MPCA finds reduced pollutants in Minn. River Oxygen levels are up in the Minnesota River, a key indicator that one of the state's dirtiest waterways is getting healthier and that efforts to reduce pollution from wastewater treatment plants are working, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Monday.5:23 p.m.
'New Yorker' writer finds a voice for 'cursing mommies' "New Yorker" writer Ian Frazier believes he's found a new literary voice. Well, maybe not new, but one until recently rarely heard in polite company. The voice that Frazier pens is the "Cursing Mommy," and his new novel "The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days" lets that voice roar.5:54 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Syria's Civil Conflict Could Soon Involve Israel
Israel fired a missile into Syrian territory on the Golan Heights on Monday, responding to mortar shell that landed on Israeli-held territory The cross-border incident occurred as Syrian army troops battled rebels near the frontier.
New Umbrella Group Draws Syrian Rebels Together
Robert Siegel talks with Yaser Tabbara, spokesman for a newly formed umbrella organization of Syrian opposition groups. The coalition, forged over the weekend in Doha, is much broader than its predecessor, the Syrian National Council, bringing together roughly 90 percent of Syria's opposition. Tabbara, an attorney typically based in Chicago, helped broker the coalition's agreement.
Election Marked Major Gains For Gay Rights Activists
Victories for same-sex marriage activists in four states last week mark a turnaround for them at the ballot box, following losses in 2004 and 2008. The wins come at a time when gay people seem to be enjoying broader acceptance in the U.S. Audie Cornish talks with New Yorker writer Alex Ross. Ross wrote a recent essay about the evolution of the gay rights movement in America.
BBC Embroiled In Controversy As Leaders Step Down
On Saturday, the BBC's Director General, George Entwistle, resigned. On Monday, Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, and her deputy Stephen Mitchell, took leaves of absence after what appear to be major breaches of journalistic ethics. The first occurred a few weeks ago when the organization spiked an investigative report about alleged child sex abuse by a former BBC star, Jimmy Savile. The second happened last week when the BBC falsely accused a former senior politician, still living, of child abuse.
Firestorm Erupts Over Virginia's Education Goals
The state's school board wants to measure progress in math and reading differently for students based on race and ethnicity. Supporters say the new passing rates take into account students' different starting points. Critics charge the mandates are "backwards-looking."
New Greek Budget Calls For More Cuts, Tax Hikes
The Greek government passed a 2013 budget on Monday that includes more spending cuts and tax hikes. But European leaders, while welcoming the move, won't give Greece its latest loan fix for now because of the country's rising debt. More than two years after Greece adopted a punishing austerity regimen in exchange for bailout loans, the country remains deeply in debt and addicted to loans. There has been some progress on reforms, especially in doing business in Greece, but this has been vastly overshadowed by a deep recession that has left more than a quarter of the work force unemployed and a mounting debt that everyone agrees is unsustainable.
A German City With Debt Problems Of Its Own
Oberhausen — Germany's most indebted city — borrows nearly $500,000 daily. It needs the funds not just to keep itself afloat but also to make regular payments intended to revitalize former East German cities. Critics say the payments are unwarranted when Oberhausen itself is in such dire straits.
Georgia Immigration Law Trips Up Doctors And Nurses
A new immigration law in Georgia requires everyone licensed by the state to prove citizenship. But the law is having an unintended consequence: many health care workers, included doctors and nurses, are losing their licenses because of a paperwork backlog.
Writing Project Helps Veterans Cope After War
This Veterans Day marks the first issue launch of O-Dark-Thirty, a literature quarterly composed entirely of veterans' fiction and non-fiction. It's published by The Veterans Writing Project, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Robert Siegel speaks with retired Army Lt. Col. Ron Capps, now an award-winning author and director of the project.
On Veterans Day, Stories Of Service
Two authors and former members of the U.S. military tell their stories. Benjamin Busch remembers his grandfather's silence about serving in World War II, while David Abrams reflects on the terrifying beginning of his deployment to Iraq.