April 2010 Archives

Police Search Gizmodo Computers for iPhone Information

Police seized the computers and servicers of a Gizmodo editor Friday in an investigation on an iPhone prototype the news service purchased.

Police officers entered the home of Jason Chen's Fremond, Calif. home with a warrant that said a felony crime was being investigated, CNET News reported.

Gizmodo is owned by Gawker media, who last week purchased what they believe to be a lost prototype of the iPhone 4G for $5,000, CNET News reported.

California law states the government cannot force journalists to disclose sources, or seize material from a journalist, Wired reported.

Jennifer Granick, a civil liberties director at Electronic Frontier Foundation told Wired that Chen should have been protected for a warrant by state and federal laws.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that female Wal-Mart employees can go forward with a class action lawsuit for sexual discrimination.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco gave a 6 to 5 decision in a decade-long battle over the right for the women to sue, the Washington Post reported. Wal-Mart said it will ask the Supreme Court to review the case.

The original 2001 lawsuit accuses Wal-Mart of paying women less than men, giving women smaller raises and promoting them less frequently, the New York Times Reported.

The class consists of women who worked at 3,4000 Wal-Mart stores since 2001, which some estimate to be over 1 million women, the Washington Post reported. Wal-Mart estimates the number to be roughly 500,000.

The plaintiffs said 65 percent of Wal-Marts hourly employees were women, but only 33 percent of the company's managers were women., the New York Times reported.

Twin of Poland's Former President To Run For President

Jaroslaw Kaczynkski, the twin brother of Poland's former President Lech Kaczynki, has named himself a candidate for president.

Lech Kaczynki died in an April 10 plane crash in Russia, along with many other senior members of Poland's government., the BBC said.

Jaroslaw Kaczynkski served as Prime Minister to Polan, and has been expected to follow in his brother's footsteps following the crash, The Independent said.

The brothers were the founding members of the Law and Justice party in 2001, the BBC reported. Jaroslaw Kaczynkski wants to continue his brother's presidential mission.

Acting President Bronislaw Komorowski is currently favored to win the election, with Jaroslaw Kaczynkski expected to receive no more than 25 percent of the country's vote, The Independent reported.

Karl Rove Speaks at University of Minnesota

Karl Rove, who served as senior advisor to former President George W. Bush spoke at the University of Minnesota Thursday.

Rove spoke to an audience of about 100 people hosted by the University of Minnesota College Republicans, the Minnesota Daily reported.

In his speech, Rove criticized President Obama and discussed the 2008 election, health care reform and the conservative voices on college campuses, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Rove spoke for an hour, but only allowed news cameras for five minutes of his speech, saying he wanted to focus on the students and not the media, Kare 11 reported.

Rove was interrupted a few times during his speech by student protestors, including one who made up a rap, Kare 11 reported.

Como Zoo Gorilla Dies

Gordy, one of three adult male gorillas at St. Paul Como Zoo died last Monday.

Zoo officials say the cause of Gordy's death is unknown pending an autopsy report, the Star Tribune reported.

Zoo staff found Gordy collapsed and unresponsive, and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the gorilla with chest compressions and a dose of epinephrine, Fox 9 News reported.

The most common cause of death among gorillas is heart disease, and the average lifespan is between 25 and 35 years, Fox 9 News reported. Gordy was 23.

Gordy arrived at the Como Zoo in 1991, after living at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Star Tribune said.

SEC Sues Goldman Sachs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Goldman Sachs on Friday for investor fraud.

Goldman allegedly created and sold derivatives tied to high-risk subprime mortgages, and then profited by betting against those loans, the New York Times reported.

The SEC estimates that Goldman Sachs made $15 million by defrauding investors, and they could have to pay up to three times that amount if they lose the lawsuit, according to a Time blogger.

In repose to the lawsuit, Democratic lawmakers are putting pressure on Republicans to support a recent Obama administration proposal to increase Wall Street oversight, the New York Times reported.

Goldman Sachs stock fell more than 12% after the SEC announcement, according to a Time.

Iran Dubs U.S. 'Atomic Criminal'

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the U.S. an "atomic criminal" at a Tehran conference on nuclear disarmament.

Ayatolla Khamenei said the U.S. is the world's only atomic criminal in a message that was read by an aide at the conference, the BBC reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then called on the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN division, to suspend the country, the BBC reported.

He told the conference that the use of nuclear weapons is prohibited by Islamic law, the BBC reported.

Ahmadinejad also argued that the U.S. has taken no significant measures to disarm itself of nuclear weapons, despite being against weapons proliferation, the China Post reported.

Minneapolis Adopts New Parking Meter System

The City of Minneapolis is planning on installing a new parking meter system.

6,800 new parking meters will be installed by 2010 that will allow drivers to pay for parking with coins, credit cards or smart cards, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The new meters will also send electronic messages to meter monitors letting them know when they are expired, the Star Tribune reported.

The upgrade will begin in September and will cost $6.6 million, the Star Tribune reported.

The current meters are almost 20 years old, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Major U.S, Airlines Will Not Charge For Carry-On Bags

Six Major U.S. Airlines have stated they do not have plans to charge passengers for carry-on bags.

The statements from the airlines come in response to a recent announcement by Spirit Airlines announcement that they will charge up to $45 for each carry-on bag, the Associated Press reported.

The six airlines, Sun Country, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Jetblue Airways, made their announcement in a form of a promise to Sen Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Associated Press reported.

Sen. Schumer is one of several lawmakers is one of seven lawmakers who are sponsoring a bill that will tax airlines if they charge a carry-on fee, the Star Tribune reported.

Ben Baldanza, the president and CEO of Spirit said that the company lowered its fares more than the price it will charge to carry-on luggage, the Star Tribune said.

Stolen Student Data Found

Personal data stolen from a St. Paul student loan organization in March has been recovered.

Two safes containing the information stolen from Education Credit Management Corp. (ECMC) were recovered in a Minneapolis trash bin, the Star Tribune reported.

Police recovered the safes on March 22 and were storing them in an evidence room, the Associated Press said. They were unaware the safes contained the stolen data.

The safe was full of 650 CDs that contained names, addresses, social security numbers, and other personal information of 3.3 million student loan borrowers, the Star Tribune reported.

It appears as if the data on the CDs was not compromised, the Associated Press.

West Virginia Mine Disaster Death Toll Reaches 49

There are no survivors from the Monday explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

The death toll marks this as the worst US mine disaster in 4 decades, the New York Times reported.

Seven bodies were removed immediately after the blast, and an effort is underway to ventilate the mine so the other bodies can be recovered, CNN reported.

Officials believe the explosion was caused by a methane buildup, the New York Times reported.

The West Virginia director of homeland security estimated it will take two days to recover the bodies, CNN said.

Obama Leaves White House Without Press

President Barack Obama left the White House Saturday morning without the White House press corps, the first president to break the tradition of a constant press pool since it was established.

Obama left the White House to attend one of his daughter's soccer games without informing the press, the Associated Press reported. A White House press aide then tried to gather members of the media and brought them to the game, but the president had left by the time they arrived.

The press pool was told to arrive at the White House at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, but the president left at 9:20 a.m., according to the Associated Press.

At a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Obama said that his secretary did not tell the Secret Service about the game either, Politico reported.

White House reports and photographers did not have the opportunity to verify his presence at the soccer game, the Associated Press reported.

University of Minnesota Student Stabbed

A University of Minnesota student was stabbed Monday night during an attempted robbery.

Jeffrey Kang, 23, was approached by a man on 11th Avenue Southeast and Sixth Street Southeast who demanded valuables before staving him, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Kang is in stable condition and suffered no organ injuries, just soft tissue damage, the Minnesota Daily reported.

In response to the attack, the University of Minnesota sent out a text message Monday night to students subscribed to the TXT-U emergency alert system, the Star Tribune reported.

Minneapolis Considers Organics Recycling Program

Heineken County officials are turning to organics recycling as the answer to growing landfills.

Organics recycling was at the top of a list of recommendations give to the Hennepin County Board by Environmental Services in a strategy to manage the county's solid waste, the Star Tribune reported.

An increase in the recycling of organics, or food and its associated products, in the county could reduce landfill waste to its 1994 levels, the Star Tribune said.

The county has already implemented programs to encourage public schools to voluntarily recycle organics. Many Minneapolis Public Schools are composting lunch waste in partnership with Americorps and through a county grant, the Daily Planet reported.

The county is considering both education initiatives and mandates to increase organics recycling, according to the Star Tribune.

President of Poland Dies in Plane Crash

President Lech Kaczynsk and many Polish political figures died Saturday in a plane crash in Russia.

Officials in Poland and Russia say there are no survivors from the plane wreck that killed Poland's president, army chief, members of parliament and other government officials and historians, according to a BBC article.

The plane and over 80 passengers were headed to Warsaw for an event marking the 70th anniversary of a WWII massacre of thousands of Poles in Katyn Woods, reported the BBC.

The crash was caused when the plane missed the runway though thick fog, and instead snagged treetops and tore apart, the New York Times reported.

The New York Times quotes former President Lech Walesa as calling the crash the biggest disaster since Katyn.

Supreme Court Justice Stevens May Announce Retirement

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is expected to announce his retirement in April.

Stevens told a CNN analyist on March 8 that he would decide if he would retire in about a month, CNN reported.

Another hint that Stevens will retire was fall hiring of one law clerk, when four are normal, CNN said. Retiring justices are only allowed one law clerk.

Democratic leaders hope that Stevens will remain a justice for another year to avoid a Republican filibuster of the nomination in response to their dissatisfaction with the recent health care bill, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Stevens is known for his liberal politics, and the Democratic influence in the Supreme Court will likely diminish when a replacement is selected, the Wall Street Journal said.

Kowalski's Makets Voluntarily Recalls Store-Brand Ham

Kowalski's Markets issued a recall Saturday of all of its Kowalski's Signature Smoked Ham.

The store-brand ham was voluntarily recalled as a precaution after producer Lorentz Meats found Listeria in some of their products, reported Kare 11. The contaminated hams are thought to already be isolated.

The Listeria microorganism can cause flu-like symptoms, the Pioneer Press explained.

Kowalski's is offering a full refund for the return of them ham, or they will deliver a new ham to their customers, reported Pioneer Press.

The recall does not affect Kowalski's Easter dinners, Kare 11 reported.

Pawlenty Signs 'Angel' Tax Credit Bill

Gov. Pawlenty signed a bill Tuesday that provides tax incentives to high-tech homegrown startup companies.

The Small Business Tax Investment Credit will reward investors with a 25-cent tax credit for every dollar invested in hopes of keeping small businesses in the state, reported the Minnesota Daily.

"We need to be doing things to encourage more job growth and economic development in the state and this bill takes a big step toward that," the governor is quoted as saying in the Med City News blog.

Bordering states already have similar programs, and has been a factor in many companies leaving Minnesota, reported the Minnesota Daily.

The tax credit will be funded by removing credits from a program that helps low-income Minnesotans pay for gas, said the Med City News Blog.

9 Trapped Chinese Workers Rescued

9 workers trapped in a Chinese coal mine for over a week have been rescued.

The workers were some of the 155 who were trapped after the Wangjialing coal mine flooded, reported the BBC.

3,000 rescue workers are working around the clock in an attempt to rescue the remaining miners, said the BBC. The last sign of life was Friday when tapping was heard on metal pipes.

The mine state-owned and was not yet in operations, reported the Xinhau news agency.

Chinese mines are among the most dangerous in the world, and there are reports that country officials ignored leaks in the mine earlier last week, reported the BBC.

Google Changes Name to Topeka for April Fool's Day

Google changed its name to Topeka on Thursday as an April Fool's Day prank.

Topeka referred to the Kansas capital, a city that voted unanimously to change its name to Google for the month of March in a bid to win a broadband network from Google, reported the Christian Science Monitor.

"We are flattered by Google's gesture, and we hope millions of folks will visit Topeka today," said David Bevens, the city's communications manager, to the Christian Science Monitor.

Topeka is just one of over a thousand cities hoping to host Google's fiber broadband network, said a Washington Post blog. The winning city will be announced by the end of the year.

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