NPR News

The species known as Brood V cicadas will soon come out in parts of Ohio, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, after being underground for 17 years. These periodical cicadas have an inborn molecular clock. They will emerge when the temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit at eight inches beneath the ground.

Chris Simon, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut – Storrs, talks to Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the fascinating history and behavior of cicadas.

Every four years as the caucuses and primaries begin for the presidential nomination process, pundits and pollsters -- as well as quite a few voters -- once again raise the question: Why Iowa? Why New Hampshire.

The question about which states get to go first got the NPR political team thinking. If a different state were to be chosen to vote first, one that was more representative of the country as a whole, which would be?

Joan Cheuse / via NPR

Alan Cheuse, the novelist, teacher and longtime literary commentator for NPR, has died at the age of 75. His daughter, Sonya, confirmed that he died Friday of injuries sustained in a car accident in California two weeks ago.

"On behalf of the family, we are in deep grief at the loss of our beloved father, husband and grandfather," Sonya Cheuse told NPR. "He was the brightest light in our family. He will always remain in our hearts. We thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support."

Jae C. Hong/AP

An earthquake shook part of Southern California Friday night, breaking water pipes and rattling nerves with aftershocks that went on into the night. The 5.1-magnitude quake hit at a shallow depth about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

While the quake didn't inflict severe damage in the area around its epicenter, it caused many problems, from water main breaks to a rockslide. Thousands of people felt its effects; there haven't been reports of serious injuries.

Diane Drake / WNIJ

Carl Kasell is retiring from "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" and moves into his new role as Scorekeeper Emeritus of the NPR news quiz.

 

President Calls For 'Year Of Action'

Jan 29, 2014
Larry Downing/Pool / Getty Images

With the country slowly digging itself out of recession, some of his legislative priorities buried under Washington's partisanship and his approval ratings at some of their lowest levels, President Obama called for "a year of action" during his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The U.S. Senate easily passed the massive budget bill today, sending the plan on to President Obama. The $1.1 trillion dollar bill funds the government through September.

Nelson Mandela Dies At 95

Dec 5, 2013
NPR

Nelson Mandela was born in a country that viewed him as a second-class citizen. He died Thursday as one of the most respected statesmen in the world.

President Jacob Zuma announced the death in a televised speech.

Willis Tower No Longer Tallest In U.S.

Nov 12, 2013

Chicago's Willis Tower has lost its title. One World Trade Center — the New York City skyscraper that now rises from the site of the Twin Towers, destroyed during the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11 — has been declared the tallest building in the U.S. by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Karen Bleier /AFP/Getty Images

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, stepped out of the White House this evening after a 90-minute meeting with President Obama and reported no progress.

"They will not negotiate," Boehner said. "All we are asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people on Obamacare."

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