Flooded cities find it hard to focus on new state relief money
While residents in southeastern Minnesota are grateful the close to 160 million dollar relief package state lawmakers passed in a special session yesterday, some say the task of clean-up recovery is so large they can only focus on that task.
Host Steven John talks with Minnesota Public Radio reporter Sea Stachura about how residents in the region are reacting to the relief package. And she shares the story of one man forced to burn his damaged house because there's no room in area landfills.5:24 p.m.
Fall harvest looks stronger than expected The latest crop report contains a couple of surprises: The size of the corn crop will be even bigger than expected, and grain prices are moving higher despite that news.5:50 p.m.
Exploring the politics of the special session
After the 35W bridge collapse, both DFLers and Republicans agreed that the Minnesota's aging roads and bridges need immediate attention. At the time, Governor Tim Pawlenty said he would be willing to call a special session to fund transportation projects and possibly even raise the state gas tax.
Host Steven John talked with Carleton College Political Science Professor Stephen Schier about why the legislature focused only on natural disaster recovery during last night's special session.5:54 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
U.S. Envoy Crocker Keeps Faith in Iraq's Leaders
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker says he still has confidence that the country's leaders can overcome sectarian strife. He also says he sees signs of hope, as provincial authorities and the central government begin to work together.
Foreign Service Officers Get Crash Course on Iraq
The State Department has developed a quick training program for people sent to Iraq as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team. In two weeks, they are briefed on everything from Arabic to driving in a war zone. Is any of it taught effectively, given the short time-frame?
Senate Holds Hearing on Chinese-Made Toys
A Senate panel holds a hearing on the safety of children's toys imported from China. Questions focused on whether federal regulators and toy companies have done enough to ensure safety amid numerous product recalls.
Songs of the Old Days at Chinese Park
At Beijing's Coal Hill Park, older residents gather to sing Mao-era songs and gripe about current day discontents. The Sunday get-togethers are a sort of living oldies radio channel.
Wounded Soldier's Family Feels Forgotten by Army
Army Spc. Ron Hinkle barely survived an IED blast in Iraq that left him with brain damage. Bad advice from the Army has left him with mounting medical bills. Now he and his family may lose their Colorado ranch.
Judge Backs Vermont's Auto-Emissions Rules
A federal judge in Vermont rules that the state can adopt auto-emissions standards as strict as California's. The auto industry challenged the plan. More than a dozen other states are seeking stricter standards, too.
Tony Snow Bidding Adieu to White House Post
White House spokesman Tony Snow is leaving the his job on Friday, but he has handed over the daily press briefing to successor Dana Perino. Snow, 52, has been on the job since April 2006.
Democrats Vow New Effort on Iraq
After two days of hearings on Iraq, Democratic congressional leaders say they are not satisfied with the planned drawdown of 30,000 troops envisioned by Gen. David Petraeus. They pledge a push for legislation to change course in Iraq.
Obama Outlines Plan for Iraq Pullout
Sen. Barack Obama's plan for Iraq includes pulling out one or two brigades every month and completing a full withdrawal by the end of 2008. He is also calling for a new constitutional convention in Iraq to be convened with U.N. help.
Bin Laden's Beard: Color Us Curious
In a recent video, Osama bin Laden's beard is no longer streaked with gray. It's also shorter than in earlier tapes. Experts who analyze the al-Qaida leader are divided on whether he has dyed his beard or donned a fake one.