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It's the summer session at the Al Salam School in Reyhanli, a town in southern Turkey, just across the border from Syria. A group of girls are practicing their shots on the outdoor basketball court. A class of 8-year-olds is busy with English language drills. The computer lab is open.

Many of these Syrian refugees live in desperate conditions, but for a few hours a day there is the familiar world of school.

If you're looking for a way to gauge the health of the U.S. economy this summer, consider regional amusement parks — parks that you can drive to within a few hours. Some 260 million people spend about $10 billion annually at regional theme parks, and this year is shaping up to be a record-breaker.

To understand what's driving those numbers, there are few better people to spend a day at a park with than Martin Lewison.

"As of today, I've been on 1,306 different roller coasters," Lewison says.

It's a story that could have been taken from a breaking news report: A soldier, gravely wounded in a brutal battle, flees the fighting to try and make his way home. Only this story is set during the Civil War.

One of the world's most prominent free divers is missing off the coast of an island called Formentera, near Ibiza, Spain. Natalia Molchanova of Russia was on a recreational dive on Sunday when she was separated from companions, according to AIDA, the worldwide federation for free diving. The organization calls her the most accomplished and most famous female free diver in the world.

Summer camp typically brings to mind s'mores, campfires and the beach, but for some kids in Southern California, it's all about marine mammals. Day camp at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach teaches children to care for the sick and stranded baby sea lions and elephant seals. (Check out the center's live poolside webcam.)

"It's sad that they have to come in, but it's good that they're coming in to get rehabilitated," says camper Jameson Ibe, 11.

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" — how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color. First, the perspective of the "dark greens":

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

Why 'Pep' The Prison Dog Got Such A Bum Rap

11 hours ago

A 1925 article in The Boston Daily Globe featured a photo of a dog at a radio microphone for a special remote broadcast from a Pennsylvania prison.

He looks like a friendly, dark-haired Labrador. Two prison officers on either side have a hand on his back.

The caption says: This is Pep, "the pet dog Gov. Pinchot of Pennsylvania sentenced to Eastern State Penitentiary for life."

"He had killed the Governor's wife's cat," or so the story went, says Annie Anderson, the historic site researcher at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia — now a museum.

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