The earthquake that rattled the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, from its Virginia epicenter to Washington and the islands off Massachusetts, was, indeed, rare, geologists say.

But only because of its size; at a magnitude of 5.8, it was the largest temblor to hit Virginia since 1897, when the largest quake on record, a 5.9 quake, struck.

"Earthquakes in central Virginia are not very unusual," says David Spears, Virginia's state geologist. "We have them every few years, but they're usually in the two-to-four magnitude range."

After an earthquake shook the East Coast on Tuesday, many people reached for their cellphones and tried to call loved ones. And many couldn't get through — but it wasn't the earthquake's fault.

No damaged cell towers or wires were reported by the major mobile carriers following the quake, which struck just before 2 p.m. EST and registered a magnitude of 5.8 at its epicenter in Virginia.

So what caused the problems?

When Sudan allowed South Sudan to become an independent nation last month, it hoped this would put an end to years of friction with the United States.

More specifically, Sudan desperately wanted to be removed from Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism and get out from under the many sanctions that come along with that designation.

But now the U.S. and the United Nations are raising concerns about fighting, and possible atrocities, near the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

If you've got high cholesterol, you know the diet advice: Go easy on foods high in saturated fat like red meat and cheese, and eat lots of fiber and whole grains.

The message still holds up, but researchers say it's time to tweak the message.

Alabama's new immigration law gets its first test in federal court Wednesday.

The Justice Department and civil rights groups are suing to stop what's considered to be the toughest illegal immigration crackdown coming out of the states.

But the law is also being challenged from a Bible Belt institution.

'It Goes Against Tenets Of Our Christian Faith'

At First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham, clergy from around the city take turns leading a prayer service called in response to the new immigration law.

The United States wants to give Libya its money back.

The U.S. froze some $30 billion worth of the country's assets after leader Moammar Gadhafi launched a harsh crackdown on his opponents earlier this year. With Gadhafi's rule now near or at its end, U.S. officials and their European counterparts are prepared to quickly unfreeze those funds for a new Libyan leadership.

The first thing East Coasters did when the ground began to shake this afternoon wasn't duck under their desks, but to turn to their smartphones.

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that was felt from Durham, N.C., to Toronto was documented instantly through social media like Facebook and Twitter.

VIDEO: White House, Capitol As Earthquake Hits

Aug 23, 2011

The AP has just provided this video of the White House and the Capitol as the 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the East Coast. Make sure you watch the roof closely as the security detail reacts to the rumbling:

Update at 4:17 p.m. ET. Earthquake Interrupts DSK Press Conference:

Here's another video of the earthquake interrupting a press conference with Dominique Strauss-Kahn's lawyer:

5.9 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles East Coast

Aug 23, 2011

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rattled the east coast of the United States, today. The tremor was felt at least as far north as New York and at least as far south as Virginia.

The United States Geological Survey says the earthquake happened at 1:51 p.m. ET with an epicenter nine miles south of Mineral, Virginia and had a depth of 1 km.

Patients Getting Faster Treatment For Heart Attacks

Aug 23, 2011

When it comes to treating heart attacks, doing the right thing doesn't count for much if doctors dawdle.

For a heart attack caused by a sudden blockage of an artery that feeds the pumping muscle, cardiologists agree that busting it up with an inflatable catheter should be done as soon as possible. The goal: treatment within 90 minutes of the patient arriving at the hospital.

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Join WBAA to see John Williams Conduct the CSO

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Arts & Culture

Christian Steiner

What's New: Elena Ruehr

Her work has been described as “sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies” by The New York Times, and “unspeakably gorgeous” by Gramophone! Composer Elena Ruehr is known for her lyrical and rhythmically vibrant music. Her music "has an organic, breathing flow, derived from its origin in the movement of the body and the vitality of the natural world; her melodies often incorporate details and figurations of improvised performance, sometimes with exotic touches." Elena says her music that “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.” We’ll hear chamber music from MIT composer Elena Ruehr on today’s What’s New .

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WBAA Public Affairs

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton On Seeing Video Of A Movie Shooting

There aren’t that many movies staged and shot in Crawfordsville. And probably only a small subset of those involve replica firearms. So when a Crawfordsville police officer encountered what looked like a robbery earlier this week and fired a bullet at an actor carrying an air gun, people began to formulate questions.

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News From NPR

Colombian vocalist J Balvin is still riding the huge wave created by last year's Latin music explosion.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

If there ever was a perfect soundtrack for a California road-trip, Bang Data's latest album, LOCO, would totally fit the bill. Bay area singer-rapper-songwriter Deuce Eclipse and multi-instrumentalist Juan Manuel Caipo have been making music together since 2008. Their music is deeply atmospheric, so it's not surprising that it can often be heard in commercials and TV shows (they've been featured on Breaking Bad, Lucha Underground, and Criminal Minds Beyond Borders, to mention just a few).

NFL To Demand Cowboys Owner Reimburse Legal Fees, Reports Say

53 minutes ago

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to try to recover the money spent on a seven-figure legal bill after recent battles with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The story was first reported by The New York Times and since then, other publications have had sources speak off the record. NPR has not independently confirmed the reports.

It all began several months ago when Jones tried to derail negotiations for Goodell's contract extension. At the same time, Jones tried to get a six-game suspension reversed for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

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