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September 29, 2008

Dream girl stolen by Van Wilder...

The Assosciated Press reports that Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds got married in a small ceremony in Vancouver, British Colombia.
The coule announced there engagement in May and said they were taking there time and enjoying being young.
The AP quotes Johannson as saying "I mean, I'm 23. There's no reason to rush into it. Everything feels very natural and relaxed."

three kids hit by a car updated 20 mins ago

the story is being reported by the strib
The first info block says what happened (three kids hit by a car) where they are (HCMC) and where/when it happened (columbia heights, Saturday night).
The next block says their ages, but says authorities wont release there names/relationships to one another.
The next block gives the exact time and the intersection where the accident happaned, they say the intersection is controlled by lights and it is unclear who had the right of way.
The next block says the man who hit them was 43 and cooperating with police. it also says its to early to tell what was the cause of the accident, or whether drugs/alcohol played a part.
the final block says there were other people with the kids.
I think the reporter did this effectively. people want to know what happened and to whom,
the exact time is important because it is wierd that 4-6 year olds would be up at 11:20 pm.
Then they give info about the driver and specify that he is cooperating and they arnt sure of the cause yet. thats important because it gives all the info and doesnt make anyone seem guilty yet. finally the info about the kids being with people is important but maybe it should have been included earlier like when the details about the crash were given.

September 26, 2008

Pirates and Tanks = mashup of boyhood fantasies

CNN reports that a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 Soviet T-72 tanks and ammunition was seized by pirates.
The ship was headed to Kenya, The weapons were sold to Kenya by Ukraine.
The ship tried to steer clear of Somalia because there is a lot of sea piracy happening there.
A Russian ship is in pursuit of the pirates.
Forbes reports that US Navy ships have also been deployed to retrieve the seized Ukrainian vessel.
Forbes says that there has been a "worldwide renaissance" of sea piracy over the last 10 years.

State of duh bate

CNN reports that John McCain will be attending the debate Friday night after he publicly announced that he would not attend until the financial crisis was taken care of.
McCains decision comes after member of congress announced in a press conference that McCains presence actually hurt the efforts to work out plans for the financial crisis.
McCain and Obama have put out a joint statement saying that after the debate, both will pause their campaigns until the financial crisis is taken care of.
Time reports that the person who is behind in polls, McCain, has to be the agressor in the first debate. And since McCain's strong suit is said to be foreighn policy, and since the first debate is meant to focus on foreighn policy, analysts think McCain may come out "hot."
Time says McCain ought "to try to force Obama into conceding that the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq has been an unqualified success. Obama has admitted as much already in recent interviews. But having to do it on stage with McCain would be the debate equivalent of eating crow in front of 80 million viewers."
Time says Obama should not "bury the lead!" Answer the question, and then explain it.

September 23, 2008

Augsburg freshman killed

The Star Tribune reports that an Augsburg freshman was killed as he was leaving a community center he volunteered at in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
The man was shot after 5p.m. and died at the scene. No arrests have been made yet, authorities said.
The Pioneer Press reported that police would not disclose the name.
Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, Identified the deceased 20-year-old as Ahmed Nur Ali.
The police are asking that anyone with information come forward.

zero-tolerance loses in favor of common-sense

The Star Tribune reports that a Blane High School senior that was suspended for 10 days will now be allowed to return to school.
Tony Richards,17, was suspended after a security guard noticed that Richards had a box cutter in his car parked in the school parking lot. The box cutter was in violation of the school zero tolerance of weapons policy. Richards explained that the box cutter was used for his job as a member of the clean-up crew at a local Cub Foods.
The school recommended the school board to expel the teen, but the board decided to allow him back to school after a 5-1 vote.
For the purpose of records however, the punishment will be considered an expulsion.

September 18, 2008

new 35W bridge

The Star Tribune reports that Interstate 35W traffic has been moving swiftly since the 35W bridge opened at 5am this morning.
The bridge opened with a procession of the emergency vehicles that were among the first responders at the collapse last year. Then came Department of Transportation vehicles, followed by traffic that had been “queuing up all night," Lt. Mark Peterson of the State Patrol said.
Cars weren’t allowed to line up until 4:45 a.m.
The Pioneer Press reports that drivers honked their horn and waved American flags as they crossed the bridge.
Bobby and Steve’s Auto World employees handed out $25 gift cards to the first 100 cars that entered downtown via the new bridge.
The $234 million bridge has 323 sensors that collect data on how the bridge handles stress so that another disaster will be avoided.

September 17, 2008

Green Tonka elementary school's $550,000 eco-lab

The Star Tribune reports that Groveland, a Minnetonka elementary school has plans to build a $550,000 eco-lab. a classroom where students will be able to study solar energy, plants and the life cycle of butterflies.
The school is hoping to raise the money through grants and private donations, they see it as being a community project and if their fund raising is succesful the lab should be built by the end of 2009.
Groveland is already a school that prides itself on being green. A member of the schools administration justified the eco-lab by saying that America is falling behind in science and math, "You have to wire those brains from the beginning. There's no better way to teach and no better way to learn than to actually touch, feel, experience and manipulate."
In a related story the Pioneer Press reports that River Crest Elementary School in Hudson, Wi was designed to conserve energy and save water. The school has the latest energy saving technology built into it. The school was built after voter approved $12 million in bonds in December 2006 to accompany %3.5 million the district had already saved. River Crest is anticipated to be the second school in Wisconsin to be certified a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design building by the Green Building Concil.

AIG saved and taken by Fed

An assosciated press article from the Star Tribune reports that The Federal Reserve has given American International Group, one of the worlds largest insurers an $85 billion emergency loan at an interest rate of about 11.5 percent. In return
the government will recieve a 79.9 percent stake in the company and the right to remove senior management. AIG said that they will pay back the loan in full with the sale of some of their assets. AIG shares had sold for as much as $70.13 this last year, they were as low as $1.34 Wednesday morning.
CNN reports that the Fed decided to come in because they decided that a company with so many ties around the world would hurt our already ailing economy.
In another Assosciated press article from the Strib McCain said that he did not want to bail out AIG because he blamed their problems on greed, excess and corruption; yet, he said millions of people whose finances are tied to the company were in danger of having their lives destroyed

American embassy attacked in Yemen

An assosciated press article from the Star Tribune reports that deadly bombings outside the American embassy in Yemen included snipers and as many as five explosions.
Yemeni authorities that first responded were met with heavy sniper fire. One locally employed embassy security guard was killed, as well as four Yemeni troops guarding
the embassy and five other people, the official said. In all 10 Yemeni police and civilians were killed.
CNN reports that six attackers, including a suicide bomber were also killed.
"This attack is a reminder of the continuing threat we face from violent extremists both at home and abroad," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
CNN said "Yemen believes al Qaeda is responsible for the attack, al-Basha said. Media reports said Islamic Jihad in Yemen -- which is affiliated with al Qaeda -- has claimed responsibility for the attack, but CNN could not independently confirm those reports."
The White House has vowed to increase counterterrorism efforts.

September 12, 2008

leads analysis

From The Star Tribune: Jimmy Nisser flashes a mile-wide grin in what was likely the last photo taken of him before his death.

The who and the what are the W's represented in this lead, however the what is really general. The headline already gives away that the death resulted from a hit and run and the deceased was on a bike, but the lead just says he died. This is not a straightforward lead, the Who is a nobody but his name is the very first word in the story. I think the writer did this because he wanted to introduce us to a real person, a real person who was not just the victim of a hit and run. At the end of this story I felt real bad for Jimmy and the community that he lived in, where as in other crime stories I don't really feel like that. This was a story more about Jimmy than the crime and the lead let us know that right away. Sometimes a small town kind of story with no real relevance can have the most impact.

Saudi Arabia bans Bangladeshi immigrant workers

The Daily Star reports that Saudi Arabia is no longer issuing Visas for household and agricultural workers and that children of Bangladeshis in any sector that are turning 18 years of age are being denied Visas and face deportation.
According to the Saudi Gazette the children of workers deported so far have been mostly female.
Saudi Arabia is the largest employer of Bangladeshi immigrants, 1.8 million currently work there. 300 housemaids were arriving a month.
Bangladeshis however are the only nation being singled out not to work in these areas. The Saudi government says that it is because they want to even out the number of foreigners that they employ.
The reporter added that a large number of crimes committed in Saudi Arabia are perpetrated by Bangladeshis and a popular website called "no to corruption" has gone up recently that calls to stop recruiting Bangladeshi workers.

Hurrican Ike getting real

CNN reports that The Coast Guard has been able to rescue a freighter that holds 22 people on it, the best case scenario for them according to the coast guard is that they are able to get to shallow enough water so they can anchor down and wait out the storm.
It is to dangerous now for any rescue attempts by air.
200,000 have fled areas of Houston that are low-lying, althouh 10 percent of the population is still holding out. weather reports say that any caught in those areas are in for certain death.
USA Today eports that FEMA has more than 3,500 rescue areas in the area waiting to help once the storm is over.
police have been going around Galveston trying to convince residents to evacuate.
"The police chief asked one stubborn couple to write their names and Social Security numbers on their forearms in black magic marker "in case something bad were to happen."" which got them to change their minds
The Census bureau said that 13 million will face storm conditions.

September 10, 2008

Fabric of reality to be explained by atom smasher

The BBC reports that after 13 years and 5 billion pounds the Large Hadron Collidor(LHC), a machine housed in a 27 km-long tunnel on the swiss-french border, has been succesfully switched on.
The LHC is designed to smash particles together and recreate the moments after the big bang.
"Eventually, two proton beams will be steered in opposite directions around the LHC at close to the speed of light, completing about 11,000 laps each second.

At allotted points around the tunnel, the beams will cross paths, smashing together near four massive "detectors" that monitor the collisions for interesting events.

Scientists are hoping that new sub-atomic particles will emerge, revealing fundamental insights into the nature of the cosmos," The BBC reports.
Ordinary matter, such as you, me, galaxies, gas stars and planets make up 4% of the universe. Dark matter and dark energy, stuff that nothing is known about other than the fact that they are ther. Physicists think the LHC will provide clues to the nature of this stuff.
National Geographic reports that some people are worried that the LHC will create black holes that could swallow up and destroy the earth or the whole universe.
physicists connected to the LHC and independent of, say there's no reason for alarm.
""Collisions just like those the [atom-smasher] will make have been produced by cosmic rays bombarding the Earth throughout its existence," said a statement from the American Physical Society."

Smoking down in Minnesota

The Star Tribune reports that 164,000 Minnesotas have quit smoking since 1999.
The nations avergae of 20 percent of adults as smokers has not changed since 2004, while The percentage of Minnesota's adults who smoke has dropped to 17 percent from 22.1 percent in 2000.
Health officals say this will lead to a reduction in the $2 billion that is spent annually in Minnesota to treat tobacco-related illness in Minnesota.
The tobacco industry spends $238 million advertising in Minnesota.
Minnesota spends $30 million annually on anti-smoking campaigns.
"We have unparalleled access to quit-smoking programs," said Barb Schillo, director of research for ClearWay.
The Pioneer Press reported on this story, there approach was less about the numbers and facts and tried to go for a more personal touch. The story begins with the survey results, goes to the parking lot of of the Department of Health where people are smoking, cuts back to results and quotes from experts, then ends in the parking lot:
" Steven Srey, 24, said he quit without any help for three weeks last winter, when it seemed too cold to go out to the parking lot for a smoke. But then stressful events made him start again. He recalled how his father's death and other conflicts at age 16 got him started in the first place.

"Stressful times," he said, "bring you back." "

September 9, 2008

Life with no parole for former NBA players killer

The Pioneer Press reported that Raleigh Rashad has been sentenced to life with no parole for his involvement in the murder of Howard Porter, a probation officer and former NBA player.
Tonya E. Johnson pled guilty to aiding and abetting: she lured Porter into a house promising sex where Rashad and a third man, Fredquinzo (Snake Eyes) King, beat and robbed him.
King faces two counts of first-degree murder and Johnson will be sentenced later this month.
The Star Tribune reported that at Rashad's sentencing, Porters loved ones were allowed to speak at how their lives have been impacted.
Theresa Neal, Porter's fiancee according to the Press and widow according to the Strib, said "Our lives have been shattered. Our hearts have been broken, and parts of us have been laid to rest with Howard, It will never change. Howard will never return to me."