Bemidji curling club energized by Olympics
Olympic Curling fans eagerly watched a cross-border match-up today between the United States and Canada to determine who gets to play for the gold medal in Turin. The U.S. men's curling team is comprised of four Minnesotans who trained for the event at the Bemidji Curling Club. That's where friends and supporters gathered to watch today's semi-final game. MPR's Tom Crann talked to curling instructor Kent Bahr from the club earlier this afternoon. He says the success of local curlers has made the sport a highlight of life in Bemidji.4:44 p.m.
Robert Towne's impossible mission Robert Towne is a screenwriter known for movies such as "Chinatown," "The Last Detail" and "Shampoo." He is best known in Hollywood, however, as a "script doctor," who comes in and polishes, or sometimes completely rewrites, a movie script -- sometimes at the last minute.4:49 p.m.
South Dakota poised to pass most restrictive abortion legislation in the U.S.
A final version of a bill banning most abortions in South Dakota is expected to land on the desk of Gov. Mike Rounds in a few days. Rounds says he "looks favorably" on the measure, but hasn't promised to sign it. The State Senate passed the bill 23-12 yesterday. The measure outlaws most abortions and any doctor who performs the procedure in the state would be guilty of a felony, unless it's done to save the life of a pregnant woman. The South Dakota House has already passed a similar bill.5:49 p.m.
Witness for prosecution in trial of man accused of killing cop changes her story
A key prosecution witness in the trial of the man accused of killing St. Paul police officer James Sackett is backtracking on her story. Ronald Reed is charged with first degree murder in the 1970 slaying.5:53 p.m.
Educator's struggle with line between youthful self-expression and imminent threat
A 13-year-old girl on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation may face criminal charges after a teacher was given a note that allegedly outlined the girl's plan for a school shooting. Her school was evacuated yesterday when the threat was discovered. The incident is just the latest example of schools taking serious action against students who appear to threaten the safety of others. Some threats are obvious, but many times the line between a credible threat and a violent fantasy is quite blurry. MPR's Tom Crann spoke with three Minnesotans involved in education to find out where they draw the line between innocent words and legitimate threats.6:19 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Shiite Cleric Urges Calm in Wake of Shrine Bombing
The bombing of one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines sparks mass protests and violence in many parts of Iraq. The top Shiite cleric urges followers to refrain from violence. With sectarian tensions already running high, the bombing prompts attacks on Sunni mosques.
States Struggle With Next Step for Failing Schools
The No Child Left Behind Act spells out what schools should do to improve if they fail to meet their performance goals. It mandates progressively severe interventions each year. But the law is silent when it comes to schools that still haven't turned around by the six-year deadline.
France Calls Kidnapping Death an Anti-Semitic Crime
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has denounced the killing of a Jewish man in Paris as an anti-Semitic crime. He says those behind the murder of Ilan Halimi acted primarily from greed, but they were convinced that "the Jews have money" and that his community would provide it.
Multi-Party Election Tests Uganda's System
Tensions are at a boiling point ahead of the nation's first multi-party elections in 20 years. Many Ugandans expect the results to be challenged in court regardless of who wins. Such a challenge, analysts say, would be the ultimate test of the independence of the country's judiciary.
U.S. Delivers Unsteady Performance in Turin Wall Street Journal sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks with Robert Siegel about America's highs and lows in the 2006 Winter Olympics. American figure skater Sasha Cohen is in good standing after the short program but the U.S. men's hockey team lost in a quarterfinal match.
Jenny Lewis: Questioning God on 'Rabbit Fur Coat'
Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis sprinkles her new CD with references to God, but she says she didn't plan it that way. "I think being broken-hearted is not the only thing you want to sing about," she says.
White House: Congress Should Have Been Told of Ports Deal
The Bush administration says that it should have briefed Congress sooner about the sale of shipping operations at six U.S. ports to a Dubai-based company. The White House says the president was unaware of the deal until it was approved. But the administration is standing behind the decision.
New York Senator Wants to Halt Ports Deal
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) plan emergency legislation next week to put a deal with Dubai Ports World on hold pending further investigation. Schumer talks with Robert Siegel about his objection to the deal, and the questions he sent President Bush about the investigation.