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The rate of deforestation in Brazil has increased by 16 percent over the past year, the country's Environment Ministry announced.

Brazil has often declared progress in reducing the rate of deforestation in the Amazon, but the government's own figures, released Thursday, show the challenges still facing the country.

As France held a national ceremony Friday in homage to the victims of this month's terrorist attacks, President François Hollande called on his compatriots to display the French flag in their homes.

For many Americans, it's something they would instinctively do after such a national trauma. But the French have an entirely different relationship with their flag.

In France, the flag flies on public buildings and is often waved at sporting events, but it is not traditionally a symbol people personally embrace.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus to a white man. That act of protest and her arrest sparked one of the most famous civil rights actions in American history. Through the boycott, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. rose to national prominence, and the U.S. Supreme Court eventually outlawed segregation on public transportation.

Las Vegas has The Mob Museum. Washington, D.C., has the International Spy Museum. And if a concerned citizen has his way, there will be a Museum of Political Corruption in Albany, N.Y.

New York is considered the nation's most corrupt state, according to a national poll by Monmouth University this year. This month alone, two politicians who were among the state's most powerful, are facing corruption charges in court.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From Edith Chapin, executive editor of NPR News:

A rocket piece, most likely from the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 that blew up after takeoff in June, was recovered off the Southwest coast of England near the Isles of Scilly.

Scottish punk rocker Nye Todd writes melodies for anyone who is young at heart. His lyrics, however, tend to be a bit more specific.

Todd is the transgender lead singer of queer punk band The Spook School, and the bulk of the songs on the band's new album, Try To Be Hopeful, are personal accounts from the fringes. Societal norms and gender stereotypes are in the crosshairs during many of these 11 threadbare tunes, but Todd gives equal airtime to trans love songs that hit home no matter your orientation.

France paid homage today to those who died in terrorist attacks in Paris two weeks ago. The names of the 130 people killed were read at a national memorial service at a historic military building in Paris called Les Invalides.

President Francois Hollande delivered a speech, saying France would continue to defend the values for which the victims were killed.

Two years ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit she was back home, using her new blue walker to get around.

Dear Pope Francis,

We're excited to welcome you to Uganda. Catholics make up nearly half of the Christian population here — and they're eager to meet you!

Our's is a lovely country. Buzzfeed ranked us the 13th most beautiful country in the world! (But of course, we think it's No. 1.)