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The Iowa caucuses: 4 reflections

Josh Kent celebrates at Republican presidential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, caucus night rally, Des Moines, Iowa, February 1, 2016 (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)The first votes in the 2016 presidential election have now been cast. Ted Cruz upset Donald Trump, while Marco Rubio surged to a strong third-place position. The Democratic results were less decisive: Hillary Clinton barely won over Bernie Sanders (twenty-two delegates to twenty-one). Here are four reflections on last night's results.

First, the face of America is changing. On the Republican side, two Cuban-Americans (Cruz and Rubio) and an African-American (Dr. Ben Carson) collectively gained sixty-one percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Clinton took a major step toward becoming the first female presidential candidate of a major political party.

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Why I admire the Iowa voters

John Olsen, who is commonly known as Dr. Vote, from Ankeny, shows off various caucus pins on his vest at an Ankeny Area Democrats event at the United Auto Workers Local 450 union in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (Credit: Al Drago/AP Images)A winter storm is predicted to blanket much of Iowa tonight, bringing blizzard conditions and icy roads. Meanwhile, the first ballots of the 2016 presidential election will be cast by courageous souls who brave the elements and the unusual meetings known as "caucuses."

Here's how they work.

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What 'You, Me and the Apocalypse' says about the future

Matthew Baynton (L) as as estranged twin brothers Jamie Winton and Ariel Conroy and Rob Lowe (R) Father Jude Sutton in the new NBC sitcom You, Me and the Apocalypse (Credit: NBC)I watched the premiere of You, Me and the Apocalypse last night on NBC. The show is based on the premise that an eight-mile-wide comet will annihilate the world in thirty-four days. The greater fiction is not that a planet-destroying comet is coming, but that we have another thirty-four days to live.

The fact is, tomorrow is promised to no one.

Yesterday we observed the thirtieth anniversary of the Challenger disaster. The tragedy still reminds us that life is fragile. President Reagan concluded his tribute to the fallen astronauts: "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"

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Principal dies saving the children she served

Special thank you video to our amazing Principal of Amy Beverland Elementary - Susan Jordan (Credit: AmyBeverland via Youtube)Susan Jordan was principal of an elementary school in Indianapolis for twenty-two years. Tuesday she was standing outside with her students when a stationary school bus inexplicably accelerated and jumped a curb. She pushed several students out of the way before the vehicle struck and killed her. A fire department spokeswoman said, "Up to the minute she was alive, she was helping the kids."

Her superintendent said of her, "Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a legend." He described Jordan as "a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children." Last May, dozens of students, faculty, and staff made a video about her. The students called her "friendly, focused, smart, organized, inspirational, dependable, determined, positive, and awesome." The district closed all schools yesterday in her memory.

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Group is 'much more dangerous' than ISIS

Al-Nusra Front seizes the town of Khal al- Sobol in Idlib Province in Syria (Credit: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)A terrorist group you've probably never heard of may be the greatest threat America faces.

A new report on threats to America has been issued by the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War. It claims that Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, is "much more dangerous to the U.S. than the ISIS model in the long run." Why?

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