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Friday, August 19, 2011

Minnesota Public Radio Stories


National Public Radio Stories

  • Libyan Rebels Keep Momentum Up In Zawiyah Battle
    In Libya, rebel forces have made advances in their battle to unseat Moamar Gadhafi from power. After several days of fierce clashes, opposition fighters have taken the last refinery under Gadhafi's control. The coastal city of Zawiyah, 30 miles from the capital tripoli, is still being contested though.
  • Activist: It's Time For Syrian Opposition To Unify
    In Syria, the opposition has focused on driving President Bashar Assad from power. It's not clear who would replace him, but one leading activist in neighboring Lebanon says it's now time for the opposition to come together.
  • Germans Worry What's Behind Wave Of Arsons
    In the German capital Berlin, police say scores of vehicles have been burned. But the crimes don't fit the old pattern of attacks on BMWs and Mercedes. Officers dismiss any suggestion this is the start of urban unrest as seen recently in London.
  • In The Arctic Race, The U.S. Lags Behind
    The warming Arctic is opening up to increased activity, but the U.S. has not been a major player so far. For now, its polar capabilities are limited. Also, the U.S. isn't party to a major treaty that will shape territorial claims in the region.
  • In Hard Times, Welfare Cases Drop In Some States
    A welfare overhaul 15 years ago was meant to create a safety net in a bad economy, but a study finds that hasn't been the case in the past few years. In Arizona, for example, joblessness rose 134 percent while the number of households getting cash assistance fell 48 percent. Some point to a reliance on programs like food stamps; others say tighter eligibility requirements caused a decline.
  • Black Researchers Getting Fewer Grants From NIH
    A new study finds that when applying for scientific research grants from the National Institutes of Health, white researchers succeeded 25 percent of the time, while blacks about 15 percent of the time. Though race is not part of the application, some suggest the finding could mean there is an underlying bias in decisions.
  • A Big Bridge In The Wrong Place
    Why was New York state's Tappan Zee Bridge built at one of the widest spots on the Hudson River when it would have been much cheaper and easier to build it a few miles south? Newspaper clippings from the 1940s and '50s revealed something suspicious.
  • Bank Of America Expected To Lay Off Thousands
    The nation's largest bank will lay off 3,500 employees this quarter. Reports say Bank of America could also eliminate up to 10,000 jobs over the next few months, though the bank would not comment on that figure. Bank of America's stock is down over 50 percent since January.
  • Home Sales Stall Even As Mortgage Rates Are Low
    Home sales figures across the country for July came in well below expectations — especially in western states. That could be, in part, because Wells Fargo stopped taking applications and locking in rates for Fannie, Freddie and FHA-backed loans. New rules for such loans go into effect Oct. 1.
  • Grocery Shoppers Leave Wal-Mart For Dollar Stores
    Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, announced its second quarter earnings this week. While profits were up, sales were down in the U.S. It's the ninth consecutive quarter that important number has declined. Because of Wal-Mart's size, economists are paying attention. Analyst Brian Sozzi talks to Renee Montagne about what Wal-Mart can learn from other retailers.

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