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February 25, 2007

Patient Abandoned as Surgeons Battle It Out

A patient's appendix operation went horribly wrong in Belgrade on Wednesday when two surgeons began to fight.

Reuters reports that surgeons Spasoje Radulovic and Dragan Vukanic began to quarrel in the operating room.

"At one moment Vukanic pulled the ear of the operating doctor, slapped him in the face and walked out," the on-duty anesthesiologist said.

The fight ended with bruises, broken teeth, and a fractured finger. The patient's operation was completed by an attending assistant doctor.

I think it's interesting how Reuters didn't receive a quote from either of the surgeons, but instead got one from the anesthesiologist who witnessed the fight. Perhaps this was to avoid any biased or fighting comments.

Female Bomber Kills Over 40 People at Baghdad College

A female suicide bomber detonated a bomb that killed more than 40 people in a mostly Shiite college in Baghdad.

The New York Times and the Pioneer Press report that the attack and many others came as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced a new security crackdown and criticized U.S. involvement.

Both of these newspapers made the bigger story out to be that of the Prime Minister and the new security crackdown, as well as negative views about continued U.S. presence and security efforts in Iraq.

"A female suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives and ball bearings blew herself up at a Baghdad university today, killing at least 40 people, and strewing fingers, pens, purses and bloody textbooks all over the ground."

I found the New York Times' lead to be a bit graphic. Why do people need to know that fingers were strewn across the ground? I think that most readers, if not all, can imagine the horror of a bomb exploding in the middle of a group of people.

Suspect in Mankato Slaying in Custody

A man suspected of being involved in the killing of a Mankato woman on Saturday has been placed in custody, the Pioneer Press said.

Judith Kay Ellgen, 53, was found dead in her apartment early Saturday. Authorities believe that she died from severe head and upper body trauma.

The 32-year-old man suspected of being involved is currently being questioned by police, the Star Tribune said.

It seems like the Pioneer Press had more time to work on this story, or else they have updated it more than the Star Tribune, even though the article appeared on the main page of the Star Tribune website and required a search on the Pioneer Press website.

Non-Sorority Types Kicked

A sorority at DePauw University has come under fire for expelling certain members that were not seen as fitting the "sorority girl" type.

The Delta Zeta sorority expelled 23 of its members, some of whom were overweight and the only black, Korean, and Vietnamese members, the New York Times said.

Of the 12 girls left in the sorority, six left after finding that their sisters had been kicked.

This recent development has caused student protests, a faculty petition against the sorority, and letters from upset parents and alumni.

Biggest Storm of the Season Hits Minneapolis

It's the biggest snowstorm to hit the Twin Cities area in years, according to the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

Forecasters predict over a foot of snow to accompany the hazardous conditions and freezing weather.

According to the Star Tribune, local police already reported around 200 accidents, but no deaths as of Saturday evening.

The Pioneer Press reports that the National Weather Service predicts winds of over 30 mph. “Long-duration winter storm in progress," the National Weather Service said. “The worst is yet to come…do not be fooled.?

I found it interesting that the Star Tribune's article focused more on how the storm affected local businesses and people, whereas the Pioneer Press went into more detail about the actual weather system itself and quoted meteorologists and even included a paragraph concerning what readers should do about catching flights at the airport.

February 18, 2007

Hungarian City Raises Money By Selling Street Names

A city in Hungary is putting the spin on fundraising by selling off its streets to anyone who wants to have their name on it.

Ivad, in northeastern Hungary, is charging about 100,000 forints ($511) per meter for those who want their name on one of its eight streets, said Reuters.

Unfortunately, Hungarian law dictates that streets may not be named after living people. To compensate, Ivad is offering a contract that will guarantee a posthumous name change.

If only I had some streets to sell!

I thought Reuters did a nice job with this story by including a quote from the town's mayor, Gabor Ivady. The touch of adding the Barbra Streisand quote makes it even more funny, and the kicker at the end about Hungarian law closes it well.
I also liked that they included a link to the website. It's in Hungarian, but if you just happened to have a good translator and some extra cash, it'd be fun to sign up.

French Official Keeps Medal Despite Sending Jews to Camps

Even though he was stripped of his right to wear his Legion of Honor medal, France's highest distinction, in 1998, a French official will be buried with it, his lawyer said Sunday.

Maurice Papon died at the age of 96 on Saturday. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1998 for arresting and deporting 1,690 Jews to Nazi death camps, the Star Tribune said.

It will be seen to that Papon is buried with his medal, Papon's lawyer Francis Vuillemin said. However, some wonder if French president Jacques Chirac will not allow it.

I think it would be interesting to get a quote from Jacques Chirac regarding this issue and how he feels about it. However, I do wonder if this is at the top of his priorities, seeing as the man is dead and doing no more harm. Of course, it could offend the Jewish community as well.

This Star Tribune article was nicely summed up into three paragraphs. The quote at the end from Bernard Accoyer is a good indicator that this story might develop further.

February 16, 2007

Warrant Issued in Elie Wiesel Attack

Police issued a warrant on Friday for arrest for a New Jersey man suspected of attempting to kidnap Holocaust scholar and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

Eric Hunt, 22, of Sussex County, N.J., is charged with attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery, and committing a hate crime, police told the Associated Press.

Authorities linked Hunt to the attack after he posted on an anti-Semitic web site and claimed responsibility.

Hunt apparently approached Wiesel after his speech at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco on Feb. 1 and asked if he could interview him. He ended up trying to drag Wiesel to his hotel room, but fled when the scholar screamed.

The New York Times reported that Hunt was not yet in custody but had been located by police.

The New York Times' article is more like a brief. Perhaps this is because the event took place earlier in the month and the Times already covered the more specific details of the incident and didn't want to take the time to recap.

I think it's interesting that the author of the Star Tribune article takes the time to point out that both Hunt and Wiesel were unreachable (for different reasons). In a way this says to the reader, "Hey, I tried to do my research and get the facts to you, but due to this reason I couldn't."

February 15, 2007

Statue Thieves Charged

Two men attempting to sell the remains of two statues stolen from a Minneapolis park were charged with felonies Friday.

Jeremy Allen Giles, 24, and Brandon James Unruh, 21, were charged with receiving stolen property after they were caught trying to sell pieces of two statues stolen from Theodore Wirth Park on Feb. 9.

Giles and Unruh were caught trying to sell pieces of the broken statues at Great Western Recycling in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press said. When the employee refused to pay them and threatened to call police, the men ran.

The Star Tribune reported that the 239 pounds of bronze that they attempted to sell to the Great Western Recycling scrap yard would have only earned them $310. The statues in their original condition were worth $8,150.

I thought the Star Tribune's article was more interesting as it told why the statues were of importance to the Minneapolis community. I'm not really a local, and therefore had no idea that this park even existed or understood the trouble Theodore Wirth apparently had to go through to get it opened up to people of all kinds until I read the Star Tribune's article. If I had only read the Pioneer Press' article, I would still be thinking that the statues were just donated by a person of public interest.
I think that even a small paragraph describing the meaning of the articles stolen is important to have when something as odd as a statue is stolen.

February 13, 2007

Amber Alert Teen and Father Found

An Amber Alert issued for a missing Minnesota teenager and her father was cancelled on Tuesday after the two were found in the Mall of America.

Deidre Michuda, 14, and her father, Stephen Michael Michuda, 34, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., were found in the transit center at the Mall of America by an unidentified citizen who later called in, Inver Grove Heights Police Lt. Jerry Salmey said.

Stephen Michuda, a convicted sex offender, did not have custody of his daughter and was not allowed to have unsupervised contact with her, police said. He was seen picking her up after school on Monday by Deidre's siblings.

The minivan the Michudas were seen travelling in was found in South St. Paul early Tuesday, authorities said.

The Star Tribune article focuses on the girl and father being found as the main story. Additional leads are brought in later to the story, such as the comment about the father being a convicted sex offender as well as the very last paragraph about the father having BB guns and a knife.

Another interesting note about these two additional facts is that the Pioneer Press article didn't seem to include them. The point about the father being a sex offender is worded differently. The article says, "...Stephen Michuda, 34, described as a known sex offender." I found this somewhat odd, since the Star Tribune seems to have received a quote from the police stating that he has been "convicted", which is much stronger wording that leaves no doubt about the issue.

The Star Tribune also noted Inver Grove Heights as the father's place of residence, while the Pioneer Press stated that Stephen Michuda's permanent residence was not known and that he was living in Inver Grove Heights temporarily.

I thought it was interesting that the Pioneer Press also included a paragraph describing what an Amber Alert was. Is this technology still new enough that some people don't know what it is?
The Star Tribune instead explained that Amber Alerts aren't usually used for parental kidnappings and described the circumstances to explain why one was issued as well as further the story a little bit more.

February 11, 2007

Obama For President?

Illinois Senator Brack Obama announced his candidacy for president Saturday before the Old State Capitol.

The New York Times said that Obama presented himself as an agent of change and declared that he could rid the government of cynicism, corruption and "a smallness of our politics."

Obama has named Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as his main opponent in the race for presidency. Clinton is said to maintain several qualities that Democrats fear Obama lacks, such as experience, a "command of policy and political history", and, of course, a huge group of advisers and fund-raisers.

Man Wrestles Anaconda to Save Grandson

A Brazilian man battled with a 15-foot anaconda on Friday in order to save his grandson from the snake's deathly coils.

Reuters reports that Joaquim Pereira, 66, wrestled with an anaconda for half an hour in order to save Matheus Pereira de Araujo, 8, his grandson.

Araujo was playing near a creek on his grandfather's farm, which is located 310 miles west of Sao Paulo, Brazil, when the snake attacked him.

Pereira was driving home when he heard his grandson screaming. He jumped into the creek and began wrestling with the snake, using stones and a machete to kill it.

Obviously notable. It might not seem too newsworthy, but I think it's crazy how a 66-year-old man can wrestle with a 15-foot anaconda and win. Now that's physically fit!

St. Paul Fire Kills One

The Star Tribune reports that a 29-year-old man was killed in a grease fire that started in his kitchen Saturday night.

At about 9:00 p.m. the St. Paul Fire Department responded to a call from the victim's mother reporting a fire on the 200 block of Goodrich Avenue. The victim was taken to Regions Hospital but was later pronounced dead.

According to firefighters, the man tried to put out the flames with water, which would have only increased the size of the fire.

Amazingly enough, I could not find a similar article reporting on this same incident in the Pioneer Press. However, I did notice something that intrigued and upset me a bit. The top story for the Pioneer Press was "Twins in St. Paul? Consider this", which was an article about Minneapolis possibly losing the land they bought for the new Twins stadium. However, the Pioneer Press only included "Dakota And Washington Counties / Is the water safe to drink?" in the more local news section. Shouldn't unsafe drinking water be more important and newsworthy than a Twins stadium?

February 7, 2007

Indonesia Negotiating Sale of Avian Flu Virus

A World Health Organization representative announced that Indonesia has stopped sending samples of the avian flu virus to the W.H.O. and is apparently forming a contract with an American vaccine company instead.

Sources say that a spokesperson from Baxter Healthcare of Deerfield, Ill., did not tell the country to stop sending samples to the W.H.O.

"The W.H.O. should be their biggest friend," Dr. Arnold S. Monto, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, said. He calls the negotiations "counterproductive."

The W.H.O. considers the Indonesian strain of the avian flu a crucial player in the quest to develop vaccines for the virus that has infected 81 Indonesians and killed 63 of them.

Classes Cancelled For Mercury, Not Snow

Classes were cancelled for a New Brighton school on Wednesday while a mercury leak is under investigation.

The Associated Press reports that classes at St. John the Baptist Catholic School are cancelled until Friday while school officials and pollution control experts finish cleaning up a mercury leak that happened on Tuesday.

The Star Tribune's article reports that leaks occurred in at least one science lab, a hall, and the cafeteria.

Unless students had extreme exposure to the mercury, they should be alright, Sam Brungardt, an Information Officer from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said.

The Star Tribune's article starts out with information about how the school itself was affected by the mercury leak, noting the cancelled classes and worried parents and students bringing their belongings to be checked.

The article then introduces Sam Brungardt as a professional source and proceeds to discuss the possible harm the mercury leak might have on affected students.

The article then goes into a chronological retelling of the story, and finishes with an extra bit on who to call and where to go if readers would like to get their belongings checked for mercury.

February 4, 2007

45 Nations Join to Combat Global Warming

France issued a call for all nations to gather together in order to prevent global warming on Saturday.

Sources announce that, so far, forty-five nations have joined the group, excluding the United States and growing third-world countries such as China and India. French President Jacques Chirac expressed frustration at the abscence of the United States. "They are refusing to accept the consequences of their acts," he said.

The call for more nations to become environmentally aware came after a disturbing scientific report was issued on Friday. The report stated that global warming was "very likely" to be caused by humans and that even if the world were to begin being more aware, greenhouse gases would still remain in the atmosphere for several centuries.

February 3, 2007

Shooting Leaves Father and Son Dead

A father and son were found dead and the mother wounded after a 911 call led police to a farmhouse in Waseca, Minn. on Saturday.

Sources say that Tracy Kruger, 40, and Alex Kruger, 13, were found dead in their farmhouse southwest of Waseca.

The mother, Hilary Kruger, was found in critical condition and rushed to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

The other son had been staying at a friends house when the shooting took place. A police officer said that he was in utter shock after learning of the incident.

Police have found a suspect in the case and are questioning him. No arrests have been made.