This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

April 2013 Archives

Caribou Coffee to close many of its stores

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Caribou Coffee, based out of Brooklyn Center, will close 80 underperforming stores and reopen another 88 stores as Peet's Coffee & Tea, the Star Tribune said.

The news comes after the German private equity group Jon A. Benckiser purchased the two companies about four months ago, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal said.

Nationwide, Caribou will see 26 percent of stores closed or rebranded, while only 3 of 201 stores are being closed in the Twin Cities, its largest market, the Star Tribune said.

Behind Minnesota, Caribou's second-largest market was Illinois with a total of 66 stores, MSPBJ reported.
A select number of Caribou coffeehouses in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Illinois, Georgia and eastern Wisconsin are expected to be the stores that will be shut down and reopened as Pete's Coffee & Tea stores, the Star Tribune said.

"Over the past few months, we have revisited our business strategy, have taken a hard look at our overall performance, and have made decisions that best position us for long-term growth," Caribou CEO Michael Tattersfield said in a statement, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the MSPBJ, all of the closings were effective starting April 14. As of last fall, Caribou owned about 400 locations, with about 200 additional franchises, MSPBJ said.

Analysis- Using Data

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For my analysis, I looked at a story published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called "Cheating Our Children" about suspicious test scores in school districts in 49 U.S. states. The story talks about the fact that the data analysis does not directly prove cheating, but that it does reveal some troubling patterns within U.S. schools. The article includes an interactive map of the U.S. which you can search by five different categories that the article chose to analyze. You also have the option to go to a list of the school districts included in the results of the analysis to see if a specific district fell into one of the categories. In order to produce this story, the reporter needed to be able to interpret the data set themselves, or find someone who can analyze the data for them. At that point, the reporter had to decide how to best represent the information in a way readers can understand. So the reported also needed to know how to use the pinning function to put little pins on a map so that when a reader hovered over one of the pins, the text bubble would pop up with more details about that district.

The mayor of Charlotte, N.C., Anthony Foxx, will be nominated by President Barak Obama Monday to be the next secretary of the Department of transportation, the Washington Post said.

Appointing African-American Foxx to the post, which requires Senate confirmation, would appease the calls by President Obama's fellow party members for greater diversity of cabinet members for his second term, the New York Times said.

The Department of Transportation has been under intense pressure in recent days over flight delays caused by budget cuts, the Washington Post said.

Although Foxx is not a prominent political ally to the president as several of his recent nominations have been, a White House official praised Mr. Foxx's efforts to improve Charlotte's transit infrastructure as a way to expand the economy since becoming mayor in 2009, the Washington Post said.

Foxx would be joining Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. as the second black member of the president's cabinet, succeeding former Republican congressman Ray LaHood, who led the Transportation Department for four years, the New York Times reported.

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was released from a civilian hospital and transferred to a federal medical detention center in central Massachusetts Friday, the New York Times said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, left Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center overnight and was taken to the Federal Medical Center Devens at decommissioned Fort Devens U.S. Army base, about 40 miles west of Boston, the Dallas Morning News said.

The facility is a locked medical facility for male prisoners and treats detainees who require specialized long-term medical or mental health care, the New York Times said.

Tsarnaev is recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered while he was running from authorities, the New York Times said.

The Massachusetts college student was charged with setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260 at the marathon finish line April 15, the Dallas Morning News said.

A St. Paul man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement with another man in the prostitution of two minors from an Eagan hotel, the Pioneer Press said.

Brandon Barnes, 25, was given a lesser sentence than what is suggested in the state sentencing guidelines, based on the judge's decision that Barnes had a lesser role and should be charged accordingly, WDAY 6 said.

Prosecutor Richard Dusterhoft sought a sentence of nearly 14 years, the same as the co-defendant Giorgio Baymon, WDAY 6 said.

Photos of the girls, ages 15 and 17, were taken in Barnes' bathroom according to Dusterhoft, and posted with Backpage.com ads, soliciting customers for sexual services, the Pioneer Press said.

Baymon put the 15-year-old's cellphone number in the ad to which two men responded, the Pioneer Press said. A third man who had sex with the girls was an acquaintance of Barnes and paid with cash and marijuana, according to Baymon's testimony, the Pioneer Press said.

The hotel room, which was in Barnes' name, was identified in a search warrant affidavit as the Microtel Inn & Suites, the Pioneer Press reported.

Barnes said he has a long history of mental illness and didn't understand what was going on in the hotel room, WDAY 6 said.

"My only mistake was to put the room in my name," he said when the judge offered him a chance to speak. "This case is the wrong place at the wrong time -- victim of circumstances," he said, referring to himself.

Baymon, 25, was sentenced Jan. 31 to nearly 14 years in prison for his role in prostituting the 15-year-old.

According to the Pioneer Press, both men were required to register as predatory offenders.

Russia: Deadly shooting at hunting shop leaves 6 dead

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Six people were shot and killed by a man in the southwestern city of Belgorod, Russia on Monday afternoon, Russian online publication RIA Novosti said.

The gunman, armed with a rifle, entered the hunting shop at around 2 p.m. and opened fire on the street and then inside the shop, RIA Novosti said.

Three people, including a 14-year-old girl, died on the scene inside the shop as well as two people out on the street, RIA Novosti said. Another woman died after she was taken to the hospital, the BBC reported.

The BBC reported that Belgorod police believe the attacker was a 31-year-old resident who had been released from prison a year ago.

At this point, the motive of this attack is believed to be robbery, the BBC said. In response, Belgorod authorities have declared Tuesday a day of mourning, the BBC said.

The suspect fled the scene in a BMW car that arrived on the scene, RIA Novosti said. The abandoned vehicle was found later by police, the BBC said.

Some media outlets have reported the possible involvement of a second suspect, but local authorities have yet to confirm this, RIA Novosti said.

The suspect is still at large and is believed to be hiding from authorities at a local car market, the BBC reported.

Regions Hospital's "additional examination" Saturday for the remains of a second stillborn baby within the linens sent to a Red Wing laundry service turned up empty following the discovery of a male stillborn wrapped in soiled linens on Wednesday, the Pioneer Press said.

The remains of the 19-week stillborn, whose gender is unknown, were sent out in the same linen container that carried a 22-week stillborn within soiled linens to be cleaned, CBS said.

The discovery of the first stillborn was reported in a news conference Wednesday, while the hospital released information regarding the search for the second set of remains Friday, the Pioneer Press said.

The investigation is being led by both the Minnesota Department of Health and the St. Paul police, with the aid and cooperation of the hospital, the Pioneer Press said.

Upon review of the pathology records for the past year, spokeswoman Elizabeth Nicklos told the Pioneer Press via email that, "all other stillborn remains have been properly accounted for."

Brock Nelson, president and CEO of Regions Hospital, announced that new procedures will be implemented immediately, including improved visual identification and tracking process and added security and supervision in that section of Regions, CBS reported.

The identities of the two families to whom the remains belonged have not been disclosed to "protect their privacy," Nicklos said.

At this time it is unclear whether the families are planning legal challenges against the hospital for the handling of the remains, the Pioneer Press said.

20 dead in China due to H7N9 bird flu virus

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According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths in China due to the H7N9 bird flu virus has risen to 20, increasing the number of reported cases to 102, CNN reported.

70 of the infected people are still in the hospital while 12 have been discharged, Reuters said. Five of the most recently reported cases were in Zhejiang province and one was in Shanghai, Reuters reported.

The WHO's China representative, Michael O'Leary, issued data on Friday showing that half of the patients analyzed had had no known contact with poultry, the most obvious potential source, but he said it appeared human-to-human transmission was rare.

Data released on Friday by the WHO showed that half of the patients had had no known contact with poultry, Routers said. Although contact with poultry is the most apparent way to contract the virus, the WHO said there is still no evidence of human-to-human transmission, CNN reported.

"Until the source of infection has been identified, it is expected that there will be further cases of human infection with the virus in China," the WHO said in a statement.

China announced the first case of the H7N9 virus in humans only three weeks ago, CNN said.

Suspect arrested in Shakopee shooting

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Police have arrested a man Friday in connection with a shooting that resulted in the death of one man and wounded two others in Shakopee late Thursday, the Star Tribune said.

The suspect, a 27-year-old Minneapolis man, was arrested in a joint effort by officials from both the Shakopee and Minneapolis police departments, the Star Tribune reported. Police say there are two other suspects who remain at large whom they are investigating, the Star Tribune said.

The shooting occurred at 10:45 p.m. Thursday at an apartment in the 600 block of Gorman Street, the Star Tribune said. According to police, three people knocked on the door, entered the apartment and opened fire on people inside, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding his brother and a cousin, ArgusLeader.com said.

Police Chief Jeffrey Tate said that authorities do not believe the shooting was gang-related.
"This was not a random act of violence," Tate said. "It's important to get that out there. We want to make sure the public knows that."

The victim who was fatally shot has been identified as nineteen-year-old Marcos Antino Pantaleon, ArgusLeader.com reported. The other two vitims who were wounded at the scene are Pantaleon's 22-year-old brother and 17-year-old male cousin who were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment, ArgusLeader.com said.

Police said there were three other people in the apartment, including a teenage girl, a mother, and a father who were not injured, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the Star Tribune, Pantaleon would have turned 20 years old within 90 minutes of his death.

The chief said the assailants and the victims were familiar with each other on "some level," and that the investigation is still in progress, the Star Tribune said.

Tate also said that police have been called to the apartment before, but for "nothing like violent assaults or anything of that nature," the Star Tribune reported.

Southwestern China suffers deadly earthquake

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A deadly earthquake ripped through China's southwestern Sichuan Province Saturday morning, killing at least 132 people, injuring upwards of 5,000, and leaving still more people trapped in the rubble, the New York Times reported.

The earthquake happened at 8:02 a.m. local time in Lushan County near Ya'an city, Firstpost said. The quake's epicenter had a depth of 7.5 miles according to the U.S. Geological Survey, FistPost said. The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake was a magnitude 7.0, the New York Times reported. Since it was relatively shallow, the quake was more destructive, the New York Times said.

Saturday's quake occurred along the same fault line of a devastating earthquake that left 87,000 people dead or missing in a mountainous region northeast of Chengdu, the provincial capital, back in 2008, the New York Times said.

The state news agency, Xinhua, received information from a hospital official who said crowds of injured people were had gathered in front of the county hospital on Saturday afternoon.
Premier Li Keqiang, along with other senior officials, flew by helicopter from Beijing to Sichuan Saturday to tour the damaged area and to visit the injured at the county's main hospital, the New York Times reported. "The current most urgent issue is grasping the first 24 hours after the quake's occurrence, the golden time for saving lives, to take scientific rescue measures and save people's lives," Xinhua quoted Mr. Li as saying.

Landslides have slowed down rescue efforts in the area, and concerns have been raised over two barrier lakes that have formed as a result of two debris-blocked waterways, the New York Times said.

"Now the houses on both sides of the street have become dangerous buildings," Zhang Linpeng, a resident, told the Sichuan news service. "I've seen people trapped in the ruins, and some people died. Many of the injured have been pulled out." Firefighters in Lushan were able to rescue 27 survivors from several collapsed buildings, the New York Times said.

Ya'an has a population of 1.5 million, and is located roughly 75 miles from Chengdu, the New York Times reported.

The second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was captured by authorities in Watertown Mass. Friday night, CNN said.

After the nearly week-long manhunt for the second suspect was over, Boston's police department tweeted, "CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody," CNN said.

The man in custody is Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, who had fled the scene of a shootout with police the previous night, the Wall Street Journal said. During the course of the shootout his brother and co-conspirator in the detination of two bombs at the Boston Marathon Monday, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died amidst the gunfire, the Wall Street Journal said.

Tsarnaev was found by authorities late Friday after receiving a tip from a man who said he found a young man covered in blood was hiding beneath a tarp on a boat in the backyard of his Watertown home, a suburb of Boston, CNN said.

Tsarnaev was in serious condition, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a news conference. "There was an exchange of gunfire, and I don't know if he was struck," Davis said.

Tsarnaev has been taken to Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to be treated for his injuries likely sustained in the shootout both Thursday and Friday, CNN reported.

"We used a robot to pull the tarp off the boat," David Procopio of the Massachusetts State Police said. "We were also watching him with a thermal imaging camera in our helicopter. He was weakened by blood loss -- injured last night most likely," CNN reported.

Following Tsarnaev's arrest, cheers could be heard from a crowd of local citizens who had gathered to watch him get taken away, the Wall Street Journal said. A member of the Boston SWAT team said, "Thank you. Thank you. It was our pleasure," over a loudspeaker to the crowd, CNN said.

Tsarnaev, has been arrested under the public safety exception, meaning in cases of national security a person can be questioned without being read their Miranda rights, a Justice Department official told CNN on condition of anonymity. CNN said that the official is not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Because of the nature of Tsarnev's crime, some U.S. government officials like Senators John McCain (R) and Lindsey Graham (R) called for Tsarnaev to be held as an enemy combatant, CNN said.

President Barak Obama has said that since Tsarnev is a U.S, citizen, he should be tried in civilian courts, the Wall Street Journal said.

Analysis- Diversity

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I am examining a feature story from the New York Times titled, "Sierra Leone's health care system becomes a cautionary tale for donors." Given the title, I thought the story had potential to go one of two ways. It could contain personal biases and rely on stereotypes about the African people to tell the news story, or be an enlightening piece for the paper's audience. This article turned out to be the latter, and I found it to be an interesting report and basically a public service announcement. The story focuses on the corruption among the nation's healthcare industry professionals, and that those who donate money to aid the people of Sierra Leone are funding this corruption. It objectively describes the offenders, who range from African doctors to European administrators. The reporter's sources include The British Government, Sierra Leone's anti-corruption agency, World Bank Representative to the United States Francis Ato Brown, the Vaccine Alliance's internal review, the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission Joseph F. Kamara, former Anti-Corruption Commissioner Abdul Tejan-Cole, and the country's top doctor and chief medical officer Dr. Kizito Daoh. I believe these sources represent the spectrum of those represented in the story, which is fair to both the accusers and the accused.

Bieber hopes Anne Frank would have been a "belieber"

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Justin Bieber left a personal message in the Anne Frank House guest book during his visit in Amsterdam Saturday, Fox News said.

In his message in the museum's guest book, Bieber wrote, "Hopefully she would have been a belieber," the Chicago Tribune said. "Belieber" is the popular term for Justin Bieber fans.

The museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of Frank, whose diary chronicled the teenager's life as she and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II, Fox News said.

The museum's Facebook page has Beiber's full entry as: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber." A BBC correspondent confirmed that Bieber's visit and note were authentic, Fox News said.

Many people have voiced their outrage regarding the teen pop star's comment, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"Anne Frank a belieber? That is by far one of the most self-serving things I've ever read, like ever," Facebook user Tania Saez Pinto wrote.

Bieber, 19, has upcoming concert dates in Norway and Denmark for the European leg of his Believe tour.

3 hostages released in north minneapolis standoff

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A standoff situation at a north Minneapolis home Sunday has drawn response from the Minneapolis SWAT team, officers and negotiators to diffuse the situation, KARE 11 said.

Police arrived on the scene at 35th and Newton Avenues North in the Folwell neighborhood at about 4:30 a.m. at which time a person ran from a house to stop a police car, Sgt. Stephen McCarty said.

According to McCarty, a man reportedly took a man and a woman, along with an infant as his hostages, the Pioneer Press said. The three were able to the leave the house unharmed early in the incident, McCarty said.

Authorities are staged outside the home and continue to try and make contact with the suspect who is still inside the home and believed to be armed, KARE 11 said.

Officers believe the standoff was the result of what started as a domestic disturbance, McCarty said.

McCarty would not describe the relationship between the suspect and the hostages, but confirmed that more information will be released as it becomes available, the Pioneer Press said.

No evacuations of the neighborhood have been made but neighbors have been told to stay in their homes, away from windows, McCarty said.

A high school English teacher has been placed on leave Friday by New York school district officials for having students write a paper from the perspective of Jew-hating Nazis, CNN said.

The assignment was for the Albany High School students to write a letter to the Nazi government pretending to convince the government that "Jews are evil," in an exercise meant to help students practice their persuasive writing skills, USA Today said.

District Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard held a news conference Friday, during which she apologized for the assignment saying she did not believe the teacher acted with "intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of Jewish faith," CNN reported. Wyngaard said the wording was problematic, and should have been different, CNN said.

The school district has not yet released the teacher's name, who was described as a veteran, according to USA Today. A parent of one of the students is who brought the assignment to the attention of Albany High School's administrators, after some students refused to participate in the assignment, CNN said.

Wyngaard said the district is discussing the possibility of future training programs for students and staff with the Anti-Defamation League, CNN said.

Power restored downtown following electrical fire

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Power has been restored to several blocks of downtown Minneapolis Friday after being without power for more than 90 minutes, Fox 9 said.

Friday morning's outage happened as a result of an electrical fire that broke out around midnight at the US West building, Fox 9 said. Xcel Energy workers had to "deenergize" several nearby blocks as they made necessary repairs to the area, the Star Tribune reported.

Power was restored to the area by about 8 a.m., nearly two hours after it went off, Xcel spokesman Tom Hoen said.

The area left without their power was east of Marquette Av. and near 5th St, the Star Tribune said.

Metro Transit said that light-rail trains kept running as usual, according to the Star Tribune. Hennepin County Medical Center said they too operated normally, most likely due to a backup power source, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Deadly earthquake strikes southern Iran

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An earthquake tore through southern Iran on Tuesday afternoon, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds, the BBC reported.

At least 30 people have been reported dead along with 850 injured in the aftermath of the quake, the BBC said. According to the Los Angeles Times, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake measured magnitude 6.3; Iranian state media reported that it measured 6.1.

The nuclear power plant in Bushehr, located nearly 60 miles from the reported epicenter of the earthquake, is reported to be functioning normally according to a statement by the plant's executive, the BBC reported.

Bushehr's governor Fereydun Hasanvand told Iranian television that more than 50 villages make up the area destroyed by the earthquake, two of which have reportedly been completely leveled, the BBC said.

Rescue operations continued into the overnight hours with help from generators sent by governor's office, the BBC said.

Reza Shabankara, a journalist who lives in the nearby area of Borazjan, counted roughly ten aftershocks jolting the area after the initial quake, the Los Angeles Times said.

A decade ago, a bigger 6.6 magnitude quake struck the Southern region of Iran killing more than 26,000 people, the Los Angeles Times said.

Luke Bryan wins entertainer of the year at ACMs

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Country new comer Luke Bryan took home the entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday in Las Vegas, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Bryan beat out some of country music's biggest stars including Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Lambert's husband Blake Shelton, and two time entertainer of the year Taylor Swift, the Washington Post said.

The 36-year-old Georgia native recently began headlining his first arena tour and was the co-host of this year's show along friend and fellow nominee Blake Shelton, who is no stranger to television, the Washington Post said. Shelton is a judge on NBC's reality singing competition The Voice.

Miranda Lambert won the most awards of the night taking home trophies for female vocalist of the year, record of the year, and song of the year, the Washington Post said.

The other big winners were Little Big Town for video of the year and vocal group of the year, Eric Church for album of the year, husband and wife duo Thompson Square took home vocal duo of the year, Jason Aldean won for male vocalist of the year, and Florida Georgia Line for new artist of the year, according to Entertainment Weekly.

3 people killed in rollover crash on I-94 in Minneapolis

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Three people were killed and five were injured in a rollover accident on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon causing major delays, the Pioneer Press said.

The crash, involving three cars, happened at about 1 p.m. at 49th Avenue, Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said.

The names of the victims and the injured have not been released, the Star Tribune said.

Several of the occupants were ejected from the overturned white Toyota Sienna minivan, Roeske said. He said those who sustained injuries were taken to North Memorial Hospital and are expected to survive. The passengers of the other two vehicles escaped without injury, the Pioneer Press said.

The crash also involved a 2011 Jeep Patriot and a 2003 Honda Odyssey, according to the patrol. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident, Roeske said. At this time, they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor, the Star Tribune said.

I-94 was backed up for about a mile while crews worked to clean up the accident, Pioneer Press said. After being shut down for nearly three hours, the road was reopened to all traffic around 4:30 p.m., Pioneer Press said.

Numbers Analysis- Wall Street Journal

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For my analysis on the use of numbers in an article, I am looking at the article in the Wall Street Journal with the headline New Health Worry in Red Meat. The story looks at several studies including one published in the journal Nature Medicine, which reveals that carnitine may be behind the production of TMAO that promotes atherosclerosis, or a thickening of the arteries and causing heart attacks. The reporter used the numbers to help inform the reader of the scope of the study and to explain the results of the findings. I believe the numbers were spaced out nicely between the graphs making it easy to read. There was a graphic featured in the story that showed the death rate due to cardiovascular disease over the last century. It shows a pretty steady climb with a slow decline beginning in the 1970s. The graph was generated by the Wall Street Journal using data from National Center for Health Statistics.

Missing White Bear Lake teen found safe in Minneapolis

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The White Bear Lake teenager who went missing late last week was found safe Friday in Minneapolis.

Kyle Christopher Conkler, 18, left his job at the White Bear Lake Police Department Thursday afternoon but never showed up at home, the Star Tribune said.

The young man's family was concerned since he has autism and is considered at-risk, the Pioneer Press said. When Conkler went missing, he was on foot with no cell phone, no money and was not dressed appropriately for the weather, the Star Tribune said.

According to White Bear Lake Police Chief Lynne Bankes, Conkler was found late Friday at a Cub grocery store in Minneapolis. Bankes said it was unclear what he had been doing while he was missing, or why he decided not to go home, the Pioneer Press said. "We were very pleased to have him back," she said. "This turned out to have a very positive outcome, which is, of course, what we were hoping for."

Conkler is safe and is back at home with his family.

Civilian employee fatally shot at Fort Knox

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The pentagon said that a civilian Army employee has died after being shot Wednesday in the parking lot of the Army base at Fort Knox in Kentucky, CBS News reported.

According to a news release issued late Wednesday, Military officials said the victim was an employee of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, and that the shooting occurred in the parking lot outside of the command.

The victim was taken to the Ireland Army Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead, CBS News said. The victim's identity will not be released until the family has been notified, CBS News said.

Authorities "are investigating a personal incident and not a random act of violence," U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command spokesman Chris Grey said.

An FBI spokeswoman in Louisville, Mary Trotman, said two agents have been called to Fort Knox to assist with the investigation, the Chicago Tribune said. Trotman said the shooter or shooters had not been apprehended to her knowledge, but had no further details on the incident,the Chicago Tribune reported.

Post spokesman Kyle Hodges said late Wednesday that the base had been on lockdown, but now remains on a heightened security alert while the investigation of this shooting incident continues, CBS News reported.

Fort Knox is located near Louisville, and is home to more than 40,000 U.S. military personnel, family members and civilian employees, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Putin signs law that allows governors to be appointed

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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Tuesday that would allow him to select new governors to be appointed by each region, FirstPost said.

The law now states that regional legislators no longer need to hold direct elections for governors, but can appoint a new one as long as they are on a list that President Putin has approved, the New York Times said.

Putin said that the new law can protect minorities in regions where elections may not be reliable or completely ethical, the New York Times said.

This is not the first time Putin has signed this law. Currently serving his third term as president, Putin originally signed this law during his second presidential term, only for President Dmitri A. Medvedev to overturn it during his presidency, the New York Times said.

Some of the law's critics are concerned for what this means for democracy in Russia, and the power it gives to the highly unpopular United Russia Party, FirstPost said.

Boris Nemtsov, a prominent opposition leader and a former cabinet minister in the 1990s under Putin's predecessor Boris Yeltsin said, "It's another lever to manage everything from Moscow."

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2013 is the previous archive.

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