This article from the New York Times discusses the volume in credit default, the safety of European sovereign bonds, and the changes in net contracts in Italy, Spain, and France.

the reporter used to computer-assisted reporting to help visualize the trends in these different categories. The use of charts made the the statistics much more powerful, and easier to understand.

The necessary computer skills this reporter needed to write this article are experience with a spreadsheet and knowledge of how to create a chart. They also needed to know what scale to put the charts on to maximize the differences in the numbers.

Helicopter crash leaves 5 dead near Las Vegas

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Five people are dead after a helicopter crashed into the River Mountains during a tour of the Las Vegas Strip and the Hoover Dam on Wednesday.

The pilot has been identified as Landon Nield, 31. He was a pilot for Sundance Helicopters for several years, the Washington Post reported.

Numerous witnesses heard the crash and reported seeing smoke in the mountains just off of the edge of Lake Mead.

The crash site is in a remote area about 30 miles away for the Vegas Strip and it is not accessible by road, which delayed the initial rescue attempts and caused officials to delay recovery and investigation until Thursday morning, CTV reported.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

This is not the first accident Sundance Helicopters has experienced. In 2003, a helicopter slammed into a wall while flying through the Descent Canyon.

ND man injured in MN rollover dies in hospital

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A North Dakota man died Wednesday after an automobile accident in northwest Minnesota.

David Browne rolled his sports utility vehicle on Highway 1 just west of Warren, Minn. on Tuesday night, the Star Tribune reported.

Browne was ejected from the vehicle and landed on railroad tracks.

Browne was trasnported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks. He later died in the hospital, Inforum reported.

Graduation rate at U finally rising

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The majority of University of Minnesota students are graduating in four years, an accomplishment that seemed unlikely for the university which has been experiencing low graduation rates.

New data reveals that the university's graduation rate has risen. Now, 54 percent of students who started studying at the university in 2007 earned their degrees in 2011, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The university has implemented many strategies for increasing its graduation rate including: offering free credits after the first 13, having a Welcome Week to gather freshmen together to get organized for college, and encouraging students to map out their majors and minors on the "Graduation Planner," the Star Tribune reported.

Six years ago, leaders of the university set a goal 60 percent of students graduating in four years by 2012. As of now, they are unlikely to hit this mark, but over 90 percent of students continue studying at the university after their first year.

Two Dead at Va. Tech, Shooter Still at Large

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A police officer and another person are dead after a shooting on the Virginia Tech campus Thursday.

According to a university spokesman, the shooting took place around noon. A police officer performed a routine traffic stop in a parking lot, and was shot and killed. The suspect fled on foot toward a different parking lot, where the second victim was found dead.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a gray sweatsuit and a gray hat, the Associated Press reported.

Schools in Montgomery County, where the university is located, have all been closed, the New York Times reported.

University officials are stationed all over the campus to help prevent this shooting from turning into the massacre that happened at Virginia Tech in 2007, when 33 people were killed by one shooter.

Letter Bomb Sent to German Bank Chief

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A letter bomb was intercepted by Deutsche Bank empolyees in Berlin Thursday that was addressed for the bank's chief executive.

The bomb's target was Josef Ackermann, who is one of the most powerful figures in European banking.

A statement from the state police in Hessen reads, "the initial investigations show that this was a functional letter bomb," the New York Times reported.

The bomb was not detonated and no one was injured.

An Italian group called the Informal Anarchist Federation has claimed responsibility for the letter bomb.

A statement from the FBI reads, "we are working with German authorities to assess the incident in Frankfurt and any potential threat to facilities or people here," NBC reported.

Threats on executives of Deutsche Bank have been going on for a long time. They date back to the assassination of Alfred Herrhausen in 1989 during a bomb attack.

A New York grandmother was completely humiliated Tuesday at JFK Airport in New York during a strip search.

Lenore Zimmerman, 85, said that she was pulled into a private screening room by security and then undressed of all her clothes, Fox News reported.

"I'm hunched over, in a wheelchair, and I weigh under 110 pounds" Zimmerman said. "Do I look like a terrorist?"

According to the Transportation Security Administration, no strip search was conducted, the Associated Press reported.

A statement from TSA stated, "TSA does not include strip searches as part of our security protocols."

Zimmerman said that during the search her shin was gashed by her walker and she "bled like a pig." She did not seek medical attention for her injury.

Minn. teacher pleads guilty to attempted pimping

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A substitute teacher at a special-education school in North St. Paul pleaded guilty last Wednesday to attempting to convince a student to give sexual favors to men in exchange for money.

Tameshia Allen-Hodges, 23, faces a felony charge of inducing an individual to engage in prostitution, KTTC reported.

The student was 21 years old at the time but had the intelligence of a second-grader, police said.

The criminal complaint states that Hodges told the student she could make some money giving messages. Hodges brought the student to her apartment and suggested making money by offering the men sex.

Hodges took photos of the student in lingerie and posted them on personal ads.

Hodges admitted to being involved in the incident, and police found the images on her cell phone, the Star Tribune reported.

A northern Minnesota man died on Thanksgiving in a helicopter crash in Cass County.

John Zacher, 56, died when he lost control of his helicopter and crashed into Ten Mile Lake, the Minnesota/St. Paul Journal reported.

His wife Vicki Zacher, 55, was the only passenger in the helicopter and she survived the crash. She was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital, the Star Tribune reported.

J. Zacher's body was found Friday near the wrecked helicopter.

Four people were arrested in Los Angeles Monday during a confrontation with hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

The four protesters who were arrested were charged with failure to disperse.

The protesters were blocking downtown streets around City Hall. Their encampments on City Hall grounds were set to be cleared by police on Monday, but police withdrew without breaking up the camps, the New York Times reported.

Violence was avoided even though protesters taunted officers and threw water bottles as well, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The police did not comment on when they will move in on the encampment of hundreds of people, but a spokesman of the police said the goal of the Monday breakup was to allow traffic through the blocked streets.

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