Drug abuse report, meth lab busts down 78 percent
According to a Hazelden Foundation report released today, Minnesota has seen a 78 percent decrease in methamphetamine lab busts over the last year. The report also finds that more people are dying from opiate overdoses, caused by drugs like heroin, methadone and oxycodone. The semiannual report compiled data from Twin Cities area hospitals, crime labs and addiction treatment centers. Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer spoke with report author Carol Falkowski, Director of Research Communications for the Hazelden Foundation, a non-profit international addiction treatment center based in Minnesota. The full report of Drug Abuse Trends - June 2006 may be read at www.hazelden.org.7:20 a.m.
From prison to the streets A new report from the Wilder Foundation shows that as Minnesota's population of ex-convicts increases, so does the number of them who are homeless after they're released.7:46 a.m.
Senate Approves $66 Billion for War Efforts
The Senate gives its approval for $66 billion in emergency funding for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the fresh infusion of money, the House and Senate are both plunging into charged debates over U.S. policy in Iraq. The Senate may focus on how much longer American forces should be deployed there.
Iraq Index: Measuring Progress in Security, Services
President Bush argues that progress in Iraq can be measured in a handful of categories. Michael O'Hanlon, who directs the Iraq Index Project at the Brookings Institution, talks about the facts behind President Bush's statement. In certain categories -- available security forces, electricity, and oil production -- O'Hanlon says progress is limited.
Adviser, Speechwriter Gerson Leaves Bush White House
President Bush's primary wordsmith, Michael Gerson, is leaving the White House. Gerson went from chief speechwriter in the president's first term to senior adviser in the second. Gerson says he is leaving to pursue other writing and policy work.
Immigration Rhetoric: 'Untied States of America'
President Bush recently warned against the "harsh, ugly rhetoric" in the debate over immigration. Author Juan Enriquez says the brutal language being used in that debate threatens to tear the country apart.
Episcopalians Confer on Homosexuality
Chicago Public Radio's Jason DeRose reports on a meeting of U.S. Episcopalians in Ohio. They are debating several key issues dealing with homosexuality.
U.S. Hosts Meeting to Foster Government in Somalia
The United States is hosting a meeting in New York to brainstorm ways to help Somalia build its government. Somalia has had no central authority since 1991 and the United States is concerned it is becoming a safe haven for terrorists. That has been the big worry of U.S. officials since Islamists took hold of the capital Mogadishu.
Uninsured Patients, Few Beds Keep ERs Maxed Out
A night spent with Dr. Arthur Kellerman at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital reveals a lot about why patients spend hours waiting in emergency rooms. A combination of citywide shortages of hospital beds and uninsured patients can result in days-long backups.
Alaska Bridge Criticized, but Earmark Remains
Federal funding of a bridge in rural Alaska -- known by its critics as the "bridge to nowhere" -- is again the subject of congressional debate. A $450 million earmark for the bridge was struck from legislation last year, in the wake of the Katrina hurricane. But the money still went to the state to spend as it sees fit. Now, a congressman from Illinois is trying to block any federal money from being spent on the project.
Americans Shifting Gears in Smaller Numbers
The percentage of vehicles sold in the United States with manual transmission continues to decline. One theory on why the numbers keep falling: drivers are too busy with cell phones and cappuccinos to shift gears.
States Struggle to Certify 'Qualified' Teachers
The No Child Left Behind education law mandates that by year's end, every state should have ensured that every teacher is "highly qualified." Yet no state has met the federal government's requirements under this provision.