Why did the bridge collapse? Minnesota officials were warned as early as
1990 that the bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River was "structurally deficient," yet they relied on patchwork repairs and stepped-up inspections that unraveled amid a thunderous plunge of concrete and automobiles.6:40 a.m.
Bridge collapse renews focus on transportation funding debate Members of Congress are promising millions of dollars in assistance to rebuild the I-35W bridge. Two key Minnesota lawmakers are angry that it has taken a tragedy to free up money for such an essential piece of the state's transportation infrastructure.7:50 a.m.
Recovery effort cautious, deliberate Late Wednesday night emergency response officials switched their approach to the bridge collapse from rescuing survivors to recovering the dead. But Thursday's experience suggests the recovery will be extremely slow.7:55 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
'Phoenix' Lander Set for Red Planet Exploration
NASA's latest mission to Mars will send the Phoenix Lander to the Red Planet's northern poles, trenching deep into the icy water layers in search of mineral deposits and proof that life could have once existed.
A Martha's Vineyard Institution Changes Hands
For more than 90 years, residents and visitors of Martha's Vineyard have bought their groceries at Cronig's Market. Robbie Cronig and Steve Bernier discuss the market that became an institution, and the business deal that sealed a friendship.
Senate OKs Children's Health Insurance
The Senate passes a bill to renew and expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program. It received 68 votes — enough to override a threatened veto. Still, hurdles to overcome include merging S-CHIP with the House version before expiration at the end of September.
Examiners Unsure of Cause of I-35 Bridge Collapse
Minnesota officials acknowledged they were warned as early as 1990, that the eight-lane bridge had been labeled "structurally deficient." Inspectors designated the bridge as such because of significant corrosion in its bearings. And in the 1990s, additional inspections found fatigue cracks.
Overstretched British Troops Suffer High Stress
Members of Britain's armed forces who are on prolonged deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to drink too much and have problems at home, according to a new study. Researchers say lengthy missions are putting the U.K. military at risk of psychological problems.
Low-Key Drill Sergeants Retain Recruits
In the Army, gone are the screaming drill sergeants who struck fear into the hearts of recruits. They're now more like coaches or mentors. Some drill sergeants say they feel more like babysitters — and they wonder whether they are really preparing young soldiers for the stress of war.
Alaskans Split Over Sen. Stevens' Jam
Constituents of longtime Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens often refer to him as "Uncle Ted." But when federal agents swooped in and searched his home outside Anchorage — possibly looking for evidence that could tie Stevens to a corrupt oil company executive — some took pleasure in his pain.
Giuliani Hones Abortion Stance for GOP Primary
Pro-abortion GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani says that as president, he would appoint strict constructionist Supreme Court judges who believe the constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion. That's also the belief of Republican primary voters who Giuliani needs to win the nomination.
Lobbying, Ethics Overhaul Endorsed by Senate
The Senate approves tighter ethics rules. The ethics reform bill makes it illegal for legislators to accept gifts, meals, and even travel from lobbyists. And it requires them to make public 48 hours in advance any plans for spending on pet projects. It goes now to President Bush.
Katrina Victims Lose Insurance Court Battle
Insurance companies don't have to pay damages to New Orleans homeowners whose properties were destroyed by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, according to a federal appeals court ruling. The court says the companies' policies clearly weren't intended to cover flood damage.