April 2010 Archives

Bret Michaels in critical condition

Bret Michaels, lead singer of Poison and reality television personality, is in critical condition after a brain hemorrhage Thursday.

His official website had this statement Sunday: "Everyone at Michaels Entertainment would like to thank all fans and friends for their continued thoughts and prayers through this difficult time." Entertainment Weekly reported.

MSNBC reported that Michaels told his fans that he wasn't feeling "100 percent" the day before the hemorrhage.

Michaels' rep said that they are still awaiting tests to determine the source.

Six teens killed in crash near Cambridge

A 16-year-old who earned her license earlier this month was involved in a head-on collision Sunday, killing four other passengers in her car and an additional two people. Police say alcohol may have been involved.

The accident happened around 2:40 a.m.

According to the Star Tribune, three passengers were not wearing seatbelts and it is likely that the fourth passenger also was not wearing one.

A State Patrol accident reconstructionist called the crash "the worst he's ever seen in his life," said patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske.

Kare 11 reported that this accident was one of a series of accidents over the weekend that killed teenagers.

Jury verdict reached in Boy Scouts of America Case

A jury found the Boy Scouts of America liable for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy over 25 years ago, slapping them with $18.5 million in damages.

According to CNN, there were six men suing the organization over allegations of sexual abuse.

Attorney Kerry Clark claimed the Boy Scouts of America was aware of the abuse by scoutleader Timur Dykes, now 53.

The organization was going to dispute the allegations, insisting they have always stood against abuse, the BBC reported.

"This is by far the biggest award against the Scouts for sex abuse, probably by several times," said Patrick Boyle, editor of the Youth Today newspaper and author of a book about sex abuse within the Boy Scouts of America.

Under state law, the victims will not be completely compensated because 60 percent of the money must go to the state crime victims' fund.


Diamonds are running out, according to De Beers

De Beers, the worlds largest miner of diamonds, believes the world's supply is running out and is reducing production in an attempt to extend the life of their mines.

CNN reported that rough diamond prices could rise 5 percent per year for the next five years, according to Des Kilalea, analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

De Beers expects a new Asian demand for diamonds, depleting the mines.

According to the Telegraph, De Beers produced about 48m carats in 2008 and will reduce that to 40m carats in 2011.

In the last two decades, the diamond industry has not been able to find any more mines as plentiful as the two largest mines in Africa, both owned by De Beers.

De Beers accounts for about 40 percent of the world's diamond sales.

Steven Seagal in the middle of harrassment problems

Actor Steven Seagal has been accused of sex trafficking and sexual harassment.

According to the New York Daily News, Kayden Nguyen was the first to come forward.

Now, other women are coming forward.

The Boston Herald reported that his reality show has been stopped in the midst of the scandal.

Husband kills wife then himself in Columbia Heights

A man shot and killed his wife before shooting himself Saturday in a murder-suicide that happened in broad daylight in Columbia Heights, police said.

According to a relative, the wife was planning on leaving the husband.

The Star Tribune reported that police found the two bodies in the parking lot of Asia Chow Mein.

Next to the woman's body, police found a pet carrier with a cat inside, unharmed.

Police have not officially identified the victims, but public records say they are Jozef Franz Tomasovic, 66, and Natalia Jurjevna Tomasovic, 55.

The Pioneer Press reported that their home had a "for sale" sign in the front yard.

Tom Petters' Wayzata home sold

The home formerly belonging to convicted businessman Tom Petters was sold for $5 million.

According to Kare 11, the home was originally listed for $8.2 million and has seven bedrooms and 9,400 square feet.

KSTP reported that if the court appointed receiver can close the deal by April 30th, a couple will get the house.

The house sits on Lake Minnetonka.

The proceeds may be used to pay back the victims of Petters' Ponzi scheme.

Six airlines not charging a carry-on fee

Delta, Sun Country, and four other airlines will not be following the footsteps of Spirit Airlines by charging passengers for carry-on bags.

According to the Star Tribune, Florida-based Spirit Airlines will be charging passengers up to $45 for carry-on luggage.

"We don't think it's fair to impose that on a passenger for a carry-on bag," said Sun Country spokeswoman Wendy Blackshaw.

Delta, Sun Country, American, JetBlue, United and US Air all offered commitments over the weekend to seven senators saying they would not impose carry-on fees.

NPR reported that this decision was made even though a few of the airlines are expected to report first-quarter losses due to big expenses.

"We believe it is something that's important to our customers and they value, and we will continue making that available to them at no charge," American Airlines spokesman Roger Frizzell said.

However, although there will be no carry-on fees, airlines may need to increase prices in other areas to make up for lost money.

Abducted peacekeepers in Darfur 'ok' and in good health

Four South African police advisers who were abducted are in "good shape" and officials are negotiating terms of their release, the peacekeeping mission in Darfur confirmed Friday.

According to the Associated Press, the United Nations-African Union mission, or UNAMID, talked to the advisers on the telephone and confirmed they are ok.

However, the spokesman said they would be happier if they were released soon unharmed.

The advisers had not been heard from since Sunday.

The AFP reported that a Darfur group calling itself the People's Democratic Struggle Movement had a member who claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

"We want one billion Sudanese pounds (400,000 dollars) but that is not the most important. We want to show the international community that security conditions in Darfur do not allow for elections," Ibrahim al-Dukki told AFP.

The kidnapping came as Sudan was preparing for their first competitive elections in over two decades.

Women arrested for trying to smuggle corpes on airplane

Two women were arrested at a British airport on charges of trying to smuggle a dead relative onto an airplane bound for Germany.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the 91-year-old man was wheeled through the airport in a wheelchair wearing sunglasses.

OneIndia reported that the two women were apprehended because they did not have a notification of his death.

"At 11 a.m. on Saturday 3 April 2010, police at Liverpool John Lennon airport were alerted to the death of a 91-year-old man in the terminal building," police said in a statement.

The cause of death of the man is unknown.

Two dead in single-car crash in Roseville

Two men died after a single-car accident on Sunday afternoon in Roseville.

According to WCCO, the driver was a 68-year-old man from New Mexico and the passenger was a 68-year-old man from St. Paul.

A little after 3:30 p.m., Roseville Fire and Allina paramedics were dispatched to the scene.

The two men were declared deceased upon their arrival.

The Pioneer Press reported that initial investigations have ruled out speed as a factor for the accident.

Police are unsure whether the men were wearing seat belts during the crash.

Police say the car, a 2009 Volvo S60, was traveling southbound on Lexington Avenue when the vehicle veered off the road, hit a curb, and ran into a tree.

South St. Paul girl and father are found in Utah

A three-year-old girl and her father were found safe in Utah near Salt Lake City.

They were last seen leaving the girl's aunt's house on Thursday.

The Star Tribune reported that the girl's mother was afraid her father had taken her because she was planning on moving the girl, Eva'Anne Delpaso, back to her home in St. Paul.

The father, Ankker Delpaso, has a court order forbidding him to have unsupervised contact with the Eva'Anne.

Police located them when a citizen saw the news report and remembered two people who resembled them at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Kare 11 reported that they were officially identified by a surveillance photo.

Police then learned they boarded a plane to Denver before heading to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ankker Delpaso remains in the custody of Salt Lake City police.

7 shot in New Orleans

Seven people were shot Saturday night in New Orleans' French Quarter after a dispute between two men.

CNN reported that six of the victims were bystanders.

Authorities say they are still searching for the two gunmen.

One of the victims was a 17-year-old boy who was involved in the argument.

According to USA Today, the other victims' ages ranged from 15 to 50.

According to New Orleans police, no one was seriously injured.

Six of the victims, not including the boy involved in the argument, were treated for minor injuries and released from area hospitals.

The shooting took place after the French Quarter festival had ended for the night, police said.

Police said they were unsure whether the six bystander victims were from New Orleans or if they were just in town for the festival.

The shooting did not appear to have an effect on the festival Sunday as crowds still roamed through the streets of the French Quarter.

Polish president dies in plane crash

Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland, died Saturday in plane crash in western Russia.

According to Russian officials, the plane crash also killed 96 other people, including Kaczynski's wife and other government officials.

CNN reported that the plane crashed as it was trying to land at an airport near the city of Smolensk.

The president had been traveling with a Polish delegation for the 70th anniversary Russian massacre of Polish prisoners of war.

The event was intended to ease relations between Poland and Russia.

Although Russian television portrayed Kaczynski in a mostly negative light Saturday, the country declared Saturday a day of mourning.

According to the UK's Mirror, the Polish government declared a week for national mourning.

People gathered outside the presidential palace to lay flowers and light candles.

Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski took over as acting president.

Kaczynski was 60 years old.

Analysis: numbers in stories

The news story I found was from CNN about the March Jobs report.

The reporter used numbers in a lot of ways. He used them to simply tell facts and as comparisons. He also used them to help explain points he was making.

Although there are a lot of numbers in the story, they aren't overwhelming. They are easy to understand and there is enough writing in the story to balance out the large amount of numbers.

It is not clear whether the reporter actually used math to figure out the numbers or if he simply got the statistics straight from a report. Either way, there are calculations throughout the story that help explain the angle more effectively.

As far as sources for the numbers go, it is not completely clear. It is possible that they are all from the report that was issued and from the people that were interviewed.

Overall, the story used numbers effectively to describe to someone who is not good with numbers (someone like myself) the job market situation.

Man fleeing police jumps fence into prison

A man fleeing police over what was originally a traffic violation abandoned his car and jumped a fence into a women's prison.

According to Yahoo news, the chase evolved from a minor traffic violation to a 90 mph chase through several Cleveland suburbs.

CBS News reported that the driver, Ricky Flowers, allegedly jumped from his vehicle and hopped over the fence leading him to the Ohio state women's prison.

"He ended up in the prison yard," said Capt. Robert Sackett. "He was apprehended. He had nowhere to go. It was a little easier to get in than get out, apparently."

According to police, there were three passengers but Flowers was the only one who ended up in the prison yard.

Flowers initially faced only a traffic charge but now faces a number of other charges including fleeing and eluding and obstructing justice, according to local news station WJW.


Five charged in New Jersey child rape case

Two men and three boys have been charged in the case of a 15-year-old girl who allegedly allowed men to have sex with her and her 7-year-old sister.

The five, ages ranging from 13 to 20, have been charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, Trenton Police Director Irving Bradley said.

According to CNN, Gregory Joseph Leary, 20, was arrested Thursday and Tiemear Lewis, 19, was arrested Saturday.

The three others who have been charged are juveniles aged 13, 14, and 17.

Their names are not being released.

The New York Times reported that investigators believe the 7-year-old girl was sold for sex by her 15-year-old sister.

Her sister was also charged with aggravated assault and other charges for allowing her sister to to be sexually assaulted, police said.

Officials said the 15-year-old girl first accepted money for having sex with the men then accepted money for allowing the men to touch her sister which led to rape.

The 7-year-old girl told police she knew the party was trouble but went because she wanted to protect her older sister.

Nine Chinese miners rescued after one week

Nine out of 153 trapped miners have been rescued from a flooded coal mine in Northern China where they have been for a week, Chinese state TV said.

According to the BBC, the mine in the Shanxi province flooded after a wall was broken in an abandoned shaft.

There have been around 3000 people constantly working to rescue the miners and pump out the water in order to reach them.

According to officials, the miners are in a weak state and their eyes were covered in order to prevent permanent damage since they've been exposed to complete darkness for a week.

The Telegraph reported that Chinese officials believe more people in the mine could still be alive.

People were hopeful when they heard tapping on a metal pipe on Friday but have since heard no sounds.

A preliminary investigation reported that the mine's managers ignored water leaks before the accident, the State Administration of Work Safety said.

According to the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, China's mines are the world's deadliest, killing 2,631 coal miners last year.

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