human gestures, such as pointing, which suggests that dogs innately understand people.

Dr. Anindita Bhadra of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata and her colleagues studied 160 stray dogs across several cities in India. Two covered bowls were placed in front of each dog. One bowl contained raw chicken, and the other bowl was both empty and food-scented.

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According to RAINN, teen girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. And as if the increased likelihood of sexual assault wasn't bad enough, many high school students are bombarded with reminders about their lack of security. Some are even reminded of the dangers through their homework.

Yes, really.

A teacher at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas is in hot water after giving 9th grade students a take-home test on a recent lesson on DNA. Students were asked to figure out who "raped Suzy" by studying DNA evidence results taken from the scene of the crime.

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We need hope in our lives. It's what keeps people going when the going gets tough. And since the world is currently literally on fire (and seems like it has been for an entire year – if it's not one part of the world, it's another), some people might need a fresh injection of hope to keep them going.

A recent Pew Research poll found that 56% of Americans are somewhat or very optimistic about the what the country will be like in 2050. And the other 44% now might have something that will lift their spirits.

Scott Hechinger, a public defender in Brooklyn, asked Twitter to share stories that give people hope. "A positive question for this Saturday night," he wrote on Twitter. What, if anything, gives you hope?"

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The wildfires in Australia have burnt 15 million acres of land, claiming 25 lives and destroying nearly 2,500 homes. According to ecologists from the University of Sydney, half a billion mammals, birds, and reptiles have died since September. New South Wales and Victoria were declared a state of emergency, and army reserve troops have been helping with recovery efforts. It's going to take a lot of work to repair the damage that's been done, and in that vein, Chris Hemsworth and his family have donated $1 million to save his native country from the devastating wildfires. Hemsworth posted a video explaining the importance of donating to relief efforts.

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