Federal corruption trial begins for former Minneapolis city councilmember
Federal prosecutors say they will show that former Minneapolis city councilmember Dean Zimmermann used his seat as a "personal enrichment tool." Zimmermann's corruption trial began Monday in federal district court. Zimmermann is charged with four counts of bribery including taking over $7,000 in cash from a developer who was looking for help with a zoning problem.6:50 a.m.
Coleman supports higher gas mileage standards Higher gas prices are fueling the call for cars that get better gas mileage. For years, U.S. automakers have resisted attempts to raise the mandatory mileage requirements. Now a new attempt is underway in Washington, with an unlikely supporter -- Minnesota's Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.6:54 a.m.
Flight attendants reject new contract with Northwest Flight attendants at Northwest Airlines have rejected the latest attempt at a cost-cutting contract with the bankrupt company. The vote escalates the standoff between the two sides, with the airline planning to impose pay cuts, and the flight attendants planning to strike.7:20 a.m.
Crime becoming a hot issue in 5th District race Increasing crime in Minneapolis is fueling concerns about public safety in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, which includes the city and several suburbs. Candidates in the race for that seat are responding with a string of public safety proposals. One DFLer has even gotten the endorsement of Hennepin County's Republican sheriff.7:50 a.m.
Some candidates choose to make stem cell research an issue
DFL candidate Mike Hatch recently said he would spend $100 million over ten years on embryonic stem cell research if he is elected into the governor's office. Cathy wurzer spoke with political scientist Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota.7:54 a.m.
Study shows victim impact statements influence judicial sentencing
Victims of violent crimes are allowed by state law to tell their attackers and the court about how their lives were changed by an assault. Many of these statements are made after prison terms have been determined, but a recent study has show that the victims' testimonies do have an impact on court decisions. Cathy Wurzer spoke with Marna Anderson, Executive Director of WATCH. An organization that monitors court cases dealing with violent crimes against women and children. WATCH in cooperation with the Univeristy of Minnesota released the study Monday.8:24 a.m.
More women join effort to lead Catholic church
There are now about 40 Roman Catholic women who consider themselves ordained priests or deacons. Monday, 12 American women boarded a boat in Pittsburgh and were ordained in a ceremony sponsored by a group called RC Womanpriests. The group's goal is to create a new model of priesthood in the Catholic church. None of the womens' ordinations are recognized by the Roman Catholic church. Just a few weeks ago, a Minnesota woman, Regina Nicolosi, was ordained in Switzerland and Cathy Wurzer spoke with her from her home in Red Wing.8:54 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Israel to Send More Troops to Lebanon
The Israeli Cabinet voted overnight to expand ground operations in southern Lebanon. Israel Radio reported that the number of ground troops in Lebanon will more than double. Despite growing international calls for a cease-fire, Israeli officials say the offensive against Hezbollah could last for weeks.
Call for Lebanon Cease-Fire Gains Momentum at U.N.
Now that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is back from the Middle East, diplomatic efforts to stop the fighting in Lebanon shift to the U.N. Security Council. Diplomats at the U.N. are considering a resolution that puts the emphasis on an immediate halt to the fighting, a position at odds with the United States and Israel.
Shiite Militia Behind Baghdad Kidnapping
For the second time in two weeks, gunmen who appear to be Iraqi police stormed buildings in Baghdad's upscale Karadda neighborhood and kidnapped dozens of Iraqis on Monday. The gunmen are said to be members of the Mahdi army, a Shiite militia with a presence inside Iraq's security forces. Iraqi police officials say they've had nothing to do with the kidnappings.
National Guard Troops Help at U.S.-Mexico Border
More than 6,000 National Guard troops are now on the U.S. border with Mexico, helping the U.S. Border Patrol confront people attempting to cross illegally. The Guardsmen are helping with logistics, surveillance and maintenance. The Guard help has put more agents back on the border. Sarah Bush of KUT reports.
California and U.K. Sign Global Warming Agreement
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) have signed a pact that makes the United Kingdom and the state of California partners in the battle against global warming. After meeting with business leaders at the Port of Long Beach on Monday, they agreed to share technology and research.
FDA Shifts on Morning-After Pill Prescription
The Food and Drug Administration is moving toward a compromise on the emergency contraception pill. The announcement came a day before a Capitol Hill hearing on the nomination of a new FDA commissioner.
Costly Eye Drug Challenged by Inexpensive Alternative
A new drug for degenerative eye condition was approved last month by the Food and Drug Administration. It will cost about $2,000 per injection. But a vastly cheaper alternative for treating macular degeneration is said to have the same effect. But it does not have FDA approval as a treatment for the eye condition.
Senate Considers Minimum-Wage Rise, Estate Tax Cut
This week the Senate is debating whether to pass a bill that would both raise the minimum wage for the first time in almost a decade, and permanently cut the estate tax. It's a compromise that would give both Democrats and Republicans something each side wants. The House has already passed the bill. Don Gonyea talks to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal.
Utilities Promote Conservation to Blunt Demand
The heat wave that's been baking much of the country is driving power consumption ever higher. Electric utilities are looking for ways to reduce demand for power. Over the long term, they're hoping to cut costs, and the production of greenhouse gases.
Castro Surgery Puts Brother in Control of Cuba
For the first time since 1959, Fidel Castro is not in control of the Cuban government. Raul Castro has temporarily taken control after an announcement Monday night that Fidel Castro was undergoing surgery. Don Gonyea talks to Gary Marx, a reporter in Havana for The Chicago Tribune.