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September 30, 2007

On Structure

CNN has an article that goes over Iran's parliament voting to label the CIA and U.S. Army as 'terrorist' groups. The article states that main point to the story in the lead and then gives reasons why IRNA, the country's state-run news agency and the parliament. The article then moves to the U.S. reaction to the labeling. It sums things up with some background information on the situation and the relationship between the United States and Iran. It also suggests the Iranian lawmakers' condemnation was in apparent retaliation for the U.S. Senate's resolution Wednesday requesting that the United States designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or Quds Force, as a foreign terrorist organization. This way of organizing and summarizing is effective. They stated the news, then stated reaction to it, and then stated reasons why, background info, and conveyed things that further the story and make it more complete.

U.N. envoy in Myanmar

According to CNN United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari met Sunday with Myanmar's detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in an effort to quell recent tensions between the country's military leaders and protesters. The hour-long meeting took place in the Myanmar city of Yangon. No other details were released.Suu Kyi is under house arrest and has been barred by the government from meeting with foreigners, which made the meeting with the envoy completely unexpected. According to an AP article the U.N. envoy failed to see either the junta leader, who controls the country, or his deputy in his scheduled meetings. The diplomat was returning late Sunday to the military government's headquarters for a possible third meeting. The U.N. envoy planned to tell the junta leader "about the international outrage over what has happened and will urge him to talk with various people and try to resolve the problems peacefully," Shari Villarosa, charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, told CNN.

Bush and Global Warming

The president gave a speech on climate change and pollution at a U.S. lead conference of major economic powers on Friday. The Washington Post reports the president claimed he takes the threat of climate change seriously and vowed that the United States "will do its part" to reduce the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. This comes after years of him being on the defensive and expressing doubt about global warming. According to the WP Bush found himself largely isolated at a meeting that he had organized to address the issue, lambasted by foreign officials, U.S. lawmakers and environmental activists who saw his effort as more show than substance. According to the LA Times the president insisted on voluntary goals for reducing pollution levels, which he said could be met largely through new technology that would create "an age of clean energy." Critics of his stance disagree and say some form of mandatory limit on emissions is needed. The LA Times reports the president set a two-year deadline for nations at the conference to reach a consensus on how to cut emissions, a schedule that punts the decision to his successor.

Sprint Nextel vs MN

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson accused Sprint Nextel Corp. of extending customer contracts without the informed consent of those customers in a lawsuit filed Thursday. WCCO reports the Attorney General filed the suit based on hundreds of complaints from Minnesota residents, including some who said they were threatened with $200 cancellation fees for trying to get out of contracts they thought had already expired. Aside from barring certain practices, Swanson is seeking restitution for victims and civil penalties of up to $25,000 per incident. According to Fudzilla Swanson claims that Sprint Nextel violated the Minnesota Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Smoking Ban

A statewide smoking ban for Minnesota takes effect on Monday. KARE 11 reported the "Freedom to Breathe Act" starts Monday at 12:01 a.m. and makes Minnesota the 17th state to implement a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. Some other local news outlets had the same AP report like WCCO and KSTP . The report lists what will be prohibited and what will remain legal. Prohibited places includes bars, restaurants, private clubs, bowling alleys, country club lounges, hotel and motel lobbies, public buses and trains, taxis, home offices where employees work or customers visit, home day cares when children are there, and smaller commercial vehicles if more than one person is present. Places not affected by the ban includes private homes and cars, designated hotel and motel rooms, buildings on family farms, cabs of heavy commercial trucks and farm vehicles, a disabled veterans camp in Washington County and tobacco shops if you're a customer trying out the products. Smoking remains legal for scientific studies, American Indian ceremonies and actors performing on stage. The ban also doesn't cover casinos and other establishments on Indian lands.


Saturday, Topps Meat Company recalled an additional 21.4 million pounds of ground beef, to the 300,000 pounds it recalled Tuesday. CNN reports the company recalled the beef because, according to the company, it may be contaminated with E. coli. The ground beef products being recalled have a "sell by date" or a "best if used by date" between September 25, 2007, and September 25, 2008, Topps' statement said. According to CNN, a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said they're investigating 25 illnesses across the country as a result. According to Reuters the company said the problem was found through sampling by the New York State Department of Health, as part of their investigation into reported illnesses which they've coordinated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also said that products affected by the recall were already distributed to stores and food services throughout the United Sates, and the vast majority of the recalled product has been consumed according to Topps.

September 24, 2007

Japanese PM

Reuters reported that Yasuo Fukuda has been chosen by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to succeed Shinzo Abe as Japanese prime minister. Shinzo Abe recently resigned and now it's up to Fukuda to bring political stability back to the party after a year marked by scandals and an election rout.

On Attribution

An article on Iran's president coming to New York, and his upcoming visit to Columbia University attributed three different sources of information. These are: a 60 minutes interview with Ahmadinejad, the official IRNA news agency, and an interview on Al-Jazeera television. Most of the article is written through the personal experience of the writer and her speculation and opinion. It is when quotes are used in the article that sources are referred to. The attribution is fairly clear and credible and therefore effective.

Fatal Crash

WCCO reported 25-year-old Jesse Lenertz of Columbia Heights, Minn., was driving a pickup that drifted off state Highway 11 late Friday night and into a ditch, resulting in his death.

Duck Beheading

According to KSTP 5, a guest at the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Paul was accused of killing a duck on Saturday. They report that 26-year-old Scott Clark cornered one of the hotel's domestic ducks and ripped its head off. Clark was taken into custody by the security officer who later called police. KARE 11 also reported this story. They report that this man began chasing one of the domesticated ducks the hotel keeps in a fountain. They credit police said the man allegedly cornered the duck, grabbed it and tore its head from its body. Witnesses say he yelled "I'm hungry and I'm going to eat it!"

Airport Paranoia

An MIT student wearing a computer circuit board with flashing lights and wires was arrested at Logan Airport in Boston on Friday. NY Daily News reported the student, Star Simpson, wore the circuit board and had Play-Doh in her hands in the name of art. According to ABC the student was strapped with a fake bomb resulting in her arrest at gunpoint.

September 23, 2007

Let My People Go

Israel decided Sunday that they will release 90 Palestinian prisoners as a sign of good faith. The move comes in light of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. According to the Agence France Presse, all the prisoners to be released are members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. What the release will be accomplishing seems to be uncertain. Reuters reported that the proposal to release the prisoners had been delayed for two weeks after a series of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip cast doubt to whether the cabinet in Israel could be persuaded to back the move. The prisoner release isn't adequate in the Palestine government's eyes, while many in the Israeli government don't see why they should release any prisoners at all. The move seems to be a meaningless gesture for the rest of the world to see and think something is being accomplished. Go Israel.

September 17, 2007

On Leads

The lead from KSTP 5: A light rail train slammed into a mini-van on Sunday at the intersection of 52nd Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis.

This is a straightforward hard-news lead. There are three news elements in the lead, what, when, and where. The only detail in the lead is the location, which in this local story is important to include. The rest of it is pretty general. Who was involved is mentioned in the next sentence, along with how it happened. This lead does the job of telling the most important information and setting up the rest of the article.

Shot Fired at Target Center

According to KARE 11, police are looking for a man who fired a gun inside the Target Center Saturday night. The man who the gun was aimed at got away without injury, and the fight continued as planned. KSTP 5 also reported the shooting providing a little more detail. According to them the shot was fired shortly after 11 p.m. and was reported at 11:51 p.m.

Tainted Drugs

China recalled the drugs methotrexate and cytarabin hydrochloride, used to treat leukemia, Saturday. One AP article reported the drugs, produced by the Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical Co., had been blamed for leg pains and other problems. The article comments on the recent string of recalls on Chinese made products, and includes China’s accusations of tainted meat from the U.S. and Canada. Another AP article that reported on the recall referenced a statement by the State Food and Drug Administration saying the drug caused adverse reactions in several young leukemia patients in hospitals of Guangxi autonomous region in southern China and the eastern financial center of Shanghai. The article also discusses China’s efforts at cracking down on these kinds of incidents.

September 16, 2007

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker Testify

On Monday, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker gave their testimony on the Iraq war before two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. In reaction to that, the Cincinnati Post reported that it was a successful testimony by the two men. It reported with a conservative viewpoint that the senators questioning the two men varied in their tactics, some asking better questions than others, and that the whole ordeal didn’t really change anything. The LA Times reported with a slightly liberal viewpoint that General Petraeus and Ambassador Crockers’ testimonies were somewhat successful, but that resistance to the war and support for withdrawing troops is still as strong as ever. Both articles end with statements of frustration with the situation, sighting that nothing has changed and wondering what could help.

Death of a Minneapolis Bicyclist

A Minneapolis man was killed Wednesday night while riding his bike. KARE 11 reported that 41-year-old Mark Loesch left his house Wednesday night with nothing of value on him, and was found the next morning on somebody’s front lawn in the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue South in Minneapolis. They reported that he died of severe trauma several hours before paramedics arrived, possibly beaten to death. KSTP 5 had a very similar report. They do use the word ‘murdered’ instead of ‘killed’ however, and say that he was found barely breathing the next morning around 7 a.m. and died before paramedics arrived. Both articles maintain there is no explanation for his death and that ‘severe trauma’ was the cause.

Phucket Plane Crash

A plane crashed in Thailand Sunday on the resort island of Phuket, killing 88 people, 78 of whom were foreigners on vacation. Reuters reported that the plane, a MD-82 operated by a low cost operator out of Bangkok called One-Two-Go, was trying to land during torrential rain and turbulence when it hit the runway, broke in two, burst in flames, and skidded off the pavement. The tail section ended up on the runway verge, and the nose was buried in trees. Reuters included a quote from Udom Tantiprasongchai, chairman of One-Two-Go parent company Orient Thai Airlines: “Tomorrow the police will set up an investigating committee to find out what actually caused the accident. What we need to do right now is take care of the injured,? Udom said.
MSNBC had a similar report. They reported the flight, number OG269, crashed as it tried to land in pouring rain, splitting in two and bursting into flames. They included a quote from Chaisak Angsuwan, director general of the Air Transport Authority of Thailand: “The visibility was poor as the pilot attempted to land. He decided to make a go-around but the plane lost balance and crashed. It was torn into two parts?
The Reuters report has a few survivor accounts and includes some information about the island and upcoming investigation. The MSNBC report has more survivor accounts and seems to be more focused on the emotional side and aftermath of it. Overall they are very similar.