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There is more than just January's cold currently gripping the city of Westbrook, Maine. An immense icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant, alike.

Scientists say the disk is naturally occurring and has been seen before. Most of us have spotted eddies in flowing water, that is when a cross current creates a small whirlpool. But winter's cold adds a whiff of mystery to this phenomenon.

The annual State of the Union message to Congress may be the latest casualty of the partial government shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to President Trump on Wednesday, suggesting a postponement until after the shutdown is over. The speech, which the president would deliver to a joint session of Congress and a national broadcast audience, was originally scheduled for Jan. 29.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

American troops were killed in an explosion in northern Syria, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State says. The ISIS extremist group has claimed responsibility.

"U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time," Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement.

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"It feels like everyone's in a pressure cooker in this country," says Leyla McCalla in her biography, about the themes

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Andrew Hozier-Byrne has a new album coming in March. His second album, called Wasteland, Baby!, is his first full-length record in four-and-a-half years.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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