All Things Considered
All Things Considered
April 7 - 11, 2003
[ Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday ]

Monday, April 7, 2003
Budget cuts hit after-school programs
State budget woes may force many communities to reduce or eliminate after-school programs. Some who run after-school programs predict an increase in juvenile crime. But a state official says there may be a way to save after-school programs.

Senate DFL proposes more than $1 billion in new taxes
In a direct challenge to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's no-new-tax pledge, Senate Democrats on Monday proposed a budget plan that would raise more than $1 billion from higher income and tobacco taxes. The proposal raises the income tax rate on those who earn more than $250,000 a year and adds $1 to the current 48 cents per-pack cigarette tax.

Minnesota company develops speech translation technology for the military
The Office of Naval Research is testing a handheld voice-to-voice translation device that will allow troops to communicate better with civilians and surrendering POWs on the battlefield. The Compadre Interact, developed by Northfield-based Speechgear, offers real-time oral translations in about 12 different languages. SpeechGear President Robert Palmquist says Interact isn't going to put human translators out of business anytime soon, but he says it does a decent job.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Great Lakes study calls for efforts to lower emissions
Failure to reduce the emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to sharp upswings in temperatures in the Great Lakes region, resulting in flooding, droughts and lower lake levels, according to a study issued Tuesday.

The 'James Brown of Somalia:' Hibo Mohamed Nuur
For decades, Hibo Mohamed Nuur's legendary voice drew thousands to concerts from Mogadishu to Toronto. They still call her the James Brown of Somali music. But for the past few years Nuur's lived in relative obscurity in Rochester.

Lake Street landmark slated for redevelopment
Minneapolis officials are optimistic about moving ahead with redeveloping a giant 75-year-old landmark in the Phillips neighborhood. The city is soliciting proposals for the former Sears Building on Lake Street, a development project that has languished for years. Minnesota Public Radio's Art Hughes reports.

World Federalists strive for global unity
In the midst of war with Iraq, the idea that the world could eliminate the possibility of war may sound implausible, but some scholars and philosophers are presenting their vision for public policy that would accomplish exactly that. The World Federalist Association calls for establishing a democratic world federation that would function much like the United States, but on a global level. Prof. Ronald Glossop is vice president of the national WFA. He says he understands he is promoting radical change, but so were the founding fathers of the United States.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003
African Americans oppose war, but rarely protest
Recent opinion polls suggest more African Americans are opposed to the war in Iraq than white Americans. Even so fewer African Americans than whites have come out to protest the war.

Senate panel rejects Prairie Island bill
A plan to keep Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear generator running through the next decade fell apart today in the Senate. Xcel estimates the plant will run out of storage space for spent nuclear fuel by 2007, forcing it to shut down. But the Senate Commerce and Utilities committed voted 8-6 against plan to expand storage limits. The vote came after Xcel objected to conditions attached to the expanded storage.

The Fabulous 89th
President George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress are trying to modify or even end many of the programs enacted by liberals 35 years ago. A panel of Demcrats in Minneapolis led by former Vice President Walter Mondale today remembered the so-called, "fabulous 89th," the Congressional session where many of this country's most familiar social programs became law. Minnesota Public Radio's Dan Olson reports.

Thursday, April 10, 2003
The story of Korczak's Children
While few Americans recognize his name, in Europe and Israel Dr. Janusz Korczak is revered as a hero and a champion of children. His writings laid the foundation for the United Nations declaration of the rights of children. Now the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis has brought his story to the stage. Korczak's Children tells of his last hours running his orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.

EPA proposes more soil testing at Superfund site in Cass Lake
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to do more soil testing at a Superfund site on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. For 30 years, a wood treatment plant in Cass Lake polluted the soil and water with cancer-causing dioxin. City and tribal leaders are frustrated with the speed of the cleanup.

Peace activists continue to speak out against U.S. policy
Peace activists in the Twin Cities say the war's end will not weaken their movement. Peter Thompson practiced law in the Twin Cities for many years, but retired a year and a half ago to devote himself to working for nonviolent solutions in the Middle East. He spent three weeks in Iraq last December as part of a delegation from Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness. He says he's not impressed with images of Iraqis cheering U.S. troops.

Friday, April 11, 2003
Bills to extend statute of limitations for sexual abuse face uncertain future
Legislation to extend the time limit for sexual abuse victims to sue their abusers is still alive at the Capitol. A bill cleared a key House panel in time for Friday's committee deadline. But the legislation faces several obstacles before it could become law.

Star Tribune reporter, photographer escape death in Iraq
A Star Tribune reporter and photographer escaped an attempt by two Iraqi fighters to kill them near the northern oil city of Kirkuk. After hiding throughout the afternoon in a bunker mostly shielded by smoke from a burning oil well, two fighters "decided to take their death ride" and attack the two American journalists. Reporter Paul McEnroe describes the incident to MPR's Greta Cunningham.

What I Loved
Northfield native Siri Hustvedt says her new book, What I Loved, began with a single image: a naked, obese woman's corpse lying on a bed. The image doesn't appear in the novel, but Hustvedt says it launched the process of writing and rewriting which lasted several years. The image morphed into a series of portraits by an artist. One of them attracts the attention of an art historian. These two are the book's central characters. The men become friends, and the novel follows their lives. We learn how their families are changed by their loves and losses over a period of 30 years. Siri Hustvedt told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr it took a great deal of work to achieve the effect.

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