April 26, 2009

Analysis on records/CAR

For my CAR analysis I chose to look at "The Informant" from the Star Tribune.

This story focused a lot on previous court cases and the outcomes of these cases, so the reporters needed to dig up all of the cases that seemed connected with this story and understand both what they were about and their outcome. The story also said that the reporters looked extensively at other police documents, as well.

Much of the computer reporting done for this story was likely that used to piece together parts of the story of Taylor Trump. The information about where he went to high school and college likely all came from extended computer reporting through looking at information about the schools and from the schools. Trump also had an Internet group at one time, and the reporters likely found out how to access information about this group online or were able to see actual content from the group.

For this story, the reporters needed to know where they were most likely to obtain the information they were looking for, specifically where to find information about former web sites or from schools. Basically, the reporters needed to have a good understanding and idea of where to go to find the information they were looking for.

Professor sought after three killings

Three people died Saturday when a University of Georgia professor opened fire at a community theater event in Athens, Ga., the New York Times reported.

The alleged gunman, George Zinkhan, 56, is still sought by police, the Augusta Chronicle reported.

The three victims of the shooting were Zinkhan's wife, Marie Bruce, 47; Tom Tanner, 40; and Ben Teague, 63.

Zinkhan may have injured as many as three other people, but seemed to target the three who were killed according to Rick Bedell, an actor with the Town and Gown Players, the Augusta Chronicle reported.

Zinkhan dropped his children off at a neighbor's house immediately before or after the attack, the New York Times reported. The children are currently in police custody.

Zinkhan taught marketing at the University of Georgia's business school.

Police respond to riot in Dinkytown

Police came in with riot gear after a block party in Dinkytown became unruly Saturday, the Star Tribune reported.

About three dozen police officers used tear gas, pepper spray and projectiles to control the crowd, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Some party-goers had started a street fire and others threw glass bottles at police. According to reports, six people were arrested, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota Daily wrote that more then 400 people had congregated on the street at one point in the evening.

No serious injuries have been reported.

April 25, 2009

Swine flu outbreak hits Mexico

Mexico City schools closed Friday after concerns of a deadly swine flu virus sweeping the nation, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Authorities have suggested wearing masks to help prevent further cases of the virus, and masks were being handed out on street corners and at subway stations by health care workers, the New York Times reported.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced extended emergency powers Saturday that may include isolating patients with the virus and canceling public events, the New York Times reported.

The flu strain has killed as many as 68 people, with more than 1,000 cases. The government has encouraged people to stay in their homes by canceling some public events, the New York Times reported.

Many of the people who died were younger people or adults, usually a less-vulnerable group to flu viruses, which has increased concern about the strain, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The World Health Organization met Saturday in Geneva to discuss the strain of swine flu and the possibility of it becoming a wide-scale epidemic, the New York Times reported.

Plane enters restricted Washington airspace

A small plane entered restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., Friday causing a temporary White House lockdown, the Boston Globe reported.

President Barack Obama was relocated and the Senate recessed during the incident, the Boston Globe reported. The House was not in session.

Two F-16 fighter jets and two Coast Guard helicopters escorted the plane to a nearby airport, the BBC reported.

The episode was caused by technology problems aboard the plane, a Cessna 180, Gil Bauserman, the owner of Indian Head Airport in Charles County, Md., told the Boston Globe.

White Bear Lake beach to stay closed

Ramsey County has decided to close White Bear Lake beach for the summer due to the shrinking of the lake, the Star Tribune reported.

The lake has receded 50 feet from the shore and is now only a few feet away from a drop-off, the Pioneer Press reported.

The drop-off, which is a six- to eight-foot drop, could prove a hazard to beach goers. White Bear Lake has generally had a large shallow stretch, making it more child-friendly, the Pioneer Press reported.

On the busiest days, the beach has drawn up to 500 people, the county told the Pioneer Press.

No lifeguard will be employed at the lake for the summer, but the county wants to install emergency telephones, Jody Youngers, director of Ramsey County's park services and operations, told the Star Tribune.

The lake's boat ramp, playground and picnic area will remain open.

April 19, 2009

NATO ships foil Somali pirate attacks

After Somali pirates attacked a Norwegian tanker Saturday, NATO ships and helicopters pursued them for seven hours in a chase that ended with warning shots being fired, a NATO spokesperson told USA Today.

A Canadian ship caught the pirates, but released them because they could not be prosecuted under Canadian law, the BBC reported.

An American ship, the USS Halyburton, was also part of the pursuit, USA Today reported.

The pirates dumped most of their weapons before they were stopped, but were disarmed of their remaining weapons and questioned before they were released, USA Today reported.

Both French and U.S. forces have recently taken action against the pirates, with U.S. troops killing three pirates and French troops killing one, the BBC reported.

More than 80 ships have been attacked by pirates this year, USA Today reported. They also are holding hostage 310 crewmembers from different ships.

One dead after crash with stolen car

A woman was killed in St. Paul Saturday after a man driving a stolen car crashed into her vehicle, police told the Star Tribune.

A man in the woman's vehicle was also seriously injured, and an 8-year-old boy in the car with the suspect was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Roseville police arrested the suspect, Tito Fonzio Campbell, 33, of Roseville, at the crash scene, the Pioneer Press reported.

Police received a report that the suspect had stolen a car and proceeded to the scene, where they saw the car, a Chrysler 300M, driving away, the Pioneer Press reported. The police pursued the car until it started driving recklessly at an estimated speed of 90 mph, at which point "the officer immediately discontinued the pursuit due to the suspect's aggressive and dangerous driving," the Roseville police told the Pioneer Press.

The officers continued in the same direction as they had seen the car proceed, and were later stopped by witnesses to the crash. The crash occurred by the Larpenteur exit of Interstate 35E.

The suspect was "only slightly wounded" and was taken to the Regions Hospital for a blood-alcohol draw, police told the Pioneer Press.

April 18, 2009

American journalist sentenced to prison in Iran

An Iranian court in Tehran sentenced an American journalist to eight years in prison Saturday after she was convicted of spying for the United States, a defense lawyer told Al Jazeera.

Roxana Saberi, 31, has dual nationality in the U.S. and Iran, and has lived in Iran for the past six years. She has been in prison since January, Al Jazeera reported. She was initially arrested on the charge of buying alcohol, but was later accused of working as a reporter without press credentials, the New York Times reported. She was put on trial for spying, however, the prosecutor's office told the New York Times.

Saberi release has been called for by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and both North Dakota senators, New York Times reported. Saberi grew up in Fargo, N.D.

Saberi was working as a freelance journalist at the time of her arrest, Al Jazeera reported. She has previously reported for National Public Radio, Fox News and the BBC. The Iranian government revoked her press credentials in 2006.

April 17, 2009

Small plane crashes into home near Fort Lauderdale

A plane crashed into an Oakland Park, Fla., home Friday after taking off from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, USA Today reported.

At least one person aboard the plane died in the crash, Broward County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal told the Miami Herald. It is believed that the pilot was the only person aboard the plane when it crashed.

After the plane, an eight-passenger Cessna 421, crashed into the house, it exploded, the Miami Herald reported. The tenants of the house weren't home at the time, neighbors told the Miami Herald.

The plane was going to Fernandina Beach, Fla., but shortly after takeoff reported trouble and was going to turn around and land, USA Today reported. Before it could, it crashed.

Settlements of bridge victims released

Minnesota reached final settlements Thursday with the 179 victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, the Pioneer Press reported.

The state had a $36.6 million settlement fund in all.

The bridge collapse, which occurred on Aug. 1, 2009 during rush-hour, killed 13 people and injured 145, the Star Tribune reported.

Thursday was the last day for settlement offers to be accepted or rejected. The state of Minnesota has limited legal liability for the collapse, so most victims accepted settlements as they were, the Star Tribune reported.

The settlements covered a range from $4,500 to $2.2 million, the Pioneer Press reported.

April 12, 2009

Diversity analysis

The story I chose for diversity analysis is "For Somalis, schism of mistrust widens" from the Star Tribune.

This story talks about FBI talking to member of the Minnesota chapter of Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), specifically Somalians, about whether terrorists from their home countries may have recruited missing Somali men from Minnesota. The story talks about both how non-Somali people in Minnesota view those who are Somali, as well as how they may view each other based on whether or not they talk to the FBI. The story seems to move past stereotypes and touches on emotions and feelings that people generally have when part of a group, whether by choice or by circumstance.

This story told me about an issue I didn't know about - that the FBI is looking into the possibility that terrorists are recruiting Somali men - but also reveals information about the loyalty of the Somali community, and both information about how outsiders view them and how they view outsiders.The story operates predominantly through quotes of people, many not identified by name, who have talked to the FBI about this issue. Data and observation aren't important components of the story. The story focused more on FBI-Somali interactions and involvement than on actual cultural, ethnic and racial issues faced by Somalians.

Hostage captain freed from Somali pirates

Navy snipers freed an American ship captain Sunday in an operation that left three pirates dead and one captured, the Guardian reported.

Richard Phillips, 53, was taken hostage by the pirates Wednesday when he volunteered to board their lifeboat in order to protect his crew. The crew later regained control of the ship.

Negotiations for his release began between the FBI, Somali elders and the pirates, but yielded little progress, the Guardian reported.

At the time of the rescue, the lifeboat was being towed by the USS Bainbridge, the Star Tribune reported. One of the pirates was on the Bainbridge in negotiations, while the other three were in the lifeboat , one of them pointing an AK-47 at Phillips.

The captain of the Bainbridge ordered his men to fire, and the three pirates aboard the lifeboat were killed. The pirate aboard the Bainbridge was taken into U.S. custody, the Star Tribune reported.

Phillips was flown to San Diego after the rescue.

Somali pirates have not killed hostages in the past, but rescues such as this may make the pirates more ruthless, maritime analysts told the Guardian.

Polar bear attacks woman in Berlin

A polar bear at the Berlin Zoo attacked a woman Friday when she jumped into the polar bear enclosure during feeding time, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The woman, 32, is in intensive care and is being treated for cuts to her arm, back and legs.

After the woman jumped into the enclosure, a bear swam to her and began biting her. Zoo staff arrived immediately on the scene and started to hit the bear across the nose to get him to stop, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Zoo workers hoisted the woman out with rescue rings, CNN reported.

Police issued the woman a citation for trespassing, CNN reported.

Berlin Zoo biologist Heiner Kloes told the Sydney Morning Herald that the polar bear reacted normally to the situation. He also said that the zoo staff had guns available to shoot the bear if the situation had warranted it.

The Berlin Zoo's polar bear, Knut, is well-known for being the first polar bear born at the zoo in 30 years, CNN reported. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the polar bear that attacked the woman was neither Knut nor his mother.

Woman's body found in river in St. Paul

A woman's body was found Saturday in the Mississippi River, the Star Tribune reported.

Police recovered the body near Warner Road in downtown St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reported.

Employees of a barge company found the body tangled in debris. The body matches the description of a woman seen jumping off a nearby bridge a few weeks ago, but the body has not yet been positively identified, police told the Star Tribune.

St. Paul authorities found the body of a man in the river earlier in the month when they were searching for the woman seen jumping from the bridge, the Pioneer Press reported.