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

April 2013 Archives

This lengthy article by ProPublica is about the FDA's faulty approval process of drugs available on the market.

I noticed something about the links in the article: nearly all of them went to other parts of propublica.org. This tells me that the website has done a lot of research on this topic, because all of their attribution is from other parts of their site. It also tells me, however, that all of their information has come from their website, which can present some bias.

The writers do a good job of embedding the links within the text so that it's not too difficult to see where they got their sources from. The writers didn't do the best job of web writing because of the massive amounts of text in the article. It's fine if there is a lot to read, but no white space made me feel as if I would never get to the end.

But, the writers also utilize the perks of web writing by integrating information boxes on the sides of the article, and enabling comments so that users can leave feedback or other information that might be pertinent to the topic.

There has been a group of at least 50 workers found alive underneath the building that collapsed Wednesday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, BBC News said.

The group was found trapped in various places of the third floor of the building. Authorities hope to have the survivors freed within a few hours, CNN said.

The collapse has sparked protests across Bangladesh because of poor building quality regulations.

Eleven hurt in bus crash

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A freight train struck a bus Friday carrying senior citizens and people with developmental disabilities, the Miami Herald said.

The crash happened in Evans City, Penn., which is about 25 miles from Pittsburgh. Authorities said that 10 people and the driver of the bus were injured. The crash occurred at a reportedly unmarked railroad crossing, the Pioneer Press said.

Police are investigating if morning fog contributed to the collision.

Tsarnaev moved to prison

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Suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was released Friday from the civilian hospital he was being treated at, and moved to prison, the Pioneer Press said.

Tsarnaev was moved to Federal Medical Center Devens, a facility that treats special prisoners who require longterm medical attention. The facility is about 40 miles from Boston, BBC News said.

He was previously at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the same hospital that many of the victims of the Boston bombing were at. It is reported that the victims were uncomfortable knowing Tsarnaev was in the same building as them.

A student at Sheboygan South High School has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis and quarantined, the Sheboygan Daily said.

Nearly two dozen students are being tested for the disease, because they were in contact with the infected student. Tuberculosis outbreaks are rare in Wisconsin, and throughout the United States.

The Pioneer Press said that the student discovered their condition when a family member went to a clinic and found out they had it.

A Twin Cities radio host has lost advertising and received criticism for a comment that he said April 12, describing that the families who lost their loved ones in the Newtown, Conn., shooting can "go to hell," the Star Tribune said.

Bob Davis, a conservative co-host of the "Davis and Emmer" weekday morning show on KTCN (AM 1130), was offered to have a paid trip to repeat what he said to the families of the Newtown shootings.

Davis argued that he's sick and tired of seeing the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting becoming advocates for the national debate on gun control. He said that "[everyone is] terrified of these victims...I would stand in front of them and tell them, 'Go to hell.'"

Davis responded to the controversy created due to his comment, saying that he has no filter when he speaks on the air, the Huffington Post said.

Grandfather won't be jailed for shooting granddaughter

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A Rochester minister has been ordered to complete 100 hours of community service for shooting and wounding his granddaughter, the Pioneer Press said.

Stanley Wilkinson mistook his granddaughter for a burglar in December, and subsequently shot her in the neck. An Olmsted County judge sentenced Wilkinson to 91 days in jail. Wilkinson then pleaded guilty to intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety, which reduced his penalty to community service, the Star Tribune said.

The 16-year-old granddaughter was wounded but not seriously injured. She told authorities that she left her grandparents' house without telling them.

Stillborn baby's body found in Red Wing laundry

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The stillborn infant boy found in dirty laundry Wednesday at a cleaning service in Red Wing, Minn., came from the morgue at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press said.

The boy was stillborn late in the second trimester two weeks ago, officials said. There didn't appear to be any foul play suspected.

Police said that workers in the laundry service found the body after it fell out of a bed sheet. The body had been wrapped in linen, and somehow mistakenly got sent to the laundry to be cleaned, the Star Tribune said.

A scientist who faked research data for anti-cancer drugs in an attempt to get the drugs tested on humans was jailed Wednesday in Edinburgh, the Telegraph said.

Steven Eaton, 47, was working in Edinburgh in 2009 when he came up with the idea of falsifying data. If the experimental drugs had been able to be tested on people, there could have been "unquestionable harm to cancer patients," Edinburgh sheriff Michael O'Grady said. Eaton has been jailed for three months, which is the maximum sentence allotted under scientific safety laws.

Eaton's attorney said that he has given up working as a scientist, BBC News said.

Suspicious letter sent to Obama

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A letter addressed Wednesday to President Barack Obama was suspiciously similar to a letter that tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, NBC News said.

The letter was intercepted Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol's off-site mail facility in Washington. The test required to see if the letter contained ricin takes 24 to 48 hours to conduct, CNN said.

Ricin is a deadly and easily produced substance. An amount of 500 micrograms, as small as the head of a pin, can kill an adult.

Legislator refers to women as 'vaginas' in email

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An email sent April 1 by a New Hampshire legislator referring to women as 'vaginas' is sparking controversy, the Boston Herald said.

Republican Peter Hansen of Amherst was referring to a speech given by another lawmaker which discussed an easy retreat.

According to messages posted online by blogger Susan Bruce, Hansen wrote: "There were two critical ingredients missing in the illustrious stories purporting to demonstrate the practical side of retreat. Not that retreat may not be possible mind you. What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina's of course. While the tales relate the actions of a solitary male the outcome cannot relate to similar situations where children and women and mothers are the potential victims."

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler said that the comments are unprofessional and do not reflect the opinions of the Republican Party, the Pioneer Press said.

Hansen, 70, said Tuesday that he doesn't regret the remark, and the context of the word choice was to create shock content, and to get in the mind of "the perpetrator." He argued that the situation has been "totally blown out of proportion."

This article from the Star Tribune discusses how Minneapolis houses most of Minnesota's Level Three sex offenders, and the implications that creates for both the sex offenders and the people who live in the city. This is obviously a very different group of people than myself. Most people would not identify themselves with Level Three sex offenders, however, due to taking classes on sexuality, I think that I am more comfortable with the topic than most people.

For news organizations and media outlets in general, sex offenders are a risky topic to cover. They provide an interest because parents want to protect their children, but also discussing offenders means that they must go into gory details. In this particular article, the reporter interacts with sex offenders and has quotes directly from them. The unnamed quotes from the offenders perpetuates the stereotype that sex offenders are ghostly, untouchable criminals. The article reflected the way society views sex offenders, but tries to do it in an unbiased way. By writing about how difficult life can be for offenders after they are released from prison, the reporter is acknowledging the often-neglected fact that offenders are people who have made mistakes.

The sources the reporter used in this story range from landlords who do or do not rent to offenders, people who live near offenders, offenders themselves, and authorities who work with the offenders in rehabilitation. These sources help to diversify the angles that the story takes, and ultimately foster an attempt to be as unbiased as this topic can allow.

An apparently tainted batch of meth has been distributed in the east metro area, and has consequently sent 14 people to hospitals, CBS News said.

Symptoms of the 'bad meth' use include hyper-anxiety, combativeness, and fevers of 105 degrees. Authorities believe the bad meth came from Mexico, but are now concerned with its widespread use in the east metro cities, the Star Tribune said.

Police want users to know that they are more concerned with safety than arrests, and if anyone is experiencing side effects from using the tainted drug, they should go to a hospital immediately.

The UK's premiere of Iron Man 3, which was scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, has been postponed because of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral, BBC News said.

A Disney spokesperson said that the premiere will be delayed one day due to the expected chaotic atmosphere in London. Thatcher's funeral is planned for Wednesday, and London is anticipated to be busy, the Washington Times said.

The funeral may lead to 'civil unrest,' due to the mixed feelings toward the former Prime Minister.

Authorities are investigating skeletal remains found Saturday in a Burnsville park, the Star Tribune said.

The investigation is still ongoing, however Burnsville police said that the remains may belong to a 61-year-old man who has been missing for a year. Lorenzo Pacheco Orozco had dementia, and hasn't been seen after leaving for a walk in April 2012, the Pioneer Press said.

No foul play is suspected in Orozco's disappearance.

Student arrested on stabbing charges at Texas college

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After discovering at least 14 people were injured Tuesday, police have arrested a student on charges of stabbing, the New York Times said.

Dylan Quick, 20, was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault at Lone Star College in the Houston area. Quick had fantasized about stabbing people since elementary school, according to a police statement. He was allegedly armed with a razor-type knife, and 14 people were injured, BBC News said. Four of the victims were airlifted to the hospital.

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art received a donation of coveted Cubist artwork worth $1 billion, BBC News said.

The donation comes from Leonard Lauder, the heir of the Estee Lauder fortune. Lauder, 80, pledged to donate 78 works to the museum. Including works by Picasso, Braque and Gris, the donation marks a historical event in the museum's history.

Lauder wanted to fill in the gap that the museum had in terms of early-20th-century artwork, the New York Times said. The exhibit displaying the artwork is scheduled for fall 2014.

In this article by the BBC, numbers play a critical role in understanding the message. The use of numbers could be considered overwhelming to readers at first read, because there are lots of numbers written in increments that are close together. In the first seven paragraphs, there are eight references to numbers, which began to distract me as a reader.

Because the BBC is run by British writers, it makes sense that they do not adhere to AP Style. Even though the numbers seem overwhelming at first glance, after they're reread carefully it can be determined that the numbers are actually quite tangible for readers to understand. There could have been more ways to translate the numbers so that they weren't all in percentages or liters (fractions, discussing as 'halves' or 'quarters').

The sources of the numbers are AA (Automobile Association for the UK), Petrol Retailers Association, and Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Obama apologizes for Harris's appearance comment

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Barack Obama publicly apologized Friday for making a comment on Kamala Harris's appearance, BBC News said.

The California Attorney General and Obama have been friends for a long time, but the president still acknowledged that his comment was inappropriate, the Huffington Post said.

Obama remarked that Harris is the "best-looking attorney general in the country." Critics claimed that Obama's comment speaks to the constant hurdles women face in the workplace regarding their looks, oftentimes belittling women to nothing more than their appearance.

Harris accepted Obama's apology.

Three found guilty of murder of child rapist

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Three men were convicted Wednesday of killing a child sex offender in Dorset, UK, BBC News said.

Stuart Wareham, 26, half-brother Lee Wareham, 33, and Benjamin Walter, 22, were found guilty of killing Geoffrey Reed, 57, a convicted sex attacker, stuffing his body into a suitcase, and burying it in a shallow grave, the Daily Echo said.

The three men violently killed Reed, as the autopsy reported that he died of multiple accounts of blunt force trauma.

UK parents convicted for fire deaths of six children

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The two Derby parents of six children who died in a fire in their home were convicted of manslaughter Tuesday, the Pioneer Press said.

A jury found Mick and Mairead Philpott guilty six counts of manslaughter, and are due to be sentenced Thursday. The court heard Tuesday that they were "good parents," and started the fire only in an attempt to get full custody of their children from Mick's ex-mistress, Lisa Willis. The couple intended to frame Willis, essentially rendering her unfit for custody, BBC News said.

A Russian Orthodox priest pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a plea deal for allegedly pointing a gun at his 15-year-old daughter and wife, the Pioneer Press said.

Kirill Bartashevitch, 52, pleaded not guilty to two counts of terroristic threats. He allegedly pointed an AK-47, recently purchased out of fear of a pending gun ban, at his daughter after she received B's in school instead of A's. Bartashevitch's wife and the girl's mother tried to intervene after he pointed the gun at the girl, and reports say that he "threw" his wife out of the way.

After searching his residence, police found receipts documenting his return of the AK-47 rifles to a gun shop days after the incident, the Star Tribune said.

Supporters plan to keep College of Visual Arts open

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After announcing in January plans to shut down the St. Paul College of Visual Arts this June, a group of supporters has raised $70,000 to show their determination, the Pioneer Press said.

The group, CVA Action, said they have a "viable plan to keep the college open," which consists of revamping the academic structure, fundraising, and leverage of the school's real estate, MPR said.

The group presented the details of the plan to the board of CVA Tuesday, but the meeting wasn't open to the media or public.

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

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