January 2011 Archives

Leads Analysis

The lead for the article in the Star Tribune about the Minneapolis driver was a good example of a straightforward hard-news lead.

First off, it touches on each of the five W's right away. We are told who (the driver), what (report of an accident), where (western Wisconsin), when (Friday), and why (crossed into oncoming traffic). The reader is presented with all of the important and basic information of the story to understand what happened yet can read further if they want a more detailed account.

Also, because this is a report by the Star Tribune, the writer makes sure to relate it to the community that would be reading this article. The driver is immediately identified as a "Twin Cities driver". This isn't general information, but detailed in order to cater to the audience that would consume this story.

The combination of these two elements are what hooks the reader into going further into the story. The connection with the Twin Cities makes the article more relatable and closer to home, almost literally, for a Star Tribune reader. With enough information to be able to get the general idea of the story, the lead could entice some to read deeper if they are more curious about what happened.

Tunisian Leader Returns Home after Exile

Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Islamist movement Ennahda, returned to his native on Sunday following over two decades of exile.

Ghannouchi, 69, had been banned by former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 22 years ago. Tunisia had a secular tradition that Ben Ali felt was at risk with Ghannouchi's presence in the country.

His return to Tunisia as an Islamic leader displays another significant change in Tunisia's recent revolution earlier this month, according to Reuters. Thousands came to greet Ghannouchi at the airport as he arrived from London.

There are concerns that a heavily Islamic presence may take advantage of the weakened country, and Ghannouchi is aware of that fear by Tunisians.

"The government used to always say, to frighten people away, that (the Islamists) will take away the rights of women," he told the Financial Times in direct response to these concerns. "We all recognize, we accept the personal status code and will not cancel it or refuse it."

Women's rights were among the best in the Arab world in Tunisia under Ben Ali's secular regime.

Minneapolis Driver Killed in Wisconsin

A Minneapolis man was pronounced dead at the scene in a western Wisconsin accident on Thursday evening.

Thomas Victor Huju, 22, was driving westbound on Hwy. 64, but crossed the center line of traffic coming eastbound. The accident occurred just north of Cylon, Wis.

Huju hit a pickup coming the other direction. He lost control and was hit by an SUV before ultimately ending up in the ditch.

The Star Tribune reports that three people in other vehicles were slightly injured following the accident. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash.

According to WQOW, a portion of the highway was blocked off for three hours and traffic had to be rerouted.

Viking Receiver sues over BlackBerry

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian is suing a California couple for looking to extort the player in return for his lost BlackBerry.

Berrian left his his smartphone at an ATM in Las Vegas in October. He later realized it was missing after 30 minutes and went back to find it. It was gone by the time he got there.

According to the Pioneer Press, a man named Ronald R. Jones contacted Berrian's manager in December and asked for a "reward" in exchange for his BlackBerry. They reportedly asked for $30,000.

Jones and his girlfriend, Clarice Lankford, threatened to sell the BlackBerry to "the highest bidder" if their demands were not met.

Berrian filed a lawsuit against the Oakland couple for attempting to extort the receiver and a hearing is scheduled for early February. Lankford ultimately returned the BlackBerry on Jan. 19, according to the Star Tribune.

Protests to Oust Tucson-area Sheriff

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More than 100 people showed up to a rally on Friday to remove Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

Dupnik continues to draw heat due to his remarks following the Tucson shooting earlier this month that killed six people and injured U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Dupnik consistently blamed conservative politicians and leaders for their violent rhetoric as a factor in the shooting throughout the investigation.

According to Reuters, demonstrators came out after Americans Against Immigration Amnesty, a Utah-based, nonprofit, announced it would take actions to remove Dupnik. The organization hopes to get 98,000 signatures by May 24 in order to get a recall for Dupnik on the ballot.

Dupnik, a Democrat, is halfway through his current term and is yet to say whether or not he will seek reelection. If so, Republicans hope to have a strong contender, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Accused Somali Pirates Brought to South Korea

Five Somalis accused of hijacking a freighter were brought to South Korea on Saturday night on accounts of piracy.

South Korean commandos in the Arabian Sea raided the cargo ship, Samho Jewelery, that had been commandeered earlier this month by the pirates, according to the Associated Press. The ship's crew of 21 had been held hostage during that time and were unharmed upon rescue except for one.

The captain, Seok Hae-gyun, was the only member of the crew that was injured. He is in critical condition following a shot to the stomach by a pirate and was taken to South Korea on Saturday night to undergo surgery.

The five suspects were questioned upon arrival to South Korea by coast guard investigators. The suspects facing charges of hijacking the ship, requesting a ransom and attempting to kill the captain. The coast guard will continue to question the suspects for 10 days before handing them over to South Korean prosecutors.

Eight of the 13 pirates on board were killed; the remaining five are the current suspects. They claim to have no involvement in the kidnapping.

The Arabian Sea, particularly the Gulf of Aden right off the coast of Somalia, has been a frequent area for piracy. According to BBC News, 49 ships were hijacked in 2010, with a reported 31 being held by Somali pirates.

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