Scientists seek a safe level for taconite fibers The Minnesota Department of Health is launching a major study to try to determine whether there are particles in taconite that cause disease. It's one of two research efforts on taconite and health.4:06 p.m.
Wildfire academy trains firefighters Nearly 500 people participated this week in the Minnesota Wildfire Academy at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. The program is in its seventh year offering basic and advanced training for folks who battle forest fires.5:20 p.m.
Superpowered PUSH "Superpower" is the theme of a conference that starts this weekend at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Speakers at the 2007 PUSH conference will discuss the idea of "superpower" not just as it applies to global politics, but when it comes to energy, population and technology.5:45 p.m.
Ron Carlson writes about men and work in "Five Skies." Ron Carlson is best-known for short story collections such as "At the Jim Bridger." His first novel in a quarter-century, "Five Skies," follows three men sent into the wilds of Idaho for an unusual construction project.6:15 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Joint Chiefs Shuffle: Gen. Pace Out; Adm. Mullen In
The Bush administration has announced plans to replace Gen. Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rather than risk a Senate confirmation struggle by reappointing Pace, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he would recommend Adm. Mike Mullen to replace him.
For Many Iraqis, a Stubborn Effort to Live Normally
Some 4 million Iraqis have fled their homes over the past four years. For those still in the country, the war is at once terrifying — and terrifyingly banal. People get up every morning, go to jobs, tend to chores and raise their children. Some are defiant and trying to take back what they can of their lives.
Bush's Italian Trip Comes as 'Rendition' Trial Opens
President Bush is in Italy on Friday, the latest stop on his European tour. His visit comes as a trial involving the "extraordinary rendition" program began in Milan. Twenty-six Americans — all but one believed to be CIA — are being tried in absentia alongside seven Italian intelligence officers.
Baseball's Doping Inquiry and the Yankees' Giambi
Major League Baseball is heading for a dramatic off-the-field confrontation. The conflict involves an internal investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs. One of the players at the center of the controversy is Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees. Rebecca Roberts talks about the controversy with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis of The Wall Street Journal.
New Crop of Baseball Players Has Grown Taller
All but one of the top 30 picks in this week's Major League Baseball draft stand 6 feet or taller. How do they measure up when compared with baseball legends of decades past? Robert Siegel finds that while the average American is about an inch taller than in 1960, the average baseball player seems to be growing much faster than that.
Clear Views of Terror: DeLillo's 'Falling Man'
In his new novel, Falling Man, Don DeLillo, one of the most admired American writers, squarely faces the awful events of Sept. 11, 2001, with eyes wide open. DeLillo narrates the viewpoints of a number of people — including one of the hijackers — in prose both exquisite and exhausting.
Kennedy, Allies Hold Out Hope on Immigration Bill
Congressional supporters of a bipartisan immigration bill say it is too soon to declare the controversial measure dead. But members of both parties blame the other side for the measure's failure to gain enough support to bring to a final vote. The Senate twice failed to bring it to a final vote.
Chertoff, Bush Look for Next Move on Immigration
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has been the Bush administration's point person on its comprehensive immigration reform bill, which collapsed in the Senate on Thursday night. Chertoff talks with NPR's Robert Siegel about where the White House will go from here.
Without Traisman, Cheese Fries Might Not Exist
Edwin Traisman, who died this week at 91, played a key role in two breakthroughs in the fast-food industry. Traisman created the process of freezing McDonald's french fries and he was part of a team at Kraft Foods that developed Cheez Whiz.
Rufus Wainwright's Operatic Period: 'Stars'
Rufus Wainwright's new album, Release the Stars follows on the heels of his re-creation of Judy Garland's 1961 comeback concert, a flamboyant stage performance that played at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. Rebecca Roberts talks with Release the Stars, at times huge and operatic, was executive-produced by former Pet Shop Boys member Neil Tennant.