Art Hounds Each week Minnesota Public Radio News asks three people from the Minnesota arts scene to be "Art Hounds." Their job is to step outside their own work and hunt down something exciting that's going on in local arts.4:45 p.m.
Doctors hope new report pushes smokers to quit Minnesota doctors and tobacco control advocates say a new federal report on the harmful effects of tobacco smoke should give a significant boost to anti-smoking campaigns. The report by the U.S. Surgeon General says even occasional exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate damage that can lead to disease or death.4:50 p.m.
After suspension, future uncertain for Hackbarth's role at Capitol Most members of the new Republican majority have been basking in the spotlight at the State Capitol, but veteran GOP lawmaker Tom Hackbarth has been trying hard to stay out of sight. Hackbarth won't face charges for his widely reported arrest for carrying a weapon. But his political future is still clouded.4:54 p.m.
Pawlenty passes the baton to Dayton Outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty and his successor, Mark, Dayton, met Thurday afternoon to discuss the details of the transition to a new administration. Pawlenty said he would make that process as smooth as possible for Dayton, who has barely a month to build the first Democratic administration in two decades.5:20 p.m.
Tax Plan In Limbo After Democrats' Revolt
The House Democratic caucus has rejected the deal President Obama made with Senate Republicans to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts. That leaves the measure in limbo, along with all the things attached to it, such as the estate tax, an extension of unemployment benefits and a reduction in Social Security payroll taxes. So far, it's unclear what changes would satisfy House Democrats. If the lame-duck Congress doesn't act by Jan. 1, everyone's taxes go up.
Silencing WikiLeaks A Free Speech Challenge For U.S.
Administration officials, angry over the disclosure of sensitive intelligence information, have harshly criticized WikiLeaks, and the Justice Department is considering whether founder Julian Assange can be prosecuted. Critics say such efforts don't square with the U.S. commitment to expanding the free flow of information online.
Seafloor Samples Show Troubling Effects Of Oil Spill
A trip down to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico in a submarine reveals a bleak portrait of the sea life near the ruptured BP well. Scientists are finding a thick layer of oil on the seafloor, and they say it could be years before the ecosystem recovers.
Oliver Sacks On His Burning Love Of 'Fire'
Neurologist Oliver Sacks' earliest and fondest memories are of fire — the coal fires of his childhood home, Hanukkah candles. Today he deals more with the firing of neurons, but he still gets his fix through flame-inspired literature like Hazel Rossotti's Fire, about the culture and science of fire.
China's Nobel Crackdown Echoes 1936
Friday night in Oslo, the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to the jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiabo. But no one will be able to collect the award, because China has refused to allow Xiabo or his wife to travel to Norway for the ceremony. That's happened before, in the 1930s, when peace activist and journalist Carl von Ossietzky was in a concentration camp when it was announced he won the prize. For more on von Ossietzky, NPR's Guy Raz talks to Istvan Deak, a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University.
Obama: Democrats Won't Stop Tax Deal President Obama tells NPR that he is confident that "the framework is going to look like the one that we put forward." He says that "nobody – Democrat or Republican – wants to see people's paychecks smaller on Jan. 1 because Congress didn't act."