Story taken from IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors)
"Carbon offsets have little impact on global warming":

The two primary resources that are used to produce the story are "The Christian Science Monitor" and "The New England Center for Investigative Reporting". It then explained what the problem or the finding was, "found that individuals and businesses who are feeding a $700 million global market in offsets are often buying vague promises instead of the reductions in greenhouse gases they expect," and made it a hyperlink to another more in-depth story. The reporter used synthesis skills to gather the material and simple coding and blogging skills to post it online. The IRE is essentially a news blog.

California considers "biking while texting" ban

Many Californians now believe that texting while riding a bike is very dangerous and should be banned, this going along with a bill which passed in California that made texting while driving illegal according to NPR News.

"These fools be swerving, and they be doing their little texting thing," said DeAndre Sims, a cyclist in San Francisco who does not text while biking.

The public response, however, is decidedly split.

"If you're going to ban it while biking, you might as well ban it while walking," said cyclist Jesse Daniel.

Senator Joe Simitian, of California drafted the proposed texting while biking law, which is now making its way through the Senate.

"As it happens, in this case there was an oversight when we passed our hands-free law some years ago, and cyclists were inadvertently omitted," Simitian said.

St. Paul sends out street sweepers

Beginning this week, the street sweeper crews of St. Paul will begin cleaning neighborhood streets according to the Star Tribune.

The "No Parking" signs should be posted at least 24 hours prior to the sweepers arriving.

The work to clean all 871 miles of St. Paul city streets is estimated to take about a month. The purpose, according to the Public Works Department, is to keep the junk on the streets left over from the winter from getting into the sewers and into the lakes and rivers.

City of Minneapolis owes man $45,000 in Taser case

Minneapolis owes $45,066 in attorney's fees to a man who was shocked with a police Taser last year the city attorney's office and Minneapolis Police Department have decided according to the Star Tribune.

An additional $75,000 will also be paid out to the man, Rolando Ruiz, of Minneapolis, and his lawyer Albert Goins.

The case was settled when it was established by Goins that Ruiz was tasered with no justification during his arrest. The incident resulted in the firing of Officer Todd Lappegaard.

Germans are freed after capture by Nigerian gunmen

After six days, two German men were released after being held hostage by Nigerian gunmen on Saturday according to the BBC.

The two men, ages 45 and 55, were kidnapped on April 18 in southeast Nigeria while swimming in a river. In the last year, dozens of foreigners have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta, which is the largest oil and gas reserve in Africa.

"Both our German countrymen are safe and sound and again free," Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, said in a statement.

This abduction is the second of foreigners in Nigeria in the last 10 days.

US Oil rig spills off coast of Louisiana

A drilling oil rig owned by BP exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana last Thursday according to the BBC.

According to officials, about 1,000 barrels of oil per day are spilling into the sea from the damaged rig.

The oil has the potential to greatly damage beaches, barrier islands and wetlands all along the coastline.

More than 100 workers were rescued from the sinking rig but 11 BP workers are still missing and are presumed to have been killed in the oil rig explosion.

Currently, the weather is keeping the oil away from the Louisiana coastline and there is hope that the waves will break up the crude oil and allow it to harden and sink to the ocean floor.

World likes US more because of Obama, poll suggests

According to a BBC World Service poll, the influence of the United States is now seen as more positive than negative.

The increase in the scores is correlated with the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. As of 2009, Germany tops the list of favorable countries with Iran and Pakistan at the bottom of the list.

Almost 30,000 people in 28 countries were interviewed for the poll between November 2009 and February 2010.

"After a year, it appears the 'Obama effect' is real," Steven Cull, the Director with the Program on International Policy Attitudes, or Pipa at the University of Maryland.

According to the city of Minneapolis, starting this fall new solar-powered parking meters will be installed all over the city according to The Star Tribune.

In addition, parkers will also be able to pay with their credit card. In the future, there are plans to reserve meters by texting on a cellphone.

But the new technology in the meters may be met with mixed reviews from the drivers that use them as many of the new meters will not display how much time is left so that drivers can not simply pick a meter with time left on it.

The new meters will come on two-pole meters in most of Minneapolis, but in high demand parking areas such as such as Dinkytown, Uptown or Stadium Village, they will come in single-pole form.

The St. Paul Hotel turns 100, and marks anniversary

On Saturday the St. Paul Hotel hosted the 100th anniversary celebration of its grand opening according to The Star Tribune.

The foyer and promenade of the building re-created the 1920s, 30s, 50s and 70s with different types of foods and themes as well as music from the period.

The hotel has at one time or another been used by presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt.

Tickets for the event were $100 dollars a person.

Trust in government hits near-record low

According to a poll released by the Pew Research Center only 22 percent of Americans say that they trust the government in Washington "almost always or most the time" according a NPR report.

These figures are among the lowest in a half-century since the Pew poll was created.

Furthermore, 3 out of every 4 people said that they were angry with the federal government and 1 out of every 3 believe that the government is a threat to their personal freedoms.

According to these trends, it seems as though the Republican party will be favored in the midterm elections in the coming fall. But favorable ratings for all members of congress have fallen off in recent months.

According to Andrew Kohut, the Pew Center Director, measures of trust typically decline during Democratic administrations. Some of the lowest measures have come during the Clinton and Carter administrations.

The poll numbers were even lower during the administration of George W. Bush, where the numbers went below 20 percent.