Job hunting gets harder The economic downturn has forced many more Minnesotans to look for a new job -- either because of layoffs or a cutback in hours or to supplement retirement. Compared to a year ago, about 40,000 more Minnesotans are unemployed. But over the same period there are 16,000 fewer jobs in the state.6:20 a.m.
Minnehaha Falls restoration starts today In the next several months, Minnehaha Falls will get a make-over. It will involve some much-needed repairs, but there'll also be some work to improve the ecology of the place.6:50 a.m.
Weather with Mark Seeley University of Minnesota Climatologist Mark Seeley discusses Minnesota weather history and looks ahead to the weekend weather.6:55 a.m.
Senate election outcome may rest with challenged ballots The number of challenged ballots in the Senate recount has reached a level that has made the slim margin between the two leading candidates meaningless. With more than half of the precincts now recounted, the number of ballots challenged by both Al Franken and Norm Coleman is above the 215 vote margin by which Coleman led Franken at the end of the first count.7:20 a.m.
Voters have second thoughts about first picks It's like the campaign never ended. Senate candidates Al Franken and Norm Coleman are still raising money, their campaigns are still trading barbs and they have staff and volunteers fanned out across the state to press for advantage in the recount. But there is one thing that's not like the campaign: Minnesotans don't get to vote again.7:25 a.m.
The price of road salt is up Officials in cold-weather states like Minnesota are trying to find ways to pay an increasing amount for road salt.
Minnesota typically uses tons of salt each winter to remove snow and ice.8:35 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Lending Stalls; Banks On Sidelines
Stock prices are at six-year lows. Over the past two days, the Dow Jones industrial average has lost more than 6 percent of its value. The $700 billion bailout was supposed to stabilize the financial industry and get banks lending again. But that hasn't happened yet.
Dodd Frustrated By Banks' Use Of Bailout Funds
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd says he's angry that banks are using government-provided funds to pay dividends, for excessive executive compensation and for acquiring other banks. He also says the Treasury has been too slow in addressing the mortgage crisis.
Will Credit Rating Agencies Be Monitored?
The G-20 last weekend committed to exercising strong oversight of credit rating agencies. Many of the financial instruments that are at the heart of the financial crisis had been given AAA ratings, meaning they were supposed to be of the highest quality. That turned out to be wrong. Will the G-20 declaration change anything?
Thanksgiving Treat: Special Cranberry Relish
Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, friends ask NPR's Susan Stamberg for her mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish. The side dish combines the sweet tartness of cranberries with soothing sour cream — and gets a kick from a little horseradish. "It sounds terrible but tastes terrific," Stamberg says.
Congress Gives Automakers Homework
Lawmakers are demanding that GM, Ford and Chrysler submit a plan for improvements before Congress will consider a $25 billion aid package for the auto industry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid say if there's a viable plan, Congress might return to work early next month for a vote. Some lawmakers wanted Congress to stay in session.
Electric Car Battery Must Keep Going And Going
One of the buzzwords at the Los Angeles Auto Show is "electrification." It's a future where cars run solely on battery power. Paul Eisenstein of The Detroit Bureau, an independent auto news service, says that future is still a ways off. He tells Steve Inskeep that for electric cars to succeed, they'll need a battery that lasts for more than 100 miles before a recharge.
Trading Foreign Oil For Foreign Electric Car Parts?
A rush to build electric cars could also mean a rush to get minerals that are produced in unstable parts of the world. Lithium-ion batteries require large amounts of cobalt, which comes primarily from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Tibet and Siberia. Easing dependence on foreign oil could mean increasing dependence on foreign minerals — from even less reliable trading partners than the Persian Gulf states.
Citigroup CEO Weighs Company's Options
The financial crisis is closing in on Citigroup. The banking colossus has more than 200 million customers around the world. But investors are increasingly worried about Citigroup's financial condition. Its share price tumbled more than 25 percent Thursday. CEO Vikram Pandit is weighing his options, including selling off parts of the company or selling the whole company. Citigroup lost half its value this week and is trading at levels not seen since the mid-1990s.
Oil Prices Hovering At 3-Year Low
Oil prices dipped below $50 a barrel Thursday. That's a nearly two-thirds drop from the record high of more than $147 in July. While that may sound like pleasant news, the low price is actually a symptom of a weak economy. Since many expect the economy to drag for a year or more, oil prices likely will stay low.
Wall Street Too Real? Try Fantasy Investing
Some would-be investors may be too scared to dip their toe into the investment world of stocks and bonds. Now they don't have to worry, and can take the plunge in fantasy investing. It works similarly to fantasy sports leagues. Faux investors are using virtual investing games like "Wall Street Survivor" to learn the real deal.