Pawlenty's pitch to keep Ford plant open goes nowhere A last-ditch effort by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman to save the St. Paul Ford plant apparently wasn't enough to persuade company officials. The assembly plant is still scheduled to close in the fall of 2011.5:20 p.m.
Gang Strike Force victims reach $3M settlement The agencies behind the disbanded Metro Gang Strike Force will pay $3 million to people who claim they were victims of the unit's misconduct.
The settlement announced Wednesday comes a year after the state investigated the unit and later shut it down.5:24 p.m.
More bids awarded for Central Corridor light rail The Metropolitan Council awarded two large bids Wednesday for the Central Corridor light rail project between St. Paul and Minneapolis -- and construction gets underway in earnest this fall.
MPR's Dan Olson talked with All Things Considered host Tom Crann about the status of the project.5:50 p.m.
Target expands presence in consumer electronics Target announced Wednesday it's expanding its selection of wireless phones. Customers can also avail themselves of an electronics recycling program, and free tech support for TVs and other electronics they buy from Target.5:54 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Deadly U.S. Raid Sparks Furor Among Afghan Civilians
In Wardak province, U.S. forces searching for a Taliban leader killed three men, who the Americans say engaged them with hostile intent. But the family and villagers say the young men were innocent students home for Ramadan. The incident provoked anger as many Afghans tend to blame the U.S., not insurgents, for their country's troubles.
Bucking The Trend: Primary Care Doc Practices Solo
There's a catastrophic shortage of primary care doctors who provide basic health care. And the need is expected to grow as more people receive coverage under the new health law. Dr. Cathy Crute is one doctor who is holding on to her solo practice in Maine.
Outsourced Call Centers Return, To U.S. Homes
For years, Americans have had their customer service phone calls handled by people overseas. But the rising costs of foreign labor have led a number of firms to bring call centers back to the U.S., and they're hiring more and more people to work right in their own homes.
Marine Corps Chief Suggests Longer Afghan Timeline
The head of the U.S. Marine Corps says it will likely take longer than the July 2011 deadline set by the White House to turn over security responsibilities to the Afghan government. The longer timeline indicates the challenges facing U.S. troops there. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Tom Bowman.
Bodies Of 72 Massacred Migrants Found In Mexico
Authorities have found the bodies of 72 people at a ranch near Mexico's border with Texas, apparently all killed in recent days. The Mexican government says that the 58 men and 14 women found murdered could be migrants from Ecuador, Brazil and Central America who were heading to the United States.
Epic Traffic Jam Snarls Chinese Highway
It's being called the worst traffic jam in the world. Drivers in northern China have been stuck along a 60-mile stretch of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou highway, some for days. NPR's Melissa Block talks to Jonathan Watts, the Guardian's Asia environment correspondent, who drove out to see the gridlock firsthand.
Birth Rates Drop Amid Faltering Economy
NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Mark Mather, an associate vice president of the Population Reference Bureau, about the link between the recession and declining birth rates in some areas of the U.S. A Pew Research Center report this spring found a 1.6 percent decline in births between 2007 and 2008. The report looked at data from 25 states for 2008.
Harvard Prof Top Pick To Lead Consumer Bureau
Elizabeth Warren is the leading candidate to head the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The Harvard Law School professor has an aw-shucks manner that seems to make her an unlikely candidate for a political showdown between left and right.
Breathing New Life Into Lung Disease Awareness
For patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, breathing becomes difficult as scar tissue builds in the lungs. No cause is known and no treatment is yet available, and one patient with IPF is using his public relations background to put the disease on the map.
Colo. Among States That Fell Short In Race To The Top
Nine states and Washington, D.C., were awarded $3.4 billion in education grant money on Tuesday. The federal education grant competition called Race to the Top asked states to come up with the most compelling plans for education reform. But what about the losing states -- especially the ones that made big changes? NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Barbara O'Brien, lieutenant governor of Colorado.