Increasing interest in Arabic creates new language camp program
This week, Concordia Language Villages in northern Minnesota unveils its newest immersion camp, Al-Waha, or "The Oasis." The summer camp introduces young people to the language and culture of the Arab world. Concordia established the camp with help from a quarter million dollar grant from the U.S. State Department.6:50 a.m.
Power Trips: Minnesota members of Congress defend travel In the last few years, Minnesota members of Congress have traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Israel, South Africa, China, Germany, Turkey, Mozambique and other spots around the globe. Taxpayers didn't foot the bill for these trips -- private interest groups did.7:20 a.m.
Bars and clubs may get exemptions from St. Paul smoking ban
The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association has decided not to submit a petition today, which would have put a referendum on this fall's ballot to allow some exemptions from St. Paul's smoking ban. The association announced that city officials are willing to consider loosening some restrictions to the total smoking ban, possibly allowing separate smoking areas at bars and clubs. Fill-in Morning Edition host Perry Finelli spoke with Jim Farrell, Executive Director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association about the petition and smoking ban exemptions.7:26 a.m.
What the Hecker? StarTribune.com tests new home page ads These are challenging times for newspapers, with ad revenues on the decline. Minnesota's largest paper, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, is looking at the potential for more advertising on its Web site. The paper is testing the bounds of what advertisers can do online -- and what readers will accept.7:45 a.m.
Summer school in Minneapolis: A progress report This summer, we've been visiting South High School in Minneapolis to go beyond the debates about education policy and get a better understanding of what really happens in classrooms.7:50 a.m.
Minnesota Public Radio's Chief Economics Correspondent Chris Farrell discusses the latest economic news.8:55 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
The Inner World of Ripley the Robot
Plenty of computers know thousands of words and complex rules of grammar. But they're dismal communicators. So a group of scientists at MIT is trying a different approach: They're creating robots that learn what words mean the same way humans do.
Agony Index: Losing the World Cup
The World Cup has ended, with glory for Italy and heartbreak for France. But don't think for an instant that the French players are alone in their agony. There are thousands of World Cup losers. And they're not all just quietly taking down flags from the bars and city squares, either.
More U.S. Soldiers Charged in Iraq Rape, Murder
Four American soldiers have been arrested for allegedly participating in the rape and murder of a young Iraqi and her family in March. The charges follow the earlier arrest of Stephen Green, discharged from the Army for a personality disorder, for the same incident.
Oil Rich Iraq Suffers Through Gasoline Shortage
In Iraq, with the second-largest proven oil reserves in the world, residents of Baghdad are enduring a fuel shortage. Long lines at gas stations are not unusual. But now many stations are closed for lack of fuel.
Lawyers Seek Dismissal of Asbestos Lawsuits
Thousands of lawsuits against major companies have been dismissed over potentially fraudulent medical diagnoses of the lung disease silicosis. Now defense lawyers want thousands of asbestos cases dismissed for the same reason.
Navy, Environmentalists Reach Sonar-Use Agreement
The Navy and environmental groups who challenged the use of active sonar have reached an agreement over use of the technology. It allows the military to start using sonar in large multinational training exercises near Hawaii. But the Navy will have to take precautions intended to protect whales.
Drilling to Begin in Colorado Ferret Habitat
The Federal government recently auctioned off thousands of acres of new leases for oil and gas drilling in northwest Colorado. The area is considered crucial habitat for the endangered black-footed ferret. State and federal wildlife officials consider the ferrets to be one of North America's most endangered mammals. From Aspen Public Radio, Kirk Siegler reports.
Reinforcements Called for in Fight Against Taliban
Britain is expected to announce it's sending hundreds of additional troops to southern Afghanistan. That's in response to an urgent request for reinforcements from commanders there. Coalition forces in the region have been engaged in a major operation against Taliban fighters.
Afghans Wary of Returning Virtue Police
The Department for the Prevention of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue, one of the most feared Taliban-era institutions, is returning under the current U.S.-backed government. Many Afghans remember being thrown in jail or tortured by the Taliban version of the organization.
A Solution to the Sound of 'Ear Spray'
"Ear spray" is the tinny sound that leaks out of somebody else's iPod. NPR producer Neva Grant was showered by this sound on a recent train trip, and discovered an unlikely solution to the problem.