What to watch for in the Minn. Legislature The Minnesota Legislature opens its 2010
session on Thursday. Balancing the budget - again - is the top
order of business, but much more will debated and voted upon before
lawmakers wrap up. They must finish the session by mid-May.7:20 a.m.
Phone outage in NE Minn. reveals potential dangers A burned-out cable severed communications at the U.S. Border Patrol office in Grand Marais and across north east Minnesota last week, and local officials are calling for an improved network--for safety and security's sake.7:45 a.m.
Minnesota doctor recalls surgeries in Haiti Dr. Ken Guidera is back from Haiti. His skills as an orthopedic and pediatric surgeon were especially needed in there, because many children were injured in last months earthquake.8:35 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Toyota Recall Shines Harsh Light On Safety Agency
A federal agency — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — is supposed to keep track of auto safety-related complaints like those surrounding Toyota's accelerator problems, and warn the public. But critics say the agency has lacked leadership and that most of its funds are doled out to states to combat drunken driving and promote seat-belt usage.
Faulty Toyota Parts Latest Blow To Elkhart, Ind.
CTS Corp., based in Elkhart, Indiana, has been making the gas pedals at issue in the Toyota recall. The town didn't need any more bad news, with its 15 percent unemployment rate. The plant's workers aren't talking. But some residents say the gas pedals are just one more black eye on the town.
A Toxic Century: Mining Giant Must Clean Up Mess
After years of polluting and contaminating the environment, the American Smelting and Refining Company's notorious copper-smelting plant in El Paso, Texas, will be cleaned up this year. Asarco will also pay $1.79 billion to settle claims for pollution at more than 80 sites throughout the country.
Olympic Hopefuls Destined To Steal The Stage
Though relative unknowns in the U.S. at this point, these athletes will very likely become water-cooler fodder during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. In the crew: a jovial cross-country skier, the darling of women's curling and an ice dancing team with a controversial act.
Obama's Efforts To Boost Exports Face Hurdles
One solution for the unemployment problem in the United States might be found overseas. President Obama says doubling exports in the next five years could add 2 million jobs. But less than 1 in 100 U.S. firms does any business overseas. And achieving the administration's goals could require crossing some Democrats.
Japan's New Ruling-Party Off To Troubled Start
With a new party in power in Japan for only the second time in a half-century, many people were expecting a sea change in how the country is run. But the birth of a true two-party system is proving difficult. Japan's political structure is written into law, and rearranging it is complicated. The Democratic Party of Japan's economic policies are aimed more at fairness than GDP growth, which makes it hard to satisfy Japanese concerns about economic doldrums. On the foreign policy side, the U.S. benefited from the one-party system it helped to construct, and the re-weighting of policies toward China and away from the U.S. is ruffling feathers in Washington.
Germany Under Fire In Pursuit Of Tax Evaders
The Swiss are outraged that the German government wants to buy bank data on potential tax evaders from a whistleblower — data that were likely obtained illegally. Swiss politicians from the left and right are likening the German move to "bank robbery" and "dealing in stolen goods." But the Germans believe the data could net at least 100 million euros from German tax evaders. In 2008, Germany paid for data stolen from Liechtenstein's top bank, netting some 200 million euros.
Last-Minute Web Deals Keep Travel Industry On Toes
With Internet-savvy consumers waiting until the last minute to take advantage of better vacation deals, many resorts, cruise lines and other travel businesses have been left scrambling. But the industry is starting to push back.
Picasso's Auction Record Falls To Giacometti
An Alberto Giacometti sculpture sold for $104.3 million at Sotheby's in London, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, according to the Wall Street Journal. An anonymous telephone bidder got the 1960 work, "Walking Man One." The previous record was set by a Picasso piece six years ago.
3 Weeks After Quake, Shelter A Main Concern In Haiti
There's no official death toll in Haiti, but the government has revised its estimate to more than 200,000. It says at least 300,000. For Haitians still in need of aid, U.N. officials say problems with getting food, water and other necessities are easing. Now a growing concern is getting shelter for the estimated 1 million Haitians who are now homeless.