"We Are All Welcome Here."
It's not often that a fan letter prompts a best-selling author to write a book. But that's the case with Elizabeth Berg's latest novel, "We Are All Welcome Here." A loyal reader from North Carolina wrote Berg asking if she would write a story based on her mother's life. Berg says she has gotten similar requests before and always turned them down. But Berg says her imagination was sparked by the story of a mother giving birth in an iron lung and raising a daughter while paralyzed from Polio.4:19 p.m.
The"working crunched" struggle despite a growing economy
Many middle class families find themselves squeezed and feeling financially insecure. Minnesota Public Radio set out to profile some working Minnesotans whose financial circumstances are crimping their confidence in the future.4:44 p.m.
Trout Unlimited plays role in restoration of Driftless Area Gov. Pawlenty and three other Midwestern governors have signed an agreement to help restore land and water quality in the Driftless Area, which covers 24,000 square miles in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. The conservation group Trout Unlimited played a major role in bringing about the agreement. MPR's Tom Crann talks with the group's Dave Hackbarth.4:53 p.m.
Senate unexpectedly defeats tax bill A Senate Democratic plan to bring some relief to
property taxpayers has gone down to defeat -- because not enough
Democrats would support it.5:23 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Militant Bombing Plot Foiled, Egyptians Say
Egyptian authorities say they've broken up an Islamic militant plot to bomb gas pipelines and attack tourist sites. The news comes as Egypt is cracking down on opposition politicians. Recently, President Hosni Mubarak suggested that emergency laws giving him police powers may not be lifted this year.
President Hu: China Hopes to Balance Trade Surplus
On the second day of his visit to the United States, Chinese President Hu Jintao says China is taking steps to reduce its huge trade surplus with the United States, a gap that stood at $200 billion in 2005. Hu spoke to workers at a Boeing plant in Everett, Wash.
Chinese Tradition of Petitioning Strong, Despite Few Returns
Thousands of Chinese travel by bus, train and foot to Beijing in hope of finding a sympathetic and powerful official who will offer justice and come to their rescue. This system of petitioning is a throwback to imperial days, and fewer are finding satisfaction.
Short of Teachers, New York Tries a Housing Lure
New York plans to offer $14,600 in housing subsidies to lure math, science and special-education teachers to the city. It's the latest tool that several public school districts -- in this case the nation's largest -- hope will attract good teachers to expensive housing markets.
Out of Hiding, Into the World: Thembi's AIDS Diary
Thembi Ngubane lives in one of South Africa's largest townships. She has a boyfriend and a close relationship with her mother and father. She is also living with AIDS. For a year, she recorded a diary that brings listeners into her home, among her family, to witness her daily struggles and triumphs.
McClellan Out as White House Shake-Up Continues
The man who has spoken for President Bush for nearly three years is leaving the pressroom podium, as Scott McClellan announces his resignation as White House press secretary. In another shift, President Bush's key strategic advisor, Karl Rove, will shed one of his administration jobs.
The Tough Job of Being the Face of the White House
In resigning as White House press secretary, Scott McClellan is leaving a job that at least one predecessor says is harder now than it ever has been. Mike McCurry, who served as President Clinton's press secretary, has some advice for the next spokesperson for the White House. McCurry is currently a principle of Public Strategies Washington.
Redacting a Journalist's Papers: A New Level
NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says the FBI's request to remove classified documents from the personal files of the late investigative journalist, Jack Anderson, is the latest action of an administration that is becoming increasingly secretive.
Scandals Ignite Debate on Vietnam's Free Press
As Vietnam prepared to hold a Party Congress this week, the country was gripped with news of a corruption scandal. Some in the Vietnamese media have called for the resignation of leaders and their cronies. This has led some to wonder whether the state is loosening its grip on the normally well-behaved, obedient Vietnamese press. But others say it's all party posturing.