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April 26, 2009

Poll Shows Minnesotans Think Coleman Should Concede

In a new Minnesota Poll released today, nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans think Norm Coleman should withdraw from the U.S. Senate race.

The Poll, released in the Star Tribune, showed that 64 percent of responders believed that Coleman should accept the recount trial verdicts.

Conversely, 28 percent of people thought that Coleman's appeal to the trial was "acceptable".

April 19, 2009

New Campaign Pledges a Dollar for Every Day Norm Coleman Remains in Senate Race

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a new group working to get certain candidates elected, has started a new protest campaign against Norm Coleman.

According to the New York Times, the movement, titled “Dollar A Day””, the campaign urges democrats to donate one dollar for every day that Norm Coleman refuses to withdraw from the Minnesota Senate Race.

The email, sent to the mailing lists of the Change Campaign and Howard Dean’s Democracy for America, urges voters to donate for every day Coleman “refuses to concede.”

“Think about how this Dollar A Day will change the game,” the e-mail message continues. “If thousands of people sign up, and Republicans up for re-election in 2010 see the progressives who are out to defeat them get an infusion of donations each day that Coleman is obstinate, what do you think will happen?”

In a response to the new campaign, Tom Erickson, a spokesman for Coleman, repeated the accusation that Al Franken owes money in back taxes and suggested that the campaign should pay for them.

April 9, 2009

Simpsons Get Own Stamps

Famed TV family “The Simpsons” can add another item of merchandise to its ever-expanding list. Come May 7, the prime-time family will be featured on the newest series of stamps released by the U.S. Postal Service, Reuters reports.

Series creator Matt Groening said that being on a stamp was “the biggest and most adhesive honor ‘The Simpsons’ has ever received.”

The set of five stamps will feature each member of the Simpsons’ family, and fans are encouraged to go online and vote for their favorite family member.

Producer James L. Brooks commended the postal service on their choice.

“We are emotionally moved by the Postal Service selecting us rather than making the lazy choice of someone who has benefited society," Brooks told CNN.

April 5, 2009

30 Die from Three Separate Incidents in Pakistan

Around 30 people lost their lives Saturday in Pakistan, which saw two suicide attacks and a suspected U.S. missile strike.

Around 12 people died when a truck carrying explosives was fired on by security forces at the tribal region of North Waziristan, CNN reports. Officials say the truck blew up before it rammed into the checkpoint, killing bystanders and pedestrians, including several children, at around 1:30 p.m.

A second bombing occurred when the bomber walked to a vehicle security checkpoint in Islamabad and blew himself up. Six people died, police spokesperson Bin Yamin told CNN.

From 12 to as many as 18 people were killed by suspected U.S. missile strikes in northwest Pakistan, local sources told CNN. The airstrike targeted a home in the village of Datakhel.

March 29, 2009

Man Rows Across Atlantic

25-year-old Paul Ridley has completed his quest to row across the Atlantic Ocean, CNN Reports.

Ridley completed his trip on the 88th day, becoming the youngest American to do so. He spoke to CNN after landing.

“I’m exhausted. Overwhelmed with all the excitement from my arrival,” Ridley said. His voyage was full of bouts of sea sickness and equipment failures.

Ridley was rowing in order to raise money for cancer research, a goal he started after his mother died from skin cancer in 2007. He had hoped to raise $500,000, but he completed his journey with still over $400,000 dollars to raise.
“I will be back to fundraising because cancer research is still in need of funding, so we have a lot of work to do.” Ridley told CNN.

March 14, 2009

CEO Says 45 Percent of World's Wealth has Been Destroyed

Private equity group Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman said Tuesday that up to 45 percent of the world’s wealth had been destroyed by the current financial crisis.
“This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime,” Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society. “"Between 40 and 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half.”

However, he added that the U.S. government is committed to preserving financial institutions and will do whatever It takes to restart the economy, according to Reuters.

Schwarzman also said that there was one sector that was partially responsible for the current crisis.

"What's pretty clear is that, if you were looking for one culprit out of the many, many, many culprits, you have to point your finger at the rating agencies," he said.

Asked about good investment opportunities, Schwarzman noted that it made sense to by cyclical names, which have less exposure to the economic cycles.

March 8, 2009

Frozen Body Found On Ham Lake Golf Course

A body found encased in ice on a Ham Lake golf course remains unidentified, according to the Associated Press.

Friday, groundskeepers at Majestic Oaks Golf Course discovered the body frozen in around 2 feet of water. Authorities worked throughout the day, using industrial steamers from the Anoka County Highway Department to free it from the ice.

The body appears to have been in the water since before the firs November freeze, Lt. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office told the Star Tribune.

Investigators found a wallet on the body but will not identify it until an autopsy is conducted. Authorities say it can take two days for the body to thaw enough to allow an autopsy to be conducted.

Although the head and face were badly damaged, officials believe the body is a man’s based on the type of clothing.

March 1, 2009

Government Commits $30 Billion to AIG

The U.S. government agreed to give $30 billion to struggling insurer American International Group Inc, Reuters reported Sunday.

AIG’s board approved a new support package that includes a lower interest rate on its government credit line and more lenient terms on a government investment in its preferred shares.

This will be the third time that the government has stepped in to help AIG stay afloat. The global reach of the company may mean that it is too big to let fail. AIG is expected to report a fourth-quarter loss of over $60 billion dollars.

"The government really does not have the option of letting AIG totally blow up,"Robert Haines, senior insurance analyst at CreditSights, told Reuters.

The government has already been blamed by many for prolonging the financial crisis by allowing Lehman Brothers to fail. AIG is the second large company in a week to receive governmental assistance. Last week, the government agreed to increase its equity stake in Citigroup Inc to around 36 percent in an effort to help the bank.

February 22, 2009

Teen Vanishes on Way to School

A California teenager remains missing a week after she vanished on her way to school.

Last Friday, Amber DuBois, 14, left her house around 7 a.m., headed for school. Somewhere along the way, she disappeared. Her cell-phone was turned on for about 20 seconds but hasn’t been on since, Escondido Police Department spokesman Lt. Bob Benton told CNN.

“She’s a wholesome kid,” DuBois’ mother, Carrie McGonigle, told CNN. “She doesn’t run amok like most teenagers. She did not run away, I guarantee it.”

Police suspect DuBois was abducted.

"We don't know the circumstances of her disappearance or the person she was walking with, but being 14 years old and missing as long as she has without ever having gone missing before is very suspicious," Benton said according to CNN.

A classmate reported seeing DuBois a week ago Sunday, walking with an unknown person about a half a mile from her home.
Both McGonigle and her live-in boyfriend have taken, and passed, polygraph tests and other relatives are now being interviewed as well. The FBI is now assisting the Escondido Police in the ongoing investigation.

McGonigle is still in shock over the whole situation.

"I go to sleep thinking she's going to be walking in my room any minute saying, 'Mom, I'm back.' But now it's just becoming a numb feeling,” she told CNN.

February 15, 2009

Fireball Spotted In the Sky Above Texas

Several people reported seeing a fireball in the sky over Texas Sunday morning, the Associated Press reports.
The Federal Aviation Administration received numerous calls Sunday morning from people reporting sonic booms and what appeared to be a fireball streaking across the morning sky. The calls came from an area that included Dallas and Austin.
The incidents are believed to be space debris re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The debris is the result of a collision between U.S. and Russian satellites that took place on Tuesday above Siberia.
The satellites collided at around 6 miles per second, an impact that could produce between 500 and 600 pieces of space debris, the U.S. Strategic Command told CNN.
The FAA had issued a warning to U.S. pilots Saturday that told them to watch for “falling space debris? CNN announced.
Currently there have been no reports of ground strikes or aircraft interference, the FAA said.

February 8, 2009

St. Paul Woman Files Lawsuit Based on Voodooism

A St. Paul woman has withdrawn her case alleging another woman was using voodoo against her.
Mary Nabila Muma had filed a federal lawsuit against her ex-husband, Marcellus Muma, in which she accused another woman of using voodoo to steal him away from her.
The Star Tribune reported Sunday that the lawsuit had been dropped due in part because of a trip to a private retreat Nabila Muma took.
Nabila Muma also attributed the withdrawal to an accident she experienced.
“The police officers and all the people who saw the car and the scene of the accident instantly said that was divine intervention,? she told the courts, according to the Star Tribune, “"I feel that God wants me to withdraw the case and hand Marcellus over to him."

February 1, 2009

Phelps Issues Public Apology For Conduct

Michael Phelps issued a public apology Sunday, one day after the British tabloid News of the World published a photograph of Phelps smoking from a marijuana pipe.
“I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,? Phelps, a gold-medal swimmer, said in a statement printed by Reuters.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency will not be taking any disciplinary action against Phelps.
“Marijuana, right or wrong, is not prohibited out of competition. Obviously if he showed up at an event and tested positive we would take full action against him.? said Travis Tygart, chief executive of the USADA, in a phone interview with Reuters “Obviously it is very disappointing and a terrible decision by Michael, to a certain extent, he let down the world."
The U.S. Olympic committee expressed similar disappointment, saying in a statement that “Our Olympic champions are role models who are looked up to by people of all ages, especially young athletes who have their own aspirations and dreams,"
Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals in the 2008 Olympics, has never failed a doping test.