November 2011 Archives

Analysis: Diversity

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By: Megan Gosch
In the Washington Post's article "California Supreme Court says backers can Defend Gay Marriage Measure in Legal Challenge," a co-worker of mine, Steph, found there to be equal coverage.
Steph is openly gay and closely follows the actions being taken towards legalizing gay marriage. She found that in this article there was an equal amount of coverage for both sides of the gay marriage issue but that is not necessarily always the case. She said that the an article will often only quote a representative or a lawyer from one side of the issue which makes it difficult for her to understand the context and everything that is being said about gay marriage.
Steph did not find that this article reinforced or went beyond any stereotypes about gay people or gay rights but did prevent stereotypes by even and accurate coverage of the issue.
Steph is a student that I work with at the University of Minnesota.

Woman Survives Crash with Train

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By: Megan Gosch
A Culver woman survived a crash with an approaching train when her truck stalled as she crossed the tracks Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The 51-year-old woman was trying to cross the tracks near Brookston in her truck stalled over the crossing, said the St. Louis County sheriff, reported by the Star Tribune.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was approaching the crossing at about 40 miles per hour at the time that the woman's truck stalled in the intersection, reported the Pioneer Press.
Upon impact to the rear passenger side of the truck, it was pushed into a ditch.
The woman was taken to a local hospital without critical injuries.

Driver Killed, 3 Injured in Head-on Collision

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By: Megan Gosch
A Shakopee man was killed when he collided with a pickup truck while driving the wrong direction Friday night, injuring three others.
Martin Ballines Rios, 40, struck the truck while driving south in the northbound lane of Audobon Road at Wildflower Lane around 7:30 p.m, reported the Star Tribune.
The passengers of the truck were identified by the Chaska Police Department as Jason P. Bren, 19, Zachery J. Utecht, 19, and Mallary L. Whittaker, 20, of Chaska. They were taken to Ridgeview Hospital and released without critical injuries, reported the Pioneer Press.
The Minnesota State Patrol confirmed that Ballines Rios died at the scene of the crash and that alcohol was detected in his system.

Former Rwandan Mayor Charged for Action in Genocide

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By: Megan Gosch
The former mayor of Kivumu, was convicted Thursday for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide of thousands of innocent Tutsis in a violent Hutu uprising.
Gregoire Ndahimana, one of the most wanted suspects from the genocide, was charged for crimes against humanity and genocide, and sentenced to 15 years in prison by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, reported the Washington Post.
Ndahimana was arrested in 2009 by Congolese authorities, and had previously been hiding in Congo and acting as a member of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a group that is made up mostly of fugitive Rwandan Hutus.
The United States had been calling for justice in Rwanda's case, and were satisfied by the court's decision. The State Department issued a statement, stating that "the conviction of Mr. Ndahimana is of particular significance, because as mayor of Kivumu had authority over the police, and yet failed to prevent the massacre of more than 1,500 people."
The conviction of Ndahimana is appreciated but not satisfactory for the Rwandan government, which was expecting a more severe sentence given the gravity of the crime, reported the New York Times.
"We welcome the conviction of Gregoire Ndahiman, but think the court has been too lenient in sentencing," said Martin Ngoga, Rwanda's chief prosecutor.

FDA Revokes Use of Avastin for Breast Cancer

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By: Megan Gosch
The Food & Drug Administration revoked the approval of the drug Avastin Friday as a treatment for advanced breast cancer after months of consideration, announced FDA officials.
Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the commissioner of the FDA, issued a 69-page decision explaining the FDA's actions and concerns with the side effects and clinical results of Avastin when used by breast cancer patients, reported the Washington Post.
According to Hamburg, the drug was not helping patients to live longer or control tumor growth as it is meant to and causes serious side effects such as high blood pressure and hemorrhaging, reported the New York Times.
"Patients must have confidence that the drugs they take are both safe and effective," Hamburg said.
Avastin is no longer approved for breast cancer patients but will continue to be available to patients with other forms of cancer, reported FDA officials. Avastin will also be available breast cancer patients by prescription as an off-label drug.
Without approval from the FDA, many insurance companies will no longer be able to cover the costs of the drug for their clients, which can cost up to $99,000 a year per patient.
The loss of approval and insurance coverage for Avastin will likely cause the drug's manufacturer, Genentech, to suffer in sales. However, Avastin has been approved for breast cancer treatment throughout Europe, and most recently in Japan.

Son of Gaddafi Captured During Escape

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By: Megan Gosch
Saif al-Islam, oldest son of former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, was captured Saturday on Libya's border with Niger, reported Libyan officials.
Saif al-Islam, who was being smuggled out of the country by supporters, was detained and will be taken to the town of Zinan, confirmed Othman Maigeta, a Libyan brigade commander.
Although, the identity of Saif al-Islam has yet to be officially confirmed, the 39-year-old man that has been detained is sporting a heavy beard and a heavily bandaged right hand, which the man believed to be Gaddafi's son has said he injured in last month's North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reported a Reuter's reporter while being transported with the suspected son.
Basir Thaelba, a Libyan militia brigade commander, announced that Saif al-Islam will not be handed over to the central government until a formal government has been formed, taking at least a few days, but will be "closely guarded." "We are going to treat him as well as a war prisoner," said Thaelba, reported the New York Times.
The arrest of Saif al-Islam has brought celebration to Libyan streets once again since the confirmation of his father's death, reported the Washington Post. Libyans celebrated in the streets, blocking traffic, blowing into horns and shooting rifles into the air.
Libyan officials have confirmed that he will face a trial, which was also meant for his father, but was terminated due to Gaddafi's death by his captors.

Analysis: Numbers

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By: Megan Gosch

In a New York Times article, titled " Putting the Brakes on Web-Surfing Speeds," the writer used numbers to convey a certain number of people in a sample size, the number of tests run in a specific amount of time, and the percent chance of an indicator referred to as a "false positive," among other numbers used.
The numbers used in this story are a bit overwhelming because it uses a great deal of statistics related to the story, but I do not feel that these numbers are hard to grasp as they relate to separate concepts and are not overwhelming within their respective paragraphs. I don't think there would have been an easier way for the author to fully describe the story without having used as many numbers as were used.
It does not appear that the writer had to actually do any math, but used numbers straight from studies that had recently being conducted, results were used directly from the tests that he mentions.
The sources of the numbers are not clearly stated, making it a bit difficult to the reader to determine what tests exactly produced what results or percentages. The sources were not listed completely.

New York Town Creates Own Department Store

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By: Megan Gosch

A small New York town recently opened a department store created with funds raised by community members to prevent the building of a Wal-Mart.
Citizens of Saranac Lake, a town near the Adirondacks, banded together to create their own department store, after the local Ames department store went out of business in 2002, reported the New York Times. Local residents bought shares in the store for $100 each.
The Saranac Lake Community Store officially opened Saturday, Oct. 29, after five years of work by local residents, in an effort to take control of the community and prevent the planned erection of local Wal-Mart. More than 600 people contributed hundreds of dollars to make the store a reality.
The concept of a locally owned department store was first introduced at a Harrietstown Town Hall meeting in 2006 by the owner of another community-owned department store. Shares for the store were sold as early as 2007, reported the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, with the goal of raising $500,000.
The Community Store now offers a variety of apparel, craft supplies, and bedding, with a home goods section in the making and expected to be complete by Nov. 19th.

Minneapolis Target of 17 Arson Cases

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By: Megan Gosch
The Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis was the location of 17 intentional fires that were discovered Friday night, according to Minneapolis police.
Within a 13-block area, 17 fires were intentionally started, the first of which was reported as early as 8:30 p.m., according to police. The fires destroyed bags of leaves as well as two garages and three vehicles, reported the Pioneer Press.
Most of the fires, which were lit near the West River Parkway, appear to have been started with bags of raked leaves. At least 10 fires were started with leaf piles and garbage, reported the Star Tribune.
Although police have questioned several people from the area, no one has been arrested in relation to the fires. Sgt. Bill Palmer of the Minneapolis Police Department has not identified a possible motive behind the string of fires.
Authorities have advised that citizens avoid putting garbage bags on the street until the morning of garbage collection to potentially avoid another arson spree.

Man Shot and Killed in South Minneapolis

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By: Megan Gosch
A man was found shot and killed in south Minneapolis Saturday night, after reports of an argument were received by Minneapolis police.
The body of the victim was found around 10:15 p.m. near the intersection of 44th Street East and 33rd Avenue S by police, reported the Star Tribune.
Police reported several 911 calls concerning the sound of an argument in the street and the sound of several gunshots before the man was found.
A man and his girlfriend heard 5 gunshots and ran outside, where they found the man with gunshot wounds in the chest and face. The woman proceeded to give the victim CPR, but he died in her arms as she tried to resuscitate him, reported KSTP.
Homicide officers are investigating the shooting but have made no arrests in relation to the case, said Sgt. William Palmer.

Penn State Football Coach Fired, Unable to Finish Season

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By: Megan Gosch

Joe Paterno, Penn State University's head football coach of 46 years, was fired Wednesday night in relation to the sex abuse scandal involving the former assistant coach.
Paterno, who had announced early Wednesday that he would be retiring at the end of the season, will be replaced by Tom Bradley, the defensive coordinator, reported the New York Times.
Graham B. Spanier, Penn State's President, was also fired in relation to the scandal involving the school's former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Spanier was removed by the Board of Trustees for failing to fully address the scandal and taking precautionary measures to prevent further assaults.
Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over the course of 15 years. Spanier and Paterno were aware of the assaults for some time and failed to take forceful action in removing Sandusky.
After the announcement of Paterno's dismissal, over a thousand angry Penn State students stormed the university administration building, chanting "hell no, Joe won't go," reported the Guardian.

Mexico's Second in Command Killed in Copter Crash

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By: Megan Gosch

Mexico's Secretary of Interior and seven others were killed Friday in a helicopter crash, possibly caused by fog or bad weather.
Francisco Blake Mora, 45, was killed when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in an area of low clouds and poor visibility, reported the New York Times. The exact cause of the crash is still unknown.
Felipe Calderon, the Mexican President, delivered the announcement of the crash, stating that there was no evidence of foul play and was likely caused by bad weather.
Mora, considered the second in command in Mexico's government, was the face of the antidrug campaign during the height of Mexico's drug related violence. Calderon stated that "I am convinced that the best way to honor his generosity and loyalty...is to intensify the struggle," reinforcing the government's efforts to control Mexico's drug wars, reported the Washington Post.
Dionisio Perez Jacome, Mexico's Transportation Secretary, has asked American and French aviation experts for help in investigating the crash.
Seven others were also killed in the crash, including Felipe Zamora, Mexico's undersecretary for legal affairs and human rights.

Analysis: Obituaries

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By: Megan Gosch
When reading the obituary of Norman Ramsey, reported in the New York Times article "Norman Ramsey Dies at 96; Work led to the Atomic Clock," it is clear that the traditional obituary structure is used.
The sources used for this article include his wife Ellie, Leon M. Lederman (the director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory), Isidor Isaac Rabi (physicist), Daniel Kleppner (professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Gerald Gabrielse (a colleague of Ramsey's and a physics professor at Harvard.
The lead for this article does fit with that of a standard obituary, stating Ramsey's name, why he is notable, when and where he died, and how old he was at the time of death. This lead works because it is very straight-forward and is to the point, letting the reader know why they should care about the person lost.
This article differs from a resume in that it focuses on who Ramsey was as a person as well as his accomplishments and skills.

Visting Student Jailed Without ID

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By: Megan Gosch

A college student was arrested early Saturday, October 22nd, for failing to produce an ID after being ticketed for trespassing in Riverside Park.
Samantha Zucker, a 21-year-old senior at Carnegie Mellon University, was walking through Riverside Park in New York City with a friend when she was approached by a police officer and ticketed for trespassing after the park's closing. Zucker did not have her drivers license with her at the time and was arrested for two days.
Zucker, who had forgotten her ID at a nearby hotel, was not allowed by the arresting officer to send her friend the retrieve her license. She was immediately handcuffed, arrested, and spent two nights in jail, reported the New York Times.
Zucker and her friend were visiting New York City with a group of students from Carnegie Mellon while looking for jobs in design industries, reported the New American.
Police officer Durrell of the 26th Precinct has been attributed to the case, which was dismissed within a minute of review by a judge.

Gambling Preferred for Funding New Stadium

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By: Megan Gosch

A local poll suggests that Minnesotans would rather use new forms of gambling to fund a new Vikings stadium than implement a tax increase.
The Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that public support for stadium funding favored the use of lottery scratch-off games and electronic pulltabs in bars, reported the Star Tribune. A total of 807 Minnesotan adults were polled, with 56 percent opposed to the use of public money for stadium finances.
Governor Mark Dayton has met with other lawmakers to discuss the proposed construction of a new Vikings stadium, reported Kare 11. They have agreed that state money should not be used to fund the potential stadium.
Morrie Lanning, of the House of Representatives, is in favor of gambling as a potential source of funds. "It seems to me that the only way we're going to be able to get the support we need for a facility like this, and get the revenue we need, is through gaming being some part of it," said Lanning.
While gambling is one of several alternatives for funding of a new stadium, other factors, such as a location for the proposed stadium, must be decided first.

North Minneapolis Found Shot in Crashed Car

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By: Megan Gosch

The death of a Minneapolis found Saturday in a crashed vehicle with apparant gunshot wounds is currently under investigation, according to Minneapolis police.
Police found a crashed car at 43rd and Girard avenues north around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon after receiving 911 calls reporting the sound of gunshots and the scene of a car crash. Inside the car was a man who appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound, reported the Pioneer Press.
The man was taken to North Memorial Medical Center where he later died. The identity of the man has yet to be released, reported the Star Tribune.
It is unclear whether the man was shot while driving his car, causing him to crash, or whether he had been shot outside the car and was fleeing for safety or to possibly retrieve medical help, said police.
No suspects were in custody Saturday in relation to the incident.
Police are requesting help from anyone with possible information about the incident, to contact a local tips line.

Man Sues Photographer, Attempts to Recreate Wedding

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By: Megan Gosch

A recently divorced man is suing the company that he hired to photograph and record his wedding, demanding a refund for the services as well as an additional sum to recreate the original wedding.
Todd J. Remis has filed suit against H&H Photographers for failing to shoot the final 15 minutes of his 2003 wedding to his now ex-wife Milena Grzibovska, including the celebration's last dance and the bride's bouquet toss. Remis has pursued legal action against the company for a refund of the original $4,100 paid for the service, and $48,000 to recreate the wedding with a different photographer, reported NBC New York.
Remis and Grzibovska were legally separated in 2008 and officaly divorced in 2010. Grzibovska has returned to her home country of Latvia since the separation, reported the New York Times. Remis intends to fly Grzibovska back to America for the recreation of the wedding.
Remis complaints stated in the lawsuit included not only the missing final 15 minutes of the wedding, but also "unacceptable" photos in aspects of color, lighting, poses and positioning. Remis was also under the impression that the video recording of the wedding would be of the entire six hours of the wedding, while the actual video was only two hours in length.
Justice Doris Ling-Cohan from the State Supreme Court of Manhattan assessed the case, allowing the lawsuit to continue as a violation of Remis' original contract with the company.

Chinese Cricket Fights are Revived Tradition

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By: Megan Gosch

A renewed trend of training and fighting crickets has caught on in and around China's capital city of Beijing as a past time for the young and old.
Cricket fighting, a tradition that dates back as far as the Tang Dynasty, was once banned during China's Cultural Revolution, and has made an overwhelming comeback with fights projected on giant public screens and cricket-related sales steadily increasing, reported the New York Times.
The ideal fighting crickets are often found in the eastern province of Shandong, where they are purported to be the biggest specimens, reported the Associated Foreign Press. Crickets can also be purchased for as little as a few dollars or for hundreds of dollars in local markets.
The fighters, only males, are kept in clay pots, checked on frequently, and are spoiled with a variety of food from soya beans and carrots to shrimp and goat liver. They may even receive herbal baths before a fight.
Fighting crickets are kept company by several different female partners with the belief that frequent sex will keep the potential fighter strong and healthy. Owners also provide the fighter with several partners the night before a fight to prepare the cricket.
During cricket fighting season, which lasts anywhere from the middle of summer into the autumn months, owners enter their crickets in tournaments. The crickets are weighed and assigned an opponent based on their weight class.
Before a fight, the crickets are teased by their owners running a piece of hay or grass along their their body and antennae to agitate them, and are then dropped in a "ring." The opposing crickets face off, grab at each other, and the loser quickly retreats to a corner of the ring.
Although betting on the fights is illegal, police have recently broken up several back-room fights resulting in the arrests of many owners and gamblers as well as the seizing of many crickets meant for future fights.

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