Scientist reacts to move to ban human cloning in Minnesota This afternoon the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will consider the 'Human Cloning Prohibition Act'. This bill would make illegal certain technology involved in cloning procedure. MPR's Phil Picardi spoke to Dr. Meri Firpo about the science community's reaction. Dr. Firpo is a researcher at the University of Minnesota's Stem Cell Institute.6:50 a.m.
With Census data in, lawmakers can redraw political map New census numbers show that the boundaries of all eight congressional districts must expand or contract to reflect recent population shifts. Big changes are also in store for some of the state's 201 legislative districts, where populations changed dramatically over the past 10 years.7:20 a.m.
Workers Race To Cool Fuel Rods At Crippled Plant
Attempts by helicopters to dump water into a pool of overheated nuclear fuel at Japan's Fukushima reactor complex did little to dissipate radiation ledges at the plant. Water cannon are next. Efforts have moved to filling two spent fuel pools as water levels dropped.
House Panel Delves Into Nuclear Energy Questions
On Capitol Hill, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee grilled the secretary of Energy about the Obama administration's support for nuclear energy, in light of the crisis in Japan. Steven Chu defended the president's overall push for energy sources that don't aggravate the greenhouse gas effect.
Army Clarifies Purple Heart Rules For Soldiers
The new guidelines should make it easier for soldiers with traumatic brain injuries from explosions to receive the Purple Heart. The Army's move comes in response to an investigation published last September by NPR and ProPublica that revealed some soldiers had been wrongly denied the medal.
Afghanistan Drawdown To Include Combat Troops
For U.S. troops in Afghanistan looking to return home, a little reason for optimism. On Wednesday, the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, spoke before Congress about drawdowns. He said some combat forces could return as part of the initial withdrawal this July.
Georgia May Have Broken Law By Importing Drug
Georgia has put executions on hold, after the Drug Enforcement Administration seized the state's supply of sodium thiopental, one of three drugs used in lethal injection. The government has questions about whether the drug was imported illegally from Britain.
Libyan Opposition Wary Of Gadhafi's Amnesty Offer
On state television, Gadhafi's regime has dangled an offer of amnesty for those who put down their arms. But there is still fear that those who fought the government — even those who just joined in protests — may never be safe.
A Divided Italy Prepares For Unification Anniversary
In a period when local interests trump national identity and the country's image is at a low point, Italy will mark the 150th anniversary of its unification this Thursday rather than celebrate it. Ministers from the Northern League, a partner in the conservative coalition, voted against making Thursday a holiday.
States Try To Force Amazon To Collect Sales Tax
Amazon cites a law that says companies only have to collect taxes if they have a physical presence in a state. Illinois became the latest state to pass a law that forces Amazon to collect sales tax if it has marketing affiliates in the state. Amazon plans to drop its Illinois affiliates so it can avoid collecting taxes.
PG&E To Test For Faulty Transmission Lines
California's Pacific Gas & Electric Company plans to test and possibly replace hundreds of miles of aging gas pipelines. The move comes after a review of previous safety tests brought on by last year's explosion in San Bruno, Calif. That incident killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes.
Markets Reflect Scariness Of Japan's Problems
The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is a human tragedy and can't be measured in dollars and scents. David Wessel, of The Wall Street Journal, tells Linda Wertheimer that uncertainty is never good for financial markets.