May 5, 2008

Computer-Assisted Reporting

Computer-assisted reporting goes through the same process as regular reporting does. The reporter needs to do the same amout of outside research in order to write the story. The difference is the presentation.
Many reporters have the information to creat a multimedia spread, but don't have the skills to put it togetner. The article I viewed had many different forms of CAR which made the story not only more informational, but also interactive. The reporter or journalist needs to have knowledge of how to put together a slide show and an interactive map that allows you to visually see what happening or what the trends are and also partake and choose what information you want to read about. Beyond that there is also video you can add or audio slideshows. In general, if a reporter has a basic knowledge of how to download and create these programs, it should not be too hard to create a story that includes CAR. All the reporter is doing is showing the article and the information in a different way that is more visual.

Football Star Caught With Transvestites

Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima, soccer star and striker for Italy's A.C. Milan team, was questioned by police and humiliated by the press after involving himself with three male transvestite prositutes.
Ronaldo claimed he didn't know they were men, and when he found out tried to send them away, reported the New York Times. The transvestites then tried to extort money from the star in return for silence.
One of the prostitutes, Andreia Albertine aka Andre Luiz Ribeiro Albertino apparently is said to have claimed that Ronaldo had threatened to hit him when he discovered that he was not a woman, reported Girls Talk Sports News. Andreia also claimed that Ronaldo had taken drugs, and had threatened to hurt all of three.
Ronaldo denied threatening the prostitutes or using drugs.
Andreia demanded a payment of $30,000 to keep the story from the press, reported the New York Times.
“He has committed no crime, he has broken no law," Ronaldo’s agent, Fabiano Farah, said in an e-mailed statement sent Friday. " On the contrary, he is the victim in this case.?
The events of that night are still in question. Ronaldo said that the events are of a personal nature and is not longer being questioned by police.
Prostitution is legal here, and Ronaldo faces no criminal charges.
His behavior was “at most, immoral,? Carlos Augusto Nogueira, the investigating officer, said in televised statements.
The only thing Ronaldo will face is humiliation.

Bomb Explodes at San Diego Courthouse

A suspected pipe bomb exploded at a federal courthouse in San Diego early Sunday, damaging the entry and lobby, authorities said.
The blast blew out a glass window and damaged the front entrance, reported USA Today.
At about 1:40 a.m., someone place the device outside of the main entrance of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse, said FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth, reported the Los Angeles Times. The explosion destroyed a glass door, blasted schrapnel into the ceiling, and punched a hole in a fifth-story window of a building across the street, he said.
Debris from the blast was scattered throughout various places of the block. The streets around the courthouse remained closed while federal agents took photos and marked the location of shrapnel.
There were no reported injuries or structural damage.
"It's too early to tell if it's terrorism-related," Foxworth said. "It does not appear to be right now."
The bomb was reported by two guards in the building, reported USA Today. About 40 agents combed the front courtyard after the area was swept for explosives.
Investigators are reviewing film from security cameras and interviewing guards who had been on duty when the bomb went off, reported the LA Times.
Authorities said that surveillance cameras outside the building may provide information, however no cameras directly face the doorway.
The bomb does not appear to be linked to any current case at the courthouse. Authorities are keeping the courthouse closed through Monday.
No arrests have been made.

Man Wants to Change Name to "In God We Trust"

Illinois artist Steve Kreuscher wants a judge to allow him to legally change his name to "In God We Trust."
Kreuscher says the new name would symbolize the help God gave him through tough times, reported the Star Tribune.
Kreuscher plans to appear in court on June 13, hoping the judge will grant his request, reported the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
His first name would be "In God" and the last name "We Trust."
"I want this with all my heart," says Kreuscher, the 57-year-old father of four.
Kreuscher has gone through a painful divorse, bouts of depression, financial problems and home invasion. Yet through it all, he believes hat god has protected him.
Kreuscher, a Christian who gave up on organized religion 20 years ago, said the new name would symbolize the story of his life, reported the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
"I've had to trust God through incredibly hard times," he said.
Kreuscher is also worried that atheists will remove the phrase "In God We Trust" from U.S. currency. He remembers when the phrase "God Reigns" was removed from the Zion city seal in 1992 after the courts deemed it as unconstitutional.
Kreuscheris confident the judge will allow the change since he isn't breaking any regulations.
The county charges $246 for the petition. In addition, it requires the person to publish a legal notice in the newspaper three times. That could cost as much as $150.
"That will be the best $400 I've ever spent," Kreuscher said.

Two Teens Shot at After Nearby Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Two teens were wounded by gunfire in St. Paul Saturday night, as the city's Cinco de Mayo celebrations were ending nearby.
A 14-year-old boy is in critical condition after being shot in the back, reported the Pionner Press. The boy was taken to Regions Hospital and was later transferred to the intensive care unit of Children's Hospital.
At second shooting happened shortly after in a nearby building. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg and taken and released from Regions Hospital, reported Kare 11 News.
Police did not release the names of the two victims.
The shootings happened around 6:45 p.m. as the Cinco de Mayo festivities were ending and the crowd was dispersing, reported Kare 11 News.
Police have taken five people into custody for questioning regarding this case. No arrests have been made.
Police detained 15 people in the area for questioning, using a Metro Transit bus to hold everyone, reported the Pioneer Press. Many of the detainees were angry and yelled at police for holding them.
Police said they sometimes use a bus for witnesses in order to contain them and keep them comfortable until them can be questioned, reported the Pioneer Press.
This case is in the early stages of the investigation and detectives from the Homicide unit are gathering evidence and interviewing over 40 possible witnesses, reported Kare 11 News.

May 4, 2008

Suicidal Man Dies By Taser

A suicidal man died Sunday after fighting with police and eventually being Tased.
The police and paramedics were called to the scene of a suicide in progress, where they encountered a 21-year-old male who appeared to be using a controlled substance, reported the Star Tribune.
The man attacked the two officers who were trying to calm him down. The officers sprayed a chemical irritant, which had no effect on the man, reported the Star Tribune.
The man began to bite the two officers, forcing to deploy a Taser in order to restrain him, according to the release, reported WCCO News.
The man became unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime.
Both officers bitten by the suspect were treated and released at Regions Hospital. The Crimes Against Persons unit is investigating the incident.

April 21, 2008

Pope Visits Ground Zero and Celebrates One More Mass

Pope Benedict XVI offered a prayer Sunday at the site of ground zero before celebrating his final Mass in the United States at Yankee Stadium.
A crowd of 57,00 came to hear the Pope deliver his last U.S. Mass, reported the New York Post. The Pope called this Mass, "a summons to move forward with firm resolve to use wisely the blessings of freedom, in order to build a future of hope for coming generations."
The Pope's main message during his six-day pilgrimage was to have faith play a role in public life.
At ground zero, the Pope offered a prayer for peace, mentioning the attacks not only on the World Trade Center, but also the Pentagon and a jetliner that crashed in Pennsylvania, reported the New York Times.
After a prayer, the Pope blessed the site with holy water in all four directions.
The Pope's visit was a half-hour long, but he did exchange words with many of survivors and families of those who were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Only 24 guests were allowed to be at the site with the Pope. The 24 guests were selected from among more than 1,100 applicants for a chance to meet the pope.
The service was held at the bottom of the giant construction ramp that goes into the construction site for the new towers rising at ground zero.

Chinese Protest French Anti-Chinese Feelings

Thousands of Chinese began protesting against the French and the sympathy they has shown to not only Tibet, but pro-Tibetan agitators.
Protesters have also been attacking Western news outlets, especially CNN, for their baised news coverage over the TIbet issue.
These protesters rallied on Sunday in front of French Carrefour markets in six cities, reported the New York Times. Demonstrators carried banners saying, “Oppose Tibet Independence? and “Condemn CNN,? according to the official Xinhua News Agency. While their many student protesters sang the national anthem and waved Chinese flags.
This outpour of protests is the largest since 2005, that included tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to denounce Japanese textbooks that omitted information about wartime atrocities in China.
In recent days, the government has called on citizens to temper their fury at the West, but it has not acted to halt public demonstrations, which have been stoked by newspaper editorials, Internet postings and text messages sent to millions of cellphones.
“As citizens, we have the responsibility to express our patriotic enthusiasm calmly and rationally and express patriotic aspiration in an orderly and legal manner,? the state-run People's Daily newspaper said in a front-page editorial.
The newspaper called for a "cooling of passions" although it did not comment or condemn the demostrations or the french boycott.
Much of the fury toward the French was amplified by the story of Jin Jing. Jing is the disabled fencer who stubbornly clinged to the Olympic torch while a Tibet supporter tried to wrestle it away during the Paris relay, reported MSNBC News.
Anti-French sentiment in China also has grown since French President Nicolas Sarkozy said last month he is considering not attending the Olympic Games opening ceremony because of China's crackdown on Tibet.
In Paris, thousands of pro-China demonstrators staged a protest Saturday in support of Beijing. Many of the protesters, who demonstrated at the Place de la Republique, wore T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "Let's make the Olympics a bridge, not a wall" in French.

Toddler is Blown Into Lake Michigan

A strong gust of wind blew a 2-year-old toddler in a stroller into the waters of Lake Michigan where he was underwater for nearly 15 minutes.
The child's grandfather who was pushing the stroller Firday afternoon jumped into the water to try and save the boy,the Chicago Fire Department said, reported USA Today.
The grandfather, 65, was pointing at the water shouting for his child at the end of the 70-foot long pier.
"He was just moaning in the breakwater, crying," said witness, John Derscheid, who called 911.
Chicago Fire Department divers retrieved the child and stroller from the 42-degree water within about 15 minutes, and the grandfather was pulled to safety by the harbor master, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
Divers had to search for the toddler in zero-visibility waters, said department spokesman Larry Langford. The child was found 10-feet under the surface of the water.
At the time, winds were about 20 mph with gusts of about 30 mph, a meteorologist said, reported USA Today.
Derscheid said minutes before he saw the grandfather, he was chased off the concrete structure by a gust of wind so strong it send beer cans sailing by, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
The toddler was in critical condition at Children's Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon, while the grandfather was in serious condition at nearby St. Joseph's Hospital, fire officials said.
"I haven't seen the kid since,'' Derscheid said. "I saw them take the kid out and that is going to stick with me for the rest of my life.''

Two Minneapolis Police Officers Relieved of Duty Pending Investigation

Two long-standing Minneapolis police officers have been relieved of duty pending the results of a FBI investigation.
Lt. Lee Edwards and officer Mike Roberts have been put on paid administrative leave due to the current investigation. Roberts is a veteran officer who has been on the force nearly three decades. Edwards is one of five black officers suing the police department over allegations of racial discrimination, reported the Star Tribune.
The details of the investigation are unknown, but sources say an investigation has been going on since last year, reported WCCO News.
Lt. Lee Edwards was told of the investigation Friday night and told WCCO Saturday morning, "I did nothing wrong."
Edwards had been the head of the fourth precinct. Before that, he was the head of homicide. He was demoted from the position last year after being accused of drinking before driving his police car and making inappropriate sexual comments. Edwards was eventually cleared of the drinking charge. He is currently one of three finalists for the Northfield police chief job.
Roberts allegedly received $200 for giving information to an undercover informant, according to sources with knowledge of the case, reported the Star Tribune. The allegations against Edwards are still unclear.
On Thursday Roberts was sent to deliver a package to FBI headquarters where he was then taken by investigators and questioned.
Andrew Muller, a lawyer representing Edwards in the racial discrimination suit, said the current allegations are baseless. There is no connection between Edwards and Roberts, he said.
"The intent of the allegations against Lt. Edwards can only be to punish and intimidate those on the MPD who speak out against discrimination," Muller said. "Mayor Rybak seems content to let Chief Dolan run roughshod, and to let him do as he pleases, without concern for how it will impact the city and race relations within its departments."
Special Agent Paul McCabe said he will not confirm or deny a FBI investigation of two Minneapolis officers, reported WCCO News. It is standard FBI policy not to comment.

April 20, 2008

Father Kills Son in Turkey Hunting Accident

An 8-year-old boy was killed Saturday during a hunting accident after his father mistook him a wild turkey and shoot him in the chest, authorities said.
Hunter Klaseus, who was to turn 9 at the end of April, was pronounced dead at the scene while hunting with his father, Anthony Klaseus, reported Kare 11 News.
"It's a tragedy, an absolute tragedy," said Sibley County Sheriff Bruce Ponath.
The Klaseus' were hunting in a plowed farm field in Faxon Township, near Belle Plaine, said Sheriff Bruce Ponath, reported the Star Tribune.
Klaseus told his son to stay on the edge of the field, as he snuck closer to the turkeys. Klaseus made his way into some woods when Hunter decided he would catch up with his dad, Ponath said.
Hunter was about 20 yards away from his dad when Klaseus mistook him for a turkey and fired his 12-gauge shotgun at Hunter, Ponath said.
Hunter was shot once in the chest. Klaseus called 911 on his cell phone and then carried Hunter about a quarter of a mile to meet emergency responders where he was pronounced dead, reported Kare 11 News.
"That family is going through very hard times right now," Ponath said.
Both father and son were wearing camouflage instead of blaze orange, which is legal for turkey hunting. Klaseus does not have a hunting license, Ponath said. The incident is under investigation and no charges have been filed yet.

April 14, 2008

Diversity

I was very surprised to read about a recent story regarding Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking at North High School. North High School and even that area of Minneapolis is known to be a racially black area, where the minority is caucasian people. Before reading the article, I thought tha piece was going to be preachy and would capitalize a lot on the black community. However, I was surprised to see how the writer/reported covered the story. She made the story not about the people but about the message, which was of peace. Yet, she did include facts about homicide rates for that area, compared with last year. This was important because it painted a picture of what the area is like without using judgement or stereotypes or even subtle assumptions. She simply gave the facts and let the reader make an opinion from there. The story is empowering. It gave the reader details about the event, the community, and even the person Tutu. Before this article I had no idea who Desmond Tutu was or why he was important.
Overall, this story is a non-assumming article filled with facts and information to inform the reader, nothing more. It handles diversity and this area very well given the nature of the area. It was a nice article and I felt good after reading it.

New Opera House OPens in Norway

King Harald V opened Norway's long awaited national opera house on the shores of the Oslo Fjord on Saturday to a house filled with royalty, national leaders and music lovers.
The stunning, $840 million building of white marble fulfills a more than 120-year dream for Norwegians who are used to watching opera and ballet in old downtown theaters, reported the Pioneer Press.
"At the innermost part of the Oslo Fjord, the opera house rises as a new and monumental landmark," King Harald said at the opening of the oprea house, reported the Star Tribune. "This house for many generations to come will be filled with music, dance and song."
A two-and-a-half hour opening performance featured highlights from various operas and ballets before an audience that included Norway's Queen Sonja, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Queen Margrethe and about 1,350 other invited guests.
An 1881 report in an Oslo newspaper said the capital was to get a new opera house. It wasn't until recently that that statement became a reality as the Norwegian parliament approved construction and funding for the national opera house.
Funding and political debates were among the factors for the long delay.
The opera house is made of a white stone that seems to rise from the water of the fjord. It holds roughly 1,000 rooms, including a 1,350-seat and a 400-seat auditorium. The inside is lined with crafted woodwork, and decorated with art worth about $12 million.
"This is a building that will change the way the world sees us, and the way we see ourselves," opera director Bjoern Simonsen said.

Iraq Dimisses 1,300 Soldiers After Basra Campaign

The Iraqi government has dismissed 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted or refused to fight during last month’s Shiite against Shite battles in Basra, the government said Sunday.
More than 1,000 members of the security forces had laid down their weapons during the fight which was a campaign to restore law and order to Basra, which is a strategic and oil-rich city, reported the New York Times. Many of the men refused to fight for political, national, sectarian or religious reasons, General Khalaf told The Associated Press in Basra.
The majority of Iraqi soldiers and police are Shiites. Many of the government troops were said to have been reluctant to confront fellow Shiites in battle, reported the Star Tribune.
The Basra campaign was widely criticized as poorly planned after it failed to disarm Shiite militias, in particular the Mahdi Army loyal to the radical anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr, reported the New York Times.
Al-Sadr's followers are eager to take part in the local elections because they believe they can take power away from rival Shiite parties in the vast, oil-rich Shiite heartland of southern Iraq, reported the Star Tribune.
Sadrists say Prime Minister Maliki and his American and Iraqi allies are using the pursuit of criminals as a pretext to weaken the Sadrist movement before coming elections, reported the New York Times. Yet the Iraqi government is being careful to portray the crackdown as an operation against criminals and illegally armed militias and not against Mr. Sadr’s forces, although the Mahdi Army is the most powerful armed force in Sadr City.
Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, said he would not say “how many days or how many months? the government troops would continue their operations in Sadr City, but said “they will not come out until they are finished.?
Although clashes in Basra largely petered out after al-Sadr's order on March 30 for his militiamen to stand down under a deal brokered in Iran, fighting in Baghdad has continued, reported the Star Tribune. There have been daily gunbattles in Baghdad's main Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City between militants and Iraqi and U.S. forces, which have used helicopters and unmanned drones to pound the insurgents from the air.
Washington maintains that as the Iraqi forces increase their capabilities, they will replace U.S. troops providing security in much of the country. But last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that future U.S. troop withdrawals will go more slowly than had originally been hoped for.

Former Gopher Charged with Sexual Conduct

Former University of Minnesota football player Dominic Jones was convicted of unwanted sexual conduct, but cleared of rape charges on Friday.
Jones, who is still attending the university, yet no longer plays football for the Gophers, was charged and convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which involves performing a sex act on a victim without her consent, reported the Pioneer Press. The jury found Jones not guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges or rape, which involves penetration.
During the weeklong trial, jurors saw cell-phone video that appeared to show Jones masturbating over the woman. The 30-second video ended with Jones smiling at the camera and a shot showing a white substance on the unresponsive woman's face.
Jones, 21, denied penetrating the woman. He testified in his own defense that the woman had consented to being masturbated on. Prosecutors said the woman had passed out after heavy drinking and could not give her consent.
Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony, but defense attorney Earl Gray said the state's sentencing guidelines call for a 24-month suspended sentence. Gray said that Jones could be sent to prison for a year, but would likely get work release and be out sooner, reported the Star Tribune.
He would have to register as a sex offender.
Gray intends to appeal the verdict and seek a second trial. He said the evidence excluded at trial goes to the heart of the charge with which Jones was convicted.
The defense was not allowed to call a sexual behavior expert or present evidence of the woman having sex with other men that night. Also the handling of evidence was called into question, with a lot of the evidence going into the same bag.
The testimonies included the victim who said that she got into a vodka shot-drinking contest with former Gopher player, Robert McField. She said she remembered nothing of the evening beyond falling asleep on the couch and waking the next morning with a white substance on her face. She washed it off, went home and to work.
McField, who is now serving 12 years in a Missouri prison for armed robbery, testified he saw what he thought was Jones having sexual intercourse with the woman, but that he did not actually see penetration, reported the Pioneer Press.
Jurors began deliberations late Wednesday and by mid-afternoon Thursday had acquitted Jones of the more serious charge, according to their verdict form, reported the Star Tribune. They reached a verdict of guilty at midday Friday on the lesser charge. The jury quickly decided the act Jones performed was "humiliating and demeaning" to the woman, but not "cruel."
"I feel like the storm is almost over now. ... Hopefully this won't be the lasting impression that people have of me," Jones said afterward, reported the Pioneer Press.
Gray said Jones "absolutely" plans to appeal because key evidence was kept out the trial.
"The next time we try it, we will be able to give the jury a full picture of what happened that night," Gray said, reported the Star Tribune.