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March 2013 Archives

Analysis: Richard Griffiths obituary

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The obituary of Richard Griffiths from the Associated Press uses Agent Simon Beresford as a source for the cause of death. The reporter also uses Beresford as a quote admiring Griffiths. Nicholas Hytner, artistic director at the National Theatre is quoted and used because he worked closely with Griffiths professionally. Daniel Radcliffe is also used as a source for closely working with Griffiths during the Harry Potter movie series.
A standard obituary lead is used, it begins with his name, followed by a notable fact about him, and then his age.
The news value to this story is immediacy and prominence because its reported the day after his death and he is a celebrity for Harry Potter fans and a popular stage actor. \
This obituary is different from a resume because it indulges in his accomplishments instead of just listing them. It is also sentimental because it has quotes from celebrities complimenting Griffiths.
The obituary does not go into a background before his professional accomplishments. It does say who Griffiths is survived by.

U.S. ex-solidier charged with aiding al-Qaida group

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A former American soldier was charged Thursday for illegally using a weapon to aid an al-Qaida affiliated group in Syria, CNN reported.
Eric Harroun, 30, was arrested by the FBI Tuesday near Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, CNN reported.
Harroun appeared in federal court in Alexandria, Va. and was charged in connection of using a rocket-propelled grenade in Syria, CNN reported.
Harroun was accused of entering Syra in January and being aiding in attacks on Assad forces led by the Al Nusra Front, which is part of an al-Qaida group, the New York Times reported.
Harroun told FBI agent Paul Higginbotham that he was part of an "RPG team," firing rocket-propelled grenades, the affidavit filed said, the New York Times reported.
Harroun wrote on his Facebook page that "the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist," and told the FBI that he dient know any al-Qaida members and would help fight against any regime that imposed Sharia law in Syria because he is opposed to oppression, the New York Times reported.
Harroun was discharged from the army in 2003 after he was injured in a car accident, said the affidavit, The New York Times reported.

North Korea puts rockets on standby to strike the U.S.

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A plan to prepare standby rockets to hit U.S. targets was approved by North Korea's Kim Jung Un, state media said Friday, after a practice mission over South Korea by American stealth bombers, CNN reported.
The rockets are aimed at military bases in the Pacific and South Korea, the state-run KCNA news agency reported, CNN said.
"The United States is fully capable of defending itself and our allies," Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman in Washington told the New York Times.
Kim's order was given during an emergency meeting Friday, and was similar to the one issued Tuesday when the North Korea's top military command told all of its missile and artillery units to be ready to strike the U.S. and South Korea in retaliation for their joint military exercises, the New York Times reported.
There has been more vehicle and troop movement at North Korean missile units in recent days as the U.S. and South Korea has been conducting joint military drills, government officials and South Korean media said, the New York Times reported.
North Korea carried out a long-range rocket launch in December and an underground nuclear test last month which prompted the U.N. Security Council to issue sanctions on North Korea, CNN reported.
A photo released by KCNA on Friday showed Kim meeting with his top generals with a military chart behind them showing what appeared to be trajectories of North Korean missiles hitting major U.S. cities, the New York Times reported.

Aaron Schaffhausen pleaded guilty Thursday to all four charges of killing his three young daughters in July, The Pioneer Press reported.
The second phase of the trial will determine if Schaffhausen's mental state at the time absolves him of the crimes, The Pioneer Press reported.
Jessica Schaffhausen, his ex-wife, agreed to let him see their children unexpectedly but asked him to leave the house before she returned home, The Star Tribune reported.
Schaffhausen will wither go to a psychiatric facility or prison potentially for the rest of his life depending on the decision of the second phase of the trial, The Pioneer Press reported.
Schaffhausen is remorseful and depressed, John Kucinsh, Schaffhausen's lead attorney told the Pioneer Press.
If Schaffhasuen is sentenced to a psychiatric facility, a judge could order his release it is determined he is no longer a threat to the public, Kucinski told the Pioneer Press.
If the jury rejects the insanity defense, he would receive three life sentences, The Pioneer Press reported.

North Dakota governor signs strict abortion bill

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Gov. Jack Dalrymple of signed the nation's most restrictive abortion bills Tuesday which would make abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy illegal, The New York Times reported.
The bills forbids abortion once there is a fetal heartbeat which can be detected by using a transvaginal ultrasound, the New York Times reported.
Abortion because of genetic defects are also banned by the bill and they require doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, USA Today reported.
The bills will become laws Aug. 1 unless blocked by a court, USA Today reported.
The law would violate the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, legal scholars told the New York Times.
North Dakota residents will vote weather life is defined as starting at conception in the 2014 ballot, USA Today reported.

Nhan Lap Tran, 34, has been charged with six felonies from fatal shooting rampage in Oakdale, Minn., The Pioneer Press reported.
Tran will have a mental health evaluation presented Monday to find if he is competent to proceed with his criminal trail and a second evaluation will determine whether Tran understands the wrongfulness of the alleged act, The Pioneer Press reported.
The 20-minute rampage began at 6:10 p.m. on Feb. 11 near the intersection of Hadley and 7th Street N., about a block away fro Tran's home, The Star Tribune reported.
The charges include second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation, second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony and second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation, The Star Tribune reported.
Tran's public defender requested a mental health evaluation that could lead to a defense of not guilty by reason of mental illness during his first court appearance, The Pioneer Press reported.
The prosecution team "vehemently disagrees" with the evaluation's findings that Tran is incompetent to be tried and doesn't understand what he was doing, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told The Star Tribune.
The proceeding could halt from the results presented Monday until Tran is found competent to move on which could take months or years, Fred Fink, head of criminal division of the Washington County attorney's office, told The Pioneer Press.

Fort Snelling buildings to house homeless vets

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Five old brick buildings at Fort Snelling will be renovated into apartments for homeless veterans and their families, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plans to construct 8 apartments in the five buildings on 6 acres, The Star Tribune reported.
Veterans with anything other than dishonorable charges will be able to apply for housing, the Associated Press reported.
The buildings will be permanent housing with multi-bedroom units expected to appeal to veterans with families and the growing number of female homeless veterans with children, the Associated Press reported.
Fort Snelling is part of a larger effort of the VA addressing two goals of ending veteran homelessness and reducing its inventory of vacant and underutilized properties, The Star Tribune reported.
The VA has entered agreements to provide more than 3,000 units of permanent and transitional housing for veterans at VA Medical Center campuses nationwide with another 1,000 units pending or underway, The Star Tribune reported.

Two teens found guilty of rape

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Two high school football stars were found guilty Sunday of raping a 16-year-old girl in August, The New York Times reported.
Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after four days of testimony in the case against Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond,16, CNN reported.
Text messages, cell phone pictures and a video provided much of the evidence because the victim did not remember what happened, The New York Times reported.
Mays was sentenced to serve at least two years in the state juvenile system and Richmond was sentenced to serve at least one year, The New York Times reported.
Mays minimum sentence is twice as long as Richmond's because May was found to be a delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt for also distributing a nude image of a minor, The New York Times reported.
The trail gained media attention for its text messages, cell phone pictures and videos, and social media posts around the sexual abuse of the girl, CNN reported.

A St. Paul police sergeant is accused of excessive force again after a lawsuit in the 1990s settled at $500,000 when he was with Minneapolis police, The Pioneer Press reported.
A 32-year-old man was left with a broken jaw and fractured vertebrae after encountering St. Paul officers Paul Cottingham and Craig Rhode according to his lawsuit, The Pioneer Press reported.
A closed-door meeting to discuss the case will be held by the St. Paul City Council, and a U.S. magistrate will oversee a settlement conference April 4 at the federal courthouse in downtown St. Paul, The Star Tribune reported.
Cottingham was fired by Minneapolis police in 1995 for two cases that were unrelated than the one that led to a large settlement, The Pioneer Press reported.
Cottingham and Rhode rushed Ras Yirehmiel Tafari when they suspected a drug deal in a church parking lot near the State Capitol while working on a narcotics/vice unit Aug. 17, 2010, The Star Tribune reported.
Cottingham used a taser gun on him as he was raising his hands which caused him to fall on the steps. Rhode kicked Tarafi in the face, knocking him out, according to the complaint, The Star Tribune reported.
The officers handcuffed Tarafi and brought him to Regions Hospital, where he spent three days in the intensive care unit, The Star Tribune reported.
His broken jaw needed wiring for nearly three months and he wore a neck brace for nearly four months because of broken vertebrae, according to the complaint, The Star Tribune reported.
Tarafi eventually pleaded guilty to possession of a small amount of marijuana, The Star Tribune reported.
Tarafi is seeking damages of more than $1 million, The Star Tribune reported.

North Dakota strict abortion ban passes legislature

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North Dakota Legislator passed a bill that would ban abortion as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy, when a heartbeat can be found, The New York Times reported.
This is now the strictest restrictive abortion bill passed a little more than a week after Arkansas's new bill, The New York Times reported.
A measure that bans abortions because of genetic abnormality or to select the sex of the child was also passed by the primarily Republican Legislature, The New York Times reported.
Both bills must be signed by Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple to become law. The governor has not said if he would sign, The New York Times reported.
Abortion-rights activists said they will enter legal battles if the bills pass but supporters of the bills say that the bills are meant to challenge Roe v. Wade, the Associated Press reported.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected in early pregnancy using a vaginal ultrasound although the bill does not specify how doctors would detect a heartbeat, the Associated Press reported.
Democratic Senator Mac Schneider said the Legislature should focus on budget surplus supplied by the new oil wealth, the Associated Press reported.

Thousands of dead pigs in Shanghai river

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According to state news media, at lead 2800 dead pigs were found in a major river that flows through Shanghai and created fears of contaminated tap water for residents, The New York Times reported.
Labels tagged on the pigs' ears indicate that they came from the upper waters of the Huangpu River, one of the main sources of Shanghai's drinking water, CNN reported.
It is unclear why pigs were dumped in the river. Local media reported that a disease had killed thousands of pigs in a village south of the city earlier this month, CNN reported.
The Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission said the water quality where most of the pigs were found remained normal as of Sunday, CNN reported.
State news media reported that a sample of the water was tested positive for porcine circovirus, which officials sad does not spread to humans, The New York Times reported.
Local residents have expressed concern on whether the water is safe to drink through use of Twitter-like microblog service Sina Weibo, CNN reported.

Analysis: Karzai's televised speech

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In The Associated Press article about Afghan President Hamid Karzai's speech on Sunday shows good use of quotes, paragraphs that back up or explain quotes, and use of information outside the speech to offer a point of reference.
The reporter leads with Karzai's accusation and then a following paragraph of what Karzai specifically gave an example as. The next paragraph is quote which gives a voice to Karzai and reiterates what was just reported in Karzai's own words.
The reporter then offers background information about Karzai being known for using public speeches as a tactic, citing past speeches about Karzia threatening to join the Taliban.
The article goes on for a few paragraphs of U.S. responses to the speech and what the Afghan government said about the speech. The reporter takes a break from Karzai's speech for awhile to explain how others feel about it.
The article then continues to show other specific examples Karzai used in his speech.
The reporter really goes beyond the event by covering what Karzai has said in the past speeches and finding other comments in reaction to the speech. The reporter does a good job of structuring the article by giving the right piece of information to make the facts flow. Each fact block seemed to fall into place even though the story told was not chronological.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the the Taliban and the U.S. of sharing the goal of convincing Afghans that violence will worsen if foreign troops leave Sunday, The Associated Press reported.
Kazai said that two suicide bombings that killed 19 people Saturday show the insurgent group is demonstrating that international forces will still be needed after their current combat mission ends in 2014, The Associated Press reported.
"The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they are at the service of America and at the service of this phrase: 2014. They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents," Karzai said during a national speech about the state of Afghan women, The Associated Press reported.
Chuck Hagel, the defense secretary, expressed hope that the United States and Afghanistan can move forward, The New York Times reported.
Karzai criticized the what he sees as doomsaying reports by Western officials which he describes as propaganda used by Western news media and picked up by local Afghan news media, The New York Times reported.
Karzai said in his speech that any foreign powers that want to keep troops in Afghanistan must do so under conditions made by Afghanistan, The Associated Press reported.

A Coon Rapids man was charged with a felony Friday for allegedly using a wristwatch camera to videotape a boy at a urinal in Mariucci Arena on Dec. 31, 2011, The Star Tribune reported.
Robert D. Minor, 53, was charged with a felony of interfering with privacy for allegedly recording video of boys 8 to 12-year-old, CBS reported.
In the recording a prepubescent boy is seen urinating, said the charges filed Friday. The boy appears uncomfortable by Minor's presence, the complaint said, The Star Tribune reported.
The recording lasts for almost a minute and Minor looks into the camera at the end, the complaint said, The Star Tribune reported.
Minor was also charged with one count of stalking a victim under 18 with sexual or aggressive intent, two counts of use of minors in sexual performance and four counts of possession of pornographic work involving minors, all felonies, earlier this week in Anoka County Court, CBS reported.
Authorities found the watch capable of recording videos when they searched Minor's house Saturday, CBS reported.
A search of Minor's computer showed several young boys changing clothes at the YMCA in Andover and Coon Rapids. Authorities also found child pornography on his computer which is not believed to be produced by him, CBS reported.

Alberto Prece Palmer, 23, was charged with intentional second-degree murder Friday in the death of 18-year-old Brittany Clardy, The Pioneer Press said.
The Anoka County complaint said the St. Paul woman's death was determined to be multiple blows to the back of the head with a foreign object, The Star Tribune said.
After Palmer's arrest Thursday, he told police that he contacted Clardy online at backpage.com and met her at her home in Brooklyn Park where they had sex, The Pioneer Press said.
Palmer said the two fought and he choked her to unconsciousness and hit her in the head with a hammer multiple times, The Pioneer Press said.
The body was found in a car at a Columbia Heights impound lot on Feb. 21 after being towed eight days earlier from an apartment complex in Brooklyn Park, The Star Tribune reported.
Palmer was arrested at his Woodbury home Wednesday, The Star Tribune said.
Palmer has already been charged in connection with three sexual assaults of women in Georgia last year. One woman was nearly beaten to death, Sgt. Ernesto Ford of the Chamblee Police Department told the Star Tribune.

Arkansas adopts abortion restriction

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Arkansas adopted the country's most restrictive ban on abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
The law was passed by the new Republican-controlled legislature over Gov. Mike Beebe's veto, The New York Times reported.
The law contradicts limits by the Supreme Court which allows a woman a right to abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks, The New York Times reported.
The Human Heartbeat Protection Act might be quickly voided because it deeply contradicts existing constitutional doctrine, The New York Times reported.
The 12-week ban would ban abortions when the fetus is at a point where a heartbeat can be detected using an abdominal ultrasound, The Associated Press reported.
The original version of the bill by Sen. Jason Rapert would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy but revised after lawmakers worried about the it requiring the use of a vaginal probe, The Associated Press reported.
Women who have abortions will not be prosecuted but doctors who perform abortions in violation of the 12-week-ban could have their medical licenses revoked, The Associated Press reported.
Ten states have pushed abortion down to 20 weeks into pregnancy on the disputed theory that a fetus can feel pain by then, The New York Times reported.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dead

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Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's socialist president died at the age of 58, Venezuelan Vice Nicolas Maduro said, ABC reported.
Chavez had been fighting cancer and had recently seeking treatment at a clinic in Cuba, ABC reported.
The last two years were a health struggle for Chavez who won a re-election in 2012 after declared himself free of an unspecific cancer, NBC reported.
He received surgery in Cuba after a relapse and was too sick to be sworn into office in January, NBC reported.
Chaves was praised by the "Chavistas" for reducing extreme poverty and making health care and education more accessible but was blamed for high inflation, food shortages, escalating crime and mismanagement of the country's oil industry by critics, NBC reported.
Chavez described himself as a champion of the poor. In 1992 He tried to overturn Venezuela's "powerful elites" in a failed coup and was democratically elected in 1999, ABC reported.
As president, Chavez created a new constitution, took greater control of the state-run oil company, expanded the country's armed forces and made government programs to create jobs, housing and services for the poor, NBC reported.

Analysis: LA Times & Star Tribune

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The Los Angeles Times features mostly links to other stories. They provide large photos with most stories which are put at the top of the page, between the headline and the copy.
A few links are used in the story to more broad topics that the story doesn't cover. Outside the article there are links to related content and articles that are completely separate from the story.
They also have a section for videos which are usually linked from articles.
The Star Tribune applies the same method of attaching photos to most stories and sometimes adding video which auto plays when you go the article.
Both sites have share icons at the bottom of the stories for facebook and twitter. This helps by getting it out to more readers.
There is very little writing in attached to multimedia and when there is it's small and to the point.
This advances the story by offering communication through a different medium. In some ways it just attracts eyes because a wall of text is very unappealing but it also adds more to the story instead of just telling it a single way.

Baby with HIV reported cured

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Doctors announced Sunda that a baby was cured of an HIV infection for the first time which could reduce the number of children with the virus that causes AIDS by changing how infected newborns are treated, The New York Times reported.
The Mississippi baby was treated with anti-retroviral drugs starting around 30 hours after birth and, if confirmed, is the second well-documented case of a cure in the world, The New York Times reported.
The baby contracted HIV at birth and the baby's mother tested positive when she arrived at the hospital to give birth, USA Today reported.
Dr. Hannah B. Gay, an associate professor of pediatrics, administered a three-drug regimen aimed treatment and virus levels rapidly declined, The New York TImes reported.
The mother stopped coming to the hospital when the baby was 18 months old and returned after five months to get negative results for viral infection, The New York Times reported.
The child, now 2 1/2, has been off drugs foe a year with no sign of functioning virus, The New York Times reported.

Boyfriend arrested in stabbing death

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A 17-year-old boy was arrested in Maplewood for the stabbing death of 16-year-old Anna Hurd who was found slain in a Maplewood park a week ago, The Pioneer Press reported.
The juvenile, whose name has not been released, is being held for suspicion of second-degree murder at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center, said police to The Pioneer Press Friday.
The boy was an acquaintance of Anna's, said Acting Police Chief Dace Kvam to The Star Tribune although her friends said that he was Anna's boyfriend.
The couple had an argument after the boyfriend discovered Anna texting another boy, said Anna's father, Patrick Hurd in an earlier interview with The Star Tribune.
The case is being reviewed for possible charges by the Ramsey County attorney's office and if filed would come no later than Tuesday, Kvam told the Pioneer Press.

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