June 2012 Archives

Fines for Invasive Species Double

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Beginning July 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will double the fines for transporting plants and invasive species on your boat, KAAL said.

Boaters and anglers who fail to clean and remove seaweed that can carry zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas will be fined $100, WCCO said.

If you are caught transferring any aquatic invasive species, the fine is $500, WCCO said.

Iran calls for OPEC emergency meeting

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The oil minister of Iran called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after the price of oil fell, Fox News said.

Members of OPEC have agreed to meet if the price of oil drops below $100 a barrel, Fox said.

In order to maintain a balance of supply and demand, OPEC's target production of oil is 30 million barrels per day, Bloomberg said.

On Friday, the price per barrel was around $95 per barrel, Fox said.

CNN, Fox News flub report on health care ruling

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Two major news networks mis-reported the Supreme Court's health care act verdict Thursday morning, causing confusion among their own anchors and members of Congress, USA Today reported.

On live television, websites and social media outlets, both CNN and Fox News reported that the health care act was deemed unconstitutional moments after the verdict was released by the Supreme Court, USA Today said.

Several other news outlets had reported the correct information before CNN and Fox sent their reports out, the New York Times said.

CNN released a statement apologizing for the mistake. Fox did not issue an apology, but stated that they "reported the facts as they came in," the New York Times said.

Two juveniles were arrested Thursday evening in Brooklyn Center in connection with the shooting of a 5-year-old boy, the Star Tribune said.

Family members and neighbors of the young victim are happy that an arrest has been made, but don't think this single arrest will change the safety of their neighborhood, the Star Tribune reported.

The two juveniles have not been named. They are being held at the Hennepin County juvenile detention center, one on suspicion of man slaughter and the other on weapons possession, the Pioneer Press said.

Charges and additional information are expected from the county attorney's office on Monday, the Pioneer Press said.

A five year-old boy died after a gun shot went through his home and hit him as he slept Thursday morning, the Star Tribune reported.

Over 10 shots were fired at the boy's home in northeast Minneapolis by a single gunman who then fled, the Star Tribune said.

Police believe this gun fire is related to an on-going dispute at the house, the Pioneer Press said.

The gunman has not been arrested, but the police say they are making progress with help from the community, the Pioneer Press said.

Analysis - Attribution

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Many of the details reported about the Duluth flooding by the Star Tribune are observational and matters of public record, such as the amount of rain fall and the location of damage. The reporter also included information from Duluth's mayor, a Duluth police officer, the spokesman for the National Weather Service, the community relations director for the local sanitation district, eye-witnesses and "officials" that were not named specifically.

The story was broken down into different sections discussing different effects of the flooding. Each section seemed to have an "expert" source. However, the mayor and National Weather Service spokesman were quoted through the entire story. Using these two sources frequently adds validity to the details, especially when reporting the scope and severity of the flooding. To avoid confusion, their titles were reiterated with their names on the second page of the report, after not being used for a while.

Egypt elected Mohammed Morsi in their first ever free presidential election, Fox News said.

It was a close election as Morsi received 51.7 percent of the votes, however only 51 percent of the population voted, Fox News reported.

Though he is backed my the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi pledges to maintain a "government to appeal to the many," MSNBC reports.

Morsi will be sworn in on July 1, MSNBC said.

After a jury declared him guilty, Jarry Sandusky was escorted to jail, with no option for bail and put on suicide watch Friday, CNN said.

Guilty verdicts were reached in 45 of the 48 counts. Sandusky did not testify on recommendation of his lawyer, who want to avoid the rebuttal testimony of Sandusky's step-son, CNN reported.

According to ABC News, the defense in now working on an appeal stating that they did not feel they had enough time to prepare for the trial.

At least $380K raised for bullied NY bus monitor

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The online community has raised over $380K for the 68-year-old victim of bullying, reported the Huffington Post.

Karen Klein, a grandmother who volunteers as a bus monitor in Greece, New York, was video taped as middle school students taunted and teased her until she was brought to tears, the Huffington Post said.

The four boys, 13-years-old, are receiving back lash from their video, which has gone viral, Huffington Post reports. They have even received death threats, according to Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton.

Klein has not, and does not plan to press charges on the young boys, the Wall Street Journal said.

All of the boys' parents are cooperating and will punish their children, the Wall Street Journal reports.


State of emergency declared for Duluth area

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Governor Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency for Duluth and the surrounding areas on Wednesday following a 9-inch rain fall, reported the Star Tribune.

Although no injuries have been reported, 250 people had to abandon their homes and there was extensive damage to the Lake Superior Zoo, where some animals were lost, said the Star Tribune.

Local and state authorities are advising residents to stay at home and travelers to steer clear of the area. Many roads are closed and hazards are not easy to spot, according to KAAL.

According to ABC News, doctors are predicting a full recovery for a Florida teen who was shot in the head with a spear gun.

Two teens were fishing in Maimi when the spear gun accidentally went off and penetrated Yasser Lopez's skull, reported ABC News.

The paramedics who responded to the teen's accident are being credited with saving the boy's life by not immediately removing the spear. Lopez's doctor said, "The most important thing is to resist that temptation to pull the thing out," according to WSVN News in Miami.

Lopez does not remember the accident at all and the only lasting effect could be some mobility on his left side, WSVN reported.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled on Monday to allow AT&T to build a taller cell phone tower visible from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, accoring to Fox9.com.

This ruling over turns an earlier decision by Hennepin County, who the court of appeals claims failed to prove the tower would have a significant effect on the views and natural resources of BWCA. The Star Tribune also reports that "less than 50 percent of the proposed tower will be visible from less than one percent" of the BWCA. The tower will expand emergency services for people utilizing the BWCA as well as coverage for residents on the east side of Ely.

Analysis - Leads

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"Nik Wallenda has become the first person to tightrope walk directly over Niagara Falls, crossing through the falls' famous mists and gusts in less than a half hour Friday night while tethered to a wire at the insistence of the network televising the stunt," begins the USA Today report.

Although a bit wordy, this lead clearly defines the what (Niagara Falls crossing,) who (Nik Wallenda,) where (Niagara Falls,) and when (Friday night,) of the story. If I were writing this story, however, I would re-consider using the stunt-man's name in the lead. It is not necessarily recognizable by the general public. The fact that he is in the seventh generation of a family of circus performers and tightrope walkers would mean more to a reader than an unfamiliar name.

Including the last bit, "while tethered to a wire at the insistence of the network televising the stunt," implies a bit of conflict to the otherwise simple story. He attempted the crossing and it went on without a hitch. This was the first time Wallenda has ever used a harness in any of his stunts and only did so because ABC insisted on it. I think this use of "conflict" may be a bit of a reach.

Braving a heavy mist and 14 mph winds, Nik Wallenda became the first person to cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope on Friday, reports USA Today. Wallenda comes from a long line of circus performers and tightrope walkers.

The stunt took months to prepare and was televised live by ABC, who required Wallenda to wear a safety harness for the first time ever. Wallenda's crossing started in the United States at Goats Island and ended at the Table Rock Welcome Centre in Canada. According to the BBC, Canadian officials requested his passport once he completed the crossing.

Suu Kyi accepts Nobel Peace Prize in person

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The acceptance speech of a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner was finally given in Oslo on Saturday.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader of Burma, was under house arrest when she was originally honored by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. In a report by CBS, Suu Kyi is said to credit the Nobel Prize with helping her through the "depths of personal despair." She gave her acceptance speech to an audience of over 600 that included the king and queen of Norway.

According to NPR, Suu Kyi used her acceptance speech not only to acknowledge her gratitude, but also as a plea for help to free those still held captive. She said, "Those who have not yet been given access to the benefits of justice in my country number much more than one. Please remember them and do whatever is possible to affect their earliest, unconditional release."

Conservative bloggers are being advised to contact their local law enforcement agencies before publishing "controversial" posts.

According to Fox News, the recommendation is in response to an increase in "SWAT-ing" attacks, a hoax in which false reports of violent or dangerous crimes occurring at the blogger's residence initiate a response from local law enforcement.

The bloggers tell Politico that they experience SWAT teams kicking in their doors with guns drawn and being hand cuff for no reason.

Some conservatives are seeking help from the Justice Department to examine these situation for legal violations.

Rodney King dead at 47

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Rodney King, the 1991 victim of a police beating that led to riots, was found in dead in his swimming pool early Sunday morning according to CNN.

Reports say that King's fiance, Cynthia Kelly, discovered his body in the pool and called 911. He was taken to a local hospital, but attempts to revive him failed.

The Los Anglese Times reports that while detectives remained at King's home for several hours, there are no signs of foul play and his death is being investigated as a possible drowning.

China Astronauts Prepare for Space Docking

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As the United States scales down its space exploration efforts, China steps up to the plate.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Chinese team left Earth on Saturday and will be attempting a their first manned space dock on Monday. The team includes China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang. This mission is a part of a 30-year plan to build a Chinese space station.

This plan also includes an attempt at a moon landing in 2016, according to the New York Times. Though China is years behind the United States and Russia in space exploration, Jeff Kueter, the president of the George C. Marshall Institute says "It is the speed with which China is ticking off these boxes in developing their program that is interesting."

China's military and many civilian operation have been working together to achieve the goals set out in the 30-year plan.

According to the New York Times, North Dakota voters are against a constitutional amendment ending property taxes.

An oposition group is credited with the rejection after they spent "significantly more money" to education voters on the effects of getting rid of property taxes.

CNN reports that despite the recent oil boom and the lowest state unemployment rate, local governments feared a sacrifice to school funding and other major programs would result from ending property taxes state wide.

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