Vikram Chandra writes an epic tale Some critics describe Vikram Chandra's new novel "Sacred Games" as a thriller. But the Indian-born writer says he's a little nervous about applying that title to a book 900 pages long.4:50 p.m.
Times writers dramatize Darfur revelations How do you write a play about genocide that both delivers an important political message and a compelling evening of theater? A New York Times staffer has come to the Twin Cities hoping to do just that.4:58 p.m.
Statewide smoking ban proposed at Capitol Previous attempts to pass a statewide smoking ban failed, but supporters believe this could be their year for success. Opponents are mounting their own bipartisan effort to quash the legislation.5:20 p.m.
Mesabi Nugget plant comes back to life An Iron Range industrial project declared dead last November has sprung back to life. Some work is expected this weekend on Mesabi Nugget's iron nugget plant near Hoyt Lakes.5:24 p.m.
Aunt Bessie just might be a composer Over the past decade, the St. Paul-based new music ensemble Zeitgeist has given amateur composers a rare opportunity to get their music played through an annual contest. This year's winners include a physician, a former history teacher and a high school violinist.5:53 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Violence Rises, and L.A. Mayor Puts Gangs on Notice
In Los Angeles, gang violence this year has increased by 14 percent and some cases of apparently racially-motivated gang slayings have risen to national attention. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has dubbed gang-related violence Public Enemy Number One, is asking federal authorities for assistance.
Long Beach Awaits Hate-Crime Verdict
Melissa Block talks with Tracy Manzer, crime reporter for the Long Beach Press Telegram, about the trial of 10 young people charged with assaulting three girls on Halloween night in 2006. Eight of the defendants, who are black, are also being charged with hate crimes against the victims, who are white.
The Evolving Idea of a Hate Crime in America
Melissa Block talks with Brian Levin, a hate crime expert, who explains how prosecutors have typically filed hate crime charges, and how the laws can be applied to both minorities as well as whites.
Building Bipartisanship? Not Limbaugh's Problem
As many in America focus on political cooperation, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh continues to talk tough and take unyielding conservative stands. He has no interest in forging consensus — and good reasons not to do so.
Cheney's Defiance on Iraq Contrasts with Bush
We take a look at the striking contrast between President Bush's conciliatory remarks about the U.S. mission in Iraq during the State of the Union address and remarks made by Vice President Cheney in an interview broadcast Wednesday on CNN.
Iraqi Body Supports Maliki's Security Plan
In a speech to the Iraqi parliament, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki makes an emotional appeal for support for his Baghdad security plan, vowing that it will target all armed militants regardless of sect or political affiliation. After angry exchanges, parliament voted to support the prime minister's plan.
In Congress, Rejecting Iraq Policy Isn't Simple
Although most of the Senate has spoken in opposition to the president's troop build-up in Iraq, a formal resolution of disapproval may be difficult to achieve. Democratic leader Harry Reid may need 60 votes to cut off debate and bring a resolution to a vote, and Republican leaders may be able to prevent that.
Georgia Reports an Attempt to Smuggle Uranium
Georgia says its security services have foiled an attempt by a Russian smuggler to sell weapons-grade uranium. Georgia's Interior Ministry says the man was arrested as he tried to sell a few ounces of highly enriched uranium for $1 million to a Georgian agent. The man said he had access to much more uranium.
Sears Tower Gets a Much-Needed New Tenant
The tallest U.S. building has gained its biggest new tenant since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as a Chicago law firm signs a new 11-year lease. The Sears Tower has been losing tenants, and its vacancy rate has shot above 20 percent in the wake of the attacks, because many saw it as the most likely landmark terrorists would hit in Chicago.
The World's Buildings Keep Getting Taller
On the Chicago River, developer Donald Trump is putting up 92 stories of hotel rooms and condominiums; in lower Manhattan, plans for the Freedom Tower call for it being more than 400 feet taller than the Twin Towers it will replace; and in Dubai, the Burj Dubai is set to be the new world's tallest building.