DFL gubernatorial candidates differ on sales tax expansion The DFL candidates running for governor have been pretty vocal about raising income taxes for wealthy Minnesotans as a way to solve the state's fiscal problems, but some Democrats say an income tax increase alone won't solve the state's ongoing budget problems.7:20 a.m.
EPA considers raising ethanol cap Corn farmers and ethanol producers in Minnesota are hoping to catch a break from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today. The EPA is considering a proposal to boost the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent.7:25 a.m.
Holiday music unwelcome to some The holiday season is here and holiday music seems to be everywhere. But not everyone is crazy for Christmas carols. Peter Smith, for one, is a bit more Scrooge than jolly old elf.8:45 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Government Increases Pressure On Mortgage Industry
The Obama administration is pushing the mortgage industry to do more for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. A $75 billion government program has yet to provide permanent help for many borrowers. Some consumer advocates say it's time the government took a harder line with lenders. The Treasury Department says it could levy fines on companies that aren't doing enough.
Financial Overhaul On Track In House, Lags In Senate
The House Financial Services Committee will likely vote Wednesday to send a sweeping financial overhaul bill to the full House. But hurdles remain in the Senate, and there's concern that as the economy stabilizes, the urgency for action will fade.
Commonwealth Admits French-Speaking Rwanda
Rwanda is the newest member of the Commonwealth. That's a diverse group of nations, most of which are former British colonies. Rwanda has very few historical links to Britain. It was at one time a French-speaking Belgian colony. But Rwanda's president has been campaigning for his country to become part of the English-speaking world.
Brazil Pins Hopes On Massive, Untapped Oil Fields
The discovery of several massive oil fields in Brazil has put a spotlight on a company little known outside petroleum circles: state-owned Petrobras, which is now gearing up to pump as much oil as it can. Brazil hopes to be a major oil player once these fields are in full production.
Chongquing, China: Mountainous Terrain, Spicy Food
In China, residents of Chongqing will tell you that their geography makes them who they are. Their city is basically a steep chunk of rock jutting over the intersection of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. So when Chongqing residents talk about directions, it's usually not north or south, but just uphill or downhill. At local hot pot restaurants, people dip meat and vegetables in woks full of oil chili peppers and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns.
After Tiger's Crash, A Painful Silence
While the golf star remains in his gated community, curiosity builds among fans, reporters and police who want to know more about what caused the crash that plunged Woods into the first major scandal of his life.
High Court Hears Student Loan Bankruptcy Case
The Supreme Court will decide whether student loans may be forgiven in bankruptcy under certain circumstances. A bankruptcy judge approved a plan for Francisco Espinosa to repay his loan, minus interest. Eleven years later, the lender tried to collect the interest, arguing the repayment plan was void without a finding of undue hardship.
GE, Vivendi Deal Would Allow Comcast To Buy NBC
Under the agreement, which has not yet been formalized, GE would buy the 20 percent stake in NBC Universal held by Vivendi. Reports say the agreement would pave the way for GE to sell a 51 percent stake in the TV and movie company to Comcast Corp. Comcast's plan is to combine its cable system with NBC Universal's film and television offerings and create an entertainment giant.
Tortilla Machine Maker Is Starving For Credit
In California's San Gabriel Valley, Chip Masters, a company that assembles tortilla-making machines, has reduced its employees from 55 to nine to make ends meet. The company has also changed its business model and now repairs machines in addition to building new ones.
Stimulus Funds To Small Businesses Dries Up
Two provisions in the federal stimulus package which were aimed at helping small businesses are out of money. The Small Business Administration used the measures to make it easier for banks to make loans, and for small businesses to get them. The lack of funding could set the stage for further business credit contractions.