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Here's one thing we know about voters in Iowa and other places. Many of them are still undecided. NPR's Susan Davis caught up with some of those voters over breakfast this morning to talk about the Republican caucuses.

Over the holidays, my family drove across the beautiful voids of West Texas and New Mexico and stopped at a lot of convenience stores for gas. Every time I went inside to use the loo, I saw them: giant displays of dried meat in every size and flavor.

I remember jerky almost ripping my molars out on car trips when I was kid. It's been around forever. So why the comeback?

Praying for rain? You'll get (slightly) less when the moon is very high, a new study finds.

Scientists at the University of Washington say the moon's position impacts the amount of rainfall on Earth.

"As far as I know, this is the first study to convincingly connect the tidal force of the moon with rainfall," researcher Tsubasa Kohyama says in a press release from the university.

President Obama plans to ask Congress for $755 million in cancer-research funding as part of his 2017 budget, according to the White House.

That would bring the funding total to nearly $1 billion over the next two years to accelerate what the president called a "moonshot" to try to eliminate cancer. Congress has already approved $195 million in research funding in 2016.

Benoit Violier, the renowned 44-year-old chef of Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville in Crissier, Switzerland, has died in what police say has the look of a suicide. The authorities say they found Violier's body next to a gun in his home.

For years now, the Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville has won the coveted three stars in the annual Michelin restaurant guide. In December, it was named No. 1 on La Liste, a French survey of the best restaurants worldwide.

The World Health Organization has declared the cluster of microcephaly associated with the spread of the Zika virus to be a public health emergency of international concern — a designation reserved for an"extraordinary event" that is "serious, unusual or unexpected."

Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general, said during a press briefing Monday that an international coordinated response was needed to improve mosquito control as well as to expedite the development of tests that detect the Zika virus.

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Last October, China ended its 35-year-old policy of restricting most urban families to one child. Commonly referred to as the "one-child" policy, the restrictions were actually a collection of rules that governed how many children married couples could have.

"The basic idea was to encourage everybody, by coercion if necessary, to keep to ... one child," journalist Mei Fong tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Back in the early 1960s, Philip Roth wrote a famous essay declaring that modern American life had gotten so delirious that it dwarfed fiction's ability to match it. Never did his words seem truer than in 1994, when O.J. Simpson — football god, mediocre movie actor and amiable pitchman for Hertz — was charged with butchering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Pharmacies across the U.S. will begin receiving shipments of a generic form of the revolutionary cancer pill Gleevec this week after the drug lost its patent protection on Monday.

The generic version of drug, known as imatinib, is likely to cost about 30 percent less than brand-name Gleevec, says Kal Sundaram, the CEO of Sun Pharmaceuticals, the Mumbai, India-based company that will make the first generic.

Stephanie Hundley is an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter. The 28-year-old from Waterloo is also enthusiastic about the fact that she's not going to vote for Hillary Clinton just because she's a woman.

The Takeaways:

  • Republican candidates raised more than $227 million in 2015, less than the GOP field raised in 2011.
  • The year-end reports include the first disclosure of big money from Donald Trump and reveal the precarious state of Jeb Bush's White House bid.
  • Some wealthy conservative donors, including Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, haven't put their money behind any GOP candidate yet. Big donors on the Democratic side are behind Hillary Clinton.
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The first real votes of the 2016 presidential election will be cast at the Iowa caucuses tonight, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

And that means there are a lot of questions in the air.

Will Donald Trump's lead in the polls translate to dominance in the caucus rooms? Will Iowa voters feel the Bern? What's the mood like on the ground? (You'll find answers at NPR Politics, with a wide range of reporting and analysis on the candidates, the voters and what it all means.)

A team of British scientists received approval by U.K.'s fertility regulator to edit genes in human embryos.

"It is the first time a country has considered the DNA-altering technique in embryos and approved it," the BBC reports.

The Stream is now closed. You can see archived news, photos and analysis from NPR's political team on the ground in Iowa and in Washington, D.C. below. For updated coverage, visit NPR.org or elections.npr.org.


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Men driving mountains of Styrofoam on the back of three-wheeled, motorized scooters are a common sight in Shanghai, but the one captured on this video is the biggest I or any of my friends have ever seen.

It was billed as a successful peer-to-peer lending company. Instead, police say, online lender Ezubao used fake business listings to take in about 50 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) from nearly 1 million people who thought they would get a 14 percent return.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa, at Smokey Row, a coffeehouse in Des Moines.

Renee, you should really see this. It is - I mean it is hundreds of people, I think, just packed in here.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the first time in decades, a freely elected parliament took its seats in Myanmar on Monday, with the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi preparing to run the country. The change comes after years of strife — and a weekend of celebration.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa. Tonight is caucus night, and here's your weather forecast. Snow, possible blizzard conditions in parts of this state. This has campaigns nervous about voter turnout - although, not this one.

Taco Literacy Class; Sake-Flavored KitKats

Feb 1, 2016
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

About three months ago, Bill Nelson got an unusual phone call.

Nelson oversees data and assessment for the Agua Fria Union High School District in southwest Phoenix, Ariz. The call was from a former student, who left the district back in 2011.

He was "not quite a graduate," Nelson recalls. At the time, the young man had failed part of Arizona's high school exit exam, called the AIMS.

But in 2015, Arizona rescinded the AIMS requirement, and made that retroactive. So this former student was in luck.

The Iowa caucuses are known for hoisting the little-known hopeful to glory. But for each skyrocket that actually launched here, many more have fizzled on the pad.

The slick talkers auditioning for media gigs.

The household name whose prominence fails to translate.

The ambitious up-and-comer seeking name recognition for the future.

The nonpolitician who strikes a nerve the year before the election year.

After Iowa, the bell tolls for these.

For every Obama ...

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