Homeland Security takes on English literacy
President Bush says all new immigrants to the U.S. must learn English. Bush was in the Midwest today promoting an immigration reform package that's drawn criticism from many members of his own party. In Omaha, Neb., he talked with immigrant school children in Spanish but later emphasized the importance of assimilating to U.S. Culture, and specifically, of learning English. He also announced creation of a new Homeland Security task force to encourage assimilation efforts such as English education.5:19 p.m.
Radar base could become vacation homes A developer wants to convert the former Finland Air Force Base on Lake Superior's North Shore into vacation homes. But the project has been beset by problems, including pollution left by the Air Force.5:22 p.m.
Story time at the Walker F. Scott Fitzgerald fans now have not one, but two, opportunities to enjoy staged versions of "The Great Gatsby" in coming months. The Guthrie Theater will open its new complex with an adaptation of the novel in late June.
Then in September, the Walker Art Center will stage "Gatz," a six-hour show which is essentially a reading of the entire book.5:48 p.m.
"West Bank Story": Minneapolis' global village then and now For more than a century, the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis has been the place where immigrant energy, radical politics and campus culture collide. That rich, occasionally volatile, history is the inspiration for Bedlam Theater's latest production, which also happens to be a musical. It's called "West Bank Story."6:20 p.m.
The graduation party
June is the season for graduation parties. Commentator Nanci Olesen remembers the day of her own graduation.6:25 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Senate Rejects Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage
Through a procedural vote, the Senate rejects a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, 49-48. That was one vote more than they got last time the Senate voted on the matter, in 2004. But 67 votes, a two-thirds majority, are required to pass a constitutional amendment.
Parties Seek Lessons from Bilbray's House Win
Republican Brian Bilbray won a special election Tuesday for the San Diego seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Randy "Duke" Cunningham. The former incumbent went to jail for bribery earlier this year, so Democrats had hoped the district might be vulnerable. But Bilbray won with barely half the vote.
Orchestrating Mixed-Media Art with Mentos
Two months ago, we reported on the Web video phenomenon of Mentos and Diet Coke. When the mint candies are combined with the soda it creates a geyser of Diet Coke. A new video on the Internet takes that concept and turns it into a highly choreographed routine complete with music. Melissa Block talks with Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, the two men who created the video.
Somalia on the Brink: Islamists or Militants?
The fate of Somalia stands at a crossroads, as Islamists who have taken control of the capital offer a new chance to move beyond the violence brought by competing warlords. But security analysts fear the country may become a safe harbor for al-Qaeda, duplicating the role of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the 1990s.
Somalia: Decades of Unintended Consequences
The State Department rejected suggestions that U.S. policy in Somalia has been dealt a setback. And President Bush says that he and his advisers are going to strategize on the situation. Senior News Analyst Ted Koppel says that's all very reassuring; but it's hard to see how things could be any worse if they just left it alone.
California Adds Paper Trail to Electronic Voting
California's primary election Tuesday was the first serious test for a new kind of electronic voting machine. The devices produce a paper-trail record of every vote cast by touch-screen. The major shift in technology was prompted by concerns that the electronic voting machines the state had been using were vulnerable to fraud.
Dad's Advice: Defeating Minor Crises
Commentator Laura Lorson always paid close attention to her father's advice while growing up. He was always very concerned that she and her sisters would get hurt while doing something mundane. She used to think he was paranoid, but now she thinks that he gave her a great gift - the art of being prepared for the most minor of emergencies.
Auto Efficiency: The Mileage vs. Safety Debate
Since Americans first debated government regulation of the fuel efficiency of passenger cars, it has always come down to safety vs. efficiency: lighter cars get better mileage, the conventional wisdom goes -- but they're not as safe as heavier cars. Does that argument still hold water?
Auto Efficiency: Fighting Higher Standards
As Congress resumes its debate over whether to increase federal standards for fuel efficiency in passenger cars, some heavy hitters are weighing in against new regulations.