Collapsed bridge design firm has deep Minn. roots The investigation of the I-35W bridge collapse is bringing new focus on the engineering firm that built it. The National Transportation Safety Board said design errors led to the disaster.5:14 p.m.
Rep. Oberstar wants to ground NWA merger U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-Minn., says he is strongly opposed to airline industry consolidation. Oberstar is the chair of the House Transportation Committee and says his objections extend to a possible merger between Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines.5:48 p.m.
Lawmakers propose to crack down on binge drinking Recent high-profile tragedies involving alcohol are sparking renewed interest in state legislation to limit cheap drink specials at bars and also change state law to allow colleges to notify parents about alcohol violations.5:54 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
GOP Presidential Field Is Wide Open
With three different winners in three major early voting contests, the GOP race is as muddled as ever. South Carolina's Jan. 19 GOP primary could help narrow the field. But it's also possible the race could last through Super Tuesday — and beyond.
John Edwards Looks to South Carolina, Beyond
Despite his second- and third-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, John Edwards' presidential campaign continues full-throttle in South Carolina and Nevada. Edwards says it is going to be a long race and he's in it to win.
'Monitorships' Smack of Favoritism for Bush Cronies
Lucrative contracts called "monitorships," like the one a U.S. attorney in New Jersey awarded to John Ashcroft, give the appearance of favoritism for administration cronies, NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says.
California's Marine Protection Law Sets High Bar
A new law to establish Marine Protected Areas along the California coast just went into effect. No other state in the nation comes close to matching the scope of this ambitious project — and now everyone is watching California to see if, and how, this marine protection works.
Chinese Automakers Face Hurdles in U.S. Market
It will be a few years before Chinese cars are selling in U.S. showrooms, but their presence at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is creating quite a stir. Five Chinese auto-makers are represented, sending a clear signal that China is setting its sights on the lucrative American market.
U.S. Presidents' Saudi Ritual Nearly Obsolete
President Bush appealed to Saudi leaders this week to increase the flow of oil — to help to keep prices under control. It's a ritual for U.S. presidents — and one that NPR Senior News Analyst Ted Koppel says is almost obsolete.
Boeing May Face Penalties for 'Dreamliner' Delays
Production of Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner" jet has been delayed. The company outsourced most of the production work on its massive plane and underestimated how long completion of that work would take. Eight-hundred jets are on order, and Boeing now says the first of the planes won't be ready until early next year.
A New Take on the Chartered Jet: Pay by Seat
In Florida, a new kind of airline recently took to the skies. Using the Internet and very light jets, DayJet plans to offer customers the ability to book affordable, direct flights to mid-size markets on demand — without having to charter a whole plane.
UFO Sightings Stream In from Texas Townsfolk
Stephenville, Texas, is abuzz with talk of UFOs. Several residents — including a pilot — have reported seeing a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast, describing it as "nothing from these parts." Federal officials say there's a logical explanation, but locals insist the object was larger, quieter and faster than an aircraft.
Police Honor K-9 Companion Killed in Line of Duty
Oceanside Police Department in San Diego, Calif., had a memorial service this week for Stryker, a police dog killed in the line of duty after a dramatic chase on New Year's Eve. Police Lt. Fred Armijo says the memorial service drew K-9 officers from all over the San Diego area.