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

March 2013 Archives

The obituary written for Richard Griffiths by the New York Times maintains the traditional obituary template used by the Times. The lead starts out summarizing some unique associations with Griffiths's life, and then ends with how old he was at the time of death.

The reporter quoted interviews Griffiths did during his lifetime, as well as quotations from people he worked with during his theater days, and cast members from the Harry Potter series. This helps the reader to get more of a personal connection to Griffiths, because if the obituary lacked these quotations, the reader wouldn't have any voice to his life.

The news value most apparent in this obituary is novelty because the obituary will inevitably be read by the millions of people who enjoyed the Harry Potter series. Timeliness is also evident in this obituary, as the final Harry Potter film premiered last year, so this provides a sad closure to fans of the series.

This differs from a resume in that it discusses some parts of Griffiths's personal life, his upbringing, and how he reacted to common situations in his life (i.e. how he dealt with his weight). A resume would focus more on strictly the professional aspect of his life, and most personal information would be considered irrelevant.

Bird flu kills two men in China

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Two men, ages 27 and 87, who contracted the H7N9 virus in February have died in China, BBC News said.

There is less known about this particular strain of the virus, but it is known that it's rare for the spread to transfer from human-to-human contact, CBS News said.

The World Health Organization has no reason to believe that this strain was contracted by human contact, nor that any of the people in close contact with the victims are infected with the virus.

The Joao Havelange Stadium was closed indefinitely Tuesday because of its roof's structural problems, NBC News said.

The stadium in Rio de Janeiro, built in 2007, was discovered to have structural problems. Rio's mayor, Eduardo Paes, said that it could present a risk for spectators of the Olympics in 2016, BBC News said. The stadium has been closed until there are more details available. Paes said the situation wasn't acceptable, and those responsible will be held accountable.

The father accused of killing his three daughters last summer in River Falls may change his plea Wednesday to guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, the Pioneer Press said.

Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide of his three daughters, aged five, eight, and 11. The accusations claim that Schaffhausen cut the girls' throats while visiting them July 10, 2012, while his ex-wife was at work, the Star Tribune said.

Defense attorney John Kucinski said that he thinks they'll change the plea to guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to have an insanity phased trial, rather than the not guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect which was plead in January.

Service stretching from Lakeville to Bloomington is, pending approval Wednesday, scheduled to begin operation June 22, Apple Valley-Rosemount Patch said.

The Cedar Avenue busway is meant to copy the light rail, with special shoulder lanes dedicated to buses. The busway, named the Red Line, will connect with the Hiawatha light rail, soon to be the Blue Line, the Star Tribune said.

Emaciated boy, 4, found with dead mother

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Police found a 4-year-old boy in an apartment Tuesday with the body of his dead mother, who appeared to have been dead for about five days CBS News said.

The boy's condition was due to his inability to open the refrigerator door. A maintenance worker reported a bad odor coming from the apartment to police, which is when the boy and his mother were found, the Pioneer Press said.

Police don't suspect foul play. The boy attempted to help his mother, police said, because there were "little hand prints" on her body.

Group sentenced for fake marriage

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A group of five people was sentenced Thursday on charges of taking part in false marriages, ITV News said.

The group in connection to the act, Amanda Nolan, 28, Jason Proctor, 40, Kevin Donnelly, 34, Denny Wallace, 22, and Gemma Nelson, 28, were arrested due to claims that they married Vietnamese immigrants wanting legal status in the United Kingdom, BBC News said.

Proctor and Donnelly were sentenced to ten months in jail, while Nolan, Wallace, and Nelson were given suspended prison sentences.

The group took pictures of their "wedding," and convinced the courthouse that the marriages were real. Police were tipped onto the mystery surrounding the "marriage" when Nolan left the country the day after his supposed wedding.

A father accused of killing his six children in a house fire admitted Wednesday that in the hours following his children's deaths, he had a threesome in his minibus with his wife and a man also accused of the children's deaths, BBC News said.

The man, Mick Philpott, 56, of Derby, England, said that after realizing his house had burned down and his children were dead, he tried to cope with the situation by having sex and smoking cannabis, the Huffington Post UK said.

Philpott, his wife, Mairead, 31, and a third defendant and friend of the family, Paul Mosley, 46, have each denied the six individual counts of manslaughter. The three defendants claim that they couldn't get to the children in time, and the house fire was an accident.

Ohio rape trial begins

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The alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl that occurred last summer in Steubenville, Ohio, goes to trial Wednesday, The New York Times said.

The alleged attackers, Trenton Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, are going to be charged as juveniles. Prosecutors say that the girl was raped twice in one night, after images surfaced on Instagram that showed the girl intoxicated beyond consent.

The case has gone national due to the explosion of social media coverage, BBC News said. The small town has become divided: people who posted information on social media sites have been threatened for their lives, while other members of the community have held protests arguing that the boys should be tried as adults.

At a vigil in north Minneapolis Tuesday evening, a drive-by shooter shot at two men and injured them, causing them to be taken to North Memorial, Fox News said.

The men's injuries aren't critical, and police said no arrests have been made.

The vigil was in honor of Haywood Eaton, who was shot and killed in a fight in the parking lot of a nearby Minneapolis Burger King in 2009, the Star Tribune said. Stephanie Eaton, the honoree's mother, said that she saw a red car drive past the memorial service and started shooting.

The 53-year-old Coon Rapids man charged with videotaping boys 8- to 12-years-old in an Anoka County YMCA was also charged Friday with videotaping boys of the same age at Mariucci Arena's bathroom in 2011, the Pioneer Press said.

After complaints from a 12-year-old boy at the Andover YMCA stating that he saw someone recording over his bathroom stall, police investigated and found Robert Dennis Minor to be the suspect, Kare 11 said.

Minor's computer was searched which uncovered more pictures of young boys. He is in Hennepin County jail on $75,000 bail.

An article by Reuters summarized a speech by Barack Obama that took place on Feb. 12. The reporters started the article with the lead, which summed up the argument that Obama was trying to make throughout the speech: economic fairness for the middle class.

By reading the rest of the article, the reporters referenced direct quotations from Obama's speech. The reporters made sure to provide context, like when they wrote, "It was the second time in a few weeks that Obama has used a major occasion to show a new, bolder side, coming after his inaugural speech in January when he offered a strong defense of gay rights and put climate change back on the agenda." Without this knowledge, the reader not up-to-date with political speeches may not have been able to understand why this speech could be considered controversial to the Republican party.

The reporters went on to describe the reactions to Obama's speech, highlighting House Speaker John Boehner's response, as well as Florida Senator Marco Rubio's response. This allowed the reader to be assured that the atmosphere of the speech wasn't just influenced by the reporters' contextual ideas.

A law signed Friday by South Dakota's governor Dennis Daugaard says that school employees can carry a gun while on the job, the New York Times said.

The law, which is not mandatory for teachers to abide by, had mixed reactions by teachers. Some teachers have wanted a law of this type since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012, while others are worried it will create more accidental shootings, the Star Tribune said.

South Dakota does not appear to be the only state that wanted a law like this to pass. Georgia, New Hampshire and Kansas are looking to enact similar measures.

New estimates from England's National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), suggest that England's population of users 35 and under of heroin and crack cocaine is plummeting, The Guardian said.

The report said that England's treatment system helped to decrease the amount of users. Paul Hayes, chief executive of the NTA, said that though evidence suggests that drug use amongst people 35 and under is decreasing, there is also evidence that describes drug treatment in people over 35 is increasing. He added that it is especially hard to help users 35 and older because they have been using drugs for a longer amount of time, and are often more frail than their younger peers, BBC News said.

Christie Prody, a Moorhead native, was sentenced Tuesday for a felony robbery charge in North Dakota, the Star Tribune said.

Prody was given a four-year suspended prison term and two years of supervised probation after entering a plea Monday. She was accused of trying to steal a woman's purse in November in a mall in Fargo, a city near Moorhead, the Pioneer Press said.

Prody began a 13-year relationship with Simpson in 1996 after he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife in 1994.

The 17-year-old boyfriend, Anthony Mitchell, of murdered Anna Hurd, 16, was charged Wednesday with her second-degree murder, MPR said.

Hurd's body was found on Feb. 23 in a Maplewood park. Prosecutors are going to try to charge Mitchell as an adult for the crime, the Star Tribune said.

An autopsy discovered that Hurd died of multiple stab wounds. Hurd's family said that Mitchell acted sympathetic and deeply hurt by her death, even going so far as to attend her memorial service.

The ongoing trial in Oxford regarding the alleged rape and prostitution of children revealed Monday that one of the six girls said she was "off her head" on drugs and alcohol, BBC News said.

One of the girl's roommates said that the girl told her before that she was "plied with alcohol and forced against her will to have sex with more than one different bloke." The girl went on to reveal that she was raped by a man referred to as Jammy, Oxford Mail said.

The girl said that she had sex with the men because she was afraid of what might happen if she refused.

All nine men accused deny all 51 counts that total 79 charges.

Analysis: New York cannibalism case

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(I accidentally did last week's analysis on the prompt that's due for this week, so I'm now doing last week's prompt. Sorry for the inconvenience!)

In the BBC's first run of this story, the lead is dramatic. Because the audience hadn't heard of the story prior to this, the author probably felt that there needed to be some intense diction. By the time there was a second article covering the story, the author managed to move a lot of the information that was provided later in the first article, towards the top of the second article. The second article focuses more on the link to the UK, so the author gets a lot more of the who, what, where, when, and why covered in the beginning so that the story can progress smoother and faster.

In the second article, the author assumes that the audience has already read a bit on the topic and has become familiar with the context. The second article starts referring to the suspect as "Mr Valle" quicker than the first article did, probably because the author feels comfortable addressing the suspect in a more casual manner. The second article is also longer than the first, presumably because there has been more analysis on the story and the author is able to dive more deeply into the content.

A 44-year-old man is suing Texas Andrology Services, and accusing his ex-girlfriend of stealing his sperm to create a now 2-year-old boy, BBC News said.

Layne Hardin claims that the clinic released his sperm to Toby Devall, his ex-girlfriend. Hardin argues that Devall was angry that he broke up with her, and that she stole the sperm to punish him, ABC News said.

Hardin could be expected to pay child support for the child if he's found to be the father.

Hardin had a vasectomy in 2002, but saved sperm beforehand so that he could have children in the future with his now ex-girlfriend, Katherine LeBlanc.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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