MPR News Update

When firearms research doesn't agree with your position

by Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio

Jan 17, 2013

Today on the MPR News Update: Does having a gun in the home put family members more at risk? Also, a county sheriff in Minnesota says he won't enforce new federal gun restrictions. Expectations for pull-tab gambling revenues are shrinking. And we take a look at the burgeoning Minnesota brewery business.

CHALLENGING DATA: President Obama's proposals for reducing gun violence include a directive to the CDC to renew its research on gun injuries. More than 20 years ago the CDC angered gun rights supporters when it reported a gun in the home is more likely to be used on someone who lives there than on an intruder. Brandt Williams reports some Minnesota gun owners dispute that data.

IGNORING THE FEDS: Some county sheriffs across the nation have said they won't enforce new gun laws they believe to be unconstitutional. One of them is Pine County, Minnesota, Sheriff Robin Cole. He sent a letter to county residents outlining his objections. He spoke with Cathy Wurzer today on Morning Edition.

MINNESOTA-WHITE HOUSE LINKS: President Obama's next chief of staff could be a man who grew up in Minnesota. Denis McDonough is currently a national security adviser. The Associated Press reports a decision hasn't been made, but sources tell them the 43-year-old McDonough grew up in Stillwater. Obama also says he intends to nominate Minnesota's US Attorney as director of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

CULTURAL INCOMPETENCE: A new report on Somali women in Minnesota sheds light on the resistance of Somali women to cesarean sections, prenatal care and family planning. The report by Nancy Deyo, a senior advisor for the Women's Refuge Commission, based in New York, aims to help bridge the cultural gap between Somalis and their western physicians so doctors can understand their patients better and Somali mothers can receive the care they need.

KNOWLEDGE OF THE CRIME LAB: Nearly 700 pages of internal St. Paul Police Department emails offer more evidence that top officials knew about problems with the crime lab's drug testing unit months before it was shut down.

A GOOD GAMBLE? State officials concede they're likely to miss even revised estimates of how well electronic pull tabs will do financially. That was the word at a House commerce committee meeting last night called to look at the plan to pay for a new Vikings stadium. Tim Nelson says the situation has Minnesota lawmakers pondering backups for their backup plans.

KEY HEALTH EXCHANGE VOTE: Also at the state Capitol yesterday, Elizabeth Stawicki was on hand for the first vote on a Minnesota health insurance exchange bill. It cleared Senate committee on a party line vote.

DREAMLINER GROUNDED: The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered the U.S. fleet of Boeing 787 planes to be grounded, citing an incident in Japan earlier today in which one of the jet's batteries emitted smoke. The Japanese report came a week after a similar incident occurred in Boston. The FAA says that its safety directive will also likely be followed in other countries, as well.

BEST HOME PRICES IN 4 YEARS: U.S. builders started work on homes in December at the fastest pace in 4 years and finished 2012 as their best year for residential construction since the early stages of the housing crisis.

FEWER HOMES REPOSESSED: Lenders took possession of fewer U.S. homes in 2012 than a year earlier, as the pace of new homes entering the path to foreclosure slowed and banks increasingly opted to allow troubled borrowers to sell their homes for less than what they owed on their mortgage.

BEER BLAST: Minnesota is catching up with the US beer boom. In just the last two years, the number of breweries in the state has nearly doubled. Curtis Gilbert reports on what's driving the proliferation of local beers and introduces us to some of the people making them. Also in Appetites on All Things Considered, there's a new batch of taprooms serving up in the NE Minneapolis 'brew district'.

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