October 2009 Archives

Kohls abandons his bid for govenor

Rep. Paul Kohls dropped out of the race for govenor Thursday, leaving more than two dozen candidates still vying for Gov. Tim Pawlenty's place in 2010, according to the Star Tribune.

Kohls placed sixth in Republican straw poll earlier this month and citied the amount of support his opponents have gathered as his reason for dropping out.

Kohls was running on a platform of fiscal conservatism and said he would bring state spending down to its 2004-05 levels.

"I haven't had anybody tell me 'You're a bad candidate,' " Kohls said.

Kohls said he would support the Republican-endorsed candidate at the statewide GOP convention in April, according to the Pioneer Press.

Bids top $37,000 for motorized La-Z Boy

The motorized La-Z Boy that police confiscated in Proctor, Minn. has reached bids on ebay of $37,000 Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

The chair was confiscated from a man, Dennis LeRoy Anderson, 61, who drove it while drunk on his way home from a bar and crashe into a car in the parking lot.

The chair runs on a converted gasoline-powered lawnmower engine, has a sterring wheel, headlights, stereo and cup holders. It can top out at 15-20 mph.

The family of the former owner has also posted an autograghed picture of Anderson riding the chair on ebay to help him pay his legal fees. The highest bid was $405 by late Friday, according to the Pioneer Press.

White House boasts job figures

The White House reported Friday that showed the $159 billion used in grants and loans so far have created or saved about 640,000 jobs, according to the Washington Post.

"The Recovery Act is operating as advertised," said Vice President Joe Biden

More than half of the jobs saved or created in the report were in education, according to the New York Times.

Many republicans have questioned the effectiveness of the stimulus program, citing the 9.8 percent unemployment figure.

Officials also expect there to be errors in the report because the 130,000 recipients of loans and grants are likely to have have overstated or understated jobs.

Senate deal to protect news sources

The Obama administration, leading Denate Democrats and a group of news organizations have reached a deal on legislation Friday that would give more protection reporters that do not identify their sources, according to the New York Times.

Protection would also include unpaid bloggers that gather news.

Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesperson, noted that the Obama administration was "the first administration in history to support media shield legislation."

The Senate Judiciary Committee could take up the altered legislation next week, according to the Washington Post.

Under the bill, a federal judge would weigh the public's right to know versus national security claims made by the government.

Political crisis in Honduras nearing end

The de facto government of Honduras agreed to a deal Thursday that would allow the desposed president Manuel Zelaya to return to office, according to the New York Times.

The agreement is still pending legislative approval.

Zelaya was originally deposited in Costa Rica, then sneaked back into the country on Sept. 21 and has been living in the Brazilian Embassy since. The de facto government had said it would arrest him if he tried to leave.

Zelaya was deposited after disregarding orders from the Supreme Court to abandon a referendum that would rewrite the constitution, according to USA Today.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the deal "an historic agreement."

The agreement would create a power-sharing government and bind both sides to recognize the presidential elections that will be held Nov. 29.

 

 

Analysis: Hennepin County Budget

The agenda was constructed in a bullet or list format, highlighting the important points of the meeting and including everything that was discussed.

The article about it mainly sticks to these main points, but adds more commentary and does not simply reiterate was has already been said.

The article also does not include everything said in the meeting, only weeding out the most important parts( how much the budget costs, where it will go etc..)

The reporter made his story much more easy to read because of the relatively casual language used in it, and how he took the most important parts rather than every detail.

Meeting   Article

NATO Endorses More Troops

Defense ministers from NATO endorsed a proposed plan by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal that would send more troops into Afghanistan Friday, according to the New York Times.

Defense leaders meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia rejected competing proposals to narrow the military efforts to fight the remnants of Al Qaeda.

"The only way to ensure that Afghanistan does not become once again a safe haven for terrorism is if it is made strong enough to resist the insurgency as well, " said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general.

The leaders did not discuss specific troop levels, but the NATO endoresment is likely to add impetus to McCrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Obama administration has been reviewing strategies for the last six weeks, and specific options would be discussed within the next two to three weeks.

 

Schwarzenegger Worries Vikings Fans

The possibility of a new football stadium in Los Angeles has gained momentum as legislation cleared the way one to be built near the city Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the legislation that exempts it from state environmental laws.

The governor also said that the team that would occupy the stadium would not have to come from in state. Developers have looked at bringing the Vikings to California in the past, but the recent developments have caused suspicion that the team will be targeted again.

Vikings vice president for public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley said the team is committed to stay in Minnesota, according to the Pioneer Press.

 

Minneapolis Woman to be Deported

A Minneapolis woman still faces deportment after being released from jail, according to the Star Tribune.

Vietnam native Hoa Nguyen missed a court date after her student visa expired nine weeks ago and was jailed. A judge then refused to reopen her case.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released Nguyen this week, but she will still be deported because of her expired student visa which she got 10 years ago.

Nguyen is a former University of Minnesota graduate student, and met her husband Dan Hanson while they were students at Luther College, according to the Minnesota Daily.

"The punishment we're receiving doesn't fit any of our actions," Hanson said upon his wife's detainment.

Because the deportment order still stands, Nguyen will still leave the country, but on her own terms and will be able to return only once schedules, waivers and petitions are sorted out.

 

Pilots Miss Mark by 150 Miles

NWA pilots are under investigation after they flew about 150 miles past the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport Wednesday, according to the Pioneer Press.

The pilots claimed they were in the middle of a "heated discussion over airline policy" and became distracted.

The A320 they were flying from San Diego had 144 passenfers on board and arrived an hour late.

The plane had dropped out of communication for about 75 minutes, while military jets were put on standby to track it down in the case that the plane had been hijacked. Security officials also boarded the plane when it landed, according to the Star Tribune.

Both the pilot and co-pilot have been suspended.

Public Option May be Added to Bill

Senate majority leader Harry Reid said he may include a government-run health insurance plan in a bill that he will soon take to the Senate floor, Democratic senators said Thursday.

Reid's announcement comes after opinion polls show that a majority of Americans support a government insurance plan and by Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comment that the House would definitely include a public option in its version of the legislation, according to the New York Times.

Reid also stood behind the proposal to give states the option not to participate in a government-run health care system, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Whatever plan Sen. Reid brings to the floor, it will be one he is confident will be supported by 60 senators, enough to avoid a Republican filibuster.

Supporters of the plan say that competition between the government and private insurers will drive down costs, while opponents claim that it will cause too much government involvment.

Analysis: Multimedia

The USA Today home page has a seperate section for video and photo. The New York Times' home page has a section for video on its home page with a tab for a multimedia page with photos.

Both of the photo galleries act as news stories in themselves, as they insert facts about the story along with a caption of what is in the picture.

The video sections provide a brief documentary of the stories, which gives a better idea of what the scene of the news story looks like, how the subjects act....etc.

The photos give a good visual representation of the story, and gives good information about the story as a whole.

Both Photo sections look very similar to each other in format. However, USA Today's section gives photos from random news stories from that day, while the New York Times gives galleries for specific news stories. This could be due to the type of reader each one gets. The USA Today reader might not have time to look at all of the pictures for one story, and would rather look at a picture for all the stories of the day.

The writing in both sections is in the present tense, like in a headline.

3 Pigs at State Fair May Have Had H1N1

3 pigs at a state fair exhibit may have had H1N1 researchers said Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

The research involved the Universites of Minnesota, Iowa, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The discovery potentially marks the first time the virus has been found among U.S. animals.

Officials tested the pigs between Aug. 26 and Sept.1, where they suspect the animals caught the virus from fairgoers, but can't be sure.

U.S. Department of Agriculture said the pigs "showed no signs of illness and were apparently healthy," according to the Pioneer Press.

Officials made sure to clarify that while they are not sure what has happened to the pigs, people can not get the virus from eating pork.

Snowe, Committee Passes Health Care Legislation

The Senate Finace Committee approved leglislation that would overhaul the health care system Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine was the only Republican to cast her vote along with all 13 Democrats. All nine other Republicans voted against the bill.

The Finance Committee becomes the fifth and final Congressional panel to approve the bill, which will now move to the floors of the House and Senate.

The legislation is to cost an estimated $829 million over 10 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back," President Barack Obama said. "Now is the time to dig in and work even harder to get this done."

Car Bomb Kills 41 in Pakistan

Taliban militants attacked a market using a car bomb in the northwest region of Pakistan Monday, killing at least 41 people, according to the New York Times.

The attack was the fourth against strategic targets across the country in the past week.

The Pakistani military declared that the region, the Shangla District, had been cleared of militants after an offensive this summer.

"This was our first small effort and a present to the Pakistani and American governments," said Azam Tariq, a Taliban spokesman.

Militants also siezed Pakistani army headquarters on Saturday, killing 20 people, according to USA Today.

The standoff ended 22 hours later, when rescuers were able to free 42 hostages.

The attacks show the enduring strength of insurgents in the area, forcing the military to go on the defense.

Analysis: Health Care Bill Gets Green Light in Cost Analysis

The lead in the first gives the results of the cost analysis, while the second focuses on the vote that is planned following the analysis.

The main news is summarized based on the timeliness of the article. For example, the lead in the first gives the latest development, and the second lead gives the latest development while the lead from the first is found in greater detail a couple of paragraphs later.

The first article also hints that Sen. Max Baucus would push for a panel vote, and the next article gives that same paragraph verbatim, except in the past tense.

Similarly, some of the paragraphs found in the first article are also found in the second.

The second article also gives more reaction from lawmakers, probably due to more time to get them, which gives the article more perspective than the first because the reader gets a better idea of the thinking behind the bill.

Articles: Oct. 8, Oct. 7

Obama Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" Friday, according to the New York Times.

The Nobel Committee also recognized his efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The news came as a surprise to top advisors to Obama, who said they had no idea it was coming.

Many are perplexed as to how a man who has not been office for a year can win the same award that Jimmy Carter did in 2002, decades after he left office, according to USA Today.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said, "The real question Americans are asking is "What has President Obama really accomplished?"

Still others, including Rep. Howard Berman D-Calif., are in support of Obama and believes the award validates his approach to tough transnational challenges.

St. Paul Mayor Won't Run For Govenor

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced he will not run for governor of Minnesota Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

The annoucement came after months of testing his popularity while traveling across the state with candidates and assembling a campaign team.

Coleman was considered a major contender to replace Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who will not run for a third term.

Coleman, a Democrat, talked with his mentor former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer for some time about the decision and the pros and cons of both, according to the Pioneer Press.

But ultimately, Coleman decided that his place is in St. Paul.

"My work is here," he said.

 

Senate Sends Agriculture Bill to Obama

The Senate approved a $350 million in aid to dairy farmers as part of a $121 billion agriculture spending bill Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

The bill passed 76-22, and President Obama is expected to sign it soon.

$60 million will cover federal purchases of surplus cheese and other dairy products, while the remaining $290 million will go directly to farmers.

The bill was welcomed by lawmakers in the Midwest and Northeast, where farmers have suffered from low milk prices amid tough economic times.

Vote on Health Care Bill Scheduled

The Senate Finance committee will vote on a bill that will bring major changes to the health care system next Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

The vote would be the last obstacle before the legislation can hit the floor of the House and Senate, which could be as early as this month.

The announcement from Nevada Senator and Democratic majority leader Harry Reid came one day after the highly anticipated cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office said that the bill would provide health care to 29 million uninsured Americans while reducing the federal deficit by reducing spending on spending on health care.

The health care overhaul will cost about $829 million, according to the Washington Post.

The bill still faces significant criticism, as Reid accused opposing Republicans of being "partisan protestors" rather than "productive partners" in a speech on the Senate floor.

 

Socialists are victorious in Greece

The Greek socialist party has defeated the center-right government in national elections in a landside Sunday.

With 88 percent of the vote counted, the Socialist Pasok party was leading  the New Democracy party 44 percent to 34 percent, which will give them a comfortable majority in Parliament, according to the New York Times.

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has also stepped down as leader of the New Democracy Party after suffering the worst defeat in the party's history.

New Prime Minister George Papandreou was sworn in Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

The new leader's main concern will almost certainly be fixing an ailing economy, using a proposed stimulus package of euro3 billion.

Analysis: Senators Reject Pair of Public Option Proposals

The reporters have organized the information into what happened, what the bills proposed and other details of the votes, and what the actual vote tally was

From there, they continue to give specific reasons why individual Senators voted they way they did.

In this way, it is helpful to know what happened right away, then the details of the votes, and then why it happened later on. This is the best way to write this story because knowing why it happened right away would only confuse the reader.

Giving the reader the "why" is very important because it gives the reader a better idea of why they feel that the bills are sufficient or not sufficient, and what are the main problems with the proposed plans.

They end with what the Senators plan on doing, giving the reader some sort of an idea of what is going to happen next.

 

Health Care Reform Heads to Floor Debate

Big changes in health care are closer than ever with the Senate Finance Committee set to approve its bill this week, which will send it to both houses of Congress, according to the New York Times.

Democrats are confident that they will be able to pass a bill this year that would give millions of uninsured Americans subsidized health benefits.

Various plans are being projected to cost $900 billion to $1.6 trillion over 10 years, according to the Associated Press.

President Obama said that major changes in health care would help small businesses and create jobs, and called the overhaul "a critical step in rebuilding our economy."

Democrats are still divided on whether or not to create a government run insurance company to compete with private insurers, as two different bills are likely to be presented with the public option on it and one without.

 

State Supreme Court Rejects Jones' Appeal Request

The state Supreme Court declined former University Minnesota football player Dominic Jones an appeal request for his sexual assault conviction Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

Jones was accused of raping a women rendered physically helpless after a night of heavy drinking in 2007.

Jones and his lawyer, Earl Gray, appealed his conviction of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in July, but the court held up its 2008 ruling.

Gray contended in April that Jones had been "given an unfair trial" because the testimonies of other Gopher football players that were present the night of the incident were not allowed due to rape shield laws, according to the Minnesota Daily.

 

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