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May 5, 2007

Rollar Coaster Accident

A roller coaster in Japan hit a guardrail at an amusement park Saturday, killing one person and injuring another 21.

MSNBC.com said the roller coaster was traveling at 46 mph. Of the injured, two suffered serious injuries, and 12 people who saw the accident were taken to a hospital after they complained of feeling ill.

According to reports, an axle on one of the six cars broke during a ride, causing the accident. The ride could hold up to 24 passengers.

The accident occurred amidst Japan’s “Golden Week? holiday, in which many families attend amusement parks and other tourist sites, the Star Tribune said.

The park, called Expoland, was closed immediately following the accident. It has been in operation since 1970.

No further information about previous accidents or lack of accidents were provided in the articles.

April 21, 2007

Potentially historic Nazi material to be released

A long-closed archive of Nazi concentration camp documents could be unsealed soon. On Thursday, Germany endorsed the exposure of these documents, giving an international agreement a majority among the 11-nations overseeing the historical documents, MSNBC.com reported.

According to the German Embassy in Washington, President Horst Koehler signed the ratification papers on April 13, adopting amendments to the 1955 treaties governing the archive.

The documents, which include 30 million to 50 million pages, are looked-over by the International Tracing Service. The collection of Nazi documents includes death books, transportation lists, camp registrations, forced labor registers and references to over 17.5 million names.

All 11 nations overseeing the documents must ratify the amendments before anything takes effect. Obviously, because of Germany’s place in history and because the documents are on German soil, Germany’s endorsement was crucial.

They are the sixth nation to ratify after the United States, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands and Britain. The remaining countries include Belgium, France, Italy, Greece and Luxembourg.

Survivors would be able to see their own files and historical researchers will be allowed new insights into the Nazi persecution if all 11 countries ratify the amendment.

After the war, the documents were handed to the Red Cross to help find missing persons and reunite families. It later was used to validate compensation claims by survivors or victims' relatives.

The Red Cross has handled more than 11 million requests for information, but has denied most claims due to the previous agreement.

Last week, the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution urging the remaining countries to quickly complete the legal steps.

As of Saturday, there was no other news source that reported on this issue.

April 13, 2007

Vessel down, 3 dead

A Norwegian oil rig support vessel capsized near Scotland Thursday, leaving three people dead and five crew members missing.

The coast guard, along with Navy divers, searched Friday for signs of the missing crew members. The Britain’s Press Association news agency reported that a 15-year-old boy was among the missing.

Another seven crew members were rescued and taken to a local hospital. “The Bourbon Dolphin? reportedly capsized in calm waters off Scotland’s northern shore, while performing routine operations in calm conditions, MSNBC.com reported. According to the Pioneer Press, there were 15 people on board, 10 of who were rescued.

The ship capsized at around 5 p.m., or 11 a.m., ET Thursday. Norwegian authorities said they plan to set up a commission to investigate what went wrong and how the accident occurred. The Bourbon Dolphin was a new vessel which was delivered in October.

Officials said that the vessel did not send a distress signal before it capsized. It is not clear if the missing crew members were wearing life jackets.

The ship is owned By Bourbon Offshore Norway AS.

April 6, 2007

Suicide bombing

A suicide truck bomber ran into an Iraqi police checkpoint in a Ramadi neighborhood Friday, killing and injuring numerous people.

CNN.com reported that the suicide attack killed 20 people and injured another 30. MSNBC.com reported that the attack killed at least 27 and wounded dozens more. MSNBC.com also added more detail, including that the truck was loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas.

Two police officers were among those who died, and two others were wounded. Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province and is located 68 miles west of Baghdad.

The bombing in Anbar is the ninth use of suicide chlorine bombs thus far in the terroritroy, an area that has high levels of insurgency, MSNBC.com reported.

Police shot at the suicide bomber as the vehicle approached the checkpoint. Nearby buildings were heavily damaged and police searched through the rubble for more victims.

Both of the websites go into much more detail about other incidents and military action all throughout the Middle East in these articles. MSNBC.com also discusses this new use of the TNT and toxic chlorine gas bomb in its article.

March 28, 2007

Migrants make it to Florida

More than 100 Haitian migrants reached Florida Wednesday after at least three weeks in a dilapidated sailboat, the Associated Press reported.

One of the men died, while another three people were in critical condition due to dehydration. At least two teenagers and one 10-year-old were among the migrants on the boat. The body of the dead man washed up on shore soon after the boat did.

MSNBC.com reported that at least 11 people were taken to a hospital. Migrants told officials that they had been at sea for more than three weeks. The migrants were taken into custody as they approached Florida’s shore.

CNN.com has a clip of the migrants coming ashore.

According to the AP, Haitians who illegally make it to the U.S. are sent back. Most Cubans are allowed to stay if they reach U.S. soil, under policy.

The Coast Guard spotted 6,061 migrants in the waters of South Carolina, Florida and the Caribbean. 769 of them were Haiti.

The articles were both written by the AP, so there were little differences. MSNBC.com had photos of the migrants and CNN.com had a video.

March 24, 2007

"Niquabs," veils banned

Quebec has decided that Muslim women will have to remove their face coverings if they wish to vote in the upcoming elections, MSNBC.com reported Friday.

Election chief Marcel Blanchet has been criticized by Quebec’s political leaders for allowing voters to wear the niqab, which covers the entire face (except the eyes). Blanchet reversed his decision on Friday.

Blanchet needed two bodyguards after the Quebec elections office received threatening phone calls and e-mails following his first decision to allow the niqabs. According to Blanchet, some residents said that they would protest by wearing masks at polls.

The reversal of the decision was not looked upon positively by Muslim groups. MSNBC.com reported that the decision could turn Muslim members away from voting.

Many other European countries are considering a similar decision in getting the niqabs removed in certain instances. Britian, France, Germany and the Netherlands have all had issues over the coverage of faces the niqabs provide.

March 10, 2007

Peacekeepers attacked

An attack on African Union peacekeepers killed at least 10 civilians Wednesday in Somali.

The Ugandan peacekeepers were the first to arrive in Mogadishu, Somali in more than a decade. They were attacked at one the main intersections in the city, “one of the most dangerous and gun-infested cities in the world,? MSNBC. Com reported.

According to reports, there was a rocket-propelled grenade thrown at the peacekeepers, followed by extensive gunfire. It was initially reported that there were three civilians injured on Wednesday night, but the death toll climbed after hospitals starting reporting the deaths.

The police are currently investigating the incident. Peacekeepers won’t be deterred by the offense, Deputy Defence Minister Salad Ali Jelle said.

A total of 800 peacekeepers arrived in the area this week. Another 200 are expected to arrive soon. It was reported that insurgents fired “mortars? at the airport upon the peacekeepers’ arrival on Tuesday.

The peacekeepers are a product of the United Nations, to help the local government with authority against attacking insurgents.

February 27, 2007

Cheney OK; blast kills up to 23

A suicide bombing at the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan Tuesday has left up to 23 people dead and another 20 people wounded.

Vice President Dick Cheney was present during the bombing, but was not harmed in any way. The Taliban claimed responsible for the bombing and boldly said that Cheney had been the target of the attack.

At least one U.S. soldier, an American contractor and a South Korean soldier were among those who died. According to MSNBC.com, Afghan President Hamid Karzai reported that 23 people had been killed, but the U.S. military only had the toll at nine. The AP reported that 12 bodies were seen being carried off by locals. More details are expected to be released later.

Cheney’s spokesperson said he was fine and later met with President Karzai in Kabul after the attack, talking about the resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan, as well as focusing talks on stopping it in Pakistan.

According to Cheney himself, he was in his room at the U.S. base when “at 10 a.m., I heard a loud boom.? Cheney was taken to a bomb shelter and later returned to his room after the attack.

Maj. William Mitchell believes the attack didn’t appear to be threat to Cheney. However, a Taliban spokesperson told the AP through an interview that the Taliban knew Cheney was inside the base and “the attacker was trying to reach him.? Other officials are labelling the attack on Cheney as being “farfetched,? because Cheney was only in Afghanistan due to a cancelled meeting with Karzai on Monday.

Security at the base is high. Security measures were in place and the killer never had access to getting inside the actual base, Lt. Col. James Bonner said. Bonner also added that when the bomber realized he could not penetrate the base, he unleashed the bomb on the local population.

February 22, 2007

Cheney to visit loyal Australia

Dick Cheney’s arrival in Australia Thursday was protested by Australians outside of Sydney’s town hall.

Police clashed with demonstrators that were trying to break through police lines and march on the U.S. consulate a few hours before Cheney arrived. In all, there were around 200 protestors, ten of whom were arrested.

Organizers said that demonstrations would become increasingly noisy during Cheney’s stay. Polls show that the war in Iraq is deeply unpopular among Australians.

Cheney will be on a three day visit in Australia, thanking the county for being one of the few supporters in the war in Iraq. MSNBC.com reports that Australia is extremely unique because it has actually offered more troops as time as passed to Iraq and Afghanistan, instead of less. Earlier this week, Australia sent more troops to Iraq and was considering adding more in Afghanistan.

Cheney will be discussing issues such as Iraq, as well as other security issues with Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard. CNN.com said Howard is under increasing pressure to implement an exit strategy in Iraq. With the British Government announcing its plan to remove troops earlier this week, the pressure has increased. Howard thus far has refused to remove troops (and set a timetable) because he believes “it would give terrorist a timetable to claim victory.?

Cheney will also explain the U.S.’s new plan of sending another 21,500 troops to Iraq. According to an Australia-U.S. relations expert, Cheney might also discuss the issues in Iran and North Korea. Cheney will be giving a speech on Friday concerning Australia and U.S. relations.

Analysis: The articles concerning Cheney’s visit showed a good example of the “point-support? format. There were numerous examples of evidence in quotes, statistics and paraphrasing. In the Yahoo article, the lead begins with a statement saying police clashed with demonstrators protesting against Cheney’s arrival. In the following paragraph, there is specific evidence supporting it: there were over 200 protestors and ten of them were arrested. More statistical evidence came from later in the article when the article talked about Howard sending more troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, unlike most countries who are withdrawing troops from the area. A good quote came from one of the organizers in protest. The article summarized that the protesters would get noisier as the days went on during Cheney’s visit. The following paragraph had “Police have attempted to drive the anti-war protest off the street,? Jean Parker, a leader of the Stop the War Coalition, told the crowd. "We will not be silenced.? Although simple, this is a good example of a point, then support of the point in a direct quote. Most of the article was done in paraphrasing. One example of this was when the article stated polls show that Australians were deeply against the war and wanted troops to be pulled out. The following paragraphs explain the pressure Howard was under, how it is increasing (b/c other countries pulling out) and Howard’s personal opinion on the issue (doesn’t want to send a timetable). All in all, the article is a good example of the point-support system.

February 15, 2007

Hijacking attempt ends in arrest

A man was arrested Thursday after hijacking a 737 Mauritanian plane bound for Nouadhibou.

MSNBC.com reported that passengers on the plane overpowered the hijacker and eventually brought the plane to Spain’s Canary Islands.

CNN.com said that 71 passengers and eight crew members were on the plane. The plane, which took-off from the airport in Nouakchott, was hijacked shorter after it left the ground.

CNN reported that several people had been wounded due to gunfire but no other details were made available. MSNBC said that 21 passengers were treated for slight injuries, the most serious being a pregnant woman in severe shock.

The man was arrested soon after the plane landed in the Canary Islands. There were no other suspects.

February 7, 2007

Child pornography ring discovered

A global child porn ring involving more than 2,360 suspects (600 of them reportedly Americans) from 77 countries showing sexually explicit material of children was uncovered Wednesday, according to Australian authorities.

Interior Minister Guenther Platter said that numerous authorities around the world were looking into potential suspects. The FBI was investigating about 600 suspects, Germany was investigating about 400 suspects, France was investigating about 100 suspects and at least 23 were being investigated in Australia.

Platter also said images and videos received by Austria’s Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau “showed the worst kind of child sexual abuse.? The images included children ranging from infants to 14 years of age.

The Australian suspects ranged in age from 17 to 69.

The original investigation began back in July when a man working for a Vienna-based internet file noticed the pornographic material and approached authorities.

Once notified, authorities and investigators then recorded more than 8,000 hits from 2,361 computer I.P. addresses in 77 countries ranging from Algeria to South Africa, within a 24 hour period.

The videos and images were posted on an unidentified Russian site. Authorities believe that the videos were made somewhere in Eastern Europe and uploaded to sites somewhere in Britain.

February 1, 2007

Bombings continue in Iraq

Two suicide bombs exploded in a crowded area Thursday in Hillah, Iraq, a Shiite city 60 miles south of Baghdad.

There seems to be conflicting numbers on the deaths and injuries being reported. MSNBC.com is reporting that the blasts killed 45 people and injured 150.

CNN.com is saying the blasts killed 61 people and injured 150. Both reports cite the local police on these numbers.

The two bombers apparently walked into a crowded market at around 6 p.m., when one of them was spotted by police. According to CNN, the first bomber exploded his bomb before the officers could reach him. According to MSNBC, police stopped the bomber, and then the bomb was detonated. The second bomb exploded immediately after the first.

This was not the first attack committed in the city of Hillah. In February 2005, a suicide car bomber killed 125 people, one of the deadliest attacks thus far in the Iraq War.

Another interesting point to note is the spelling of the city. MSNBC spelled it "Hillah," while CNN spelled it "Hilla." According to Yahoo.com, the correct spelling is "Hillah."

CNN also reported on other bombings across Iraq Thursday. CNN reported that gunmen and bombers targeted college students and faculty members in Baghdad, Tikrit, and Baquba. Eight people were killed in these attacks and others wounded.

CNN reported another six people were killed and eight others wounded when a bomb exploded near a bus in a Shiite neighborhood near central Baghdad.

January 27, 2007

2 killed in U.S. embassy vehicle theft

Two people were killed in a U.S. embassy vehicle theft Saturday in Kenya.

According to reports from CNN.com, gunmen shot two women in broad daylight when the women “hesitated? to get out of the embassy vehicle immediately. The local police said the shooters got away with the vehicle and were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The shooters were also believed to have stolen another car earlier in the day.

MSNBC.com highlighted the fact that there were also three other passengers in the car. It is not clear weather these three people were harmed or not.

The shootings took place in Kinoo, a village on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Both reports highlighted that carjackings happen often around the capital, but usually occur during the evening.

The U.S. embassy and its officials have not commented on the situation as of yet. There also have been no arrests.