Pawlenty to lead Innovation America task force The National Governors Association is meeting today in Phoenix, Ariz. to launch Innovation America, a bipartisan initiative "to strengthen the competitive position of the United States in the global economy." Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano will co-chair the 17-member task force.5:23 p.m.
Construction concerns stall new ethanol plants Some plans for new ethanol production have been postponed or canceled across the U.S. as the ethanol boom slows. One analyst says far more plants have been proposed than will ever be built.5:50 p.m.
More doctors opt for plump and peel procedures A new trend in medicine has more and more doctors moving into the field of cosmetic medicine. Some simply add cosmetic procedures to their practice, while others abandon their original specialties altogether to erase wrinkles, plump lips and peel away the years.5:53 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Senate Armed Services Committee OKs Gates
The Senate Armed Services Committee votes unanimously to approve Robert Gates as the new secretary of defense. In his sole day of hearings, Gates faced questions about Iraq and U.S. troop levels. The full Senate will vote on his nomination Wednesday.
Two Generals' Views of Gates, Troop Levels
Robert Siegel talks with retired Army Gens. Robert Scales and Barry McCaffrey. Both former officers are engaged in the current debate over Iraq, particularly with respect to U.S. troop levels. The subject was often discussed in confirmation hearing for Robert Gates, the president's nominee to be secretary of defense. Scales and McCaffrey analyze the day's session.
Having Lost a Son, Family Sees Another Go to Iraq
A North Carolina family is having a difficult holiday season as it mourns Army Staff Sgt. Misael Martinez, who died in Iraq during his third tour of duty. A bomb exploded near the 24-year-old's vehicle in Ramadi. Martinez joined the military after finishing high school, hoping to attend college later. But even as the family grieves, it is preparing for another son to leave for Iraq on his first tour of duty in January. Jessica Jones of member station WUNC reports.
Outlaw Prairie Dogs Find Refuge with Rancher
A rancher in Kansas is defying an order from the county to poison the prairie dogs on his property. He says the rodents help maintain a balance with other wildlife in the area, but his neighbors want the destructive little creatures exterminated.
Putting a Hit Out on Pheasants for the Holidays
Commentator Heather King lives in Los Angeles, but lately she's been attuned to the hunting season in Pipestone, Minn. She and a friend commissioned a pheasant hunt: Four wild birds were killed in Minnesota for them, shipped to Los Angeles on ice and eaten as part of a feast in King's Los Angeles apartment.
Indian School Case May Affect Casino Labor Policies
Teachers at a Native American charter school in northern Michigan file unfair labor charges against school administrators after just two bargaining sessions. School officials are threatening to close the school unless the teachers vote to decertify the union. Tribal officials concede that the fight is tied to fears that unions would be able to organize tens of thousands of workers at Indian casinos.
'This American Life' Is Ready for Its TV Close-Up
How do you turn a hit radio show into something watchable? For more than 10 years, the WBEZ-produced This American Life has been a vehicle for many different types of contributors to share their stories. Now, host Ira Glass is taking his weird and wonderful show to the tube. The TV version debuts in March, on Showtime.
NASA Airs Its Plan for a Moon Base by 2024
NASA announces plans to build a moon base that would house a new generation of lunar explorers. The plan calls for a return to the moon by 2020, with a rudimentary base camp established by 2024. But the ambitious plan faces stiff technical and political challenges.
Moon Society Encouraged by Plans for Lunar Base
Melissa Block talks with Dr. Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society and owner of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace engineering contracting firm, and Peter Kokh, president of the Moon Society, about NASA's plan to build a lunar base.