Homegrown summer children's books You can travel to an archeological dig in Belize, or join a pack of roaming dogs near the Minnesota-Canadian border. Minnesota children's book author Mary Casanova is out with two new books this summer and both are packed with adventure.4:48 p.m.
Bar owners live with smoking ban by building patios Now that St. Paul bar owners have given up their attempts to repeal the city's smoking ban, they say they want help to make the ban work. They also say they need the city's help to get back business they've lost because of the ban. To do that, they need to create special places for smokers.5:19 p.m.
Duluth gets tough on butts Duluth was one of the first cities to institute a smoking ban. And that pushed a lot of people onto the streets.
Now downtown Duluth has a new campaign -- against cigarette butts.5:23 p.m.
Grand Avenue bans the big box In St. Paul, a victory for those who like the charm and character of the Grand Ave. neighborhood. After years of back and forth debate, the St. Paul City council has voted 6-0 to limit the size of buildings on the popular shopping street.5:53 p.m.
Popular science in the blogosphere There are more than 46 million blogs on the Internet, and his is the most read science blog. Pharyngula, by PZ Myers, is the world's 179th most read blog on any topic. MPR's Tom Crann tried to find ou why it's so popular.6:24 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Israel Blocks Lebanon's Air and Sea Ports
Israeli forces block Lebanon's ports and put its international airport out of commission, while extending a search for two captured Israeli soldiers near the border. The conflict has sparked two days of heavy fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.
Beirut Reacts to Israeli Army's Advance
Melissa Block talks with Anthony Shadid, foreign correspondent for The Washington Post. Shadid is in Beirut and talks about the reaction in Lebanon to the clashes between Israel and Hezbollah on the Lebanese border. It started with the Hezbollah kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in an effort to arrange a swap for prisoners in Israel. The Israeli military has moved into South Lebanon in response.
Lebanon's Hezbollah Ties
Two weeks ago, NPR Senior News Analyst Ted Koppel was in southern Lebanon, the area Israeli forces recently attacked after two soldiers were abducted by Lebanon-based Hezbollah. The incursion is Israel's first since pulling out of Lebanon in 2000. Melissa Block talks with Koppel.
Plame Sues Cheney, Rove and Aide over Leak
Former CIA agent Valerie Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, file suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, presidential aide Karl Rove and former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for their roles in the disclosure of Plame's classified work at the CIA operative.
First Tour Sans Lance Is Up for Grabs
Melissa Block talks with former Tour de France rider Frankie Andreu about the 2006 Tour de France, and American contender Floyd Landis, who is competing while enduring shooting pains in his hips. Andreu is a commentator for Outdoor Life Network, the U.S. broadcaster of the tour.
Mumbai Death Toll Nears 200; Suspects Named
The death toll in Tuesday's bomb attacks on trains in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, has risen to nearly 200, and police have detained hundreds of people for questioning. India's Anti-Terror Squad released the names and pictures of two suspects.
North Korean Launch Tests Chinese Diplomacy
The United Nations Security Council is delaying its formal response to North Korea's July 5 missile tests, as diplomats give China time to persuade its longtime ally to cooperate. The tests are challenging China's credibility as an effective diplomatic broker.
Stink or Swim: Chinese Dive into Polluted River
In Chinese politics, swimming is an act laden with political symbolism. Chairman Mao swam in China’s rivers to prove his mastery over nature. And now the city of Guangzhou in southern China has held a huge swimathon to showcase its clean-up of the heavily polluted Pearl River.
Weaving the Land into Stories, and History
Storyteller Kevin Kling has just returned from the South Australian Outback. The region isn't just far away from home, Kling says: The familiar is very unfamiliar; the stars in the sky are different, and even the lakes are dry much of the time, quite different from Minnesota. The visit gave him perspective on the land and how the land and stories weave together to create a history.