Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.
What to know now:
1. Hostages taken: Two corrections department employees are being held hostage by inmates at a Delaware prison. Four employees were originally taken hostage after a disturbance at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two were released Wednesday night. The inmates say they have issues with their treatment and the leadership of the United States government.
2. Berkley protest: A scheduled speech by a commentator for Breitbart News sparked a protest at the University of California at Berkley Wednesday. Windows were broken and smoke bombs thrown in advance of a scheduled appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos who is an editor at Breitbart. Officials said some 1,500 came out to protest, but that a small group dressed in black and wearing hooded sweatshirts were the ones breaking windows and starting fires.
3. Manson follower parole: One of Charles Manson’s followers, Bruce Davis, has been recommended for release from prison by the California Parole Board. Davis, 74, is serving a life sentence for the murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald Shea. Davis has been recommended for parole four previous times. Each time the state’s governor denied the recommendation. Davis did not take part in the murders at the home of Sharton Tate.
4. Terrorist's daughter killed: The daughter of terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki was killed Sunday in a raid in Yemen. Nawar al-Awlaki, 8, was killed during an attack on an Al Qaeda compound. U.S. officials said more than a dozen civilians were killed in the attack. The girl’s grandfather says he does not believe the girl was targeted, but that she was caught in the crossfire of the attack. A U.S. Navy SEAL, William "Ryan" Owens, 36, from Peoria, Illinois, was also killed in the attack. Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
5. Twins on the way: Singer Beyonce announced on Instagram Wednesday that she and husband Jay-Z are expecting twins. "We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes," the singer wrote. The couple has a 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy.
And one more
It’s the day when the rodent predicts the weather, and fingers are crossed across the nation in hopes that Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow. As legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow, you can expect six more weeks of winter weather. If Phil fails to see a shadow, spring will come early. While the story is a fun one, Phil’s record leaves a bit to be desired – out of 129 predictions, he was right only about 39 percent of the time. (Update: Phil saw his shadow; predicts six more weeks of winter.)
In case you missed it
Here are some fun facts about the United States.