Drive for efficiency changes look of local government A movement is afoot to rethink the way Minnesota's local governments function. More efficient ways to deliver services could mean collaborations to reduce overhead, doing away with services that don't work or even erasing boundaries on the map.3:54 p.m.
In N.D. town where sugar is king, lockout hits hard Stalled labor talks between American Crystal Sugar Co. and its factory workers are taking a toll in Hillsboro, N.D., a town of 1,600 between Fargo and Grand Forks where the sugar beet factory is the largest employer.5:24 p.m.
Drive for efficiency changes look of local government A movement is afoot to rethink the way Minnesota's local governments function. More efficient ways to deliver services could mean collaborations to reduce overhead, doing away with services that don't work or even erasing boundaries on the map.5:50 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
South Sudan: Will Oil Lead It Out Of Poverty?
South Sudan is one of the most underdeveloped places in the world and still has a tense relationship with its former rulers in Sudan. But the world's newest nation does have oil, and diplomats at a Washington conference are looking at what can be done to help get South Sudan on its feet.
U.S. Nuclear Agency Suffers Leadership Meltdown
Four of the top commissioners of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are locked in a feud with the fifth — the chairman, Gregory Jaczko. In a letter to the White House and in a congressional hearing on Wednesday, they called Jaczko a bully who is destroying their ability to do their job.
Mysterious Events Leave Tehran Feeling Under Siege
Two recent explosions and the unlikely capture of an American stealth drone have left a flood of questions — but very few answers — in Iran. Was it the action of Israel? Has a covert war already begun? Iranians are unnerved, feeling that the country is constantly under attack.
Norwegian Bakery Gets By During Butter Shortage
Norwegians are suffering from a butter shortage. The Nordic country has to go without, supposedly because of trade barriers imposed by the country's dairy cooperative Tine. And of course, this comes right as the holiday baking season is heating up. Lynn Neary talks with Lovisa Morling, of the Apent Bakeri in Oslo, about how the bakery is getting by.
Just How Many Jobs Would The Keystone Pipeline Create?
The House passed a bill on Tuesday forcing President Obama to decide on the controversial pipeline project within 60 days. Republicans say the pipeline should be approved quickly because it would create "more than 100,000 jobs."
Report: Wealthy 'Elite Donors' Fueling U.S. Politics
A new analysis of 2010 election money shows that a relatively small number of rich donors accounted for a quarter of itemized contributions to congressional campaigns and party committees. The analysis comes from the Sunlight Foundation.
Rancher Discusses Losing Money With MF Global
The bankruptcy of MF Global — and the mismanagement of its clients' money — is causing trouble for a lot of ranchers and farmers. They were major clients of MF Global, buying futures contracts to hedge against swings in the value of their crops and livestock. MF Global cannot account for more than a billion dollars of its customers' cash. Lynn Neary speaks with cattle rancher Tim Rietzke of Coldwater, Kan., about his lost money.
Alan Cheuse Picks The Best Books To Give As Gifts
He's made his list and checked it twice: critic Alan Cheuse recommends the best books to give as gifts in 2011. This year, it's mostly fiction — books that will light up dark winter nights with warm stories, large characters and beautiful language.