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December 9, 2007

Two Church Shooting in Colorado

Two people were shot and killed at a missionary training center outside of Denver and one was killed at a church in Colorado Springs, Colo.

According to USA Today, shortly after midnight a man shot two people at the Youth With a Mission missionary training center in Arvada. The man wanted to stay the night, but was denied according to Arvada Chief Don Wick. Twelve hours later, around 1 p.m., a lone gunman walked into a New Life Church in Colorado Springs and killed one person before a security guard killed him, according to Colorado Spring police.

One of the victims was from Minnesota, according to the AP story on the Star Tribune Web site. Tiffany Johnson, 26, was from Chisholm, Minn and was the director of hospitality at the Youth With a Mission training center. Another Minnesotan was wounded in the shooting, Charles Blanch, 22, of Burnsville, Minn. Police are investigating whether or not the shootings were connected, according to both reports.

December 2, 2007

US Conducted Secret Pakistan War Games

US Military experts and intelligence officials met in Washington last year to conduct classified war games, simulating strategies for securing Pakistan's nuclear weapons in case of the collapse of political and military institutions.

The Washington Post reports that a small group of military experts and intelligence officers met last year to conduct the war game. They sought to answer questions about what they would need to help secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons. They tried to answer questions like how many troops they would need, could Pakistan's nuclear bunkers could be protected with land-mines and others. According to one participant of the games, the group came to a conclusion that there is no plausible way to ensure the safety of Pakistan's weapons, and that studying scenarios could strain US-Pakistan relations. The study was not sponsored by the government.

The Dawn, an English language Pakistani newspaper, ran a story about the reaction of some in Pakistan to these war games. Feroz Khan, a former Pakistani Strategic Plans Division officer, said that these games could worsen the situation. Khan said that this antagonized Pakistanis and could cause countermeasures. Others also said that this could cause anti-Americanism in the country.

November 18, 2007

US Secretly Aids Pakistan to Guard Nukes

The Bush administration has been secretly funding Pakistan over $100 million for the past six years to help President Pervez Musharraf secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

The NY Times reports that this information was given to them by current and former senior administration officials. However, the story lacks actual quotes from these officials. They report that the aid was buried in the federal budget and the aid paid for the training of Pakistani personnel in the United States and the construction of a nuclear security training center in Pakistan, which is not yet complete. This story seems a little convoluted because the Times does not attribute a lot of the information to specific sources. They also say they have known about this for three years from talking to American officials and nuclear experts. The Bush administration tried to block the story from being printed because it may have hurt the security of the weapons. The Times decided to release the story since the turmoil in Pakistan's government began earlier this month.

The AFP also reported on the NY Times story. They were told by a White House spokesperson that, "at this time, we believe that Pakistan's nuclear weapons and facilities are under the appropriate control of Pakistani authorities." They also report that the program was created after the 9/11 attacks. They report that the Bush administration was enlisted Musharraf as their chief ally in the "war of terror." They also report that Pakistani media began reporting on this situation earlier in the week and this allowed the NY Times to print the story.

November 11, 2007

Broadway Stagehands on Strike

TV and movies writers are not the only entertainment unions going on strike. Broadway stagehands went on strike Sunday.

According to a Reuters report, theaters went dark Saturday night as stagehands went on strike in a dispute with theater owners and producers. The League of American Theaters and Producers, which represents owners and producers, said that refunds or exchanges would be issued. They also speculate that the strike would cost $17 million each day it lasts.

The Associated Press reports that 27 shows remained closed Sunday due to the strike. The reporter also got a quote from the president of the Local One, the union representing the stagehands. James Claffey Jr. said that they want to feel respected by the League of American Theaters and Producers and to start talking honorably at the negotiation table. Eight other shows on Broadway, which had separate contracts, still remained open and did well.

November 2, 2007

Emploment Reports Shows Gain of Jobs

The Labor Department reported Friday that 166,000 new jobs were added this October and payrolls grew more than twice than analysts predicted.

The NY Times reports that the current pace of new jobs is the fastest in five months. However, they also report that investors are still weary about the future. The stock markets were kept down most of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial gained 27.23 points to get to 13,595.10. Another thing keeping investors down is the fact that analysts predict a the forth quarter will include a broad slow down in spending and growth, according to the report.

The Washington Post report is a little more optimistic. The reporter said that this is a sign that the economy has not slowed down like analysts have predicted. The report also gave different sectors that increased jobs. Public schools had the most new jobs with 34,600 jobs, the health sector had with 34,400 new job and employment service firms had 33,500 new jobb.

October 22, 2007

Fires Burn Across Southern California Again

Dozens of fires burned across Southern California this weekend and continue to burn, as about 250,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.

About 200,000 acres have burned from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, according to the NY Times. So far over 130 homes have burned in San Diego County and 128 in the Lakehead Resort northeast of Los Angeles, the NY Times reports. San Diego County officials said that there has only been one death, but several injuries including four firefighters

USA Today reports that there have been 150,000 acres burned from San Diego to north of Malibu, Calif, which is an area of 150 miles. They also report that the fires are caused by severe drought and hot, dry winds coming from the Mojave Desert, which become warmer as they move into the valleys of Southern California.

October 18, 2007

Storms Create Tornados in Florida

A tornado stormed through Pensacola, Fla. Thursday and destroyed numerous homes and businesses and left thousands without power, according to the mayor.

CNN.com's report
is mainly eyewitness testimony of the destruction. They do report that the tornado was spotted at around 9 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the Escambia County Sheriff. The tornado ended about 40 minutes later. Escambia County officials said that about four homes were destroyed and about 80 were damaged. A spokeswoman for Baptist Hospital said that four people were treated four minor injuries.

The AP reports the tornado touched down at 11:15 a.m. ET. They report also have no report of injuries. Both the AP and CNN.com report that the Greater Little Rock Baptist Church and the main downtown shopping mall, Cordova Mall, were heavily damaged.

October 8, 2007

Plane Missing over Washington State

Air and ground rescue teams were out searching for a plane with 10 skydivers that went missing Sunday night over a mountainous area in Washington State.

According to CNN.com, the single-engine Cessna 208 caravan had nine skydivers and one pilot on board. The plane fell of radar at around 8 p.m. Pacific time, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The plane was heading to Shelton, Wash. from Boise, Idaho. Nisha Marvel of the Washington State Department of Transportation told CNN that a camper in the area saw a low-flying plane and then heard a crash.

Officials believe the plane was believed to have gone down on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain range, southeast of Seattle, according to an AFP report. The AFP reported that the witness in the area was a hunter, not a camper as CNN reported.

October 7, 2007

Cargill Recalls Beef Patties

Cargill recalled beef patties that may be contaminated with E. Coli after four children became ill.

According to CNN.com, Cargill has asked customers who purchased any beef patties after August 26 to return them or destroy them. The contaminated beef was purchased at three Twin Cities-area Sam's Club stores under the name American Chef's Selection Angus Beef Patties.

About 884,812 pounds of beef have been recalled, according to a Reuters report. Reuters also reported that Cargill learned of the situation on Friday and said that they did not know the extent of the contamination and are investigating the matter.

September 24, 2007

Record Steroid Bust in U.S.

The Drug Enforcement Agency says they have arrested 124 people and busted 56 labs in the biggest steroid investigation in U.S. history.

According to CNN.com, the investigation went of for 18 months under the code name "Operation Raw Deal." Arrests were made in 27 states. The DEA said they targeted, "traffickers who allegedly imported raw materials from China and used them to make anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and insulin growth factor."

Reuters.com reports that authorities seized 533 pounds of raw steroid powder. They also report that the charges said that worldwide manufactures of steroid ingredients marketed their products using Web sites and also gave advice on how to find steroids and how to manufacture steroids themselves.

September 20, 2007

Senate Rejects Attempt to Regulate Combat Tours

The Senate voted down a bill Wednesday that would regulate how much time troops spend in combat.

According to the AP story on MSNBC.com, the votes were 56-44, which is four votes short of passing. The bill would have required troops to spend as much time at home as they did in combat.

Reuters reported that this was widely seen as the Democrats best chance to change the strategy of the Iraq War. They also report that a bill similar to this one has passed in the House of Representatives.

Both outlets report that Republican leaders called this a "backdoor" way of withdrawing troops out of Iraq. MSNBC.com reports that Sen. John McCain called the bill "'backdoor method' by Democrats to force troop withdrawals. Reuters reported that "Pentagon Secretary Robert Gates called it a backdoor attempt to pull troops off the battlefield in the unpopular Iraq war"

September 16, 2007

Fires Burn in Southern California

CNN.com is reporting that a fire burned around 15,433 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California on Sunday. On Saturday, CNN.com also reports that another smaller wildfire burned down 1,000 acres in eastern San Diego County. Overall, 1,500 residents were forced to evacuate.

The San Bernardino County Sun, reports that the national forest fire began late Saturday. They also report that as of Saturday, only one firefighter had minor injuries and no homes were damaged, but a maintenance building at a campsite was destroyed.

The smaller fire forced the entire city of Julian, Calif. to be evacuated, according to Union-Tribune's web site SignOnSanDiego.com. Three firefighters were injured in that blaze, which has been 20 percent contained according to CNN.com.