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After 17 years underground, the Brood X periodical cicadas are slowly emerging in 15 states across the East Coast and Midwest.

They'll shed their skins and spend four to six weeks mating before the females lay eggs and they all die.

But some of them are getting wilder in their short lives above ground.

A fungus called Massospora, which can produce compounds of cathinone — an amphetamine — infects a small number of them and makes them lose control.

Calling it a "moral mandate," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed a dozen bills into law on Tuesday that backers hope will improve policing in the state, reduce the use of deadly force and ensure that when deadly encounters do occur, the investigations are thorough and independent.

"These bills are all going to work in coordination with one another to create a system of accountability and integrity stronger than anywhere else in the nation," Inslee said in remarks before he signed the bills.

The drumbeat for canceling the Tokyo Summer Olympics gets louder every day. There are also strong calls to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics because of China's alleged human rights abuses.

Pro-Palestinian protesters turned out in Dearborn, Mich., to criticize U.S. support for Israel as President Biden visits a local Ford electric vehicle plant.

The first time sociologist Mary de Young heard about QAnon, she thought: "Here we go again."

De Young spent her career studying moral panics — specifically, what became known as the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s, when false accusations of the abuse of children in satanic rituals spread across the United States.

Anyone who has watched soap operas in the last 50 years knows Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center as General Hospital. For decades, its original building graced the soap opera's opening credits.

Inside, though, there's no love story between Luke and Laura.

LAC + USC is what's known as a safety-net hospital — one of the largest in the United States. And that makes the reality inside a daily financial struggle to care for every patient who walks through its doors, patients other hospitals often try to avoid.

The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to address the increase in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, clearing the legislation for President Biden to sign.

The COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act passed by a 364-62 vote; all 62 votes against the bill were from Republicans. The Senate approved the legislation last month.

In 2019, more than 130 million metric tons of single-use plastics were thrown away, with most of that waste burned, buried in a landfill or dumped directly into the ocean or onto land. Now, a new report finds that just 20 companies account for more than half of all single-use plastic waste generated worldwide.

Texas government entities are no longer allowed to mandate masks, Gov. Greg Abbott announced in an executive order on Tuesday.

The restriction bans counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities and government officials from requiring mask-wearing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government entities that don't adhere to this new restriction will be subject to a $1,000 fine.

Updated May 18, 2021 at 4:30 PM ET

Actor Charles Grodin, whose comic characters were almost always hapless, and whose serious characters generally gave that trademark haplessness a sinister twist, died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Wilton, Conn. He was 86.

His death, from bone marrow cancer, was confirmed to NPR by his son, actor Nicholas Grodin.

When the call came from the doctor that afternoon, it was ominous.

"They said that [my wife, Minal] had suffered a cardiac arrest in the intensive care unit, but the baby's heartbeat was fine," says Chetan Waghmere, who works for a corporate company. "An emergency cesarean section had to be done in the ICU itself; there was no time to move her. The baby survived, but Minal did not."

Minal Waghmere was COVID positive, 32 weeks pregnant and 32 years old when she died on April 8 in the Kingsway Hospital in Nagpur, a city in central India.

Bob Garfield, host of the public radio show and podcast On The Media, has been fired. According to a statement from New York Public Radio, an outside investigation found that Garfield violated the company's anti-bullying policy. Garfield was the subject of a similar investigation in 2020 that resulted in, "disciplinary action and a warning about consequences if the behavior continued."

Routine screening for colorectal cancer should begin at age 45 instead of 50, an influential panel is recommending.

Starting routine screening five years earlier could prevent more deaths from colorectal cancer, which is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded.

SALINA, Kansas — Ebony Murell and a few interns meticulously sort 99 kinds of silphium. It’s a wild relative to a sunflower. And the biologists at The Land Institute — an outfit devoted to finding out how science can make farming more planet-friendly — want to unravel the plant’s secrets for tolerating bugs and diseases.

“We don’t know what all of these traits mean in terms of plant defenses,” Murell said. “Any or all of them could matter.”

Growing up, Seth Rogen wasn't much of a student, but he did like telling jokes. When he was 12, his mother signed him up for a local comedy class. He was the youngest person in the class by far, but that didn't stop him from performing stand-up in their show, which took place at a lesbian bar.

"It always will be a part of my story that the first time I told jokes was in front of about a hundred lesbians," Rogen says. "Most of my jokes were grandparent-based. ... I assumed the lesbians had grandparents just like I did."

Updated May 18, 2021 at 1:07 PM ET

Enough rhetoric, it's time to act: that's the gist of a new report from the International Energy Agency, which says the world must bring about "a total transformation" of its energy systems if it hopes to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and minimize the worst effects of climate change.

With much of Japan in a renewed state of emergency due to a spike in coronavirus infections, a group representing some 6,000 primary care physicians in Tokyo has called for the Summer Games to be canceled.

In an open letter to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga published Monday on its website, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association says hospitals "have their hands full" and have almost no capacity left to deal with a possible outbreak triggered by the massive international event.

Updated May 18, 2021 at 3:21 PM ET

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out Tuesday against a bipartisan proposal to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The announcement comes a day before the House of Representatives is slated to vote on the legislation.

Updated May 18, 2021 at 5:19 PM ET

District Attorney Andrew Womble has declined to file charges against Pasquotank County, N.C., sheriff's deputies in the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. last month in Elizabeth City. His decision followed an inquiry by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, which presented its findings to the prosecutor.

For most of human existence, things didn't change much within a single lifetime.

If you lived a thousand years ago, the tools you used were probably the same ones as your great grandparents. And other than big events like a volcano, the physical world didn't change much either.

When Hurricane Sandy swept up the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, it left a trail of damage from Florida to Maine. Subways were inundated in New York City. Hurricane-force winds tore across New Jersey. Blizzard conditions walloped Appalachia.

Illinois is launching a $1.5 billion federally funded housing assistance program for Illinoisians hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Illinoisans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear face masks in most circumstances, Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday.

Pritzker’s announcement follows updated guidelines released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Suppose you're a Palestinian living in Gaza. You can't easily leave. Israel and Egypt control the borders. Your local government is dominated by Hamas. And for the past week, Hamas rockets have flown out of Gaza while Israeli bombs have been falling in.

That is the experience for Jamal al-Sharif and his family.

"For a full week now, we couldn't sleep for more than two or three hours in the 24 hours," says al-Sharif. "Children are screaming, shouting all the time. And the situation is terrifying."

Rep. Val Demings, the Florida Democrat who was on President Biden's shortlist for a running mate in the 2020 presidential election, is planning a run for the U.S. Senate, according to two people with knowledge of the plans.

A national Democrat with knowledge of the party's strategy on Senate races told NPR's Claudia Grisales that Demings "is strongly considering a Senate run."

When President Biden hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, the new White House approach to North Korea will likely be top of the agenda.

Biden is the latest United States president forced to contend with a nuclear-armed North Korea that is bombastic and hostile toward the U.S. and its allies in the region.

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JERUSALEM — Fighting between Israel and Hamas entered its ninth straight day despite a call by President Joe Biden for a cease-fire.

Israeli warplanes carried out another round of airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza, leveling a six-story building, while militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel.

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