The death of the US ambassador to Libyaby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, is killed during protests against an anti-Islamic film produced in the United States. The Vikings' Chris Kluwe stands by his outspoken opposition to the marriage amendment. The Pagami Creek wildfire fits with a pattern of extreme weather and climate change-driven events. And we take a look at the latest U.S. Census data about Minnesota. First, Libya:
President condemns killings
President Barack Obama has condemned the violence that was sparked by outrage over a film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad produced by an Israeli filmmaker living in California and being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the U.S.
Filmmaker goes into hiding
Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.
News Cut: The First Amendment as a weapon
Judging by the YouTube clips, the anti-Islam movie that sparked the protests is a badly acted, poorly written, low-quality piece of work. A nine-year-old with a decent Mac could've done better, suggesting that the reaction might well have been exactly what Bacile was looking for. But quality aside, is freedom of speech more important than freedom of religion?
More extreme wildfires
A year ago, the Pagami Creek fire roared across the Boundary Waters, engulfing 90,000 acres of forest in a single day. Signs of the devastation that occurred in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area are still present, as many dead trees remain, stripped of foliage and charred black. That blaze was part of a nationwide pattern of bigger, more extreme wildfires, a trend that is expected to continue nationwide and in Minnesota.
Income up, poverty rate flat
Minnesota's median household income improved by 10 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to new census data released Wednesday, while the poverty rate kept at a steady 10 percent.
SPCO contract talks: Show us the details
After two days of contract negotiations, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians say they need more information before responding to a proposal from management. The latest proposal from SPCO management includes a 15-percent cut in guaranteed pay for musicians and a reduction in the orchestra size from 34 to 28 musicians.
Moody's may downgrade US credit rating
The U.S. government's debt rating could be heading for the "fiscal cliff" along with the federal budget. Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday said it would likely cut its "AAA" rating on U.S. government debt, probably by one notch, if budget negotiations fail.
The campaigns and the Great Lakes
Representatives of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been invited to the annual meeting of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition on Thursday in Cleveland, where activists will seek commitments to continue a billion-dollar restoration initiative started by the Obama administration.
Politics impedes regulation of for-profit universities
Continuing our coverage of questions about tbe recruiting and money-making strategies of for-profit universities, we report that state officials are weighing tighter regulation of the institutions in Minnesota. Larry Pogemiller, director of the state Office of Higher Education is gathering information on the schools.
Counseling hope and jobs
The latest jobless numbers from the state found 170,000 Minnesotans were unemployed at the end of July. Every week, Hennepin County libraries offer free job counseling to many of those unemployed Minnesotans. Nancy Cohen is among those working on the front lines.
Vikings' Chris Kluwe takes stand against marriage amendment
The punter is an outspoken critic of the proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage public, and he told Morning Edition on Wednesday he's received "overwhelmingly positive" feedback on his comments. "People really like the fact that I came out and said what a lot of people seem to be thinking," he said.
MacDonald's adds calorie count to menus
The world's biggest hamburger chain said Wednesday that it will post calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide starting Monday. The move comes ahead of a regulation that could require major chains to post the information as early as next year.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.