Officials want more spending to fight invasive species Vigilance is crucial in fighting invasive zebra mussels. The tougher question of who should pay for that vigilance is up for debate. Officials and private groups in Becker County want the state to spend more, but they aren't waiting for that to happen.4:00 a.m.
Pressure on farm bill committee to reach agreement After two years of starts and stops, lawmakers begin formal negotiations Wednesday on the farm bill, but the talks are being overshadowed by negotiations that aim to undo automatic cuts to the federal budget.7:20 a.m.
Season of promise lies ahead for Minnesota Timberwolves The Minnesota Timberwolves play their first game of the regular season tonight at home against Orlando. The Wolves have missed the playoffs for the last nine seasons, but this year's team is inspiring more optimism than usual. For awhile now, we have relied on basketball analyst extraordinaire Britt Robson to give us the straight dope on the Timberwolves. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with him about the season ahead.8:25 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Budget Negotiations Kick Off On Capitol Hill
House and Senate negotiators start a conference on the budget Wednesday, with the goal of coming up with an agreement by Dec. 13. There's not much hope of a grand bargain that would put fiscal policy on a long-term sustainable path. But there could be something small. And in the short term, lawmakers must deal with the sequester and the stopgap spending bill, which runs out Jan. 15.
Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young
Social Security accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. As Congress edges toward having to come up with a new spending plan, one argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.
Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa
The number of polio cases globally sank to an all-time low in 2012. But outbreaks in Syria and Somalia this year are jeopardizing efforts to eradicate the virus. A recent visit to the Somali-Ethiopian border highlights just how easily polio can regain a foothold in rural, insecure communities.
How NATO Is Trying To Change The Narrative In Afghanistan
The International Security Assistance Force is engaged in an aggressive media campaign to show Afghans that their army and police are capable of providing security, and that the international community will continue to provide support. But the U.S.-NATO-led mission is also trying to reach audiences back home.
Palestinians Celebrate Release Of Prisoners
Expectations are low for the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which Secretary of State John Kerry arm-twisted the reluctant sides into this summer. Yet there are some small steps taking place. On Wednesday morning, Palestinians were celebrating the release of prisoners from Israeli jails.
High-Tech Company Hit With Fine In Visa Fraud Case
Infosys, the Indian high-tech outsourcing company, will pay around $35 million in a visa fraud case. Federal prosecutors say the company knowingly brought temporary Indian workers to the U.S. on visitorvisas to avoid the cost of work visas. According to The New York Times, it's the largest-ever settlement in a U.S. visa case.
Mexican Border Factories Worry About Losing Tax Break
Mexico's Senate is set to pass a whole host of new taxes to boost the country's anemic tax collection. Among the many new taxes is one that will raise what maquiladoras pay for imported goods to the rate the rest of the country pays. Border communities are worried that losing their coveted tax break will lead to a flood of foreign companies leaving the region.
Hotel Construction Booms Across U.S.
Hotels are finally having a good year. As the economy has slowly improved, more people are traveling. But more heads on pillows means higher prices — especially since new hotel construction has been on hold for years. Now developers are pushing hotel projects across the country.
California City Faces Off Against Hot Sauce Factory
The Asian chili garlic sauce Sriracha is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. But dozens of Irwindale, Calif., residents have complained about the spicy smell coming from the Huy Fong factory there. Residents say the smell is causing headaches and eye and throat irritation. The city has gone to court to try to halt production until a solution is found.