Native American Community Development Institute President Jay Bad Heart Bull says replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day would honor American Indians contributions to Minneapolis. Jon Collins / MPR News

“We had been edited out of existence in the public school system,” Bill Means told MPR News reporter Jon Collins. “To say Columbus discovered America is one of the first lies we’re told in public education.”

That particular struggle may be coming to an end, at least in Minneapolis.

On Friday, the City Council will consider a resolution that would re-designate Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. It would follow in the steps of cities like Berkeley, Calif. and states like South Dakota, which made the change more than two decades ago.

“It’s only right that we begin to document the contributions of Indian people to the history of the state of Minnesota, starting with the biggest myth of all: Columbus discovered America,” Means said. “This is just a real…recognition of our contributions.” Full story

Today’s Question: Should Minneapolis rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

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Rebel fighters carry their weapons along a trench in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor on March 24. The CIA is stepping up training and military assistance to moderate rebels, according to U.S. sources. AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. is providing more arms and training to the moderate rebels in Syria, under a growing secret program run by the CIA in Jordan. Sources tell NPR that secret program could be supplemented by a more public effort in the coming months involving American military trainers.

The change in strategy comes as the White House sees Syrian leader Bashar Assad growing in strength, and continuing to strike rebel strongholds.

Today’s Question: Should the U.S. support Syrian rebels?

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Paperboy delivers the day’s news in Minneapolis. (Minnesota Historical Society)
“Minnesota billionaire Glen Taylor expects to close on his purchase of the Star Tribune by the end of next month, fulfilling a goal he has had for years,” writes MPR News business reporter Marty Moylan.

It may not be too long before Taylor has a chance to buy another newspaper: the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

A number of industry watchers say the paper’s owners may soon put it up for sale, hoping to exit the newspaper business.

Taylor said he’d probably take a look. But before he made an offer he’d need to know the financial condition of the Pioneer Press and the potential for the Twin Cities to support two daily newspapers.

But there are other factors to consider, said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute.

“Assuming he were to buy it would he continue to operate it separately?” he said. “Would it be folded into the Star Tribune?”

Edmonds said there also could be anti-trust concerns arising from Taylor owning both papers. He said federal officials might block such as sale if it violates anti-trust laws enacted to prevent companies from obtaining a monopoly.

“Unfortunately for him or somebody in that position,” Edmonds said, “he can’t just call the Justice Department and ask, ‘Is this OK?’”

On the other hand, Edmonds points out even a dead newspaper has value – in its circulation and advertising lists, trucks, buildings and other assets.

If Taylor acquires the Star Tribune as expected, he could try to buy the Pioneer Press for its assets and shut it down, hoping to realize gains in circulation and ad revenue, Edmonds said.

Today’s Question: What if the Twin Cities became a one newspaper metro?

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Irrigation is the fastest growing use of groundwater, and an MPR News investigation broadcast this week chronicled how hundreds of farmers likely are pumping tens of thousands of gallons of water without DNR authorization or knowledge. The Minnesota Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow state officials to penalize anyone who uses large amounts Read more