March 2010 Archives

Atoms Collide for Evidence on the Big Bang

Scientists near Geneva created thousands of mini-big bang explosions on Tuesday when they successfully smashed subatomic particles together, The Washington Post said.

The experiment, which was conducted in the 17 mile-long Large Hadron Collider, will give scientists new information about the origins of our universe, The Washington Post said.

It took the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 16 years and $9.4 billion to smash the two beams of protons together, The Wall Street Journal said.

CERN scientists say that the explosions are similar to what happened 13.7 billion years ago when the big bang occurred and led to the formation of galaxies, stars and planets, The Washington Post said.

Moscow Bombings, Rebel Leader Threatens More

A Chechen rebel leader has claimed that he is responsible for the double bombing in the Moscow subway system that killed 39 people on Monday, The New York Times said.

In the Islamist leader's statement he threatened more attacks to avenge the actions of Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, The Washington Post said.

Doku K. Umarov gave the statement via an Internet video that was posted hours after another double bombing in Dagestan. The Washington Post said.

Dagestan and Chechnya are both located in southern Russia, an area that has been in turmoil for years with the government, said The New York Times.

Wolf Moves to Dakota Zoo

The Mexican gray wolf that escaped from Forest Lake Wildlife Center in February, is being moved to a new zoo on Wednesday, the Star Tribune said.

The wolf, nicknamed "Medium Toast," was rejected by her two sisters when she was returned to the zoo. She had to be separated from the other wolves, and is being moved to Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota, the Star Tribune said.

The Mexican gray wolf is an endangered species and is part of species survival plan, The Bismarck Tribune said.

Medium Toast will be the fourth Mexican gray wolf at the Dakota Zoo, the Bismarck Tribune said.

Obama Opens Up Offshore Drilling

President Obama discussed plans on Wednesday to open up large areas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling, ABC News said.

The plan entails lifting a 20-year ban on drilling off the Virginia coastline, while protecting areas in Alaska like Bristol Bay, CNN said.

Obama said this is a move made to stimulate economic growth, provide jobs and keep fuel costs low.

Relying on domestic fuel will be important as the country continues to develop renewable energy, he said according to CNN.

It is estimated that there is a 15-year supply of oil and a 23-year supply of natural gas beneath the ocean, ABC News said.

Analysis: Obituary

For this assignment I found an obituary for Jim Marshall in the New York Times.

Marshall became famous as a rock and roll photographer throughout the 1960's and 70's. The obit has a standard New York Times lead, and mentions the names of the most notable stars that he photographed. The lead works- it mentions Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash, and immediately puts the reader into the scene of the 60's and 70's.

The obit does not resemble a resume at all. The writer describes the feel of Marshall's work and saves the chronology till the end.

The article does not have a lot of outside sources. The writes states that no immediate family members survived him, and a lot of quotes are taken from interviews earlier in Marshall's career. The curator of his most recent show is quoted as well as the photographer Anne Leibovitz.

Californians Will Vote to Legalize Marijuana

California residents will vote later this year on a bill that would legalize marijuana use in the state, Reuters said.

Legalization is being pushed as another way to gain revenue for the state, which is facing a $20 billion budget gap, CNN said.

According to the bill, people would have to be 21 to possess marijuana. It would illegal to use the drug in public.

The petition to put the bill on the ballot required 433,791 signatures. The petition received 694,248 signatures, Reuters said.

California would be the first state to legalize marijuana.

Joe Nathan Out for Surgery

Twins closer Joe Nathan will have a Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Friday, putting him out for the 2010 season, Pioneer Press said.

Nathan, who felt discomfort in his pitching elbow at the beginning of March, sought opinions from other players before selecting the Met's team physician, Dr. David Altchek, as his surgeon, ESPN News said.

Altchek will remove a ligament from Nathan's right forearm and use it to replace the torn elbow ligament, Pioneer Press said.

Nathan is hopeful that he will be able to spend the season rehabbing at Target Field, allowing him to attend Twins home games, Pioneer Press said.

Minn. Senate Lifts Ban on Alcohol in TCF Stadium

Lawmakers are re-discussing the decision to ban alcohol in TCF Stadium after a bill was passed in the Minnesota Senate to lift the ban, Associated Press said.

The bill, sponsored by Sandra Pappas, D-St. Paul, would allow the university to decide alcohol rules, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal said.

The bill also proposes that money from alcohol sales would be used for merit scholarships for athletes, Associated Press said.

The University of Minnesota has no formal position on the bill, The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal said.

Britain Expels Israeli Diplomat

Britain is expelling an Israeli diplomat after forged British passports were linked to the to killing of a Hamas leader in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, CNN said.

Dubai police said they are "99 percent certain" that Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed by Israel's Mossad spy agency, Haaretzs said.

The British Foreign Secretary called the action "intolerable," citing that the United Kingdom was an ally to Israel.

The group that tracked and killed al-Mabhouh used fraudulent passports form Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, and Australia, Haaretz said.

Obama Signs Health Care Reform

President Obama signed the health care reform bill on Tuesday, marking the completion of one of his top presidential priorities, CNN said.

The bill is the largest piece of social legislation passed in the last 40 years, yet Republicans and social conservatives are already planning attempts to repeal the bill, CNN said.

The signing took place in the East Room of the White House. Members of Congress, supporters, and ordinary citizens who have experienced hard times under the health care laws crowded the room, Associated Press said.

Obama will make a trip to Iowa on Thursday to talk about the reform, Associated Press said.

Obama: Reform No Child Left Behind

President Obama said on Saturday that he plans to reform the No Child Left Behind act in order to improve schools and to better prepare the nation's students for college, Los Angeles Times said.

Obama said that America is falling behind, citing low math and science scores and the fact that America is no longer the leading producer of college graduates.

Obama doesn't plan to get rid of the law, only to change the name and rework it. Teachers unions, who have been against the act since it was enacted under former President Bush, have been critical of his decision, The Washington Post said.

Partial Vote Count in Iraq

Early results from Iraq's parliamentary elections show Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the lead in Baghdad, though allegations of fraud and demands to publish voting results have already been made, CNN said.

Al-Maliki's State of Law alliance may have the lead in the capital province, but only 10 of the 18 provinces have given preliminary results, CNN said.

Following behind al-Maliki's 159,000 votes is the Shiite Iraqi National Alliance with 108,000, Voice of America News said.

With only about 20 percent of the votes in Baghdad counted, it is unclear who will win the seats, Voice of America said.

Baghdad holds that most parliamentary seats, 68 of the total 325.

Minnesota Twins Nathan Suffers Ligament Tear

Tests on Minnesota Twins Joe Nathan's pitching arm have revealed a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, ESPN said.

The injury, which will likely end his career for the season, usually requires a Tommy John surgery in which the injured ligament is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body, MSNBC News said.

The closer, who had his career-high of 47 saves last season, will have a second opnion later this week from the surgeon who removed bone spurs and chips from his elbow in October.

Then, after a two week resting period, he will try to pitch again before making his final descision about the surgery, which could put next year's season in question also, MSNBC News said.

Eagan Bus Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Drunk Driving

A school bus driver was arrested on Monday afternoon by Eagan police on suspicion of drunk driving after he crashed into a parked car, Star Tribune said.

The 61-year-old man is an Eagan resident and was arrested after he failed a field sobriety test, said Kare 11 News.

Seven Eagan High School students were on board the bus at the time of the crash- none were hurt, said a spokeswoman for the Eagan POlice Department.

The driver has been released pending the completion of lab tests, said the Eagan Police Department.

Same Sex Marriage Legalized in Washington, D.C.

As of last Wednesday, the nation's capital became the sixth place in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, The Washington Post said.

The first gay and lesbian couples were married on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., after a three day waiting period required by District law.

The same-sex marriage law was approved by the city council in December. A appeal for the lawsuit filed by opponents was rejected by Chief Justice John Roberts last week, Voice of America News said.

The law follows a 30 yearlong struggle by gays, lesbians, and their allies for equal marriage rights, The Washington Post said.

Analysis: Covering a Release

For this analysis, I used an article from The Washington Post about President Obama's plan to incorporate four Republican ideas into his health care reform plan. I then looked up the letter that Obama wrote to congressional leaders outlining the outcomes of their health care summit meeting and the four ideas that he was considering.

Obama began the letter, which was addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Republican leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, thanking them for their participation in the meeting. The president then went on to explain all of the points that the GOP and DFL agree on, including the overall need for reform, allowing small businesses and individuals to join together, and also the need to crack down on fraud and abuse of the system. Obama explained the issues they disagree on. Once all of this was laid out, he then bullet pointed the four Republican issues that he is considering.

In the article, the reporter cut right to the chase and stated the four policies that Obama is considering. The reporter described the expected reactions to the letter- Republicans were not pacified by the idea of a bipartisan compromise. The reporter did not dwell on the exact details of the agreements and disagreements which Obama spent most of his letter clarifying, but instead brought his letter into context by describing how it was received by both parties. She also describes how the letter and the received reactions are likely to affect voting. In the article the reporter condenses the information from the letter and places it into context by providing background as well as the political reactions to the letter.

Olympic Committee Endorses Heart Screenings

In a controversial new statement, the International Olympic Committee now recommends screening young athletes for heart abnormalities with an electrocardiogram test, said The New York Times.

For 30 years, the Italian Ministry of Health has required that competitive athletes are screened and tracked. The data led to the reduction of sudden cardiac deaths by 89 percent among athletes 14-35 years old, said the Los Angeles Times.

The addition of an ECG to the common physical and health history would save about two years of life per 1,000 athletes, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine said.

The recommendation, which is not mandatory for anyone, is being disputed for cost reasons, said The New York Times.

Chile Deploys Soldiers to Contain Looting

Chile has sent more 10,000 security forces into the city of Concepcion to control the looting and fighting that has broken out as citizens wait for relief in the wake of an 8.8-magnitude earthquake, The Washington Post said.

Field hospitals have been set up and additional rescue workers are helping people injured in the fires and violence that have erupted since the earthquake killed over 700 people on Feb. 27, Business Week said.

The Chile government imposed a curfew in an effort to control the looting and the mayor of Concepcion is asking for even more troops and aid from the government, said The Washington Post.

The earthquake was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, and it hit the country during their high tourist summer season, said The Washington Post.

Pawlenty's Health Care Veto Passes House Vote

House majority Democrats failed to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of the General Assistance Medical Care Program (GAMC), which aides some of the poorest Minnesotan residents, said Pioneer Press.

GAMC, which aids Minnesotans who make less than $8,000 a year, will expire April 1 after a party-line vote of 86-47, just 4 votes short of renewing the program, said Star Tribune.

The program was cancelled as a part of Pawlenty's plan to balance the Minnesota budget.

People receiving GAMC are usually homeless or mentally ill. They are ineligible for Medicaid and Pawlenty plans to transfer them to the state-run MinnesotaCare program, where they will receive fewer benefits, said Star Tribune .

Eagan Teacher Honored with Human Rights Award

An Eagan elementary teacher became the first Minnesotan to win the National Education Association human rights award, said the Star Tribune.

Magaly Miralles was presented the George I. Sanchez Award for her work in piloting programs for young, non-english speaking Hispanic students in her school, said Kare 11 News.

Miralles works in getting to know the students and the families personally, aiding in their transition, said Star Tribune.

When Miralles was 8, she moved to Miami from Venezuela and has experienced first-hand the difficulties and troubles that that a child goes through adjusting to a new school and a new language, said Kare 11.

High Dropout Rate Poses a Threat to US, Obama Says

President Obama outlined a plan to to help lower the country's dropout rate, an increasingly high figure that the he said poses a threat to the economic future of the U.S., CNN said.

The program will provide "School Turnaround Grants" to 5,000 schools with performance and graduation rates that are below 60 percent, Obama said in an appearance at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday, The New York Times said.

The president proposed $900 million in grants for the program, The New York Times said.

To qualify for a grant, Obama proposed the firing of the principal and at least half the staff, citing that there has to be accountability taken for the students who continue to fail out in certain districts, CNN said.

Obama called the 1.2 million high school drop out rate per year a crisis in our developing "knowledge economy."

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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