Same-sex marriage battle focuses on rural, freshman DFLers Committees in the House and Senate will hold hearings today on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Groups on both sides of the issue are especially focused on newly elected Democrats from rural Minnesota.6:20 a.m.
In Upcoming Venezuelan Vote, Hugo Chavez Looms Large
With Chavez gone, his handpicked successor is in the spotlight. Nicolas Maduro has adopted Chavez's style and anti-imperialist rhetoric. That should help boost his appeal as he faces opposition leader Henrique Capriles in a special election April 14.
Power To Select Pope Rests With 115 'Princes'
The task of choosing the next pope falls to 115 red-robed cardinals, known by the faithful as the "princes" of the Catholic Church. Their average age is 72 — and they are all men. We examine how they came to have this massive responsibility, and how some Catholics resent their exclusive monopoly over electing pontiffs.
What American Catholics Want From The Next Pontiff
As the conclave to select a new pope gets under way at the Vatican, what do American Catholics want from the next pontiff? Renee Montagne speaks with Greg Smith of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life about their most recent survey.
SEC Charges Illinois With Fraud Over Pensions
For only the second time ever, the Securities and Exchange Commission is charging a state with fraud, for allegedly misleading investors about the health of its pension funds. The SEC says the state of Illinois did not properly inform investors that its pension funds were significantly underfunded when selling bonds from 2005 to 2009. This is the latest fiscal black eye for a state with a pension shortfall approaching a whopping $100 billion. The state has agreed to settle the charges.
From Grief Comes A Mission To Make Estate Planning Less Daunting
A Seattle widow's one-stop estate planning advice blog was inspired by her own paperwork frustrations after her husband's death. Chanel Reynolds offers a checklist of documents to prepare, a will template and a list of details to write down, like passwords to online accounts.
In Michigan District, A New Look For Vocational Education
Classes like wood shop or auto shop used to be called vocational classes. They were known as an academic dumping ground for students who weren't succeeding in a regular classroom. But a lot has changed. In the rural mid-Michigan school district of Stockbridge, classes now offer a pathway to college, and a way to gain skills to pay tuition.
Mexican President Shifts Focus From Drugs To Progress
Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been in office for three months, and despite his claims that he's fighting drug violence with a new strategy, there are no signs the situation is any better. The president prefers to focus on Mexico's economic potential and has been touring the country, giving pep talks wherever he goes.
Should The U.S. Arm Rebels In Syria?
Steve Inskeep speaks with James Dobbins, a former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, about U.S. military assistance to opposition movements in other countries. So far, the Obama administration is only providing Syrian rebels with medical and food supplies. Dobbins is the director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center.
SEC Nominee Faces Senate Panel In Confirmation Hearing
President Obama's pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission faces the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Mary Jo White released prepared testimony Monday, in which she pledges to beef up enforcement efforts, citing her experience as a New York prosecutor. But some critics point to her more recent work, in which she defended some high-profile Wall Street names.
Cruise Ship Leaders To Discuss Industry's Future
Leaders of several cruise lines are meeting in Miami on Tuesday to discuss the state of the industry. The conference comes after a series of setbacks, including a cruise ship losing power for days in the Gulf of Mexico.