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October 19, 2008

10/19/08 International

Taliban militants in Afghanistan stopped a bus carrying around 50 people and beheaded 30 of them, according to the New York Times and the USA Today.

The USA Today focused on the facts and numbers. Mentioning the death toll and the number of passengers on board. The New York Times focused on the governor of the province’s assertion that the people killed were not from the Afghan Army like the Taliban claimed, but were merely civilians looking for work in nearby Iran.

Both articles mention that the Taliban tried to stop a previous bus, but the bus got away, although a child passenger was killed by gunfire.

10/19/08 National

An abducted 6-year-old boy in Las Vegas was returned safely to his fathers custody Sunday according to the New York Times and the USA Today.

Both articles covered the stories in a similar manner. Both mention that the boy had been abducted Wednesday from his mother’s home by two men posing as police officers. The boy’s maternal grandfather apparently stole a large amount of drug money from them and it is believed the boy was taken because of the grandfather’s connections.

The New York Times mentioned that the boy was found wandering on the sidewalk on Sunday morning, and it also covered the father’s reaction when he heard the news his son was found. The USA Today mentioned the father’s relief but didn’t use any direct quotes.

Both mention that the boy was unharmed.

10/19/08 Local

A 24-year-old mentally handicapped man was abducted twice and repeatedly beaten and tortured in Lakeville by a group of four men and a 16-year-old girl over the weekend according to the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

The Star Tribune goes into much greater detail than the Pioneer Press. The Pioneer Press article states in the bottom of the article the reason for the attack. That the 16-year-old girl told the men the victim, Justin Hamilton, attacked her. It was in the headline of the Star Tribune article.

The Star Tribune also goes into much greater detail about the backgrounds of the suspects. It talks about how two of them were in the military, while the Pioneer Press mentions only the basic facts, not giving much background.

Both articles mention that the victim suffered broken ribs, many bruises, and burns from a cigarette and a heated credit card.

October 5, 2008

10/05/08 International

Over 100 are dead after a stampede started at a Hindu temple in Jodhpur city, India on Tuesday according to the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The numbers of dead and injured varied greatly between the two articles. The Washington Post said 12,000 people had gathered when the stampede started, with 168 being reported killed and more than 425 injured. The Associated Press article in the New York Times said that 2,000 to 3,000 people had gathered at the start of the stampede; that 147 people were killed and 55 were injured.

The New York Times article stated that the cause of the stampede was unclear, while the Washington Post article said that it was a false rumor of a bomb threat that caused the stampede.

Both articles stated that coconut milk spilled on the temple floor made the pathway slippery, causing many to fall. Both articles also reported that most of the dead were male, because of the separate lines for men and women, and that the majority of the deaths were caused by suffocation, not by injuries.

The Washington Post article then talked to various people and officials about the need for stricter crowd control at major gatherings. Both articles recounted similar events that had occurred elsewhere in India recently.

10/05/08 National

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, many are missing and presumed dead in Galveston, Texas, according to the New York Times and the USA Today.

The New York Times put the number of missing at 34 with some presumed dead, while the USA Today said according to the Laura Recovery Center, 200 from Galveston are missing, with the number going up and down by the minute.

The USA Today then dedicated four or five paragraphs to four individual victims who have been found dead or are presumed dead. For all of them the article cited the last words of the victims to family members they contacted by phone.

The New York Times named a few of the victim’s but also told the story of people looking for family members and told the stories of some survivors. It also talked to rescue workers, who are going door to door searching the rubble for bodies.

10/05/08 Local

An 18-year-old man accused of rape told a police sergeant that in a recording in 2006 that he did not have sex with the developmentally disabled 17-year-old girl according to the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

The girl he allegedly attacked suffers from Schimmelpenning syndrome, a disorder which causes physical and mental disabilities. She has an IQ of about 58, her mother testified according to the Pioneer Press.

Both articles state that the man is also accused of raping and beating a 57-year-old woman on Jan. 1, 2007.

The St. Paul man, Joshua L. Smith, was 16 at the time of the alleged attack, which occurred on Sept. 8, 2006. He was certified to stand trial as an adult. Smith is currently on trial in Ramsey County District Court on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune article cites verbatim the testimony he gave to St. Paul Police Sgt. Jennifer O’Donnell. It then goes on to cover the collection of evidence from the 57-year-old victim. And while the article talks about DNA being collected from semen from both victim, it states that there was no testimony as to whose semen it was as of Friday.

The Pioneer Press article also uses the testimony recorded in 2006. The article also includes the information that the 17-year-old victim could accurately describe Smith’s basement, despite Smith claiming she had never been to his house. The article then goes on to state that DNA was recovered from semen on the 17-year-old’s underwear which tested a positive match to Smith.