Commentator says don't join a book club The season for cabin fever is upon us - the time of year when Minnesotans will do almost anything to kill the monotony of the long winter. We join gyms. We take classes. But if someone invites you to join their book club, Morning Edition commentator Peter Smith says, don't do it, no matter how tedious late winter gets.6:25 a.m.
Family finds Lakota oral history It's like an Antiques Roadshow story: a family opens an old trunk and finds a treasure. The treasure for a Twin Cities family that did, was a rare Lakota oral history.6:40 a.m.
Slot machines, tax exemptions among state revenue suggestions As the governor and state lawmakers struggle to erase a projected $4.8 billion deficit over the next two years, they're talking about a lot of things including spending cuts and one-time money and accounting shifts. But policy makers aren't saying much about how the state can raise money. It could be tax increases or other steps.7:20 a.m.
In Iran, Young And Old Face Economic Struggle
A young engaged couple in Tehran say they don't know how they will find the money to move out of their parents' homes. A septuagenarian living with her son says she wants to move to an apartment building with fewer stairs, but can't afford it. They are among the Iranians fighting to get by in a troubled economy.
Homeowners Rescue Program Shows Slim Benefits
Last summer, Congress approved a measure designed to help homeowners who were having trouble with their high-rate mortgages refinance with lower-cost, government-backed loans. But the program, called Hope for Homeowners, has gone largely unused.
Failing Banks' Executive Pay May Face New Rules
President Obama may announce new rules this week on executive pay for banks seeking government relief. The president called it "shameful" that some bank CEOs received large bonuses last year, even as their institutions took billions in taxpayer money to stay afloat. Financial writer Roger Lowenstein claims overpayment of executives is the "original sin" that fostered a culture of corporate bubbles.
NTSB Begins Hearings Into Medevac Crashes
Emergency medical helicopters are supposed to save lives, but last year, a record number of people died aboard the aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board begins hearings Tuesday in Washington to try to find out what's happening, but the answers might not be simple.
Controls, Cash Aid In Slashing Greenhouse Gases
The economic stimulus package moving through Congress has billions of dollars aimed at dealing with climate change. The legislation has a huge pile of money to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. And there's more money to subsidize renewable energy. But real forward motion on climate change will cost trillions, not billions.
British Snowstorm Brings Business, Schools To Halt
The biggest snowfall in 18 years has hit Britain. Hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands of passengers were stranded on Monday. Buses and trains came to a standstill. But the snow brought pleasure, too. Classes were canceled, and snowball fights broke out across the country. "Everyone regresses to childhood," one observer said.
Sales Cool For Mattel's Hot Wheels And Barbie
Giant toymaker Mattel reported a sharp drop in sales and earnings for the final quarter of 2008. Sales of the company's iconic Hot Wheels race cars slowed more than 20 percent, despite the 99-cent price tag. Barbie sales took a similar plunge. Mattel's only brand with increased sales was the upscale line of American Girl dolls. The company's CEO said his focus this year will be on cutting costs. Mattel already announced plans to lay off 1,000 people.
Planning A Vacation? Consider Layoff Insurance
Cruise lines and resorts are slashing prices in the hopes of enticing penny-pinching travelers. But as people try to take advantage of deeply discounted rates, more and more of them are asking the question: Can I pay for this trip if I get laid off?
Terra Firma Down, Google Earth Moves To Oceans
Internet company Google has been documenting the planet's geography with its popular Google Earth software. It provides satellite imagery that allows Web surfers to explore the Earth's terrain from remote mountains to urban neighborhoods. A marine biologist had asked a Google executive why Google Earth left out the oceans. On Monday, the company unveiled a new version of Google Earth. It lets Web surfers dive underwater, swim through deep sea canyons and encounter ocean life, including prehistoric fish.