December 14, 2008

Firey Accident Leaves One Dead

A blazing car crash killed one person says the Star Tribune and WCCO.

The accident happened Saturday night at the intersection of Highway 252 and 66th street in Brooklyn Center report both publications.

The Star Tribune says that accident occurred at 6:17 p.m. when a car rear-ended another car. This set off a chain-reaction involving five cars.

One of the cars caught fire, and the person in the car burned to death. WCCO says that this person was a male, but the Trib says although suspected to be a male, the gender of the person could not be confirmed because the body was so badly burned.

The victim was driving a 1994 Chrysler Lebaron says WCCO.

The Trib says that one other person was injured, but WCCO says that three others were injured.

Both articles say that the accident was alcohol-related, but the Trib added that no arrests had been made, and WCCO said that the roads were also wet that night.

Zimbabwe Blames West for Cholera

Information Minister Sikhanyiso, an ally to the Zimbabwean President, said on Thursday that he blames the outbreak of cholera in his country western countries report the AHN and BBC News.

The AHN actually attributed the words to Presideent, Robert Mugabe.

Specifically Sikhanyiso called it “a calculated racist terrorist attack on Zimbabwe by the unrepentant former colonial power which has enlisted support from its American and Western allies so that they invade the country.? (AHN)

He also said that the disease is “genocidal onsl aught on the people of Zimbabwe by the British.? (BBC)

The disease has left 792 people dead report both publications. That number is likely to keep rising, and the BCC says that the UN World Health Organization warns it could reach 60,000 if nothing is done to stop the spread of the disease.

US ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee says that people were drinking from sewers, many hospitals remained closed, and there was no trash collection happening in the country. He blames the outbreak on the “political crisis and the failed economic policies of its government? says the BCC.

The AHN says that Zimbabwean government has also suggested that the United States was to blame for the outbreak.

An African bishop likened Mugabe to that of a present day Hitler says that BBC.

“The situation is truly grim. One man and his cronies - Robert Mugabe - are holding this country hostage,? Mr McGee said, AP news agency reports.? (BBC).

Palin's Church Damaged by Fire

The church of Sarah Palin, Alaskan Governor and former vice-presidential nominee, was badly damaged by fire on Friday night says the New York Times and CNN.

The church was located in her hometown of Wasilla say both publications.

The fire caused Sarah to say that she was sorry if the fire was in any way connected to the negative attention the church received since she was the vice-presidential nominee says both NYTimes and CNN.

While the cause of the fire has not been determined, arson is being considered among the possibilities say both publications.

The damage is estimated at around $1 million say CNN and NYTimes.

CNN says that fire started around 9:40 p.m. Friday (1:40 a.m. ET Saturday). The firefighters continued to fight the fire until 5 a.m. on Saturday.

CNN also said that Rev. Larry Kroon said that a ladies craft group was in the church at the time of the fire, but they got out and no one was hurt. He also said that it only adults in the building at the time. Kroon would not say exactly how many people were in the building at the time.

But NYTimes reports that a handful of people, including two children, were in the building at the time of fire, but all got out safely. NYTimes also says that Kroon declined to report of the church had recently received any threats.

Palin stopped by the church on Saturday.

?Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good,? McAllister, Palin’s spokeman, said. (NYTimes)

Settlement Reached With Family Who Home was Mistakenly Raided

The city of Minneapolis reached a settlement deal on Friday with a family who home was mistakenly raided by the police in 2007 says K-SAX and WCCO.

F-SAX says that the Minneapolis City Council approved the settlement of $612,000 that the family will receive. The city said they will also make the rest of the payments on the home of the family, the house which was raided, although the family no longer resides there. The house is located in the 1300 block of Logan Avenue North.

That home was raided by Minneapolis police on Dec. 9, 2007 says K-SAX. They police believed that a gung member of the ‘Rolling 60’s gang’ lived at the house and that the gang member was stockpiling weapons in the house. This information reached the police from a reliable source the K-SAX article says. However, this information proved to be false.

WCCO says that city approved $800,000 for the settlement, and that about $600,000 of that will be paid to the family with the rest paying for the house payments on their house.

WCCO says that the raid occurred one week before Christmas last year. Yee Moua, the mother, called 911 while her husband, Vang Khang grabbed his shotgun when the intrusion started. Khang hit three officers with gunfire, but did not hurt any due to their body armor.

“This warrant was the result of a flawed investigation done by the Minneapolis Police Violent Offender Task Force,? Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffefinger, who represented the family, said. “Shots missed Yee and Vang by less than a foot.? (WCCO)

WCCO says that the informant who gave the police the false information also used a fake name when giving them the information. She, Morgan Ashley Young, is still wanted for a felony prostitution charge.

December 7, 2008

Pilot Killed in Plane Crash

The pilot of a plane that took off from St. Paul died when his plane crashed in Michigan says the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

The plane was headed to Glen Falls, N.Y. say both publications. He was from Lake George, N.Y.

The Star Tribune says that the pilot, whom was never named but said to be a 47-years-old man, was dead at the scene. He was the only person onboard the single-engine plane. He took off in his Cessna 206 at 10:16 a.m. from St. Paul’s Holman Field. The plane crashed southeast of Traverse City, MI at 2:15 p.m. It circled the area for a little while, dipped its wing, and clipped some trees before crashing into a mobile home. Luckily, the occupants were outside shoveling and were not hurt. The plane crashed through their roof and destroyed their house. The Star Tribune also says that National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash.

The Pioneer Press reports some similar information and some different information. They say that the plane crashed in rural Kalkaska County, an area south of Traverse City, MI. The couple, Scott Sanford and Justin Rider, said that the plane “struck the edge of their home before coming to rest near a pole barn.? A section of the plane lodged into the couple’s mobile home. Sheriff Bill Artress said that contact with the plane was lost at 2:20 p.m. The name of the pilot was being withheld as his body was being taken to Grand Rapids for an autopsy Artress said.

Cholera Cases put Zimbabwe in a State of Emergency

Country officials are calling Zimbabwe a “state of emergency? as a cholera breakout has been sweeping though the nation says the BBC and the Times Online.

The Times says that the country’s Prime Minister said that the nation is in a “international state of emergency,? while the BBC said that nation officials made the statement.

The Times says that the disease has taken the lives of 575 people but the BBC puts that number at more than 550.

The outbreak begin in August, and besides the 575 dead, 13,000 others are sick says the Times.

The country is now asking for international help to cue the disease.

“This is now an international rather than a national emergency,? said the Prime Minister. “International because disease crosses borders.? (Times Online)

Making matters worse is that the disease is hitting the nation during an economic meltdown and political stalemate. (BBC)

Urgent help is needed because the disease, which causes extreme dehydration, can kill within 24 if not treated says the Times. With rehydration kits and Cholera testing packets, the disease could be preventable says the Times.

The other problem is that the country has poor water. The capital has been without water since Sunday due to a lack of purification tablets says the BCC. But, the Europeans Commission has promised $12 million worth of clean water and drugs to the country. Great Britain has also pledged an aid package to the country to help stop the spread of the disease says the Times.

However, the good news is that the health minister reports a drop in the number of cases in the each providence except for Harare.

Two of Zimbabwe’s neighboring countries, Botswana and Mozambique, have also reported some cases of the disease says the BBC.

10-year-old Killed in Christmas Parade

A 10-year-old girl was killed during a Christmas parade on Saturday says the Associated Press and KFDM News.

The girl was riding in one of the floats that was apart of the parade says KFDM News. She tripped and hit her head after jumping off the float, and then the float proceeded to run the girl over say witnesses. It was about 7:15 p.m., and the parade was finishing up when the accident occurred. The girl was pronounced dead within minutes of arriving at the hospital with severe head injuries.

That accident happened in Beaumont, TX.

The Associated Press says that it was not the first time the girl had jumped off of the float during the parade route when she fell and hit her head. A police dispatcher said that she been jumping on and off the float throughout the parade route and was repeatedly told to stop. They say that it was the trailer behind the float that hit her.

The AP also reports that according to a Beaumont resident the accident was almost avoided because the parade was close to being cancelled due to the destruction from Hurricane Ike earlier this year. But she says they choose to hold the parade to try and bring some positivity to the town.

The AP says that hundreds were in attendance for the parade, and that former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett, who was temporarily paralyzed during a game last season, was the grand marshall.

December 2, 2008

Flooding in Venice

The city of Venice in Italy is experiencing major flooding reports CNN and Voices of America.

VOA says that flooding is the worst flooding in over 20 years for the city while CNN says it is the worst is the last 22 years.

CNN says that in some parts of the city the water is neck-deep. The famous St. Mark’s square was under nearly a meter of water at one point after water broke though the city’s canals. This height of water grew as strong winds made the water rise to 1.56 meters. When the water reached this level warning were issued to citizens.

After the wind changed direction the water level begin to go down a little bit. The 1.56 meters of water almost made a new record. The last record was from 1989 when the city had 1.58 meters.

The water taxi’s temporality stopped service once the water reached the 1.56 meter mark says VOA.

Other towns also flooded on Monday. These Croatian towns were located on the Adriatic. (VOA) The publication also says that Italian government is working on an expensive project “to help prevent floods from destroying the city.?

CNN also says that if the city doesn’t work to fix this problem it could see daily flooding, and that water level would slowly be permanently rising.

December 1, 2008

Sex in the Metrodome

Two Iowans were cited for indecent conduct at the Metrodome during the Minnesota versus Iowa football last Saturday says WCCO and the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune says that a security officer saw the couple “having relations? in a handicap bathroom stall and found the police after seeing the incident. The police then separated the couple and cited them for misdemeanor indecent conduct. The two people, Ross M. Walsh, 26, and Lois K. Feldman, 38, engaged in the activity while a crowd cheered. Walsh is of Linden, Iowa, and Feldman is of Carroll, Iowa. The police say that both were intoxicated at the time. The police also said that Walsh was released to his girlfriend and Feldman to her husband.

WCCO reports a similar story. They said that about 15 people were gathered watching the couple inside the men’s handicap bathroom stall. They say that the security guard went and got police after he saw two sets of legs beneath the stall with pants and underwear around their ankles. WCCO did not name the two people, and only gave their ages of 26 and 38 years old. The women may have provided the police officers with a fake middle name at the scene. She could be charged with providing false name for this action.

November 30, 2008

Giants Reciever Palxico Burress Shoots Himself in the Leg

Giants football star Plaxico Burress accidently shot himself in the leg Friday night reports the New York Times and

This self-inflicted injury occurred in this right thigh, and is not life threatening says Adam Scheftner of the NFL Network. (

Both publications say that the accident occurred at an unnamed nightclub, and that Burress was released from the hospital on Saturday.

The New York Times also mentioned that the accident occurred four hours after he was told he would not play in the upcoming game on Sunday due to his hamstring injury.

The Giants organization did not say much about the incident because they were still trying to figure the facts and they said the event could end up involving the law enforcement. (NY Times and

This incident added to Burress’s growing list of controversies during the year for the 31-year-old receiver.

He has received multiple fines this year. He was fined $45,000 for verbally abusing an official and tossing a ball into the stands during the Oct. 19 game against the San Francisco 49ers. He was fined $117,500 for missing a team meeting without notifying the team, though he claims it was due to a family emergency. He was also fined $25,000 for not participating in a mandatory mini camp in June. ( The New York Times also says that he was held out of the first quarter of the against the Steelers for failing to get his neck and shoulder injury treated the day before the game. However, his easy-going personality and play making on the field have helped him not to get the boot off the team says the NY Times.

November 29, 2008

All Cigarettes in Minnesota Must Be Fire-Proof Soon

All cigarettes sold in Minnesota must be fire proof starting Dec. 1 says WCCO and The Star Tribune.

These cigarettes make the fire chief happy as the law states that all cigarettes must self-extinguish if left unattended for too long. (Star Tribune)

For the cigarettes to do this they are wrapped in thin bands of less porous paper so the tobacco burns more slowing and eventually will extinguish. (Star Tribune)

This measure is a precaution to help avoid death due to fire and home fires. Cigarettes are the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. said Nyle Zikmund of the Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association. Zimund also said this new law is the most important fire-safety law in the last 30 years. (Star Tribune)

These fire-proof cigarettes are made by all cigarette manufactures said WCCO. They also said that “smoking-related fires are the number one cause of fire deaths across the country.?

WCCO put the cigarettes to the test. They said that the normal cigarette took 16 minutes to burn out while the fire-proof one went out in just three minutes.

WCCO said that the cigarettes are wrapped in thicker paper and that it is the thicker points that act like speed bumps and help to extinguish the cigarette.

“Anything we can do to reduce fires, especially smoking-related fires, I think is a good idea,? Minneapolis Fire Marshall Bryan Tyner said. (WCCO)

Rampage in India by Terrorists Has Ended

The terror rampage is over in Mumbai, India, say officials reports The Associated Press and the TimesOnline.

The 60-hour rampage that killed 195 people ended Saturday say both publications. Of the dead, 18 were foreigners, and six of those were Americans. This toll is also expected to rise as the hotels continued to be cleared out and more bodies are likely to be found inside them says the Times.

The last remaining gunman was located in the burning Taj Mahal hotel says the TimesOnline. He was killed by the Indian commandos.

The AP says that rampage ended on Saturday when the last three gunmen were found in the Taj Mahal and killed by the Indian commandos.

Now that the rampage is over, the question is who is behind the attacks?

A Muslim group that was previously unknown, Deccan Mujahideen, and possibly from India, claimed responsibility for the acts says that AP. But Indian officials didn’t take this claim to heart and instead look at the neighboring Pakistan. It didn’t help the case that the last surviving gunman was from Pakistan. (AP)

The Muslim group said that two of the terrorists were British-born Pakistanis. However, no evidence has been found to support this claim. (Times)

The Pakistan Prime Minister said on Friday that his country was not to blame in the matter, and he promised to help find out who was responsible. (Times)

Some FBI agents have been sent to India to help in the investigation of who committed the attacks says the Times and AP.

This attack on the India was the second deadliest for the nation. The deadliest claimed 257 lives in Mumbai in 1993. That times the city was attacked with serial bombs.

November 28, 2008

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death on Black Friday

Shoppers in New York trampled a Wal-Mart worker to death on Friday as the doors opened at 5 a.m. for the after-Thanksgiving day sales report the International Herald Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

A crowd of 2,000 shoppers waited outside a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, New York (on Long Island), for the store to open at 5 a.m., but that wait was too long for the crowd. They beginning pushing and shoving at 4:55 a.m. and caused the doors to come off their hinges, allowing the shoppers in the store. The employee who died was standing inside the entryway of the store. As the doors broke open frenzied shoppers trampled the man said the International Herald Tribune. They also said the employee had not been identified. He was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. at a local hospital.

The Pioneer Press says that employee was 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour of Queens according to the police. The Press also says that the shoppers left a “section of the metal frame of the door crumpled up like an accordion.? Other employees tried to help the man, and also got trampled in doing. Damour was pronounced dead by doctors at about 6 a.m.

After the employee got trampled, customers were asked to leave due to his death. But the customers refused to abide because they said they had been in line since yesterday morning says the Pioneer Press.

Other people were taken to the hospital for injuries sustained at this Wal-Mart as a result of the “savage? shoppers, also. One of these people was a 28-year-old pregnant woman, though reports say she and baby are ok. (Pioneer Press).

The Herald reports that the line starting forming outside the store at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

“I've heard other people call this an accident, but it’s not,? Nassau County Det. Lieutenant Michael Fleming said. “This certainly was foreseeable.?

November 24, 2008

Chavez power begins to slip with the election

Polls have confirmed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s opposition party has won some important elections according to the BBC and Reuters.

Although Chavez’s socialist party still won elections in 17 of 22 states, the states where it lost were pivotal areas according to the BBC (Reuters says 17 of 20 states). The elections choose over 300 governors and mayors in the country of Venezuela.

The opposition won in states of Miranda and Zulia, both are which are considered key states due to their high electorate says the BBC.

However, these two states also elected the opposition at the last election four years ago, so there was no gain in this election with these states.

But the opposition did gain ground in Caracas says Reuters. The important thing is that opposition now hold control in the areas with the highest concentration of population, which will be crucial in future elections says Reuters.

However, two races were still too close to call say both publications.

The results of these races could change the dynamic of the government further says Reuters. The opposition hopes to end Chavez run for reelection in 2012.

Voter turnout was at 64.5% say officials. (BBC)

The BCC says that both sides believed that the election was a success.

The president names Fidel Castro as a mentor. His country depends on oil for the majority of revenue, which has posed a problem for the country’s economy as the prices for a barrel of oil have continued to slip since July says Reuters.

Man with Swords Shot and Killed at Scientology Centre in LA

A security guard at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angles shot and killed a man who was using two samurai swords on the grounds on Sunday. The Los Angeles Times and Star Tribune both report this story.

The security guard says he fired the gun in an act of self defense and to protect two other security guards. The surveillance tapes confirmed this claim.

“The evidence itself, it’s very, very clear,’ Hara said. “The security officers were defending their safety.? (Star Tribune)

The tapes also showed that the man pulled up the church in a red convertible and then proceeded to advance on the guards with a sword in each hand say both publications.

The LA Times says that the man was shot at 1:30pm, but his name was not released. It was also said that used to be a member of the church.

“There was a previous relationship, but it is unclear to what degree,? Detective Wendi Berndt said.

A 17-year-old who saw the incident described the man with the swords as bald and having tattoos on his arms.

The Star Tribune says that calls to Centre were not immediately returned. But The LA Times says a woman answered the phone saying that she had no information on the matter.

The Centre used to be a hotel for movie stars says the Star Tribune. The LA Times says that the building is one of Hollywood’s most distinctive landmarks.