January 2010 Archives

Analysis: China is leading the race lead.

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"China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world's largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year." - The New York Times

This lead introduces the topic of the article fairly well. The story discusses how China is "vaulting past" other countries in green technology, but it also focuses on how the United States is falling behind.

However, the lead is a little misleading as it makes the reader believe Denmark, Germany and Spain would be discussed more in depth, but they aren't even mentioned.

Additionally, because China and the U.S. are the only ones mentioned, perhaps the lead is just aiming to be specific instead of just "China is vaulting past other countries..." It's good to be specific, but in this instance, I think it misleads the reader about the topic of the story.

When isolated, the lead works great. It flows well, entices the reader and gives good information according to the elements of news.

The words, "this year" give immediacy and "United States" proximity. Most importantly, it also gives impact. "World's largest maker of wind turbines" should bring about relevancy for Americans worried about the environmental issues and it also incites curiosity of how this title effects other countries.

Increased Missile Defenses in Persian Gulf

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The United States military is accelerating defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf.

According to the Washington Post one military official said the actions should be seen as "prudent defensive measures designed to deter Iran from taking aggressive action in the region, more than as a signal that Washington expects Iran to retaliate for any additional sanctions."

According to the New York Times, the precautions also are intended to counter the impression that Iran is becoming the most powerful military force in the Middle East.

Iran contends that they are not trying to develop nuclear weapons and that it's program is for energy production. The White House declines to comment.

Teen stabbed in St. Paul

A 17-year-old boy was killed Friday night after confronting his girlfriend's ex boyfriend in a jealous rage.

According to the Star Tribune, the suspect, Phillip Eugene Elphage, 19, of St. Paul, broke in to his ex- girlfriends house, accused the victim of being the female's boyfriend, and stabbed him repeatedly.

No one else was harmed.

The Pioneer Press reports the victim, Darius Derrick Maxwell, was transported to Regions Hospital and was pronounced dead an hour later.

The female resident had a restraining order on Elphage served in December.

University of Minnesota Student Shot

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A University of Minnesota student was shot outside Centennial Dormitory Monday night.

The victim, Timothy Schumacher, was walking back from the recreational center around 11:00 p.m. when he heard two males make a comment. Upon turning around, Schumacher was shot in the abdomen.

Chuck Miner, deputy chief of the University of Minnesota Police Department said in a Minnesota Public Radio interview that it appears Schumacher did nothing to provoke the shooting.

Schumacher was sent to the Hennepin County Medical Center and is expected to survive.

According to the Minnesota Daily, police believe the shooting was apart of a string of crime related events committed by the two suspects.

"To have something happen in the middle of our campus like this is truly astounding and outrageous, and we want to make sure we do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Jerry Rinehart, the university's vice provost for student affairs.

Obama's Student Loan Proposal

Graduates may no longer feel the burdens of overbearing debt from student loans.

This week, during President Barack Obama's address, Obama announced a new proposal designed to make college more affordable.

Under the proposal, families would receive a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and after graduating, students would only have to pay 10% of their income to pay back the federal loans. Additionally the debt would be forgiven after 20 years of payment, or 10 years if the student chooses a career in public service.

According to the LA Times Pell grants would expand to nearly $35 billion in aid next year, increasing the amount of aid to low to moderate level income families by 95%.

The Washington Post reports that by cutting out the middle man banks and providing direct federal loans, the administration will gain $80 billion for the next decade that would be then allocated to student aid, community colleges and other education programs.

Bernanke confirmation contested by some

Tuesday U.S. Senators will vote to confirm Ben S. Bernanke's second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Bernanke's four year term will end Sunday, and with the costly financial collapse under his watch, some oppose his re-election.

CBS reports that Bernanke should have enough votes in the Senate to win a second term, but that some other lawmakers have "lined up against him."

"The fact is that Chairman Bernanke was in charge when we hit the iceberg,'' said Senator John McCain on CBS's "Face the Nation.'' "His policies were partially responsible for the meltdown that we experienced, and I think he should be held accountable.''

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman disagrees. While there may be other equally qualified candidates he says, replacing Bernanke with someone less established, with less of an ability to sway internal discussion could be detrimental. Ultimately we "could end up strengthening the hands of the inflation hawks and doing even more damage to job creation."

Despite oppositions, Bernanke is predicted to win the re-election.

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