State Fair opens with new restrictions for smokers The State Fair now has 18 designated smoking areas, and opinions on the new rules were easy to find Thursday as excited fairgoers began trickling through the main gates on Dan Patch Avenue, searching for new attractions and old favorites on opening day.5:19 p.m.
Insurance companies in major effort to avert problems with MNsure MNsure, a huge Internet technology undertaking that is being built in a very short timeframe, is bound to experience bumps in the road, insurance company officials say. With that in mind, the companies are trying to anticipate potential problems with the online marketplace.5:23 p.m.
Signs of Asian carp found farther upstream The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the discovery of an Asian carp 20 miles north of Winona signals an expanding reach for the invasive species.5:50 p.m.
Complete this sentence: My Town Is... As part of our MPR News eBook project called Fighting for an American Countryside, we asked a dozen Minnesotans to finish the sentence that begins, "My town is . . ." What would you say about your town in less than a minute?5:56 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Justice Department Sues Texas Over Strict Voter ID Law
The Justice Department is suing the state of Texas over its strict voter ID law, saying it discriminates against minorities. The attorney general also wants a judge to order Texas to get federal permission before it changes its election procedures.
Obama Calls For College Affordability On Bus Tour
President Obama was in Buffalo, N.Y., today, talking up the college affordability program at the SUNY campus there and urging Congress to do more to support higher education. The president also has a political agenda as he drives from town to town. NPR's Scott Horsley is with the president and joins us now.
The World's Most Precise Clock Could Prove Einstein Wrong
Scientists are always looking for a more accurate answer to the question, "What time is it?" Now they've built the most precise atomic clock yet — but it's not just telling time. It has the potential to investigate the accuracy of the General Theory of Relativity.
'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change
When Republicans on Capitol Hill want to hear reasons not to take strong action on climate change, sometimes they call on Judith Curry to testify. The climatologist has staked out an unusual position on the subject: She says the climate is changing and people are partly responsible, but we shouldn't bother regulating carbon dioxide.
Nasdaq Trading Halted For Hours By Technical Glitch
Trading on the Nasdaq exchange was halted today due to an unspecified technical glitch. The shutdown rattled investors and raised fresh concerns about the safety and stability of financial markets. Nasdaq in particular has experienced technological mishaps, most notably during the Facebook IPO in 2012.
Soldier Who Admitted To Killing Afghans Apologizes In Court
"Sorry just isn't good enough, but I am sorry." That apology was offered Thursday by Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, in a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Bales agreed to plead guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians as part of a deal that spared him the death penalty. His sentencing hearing is wrapping up this week.
Some Afghans Already Cynical About Next Year's Election
April 5, 2014 — that's the day Afghans are scheduled to head to the polls to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. He's constitutionally banned from running for a third term. But, in a country that loves a good conspiracy theory, many think that Karzai will find some way to stay in power. Even if he doesn't, there are still many questions about how free and fair next year's vote will be.
Reviving An Heirloom Corn That Packs More Flavor And Nutrition
Imagine corn on the cob that naturally tastes creamy and buttery — no added fat required. Native Americans bred such a variety, but its kernels were almost lost to history. Now one chef is bringing back the heirloom corn — and hoping it will serve as a lesson in what can happen when crops are bred to be flavorful and colorful, not just big.
911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman
We hear some of the 911 call from a Georgia school clerk to the police earlier this week. Antoinette Tuff, who works at the McNair Discovery Learning Center, talked a 20-year-old gunman who was brandishing an AK-47 and shooting at police, into giving himself up.
Mubarak's Release Sparks New Debate Over Egypt's Future
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and immediately flown to a military hospital in Cairo. The court-ordered release does not mean the end of his problems. The 85-year-old Mubarak is still facing charges of conspiracy and murder in a re-trial that could begin as early as this weekend. A small group of Mubarak supporters gathered outside the prison for his release, but overall the decision to transfer him to the hospital has not ignited any street protests.