This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

Analysis: Data sets article

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By Kiera Janzen

The website for the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting had an article on its "Extra! Extra!" blog where the reporter used and analyzed records and data sets for a story about buying and selling guns online.

The reporter used the records, data sets, and information on websites like to produce the story. Theses resources were analyzed to discover how people are illegally advertising and selling guns on websites like

In order to do this reporting, the reporter needed to be able to locate and effectively analyze websites where weapons are being illegally advertised and sold. He or she needed to have certain computer skills that allowed them to carry out this type of analysis that would produce meaningful information for the story.

The news organization did not use online tools, such as interactive graphics, to engage the reader. The article did have links to several websites related and relevant to the story, but interactive graphics would have helped the article to be more interesting, engaging, and easier to understand.

An envelope containing a suspicious substance prompted authorities to evacuate a Wells Fargo building in Shoreview on Thursday, news sources report.

The Pioneer Press reports that authorities arrived on the scene around 2:30 p.m. after a person at the operation center for the bank opened the envelope. The building's security safely evacuated all people before authorities arrived.

According to the Pioneer Press, one person was treated on the scene and then taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Although the person did not show any symptoms at the time, he or she might have come into contact with the suspicious substance.

The Star Tribune reports that the North Suburban Hazardous Materials Team handled the removal of the suspicious substance, which is now being tested by the Minnesota Department of Health.

According to the Star Tribune, the building and surrounding area was decontaminated and cleared by authorities.

Minneapolis fire destroys deli and closes busy street

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A fire broke out in a Minneapolis deli and grocery store early Thursday that destroyed the building, news sources report.

Kare 11 reports that the fire broke out around 3 a.m. in the basement of Chicago Avenue Food and Deli. The fire lasted for a few hours and left the building destroyed.

According to Kare 11, fire alarms at the nearby Children's Hospital went off because the wind blew the smoke over. However, the hospital was not damaged at all.

The Star Tribune reports that the street where the deli is located, Chicago Avenue, will stay closed until fire officials are sure that the situation is completely under control.

According to the Star Tribune, there were no injuries related to the fire. The fire's cause is unknown at this point.

An eight-story building in Bangladesh collapsed Wednesday morning, killing at least 87 people and trapping and injuring hundreds more, news sources report.

The Washington Post reports that the building, near the country's capital, houses multiple garment factories and shops. Some survivors have been rescued by people cutting or drilling holes into the debris, but hundreds are still trapped inside.

According to the Washington Post, some workers said they did not want to go to work because the building had large cracks in it the day before the collapse. However, a building manager told workers that there were no problems with the building.

CNN reports that military and fire personnel, along with police, have been working at the scene. However, rescue progress has been moving slowly as rescuers are working carefully to avoid another collapse.

According to CNN, there are about 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh. The last garment factory building collapse in the country in 2005 resulted in the deaths of more than seventy people.

The hospitalized suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told authorities that his brother created the plan for the attack and that they worked independently of any terrorist groups, news sources report.

CNN reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been unable to speak due to gun shot wounds and a tube down his throat, but he has been writing and using head movements to communicate with authorities regarding the case. Tsarnaev was shot, either when he was arrested on Friday or in an earlier shootout with police, in the head, neck, legs, and hand.

According to CNN, the suspect indicated that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a chase with police on Friday, created the plan for the bombings because of jihadist thought.

NBC News reports that Tsarnaev also told investigators that he and Tamerlan and their plan for the bombings was not connected to any international terrorist group. He said that they learned how to make the bombs that they used on the Internet.

According to NBC News, Tsarnaev was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in the U.S. and malicious destruction of property with an explosive device. If convicted of these charges, he could face the death penalty.

London Marathon pays tribute to Boston Marathon

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Athletes and organizers participating in the London Marathon Sunday paid tribute to the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon last week, news sources report.

The New York Times reports that there were about 35,000 athletes competing in the race, and all stopped for a moment of silence before the race to honor the victims of the Boston bombings. Spectators held American flags and a banner that read "For Boston." Many of the athletes also wore a black ribbon to honor the victims.

According to the New York Times, around 20 people ran in both the Boston and London marathons. The winner of both women's wheelchair races, Tatyana McFadden, said Sunday "was about running for Boston."

CBS News reports that thousands of spectators come to watch the London Marathon each year. As a safety measure, police said they would increase their presence at the race.

According to CBS News, organizers of the race in London planned to donate money to a fund established to help victims of the bombings in Boston.

Boston locked down for manhunt of marathon bomber

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Police placed a lockdown on the Boston area on Friday in order to find the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, news sources report.

NBC News reports that the lockdown included Boston, its suburbs, universities, and transit system. Police are searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

According to NBC News, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, who was also a suspect in the bombings, were attempting to flee from the Boston area after the FBI released pictures of them to the public. While fleeing, the men killed a MIT police officer and stole a car.

CNN reports that Tamerlan, 26, was fatally shot by police during a chase. Authorities say he was wearing explosives and a trigger and both brothers were shooting and throwing explosives out of their car window at police.

According to CNN, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is still on the run and considered by authorities to be dangerous. Boston is the nation's fifth-largest metro area and citizens have been urged by authorities to stay inside and lock their doors and windows.

A group of seven people connected to al-Qaeda was arrested in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, news sources report.

BBC News reports that officials in the United Arab Emirates say the group had plans to attack within the country, threatening its security. The seven people, who are all thought to be Arab nationals, reportedly tried to gain support, both in terms of members and finances, by recruiting and promoting al-Qaeda in the country.

According to BBC News, the United Arab Emirates arrested another group believed to be members of a terrorist organization in December. The United Arab Emirates said that this group planned to attack their country as well as Saudi Arabia.

NBC News reports that the group arrested in December is referred to as a "deviant group." Officials at this point are uncertain whether the "deviant group" is related to the group arrested Thursday.

According to NBC News, the United Arab Emirates is a major oil exporter and a major trading location. The United States is an ally of the country and has worked to help prevent terror and militant violence in the region.

Computer problems stop state math test for thousands

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Computer problems forced the Minnesota Department of Education to stop the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment math test, which thousands of students were taking Tuesday, news sources report.

The Star Tribune reports that the computer server slowed down and caused problems for some of the 15,000 students that were taking the test online. Some could not log in to take the test and some were forced to stop taking the test before they were finished.

Joe Cohen, executive vice president of American Institutes for Research, told the Star Tribune that the cause of the computer problems was identified and that testing will resume tomorrow.

The Pioneer Press reports that 9,000 students were able to successfully take the test. The system will be closely monitored as testing resumes.

According to the Pioneer Press, schools are transitioning to taking all of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests online. Charlene Briner, chief of staff for the Minnesota Department of Education, says that students feel more comfortable taking tests on computers and teachers like the instant feedback the online tests provide.

Authorities searched an apartment in a suburb of Boston late Monday and early Tuesday that may have some connection in the Boston Marathon bombings, news sources report.

CNN reports that law enforcement officials, including bomb experts, searched an apartment in Revere, Mass. Authorities took some items from the apartment but they are not saying if and how the apartment is connected to the attacks. The apartment's tenant, a Saudi citizen in the country with a student visa, is not being suggested or named a suspect at this point.

According to CNN, no warrant was needed for the search. Authorities searched the apartment for any clues that will help them find suspects and motives for the bombings.

CBS News reports that the man living in the apartment was chased and caught by a civilian after he was seen running from one of the explosions. Speaking about the capture and questioning of the man, CBS News senior correspondent John Miller said, "This could mean a lot, or this could mean very little. It's too soon to call him a suspect."

According to CBS News, at least three people were killed and more than 140 were injured Monday in two bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Officials have heightened security at public events and locations across the nation.