Deal reached on reducing mercury emissions Minnesota lawmakers announced they have reached an agreement on a plan to drastically reduce mercury emissions at the state's largest coal-fired power plants.5:23 p.m.
University of Minnesota researchers have made a breakthrough in the fight against malaria. The disease kills 2.7 million people a year, most of whom are children living in Africa. Malaria is spread only through mosquitoes, and public health efforts have been directed primarily at killing them. But now, scientists have discovered genetic clues that could lead to the eradication of the mosquitoes that carry the disease. U of M researchers published their findings in the April issue of the Journal "Science."5:48 p.m.
Senate committee throws curveballs at stadium plans The prospect for ballparks and stadiums got a bit murkier as the main action has moved from the Minnesota House to the Senate. A key Senate committee Thursday began addressing funding requests for the Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota, taking a substantially different approach to the stadium situation than the House.5:53 p.m.
"Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies"
With chapter headings such as, "Snobbery Up With Which You Should Not Put" and "Is That a Dangler in Your Memo or Are You Just Glad to See Me?," June Casagrande's new book pokes fun at dangling modifiers and other grammar conundrums. Her book is entitled, "Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies," but Casagrande really is an advocate for good grammar.6:19 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Record Profits at Oil Companies Draw Criticism
The big oil companies come under attack for earning billions in profits as gasoline prices have soared. Oil executives say their companies' earnings aren't excessive. But lawmakers are talking about reining them in, and a debate is brewing on how to help consumers.
Senate GOP Floats Gas-Rebate Plan
Senate Republicans propose a $100 rebate check for millions of taxpayers Thursday to counter high gasoline costs, but linked the assistance to drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge, thus assuring the measure would face stiff opposition from most Democrats.
Fuming Over Gas: Where the Pennies Go
With a gallon of gasoline costing $3 in much of America, many consumers wonder how the price is broken down, from oil fields, refineries, suppliers and the pump. Robert Siegel talks with Jim Haddock, vice president for retail sales of Gas America, which owns about 80 service stations and is based in Greenfield, Ind. Haddock talks about how much money the service stations are making as gas prices continue to rise.
Sago Miners' Reserve Air Failed, Survivor Says
At least four emergency air packs issued at the Sago Mine failed to function, says West Virginia coal miner Randal McCloy. The lone survivor of the Jan. 2 disaster, in which 12 miners died, detailed the failures in a letter to the families of those who died after an explosion trapped them underground.
Letters: Hybrid Cars, Obituaries, and Chernobyl
Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read from listeners' letters and emails. Among the topics this week, our interview with Jamie Kittman of Automobile magazine about hybrid cars, Walter Cronkite's piece on the art of crafting an obituary, and our segment on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
African Farmers Face Critical Loss of Fertile Land
African agriculture is in crisis, and Africa's farmland is losing its fertility at an alarming rate. Farmers in sub-Saharan Africa don't produce enough food to feed their own people, while population growth is outpacing agricultural production.
'Triple Whammy' of Bad News Sets Blair Aback
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken a beating in the British press, after what one paper called the most chaotic day since the Labour Party came to power nine years ago. Three of Blair's senior ministers stumbled Wednesday, fueling media speculation that Blair's time in power might be nearing an end.
Crab Ranching in the Chesapeake, Hoping for Change
The Chesapeake Bay blue crab, a tasty and valuable crustacean, is in big trouble. Populations are down 80 percent. Desperate to reverse the trend, scientists are hoping to boost populations by hatching thousands of baby crabs and releasing them into the bay. Such ranching or "stock enhancement" programs have drawn criticism in the past. Skeptics say they raise false hopes and do little to boost wild populations. But the ranchers say they have improved their practices.
Too Much Pollen? Blame the Males
The pollen count can be lowered if people plant more female plants and fewer male plants, says horticulturist Tom Ogren. He says male plants have been popular because they don't produce messy fruit or seed pods -- but they are responsible for most of the pollen in the air.