Minneapolis and St. Paul get high marks for emergency communications systems A new report from the Office of Homeland Security reveals that many cities throughout the United States are not fully prepared for emergency communication during a crisis. Only six cities received the highest rating for emergency communications systems, among them, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.4:44 p.m.
Legislature opens session Although promises of bipartisanship ruled the day, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Republican leaders warned against any efforts to raise taxes.5:19 p.m.
Views of the Capitol from White Castle As lawmakers went through their first-day ceremonies inside the Minnesota Capitol, we headed across the street to the White Castle restaurant on Rice Street, where you can actually see the Capitol dome from the dining room. We wanted to hear what people in the neighborhood hope to see from the 2007 Minnesota Legislature.5:24 p.m.
Democrats Dictate Plans for Congress, GOP Says
Democrats hope to start the 110th Congress off with a bang, passing an ethics overhaul, stem-cell research legislation, and raising the minimum wage, among other proposals. But Republican House members complain about being shut out of the planning process.
'Culture of Corruption' and Promises of Change
A top item on the Democrats' priority list is ethics reform. Wednesday marks exactly one year since lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in the biggest congressional corruption scandal in years. Democrats ran for office promising to end what they called the Republicans' "culture of corruption."
Ellison to Take Oath on Thomas Jefferson's Quran
Newly elected Rep. Keith Ellison announced last month that he planned to take the oath of office with his hand on the Quran. The decision by the Minnesota Democrat, the first Muslim elected to Congress, drew criticism. But now Ellison says he plans to use a copy of the Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson. Michele Norris talks with Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, who helped Ellison locate Jefferson's Quran.
Russians in London: the Monied and Not
The death in London of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko last month has highlighted the city's large Russian community. Although some are political exiles like Litvinenko, most of the tens of thousands of Russian emigres in London are less involved in political intrigue. Many newly wealthy Russians have moved to London for its traditional attractions.
My Life in the Cult: Miracle of the Water
Commentator Daniel Pinkwater recalls his time in a cult. He asked God to let him know if his prayers were getting through. One night, Pinkwater found himself drawn to the basement. There he found a water pipe had burst. Then the miracle: the plumber came right away.
Sex Offenders Fill Geriatric Wards of U.S. Prisons
Experts say it's the only crime that offenders are more likely to repeat with age: sexual abuse. And now, prison wards around the country are filling up with geriatric sex offenders. Laura Sullivan takes an inside look at one Pennsylvania prison.
New Jersey Panel: Abolish State's Death Penalty
A legislative commission in New Jersey has recommended that the state abolish the death penalty. If the legislature and governor approve, New Jersey would become the first state to abolish capital punishment by legislative action since 1972. Melissa Block talks with James Abbott, police chief of West Orange, N.J., and a member of the commission.
British Man Devotes Life to Mastering Beijing Opera
China has just 76 traditional opera troupes today, compared to 2,000 four decades ago. But it has an unlikely new champion: a Briton who has devoted more than a decade to mastering Beijing opera and bringing it to new audiences.
Preparing the Reeds for Oboe Practice
Listener Karen Birch of Miami offers us a peek into the world of oboe players. To prepare to play the instrument, the double-reed mouthpiece must be prepped. It's critical to a good sound. Birch walks us through the process, which is part of her daily life.
Guards Arrested for Taping Saddam's Hanging
Two guards at the facility where Saddam Hussein has hanged have been arrested, says Iraqi National Security Adviser Dr. Mowaffak al-Rubaie. The men were paid to tape the event by Arab TV channels, according to al-Rubaie, who was a witness to Saddam Hussein's execution.