Analysis: Computer Assisted Reporting

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By: Megan Gosch
In the Telegraph's report, "Exam boards: how examiners tip off teachers to help students pass", reporters Holly Watt, Claire Newell, Robert Winnett, and Graeme Paton used computer-assisted reporting to examine the practices of the WJEC course in London, found to be teaching based off of exam questions rather than teaching a well-rounded course.
The reporters have used the WJEC website among other web sources to verify the recommendations of the course instructors for the central evidence of the story, that teachers are being advised to not focus the full course syllabus and to focus on the sections being tested that year.
It appears from this story that the reporters simply went to the WJEC general website and did not necessarily use in-depth computer assisted reporting. The computer assisted reporting used in this story seemed very basic and could have been done by anyone with a computer wanting to learn more about the WJEC program.

United Plane Lands Without Engine

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By: Megan Gosch
A commercial airliner landed safely Sunday morning in Colorado after its engine gave out during the flight, causing an emergency landing.
The United Airlines flight 321 was en route, flying from Denver to Los Angeles, when the plane's right engine shut down due to low oil pressure, reported NBC News.
The plane was forced to land at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, reported the San Diego Source.
The plane was carrying 125 passengers and crew, and landed safely around 11:44 a.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
Jim Schreckengast, a passenger aboard flight 321, said that after the pilot announced the emergency over the public address speakers, passengers remained calm. None of the passengers appeared to be afraid, he noted.

Drunk Driver Smashes Through Nursing Home

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By: Megan Gosch
A drunk driver drove through the wall of a Stillwater nursing home early Sunday morning, injuring a resident.
Brian Willingham, 31, later identified by KMSP-TV as the driver, allegedly stole his girlfriend's SUV, hit two parked cars, then drove into the Golden LivingCenter, striking a resident in his bed.
Willingham was reportedly driving without a driver's license which had been revoked due to previous DWI's, reported the Pioneer Press.
Willingham drove straight through the wall of Eugene Lehmicke's room at the Golden LivingCenter, throwing him from his bed. Lehmicke was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released with a bruised arm, reported CBS Minnesota.
Willingham did not report any injuries, police said.

Class Demonstration Raises Questions

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By: Megan Gosch
A demonstration that went wrong and injured four students in a Maple Grove middle school earlier this month, has begun discussion and investigation of standard classroom science lab procedures.
During a "whoosh bottle" demonstration, a Maple Grove middle school science teacher lit a small amount of methanol into a five-gallon plastic jug, which caused a larger flame than expected and injured four students in the class, reported KSTP.
Since the accident, the teacher involved has been put on leave and the incident remains under investigation, causing questions concerning the lack of official regulations used in most science class labs.
Demonstrations such as the "whoosh bottle" experiment often cause lab accidents, according to a national database of lab accidents, reported the Star Tribune.
The National Science Teachers Association discourages the use methanol for the "whoosh bottle" experiment but according to the Minnesota Department of Education, there are no state codes for science lab demonstrations.
With little official oversight of class experiments, the guidelines of the NSTA are not enforced or monitored, and can lead to accidents such as Maple Grove's.

Cod Fisheries Set to Face Restrictions, Shut Down

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By: Megan Gosch
The federal government is considering severely restricting and possibly shutting down cod fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, in order to protect the species for future generations.
The New England Fishery Management Council set a deadline in 2004 to rebuild the cod population of the area by the year 2014. The Council will decided in the next year how much progress has been made toward their goal, reported the Atlantic Wire.
The Council's decisions will be based upon catch records and research trawlers who fish in the Gulf many times a year, reported the New York Times.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has sent a team to meet with the area's fishermen to discuss possible options for the stabilization of the cod population. The options presented include an extension of the deadline for the rebuilding of the cod population, the temporary shut-down of cod fisheries, and heavy restrictions of the industry.
New England fishermen say that heavy restrictions of the industry would make it nearly impossible to fish in the area because ground-dwelling fish cannot be caught without also catching cod that swim closer to the surface.
Although commercial fishermen reported catching about nine million pounds of cod between May of 2010 and April of 2011, many who fish in the gulf area say that there is no shortage of cod and that the data that has caused concern over cod populations is inconsistent and based upon imprecise science.

Thousands Protest in Russia, Call for Fair Elections

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By: Megan Gosch
Between 25,00 and 40,000 protesters gathered all across Russia Saturday afternoon in reaction to the results of last week's parliamentary elections, police said.
Protesters said the elections, which took place Sunday Dec. 4, were fixed by the Russian government, and that the protests were meant to challenge Russia's prime minister of 12 years, Vladimir Putin.
Putin commented on the protests, stating that the Sunday's elections were fair and that the upset driving the protest was caused by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. After Clinton openly addressed the elections as unfair, observers and bloggers drew attention to the elections results and violations, reported the Washington Post.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesperson, commented on the protest, saying "we respect the point of view of the protesters, we are hearing what is being said, and we will continue to listen to them."
Protesters do not appear to be seeking a revolution or violence, but are demanding honest elections and the freedom of protesters arrested directly after Sunday's elections. The protests took place without incident, and police officers interacted peacefully with protesters, reported the New York Times.
Plans for an even larger protest have been discussed among protesters to take place on Dec. 24th.

Lana Peters, Stalin's Only Daughter Dies at 85

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By: Megan Gosch
Lana Peters, only daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and best-selling author, died on Nov. 22 at the age of 85.
Peters died at a care home in Wisconsin of colon cancer, County Coroner Mary Turner said, reported MSNBC.
Peters' denouncement of the Soviet Union in 1967 caused a public relations scandal for the United States and outrage in Russia. Peters also wrote four books throughout her lifetime, including two best-selling memoirs, reported the BBC.
Svetlana Alliluyeva, born in 1926, was Stalin's "little sparrow," and was originally very close to her father. Her brothers Jacob and Vasili, died in a Nazi concentration camp and as an alcoholic at the age of 40, respectively.
Alliluyeva graduated from Moscow University in 1949 and then worked as a teacher and translator. She left the Soviet Union in 1966 to spread the ashes of her first husband in India, where she brought herself to the U.S. embassy for political asylum and was brought to the United States.
In the United States, she married an architect William Wesley Peters and took the name Lana Peters. Her and Peters had a daughter, Olga, together and later divorced in 1973.
After her divorce, Peters returned to Russia to see her two children from previous marriages but returned to the U.S. after fights with family members.
Even as a U.S. citizen, Peters had trouble escaping her father's legacy and reputation, and spent the last few decades of her life in seclusion.
She is survived by her daughter Olga, also known as Chrese Evans, and her son Yekaterina, also known as Katya, a scientist studying an active volcano in Siberia.

Snowfall Causes Crashes, Contributes to Fatality

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By: Megan Gosch

With a steady snowfall Saturday afternoon, there were at least 189 car crashes and one vehicle-related death, authorities said.
The snow, which began falling Saturday afternoon and continued on through early Sunday morning, played a significant role in the crashes, 103 of which occurred in the metro area, reported the Star Tribune.
At least 11 injuries resulted from these crashes, according to the State Patrol.
Michael Giguere, 63, of Pine City was fatally struck around 8:00 p.m. Saturday night as he was crossing Highway 48. At the time of the accident, the roads were wet with snow, the patrol said, reported by the Pioneer Press.
The numbers presented by the patrol were collected from incidents begginning at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon until 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Body Recovered of Man Missing Since October

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By: Megan Gosch
A body that matches the description of a missing Ham Lake man was discovered Saturday morning, according to authorities.
Jeffrey Jacobus, 57, has been missing since Oct. 11. He was last seen leaving his home on that day, reported KSTP.
A search party resumed Saturday morning to find Jacobus, and recovered a body wearing clothing that matched the description of the clothes Jacobus was last seen in, according to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, reported the Pioneer Press.
Authorities have not disclosed the location of the body's recovery, and the identity of the body has yet to be confirmed by a medical examiner.

Cain Considers His Continuation in Presidential Race

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By: Megan Gosch

Presidential candidate Herman Cain will announce Saturday whether he will continue on in the upcoming presidential race after facing several controversial setbacks.
Cain mentioned on Friday at a town all in South Carolina that the announcement would come in a news conference scheduled for Saturday morning in Atlanta, reported the Washington Post.
Cain's continuation in the presidential race has been speculated due to Cain's scheduled news conference as well as the blemishes that have marked his campaign thus far.
Cain has recently been accused of having an adulterous 13-year-long affair as well as the perpetrator of several separate instances of sexual harassment and assault.
A recent video-recorded interview with the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal also left Cain appearing uninformed on America's foreign affairs when he struggled to produce an opinion about the issues facing Libya.
However, Cain's news conference, originally scheduled for 11 a.m, has been postponed until early afternoon, reported the New York Times.