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

In As Firearm Ownership Rises, Florida Gun Murders Increasing the reporter leads with a gun death story before using numbers which makes the dive into more numbers smooth.
The amount of gun murders is then released from 2011 and 2012 with a percent increase between the years included.
At the bottom of the story an interactive graphic that appears to be just a graph comparing the number of murders in Florida by firearms across the years brings up the the exact number of deaths. This is helpful because then the reader doesn't have to have estimated number by where the line marks with the numbers on the graph.
The reporter would have to know how to plot a spreadsheet and enter each record in the cells and then slice the pop-ups in a web editing program to provide the exact number of deaths when the mouse goes over the each part of the graph.

Greece passes plan for aid and layoffs

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Greece's Parliament passed a bill Sunday that plans to dismiss 15,000 civil servants by the end of the year, the New York Times reported.
A loan of 2.8 billion euros, or about $3.65 billion, is expected to be approved by Euro zone officials meeting in Brussels on Monday, the New York Times reported.
The bill was approved by parliament in a 168-123 vote, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The bill was supported by the conservative New Democracy party and its junior partners, the Socialists, or Pasok, and the Democratic Left, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"We are working so that Greece will be able to stand on its own feet again," Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told Parliament Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Greece needs money to pay pensions and wages, and bonds held by the European Central Bank that mature on May 20, so the bill was rushed into legislature, Stournaras told Parliament on Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A Mississippi martial arts instructor was arrested by FBI Saturday for the poisoned letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. senator, and a local judge, the Los Angeles Times reported.
James Everett Dutschke was arrested in his Tupelo home, FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden told the Los Angeles Times.
Dutschke was charged with "knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon, to wit: ricin," the Associated Press reported
He is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Oxford Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Dutschke became a suspect after charges were dropped against Paul Kevin Curtis, Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

SUV rolls over in Fridley, sends 7 to the hospital

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Seven people were sent to the hospital after the driver of an SUV, who had been drinking, rolled over just north of Interstate 694 in Fridley, Saturday, the State Patrol told the Star Tribune.
Jennifer L. Teetzel, the driver, was the only one wearing a seat belt, and several of the other passengers were thrown from the vehicle, Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol told the Star Tribune.
The vehicle crashed about 5:20 p.m. on University Avenue, the State Patrol told the Pioneer Press.
The boy and the 47-year-old woman were taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, while the others were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash, the State Patrol told the Star Tribune.
Teetzel was convicted for third-degree drunken driving in 2009, court records said, the Star Tribune reported.
She also pleaded guilty in 2003 for careless driving on a charge of fourth-degree drunken driving, which was dismissed, The Star Tribune reported.

The White House said Thursday that the Syrian government is likely to have used chemical weapons on its own people, on a small scale, The Washington Post reported.
Any use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross the "red line" a senior administration official tole the Washington post.
President Obama said that the deployment of chemical weapons would be a game-change and has threatened unspecified consequences if it happened, noting that it is mindful of the lessons from the Iraq war that started over ten years ago, Reuters reported.
The evaluation that Syria likely used chemical weapons is based on "physiological" samples, Reuters reported.
Britian, France and Israel have suggested that forces loyal to Assad have probably used sarin recently, The Washington Post reported.
Sarin, a nerve agent, which Iraq allegedly used 25 years ago in an attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja during the Iran-Iraq war, Reuters reported.

A Little Falls had been indicted on first-degree, premeditated murder charges in connection with the killing of two teenage intruders at his home Thanksgiving Day, The Star Tribune reported.
Byron David Smith, a retired U.S. State Department employee was first charged in November with second-degree murder in the deaths of Halie Kifer, 18, and her cousin, Nick Brady, 17, The Star Tribune reported.
The two broke into Smith's home in along the backwaters of the Mississippi river, The Star Tribune reported.
Smith posted bail in December for $50,000 and has been free since, The Pioneer Press reported.
The hearing will be held July 1 in the Morrison County Courthouse in Little Falls, The Pioneer Press reported.

Deadly earthquake hits southwestern China

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A earthquake struck Sichuan, a southwestern Chinese providence, on Saturday, killing at last 179 people and injuring about 6,700 others, CNN reported.
The earthquake struck at a depth of around 12 kilometers and about 115 kilometers away from the provincial capital, Chengdu, CNN reported.
"Comparatively speaking, the scale of the disaster is not as extensive as in 2008, although there are still multiple locations affected," Meimei Leung, emergency response director for World Vision's China office told the Los Angeles Times.
Residents were prepared from the earthquake that hit May 12, 2008 that left 90,000 people dead or missing, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"This time people knew what to do. As soon as the tremors started, they went out into open areas. The government also is working in a well-organized manner," Leung said.
Authorities sent rescue workers to the are around the epicenter, halted flights at the airport in Chengdu and suspended high-speed rail operations, according to state media, CNN reported.
First responders said the damage didn't appear as severe as the 2008 disaster, according to CCTV, CNN reported.

The British and French governments have asked the United Nation to investigate Syria's government for using small amounts of chemical weapons in recent months, officials told the Los Angeles Times Thursday.
The diplomats, who spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity, said there had been a n exchange of letters with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations starting on March 25.
The evidence included soil samples and witness testimony but is not definitive, the Los Angeles Times reported.
President Obama said any use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would be a "game changer," which could lead to American military response, the New York Times reported.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government has insisted that any United Nations investigation focus only on one instance of chemical weapons use in the Aleppo area which it says killed at least 26 people on March 19, the New York Times reported.
Ban said Wednesday that an investigative team he had assembled was ready to deploy as soon as they have the Syrian government's consent, the New York Times reported.

A former Minneapolis police officer was arrested again as new charges were found for his prior allegations that he raped a juvenile girl in Anoka County, the Start Tribune reported.
Bradely Schnickel sent photos of his genitalia and explicit messages to a preteen girl last fall, according to the new charges, the Star Tribune reported.
The 32-year-old faces four new felony counts on Internet or computer solicitation of children, according to the new charges, the Pioneer Press reported.
Schnickel was also charged February with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Anoka County, the Pioneer Press reported.
Anoka County prosecutors say he had sex with a 14-year-old girl and had a sexual encounter or chats via Facebook and Skype with three girls, ages 13 and 14, the Star Tribune reported.
Schnickel was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly Internet soliciting a Brooklyn center preteen and another juvenile girl, the Star Tribune reported.
The charges were filed Thursday, the Star Tribune reported.

Stillborn baby at Regions sent to laundry

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The body of a stillborn baby boy that was discovered among the hospital linens at a Red Wing commercial laundry came from Regions Hospital morgue, hospital officials told MPR News.
The baby was stillborn at 22 weeks and were sent to the laundry on Tuesday, according to a press release from the hospital, The Pioneer Press reported.
The hospital handles about 2,500 births a year, and about two stillborn births a month, Christine Boese, vice president of patient care told MPR news.
''When there's a stillborn, we work very closely with the family, to understand how they would like to handle the remains of the baby. Sometimes they ask us to take care of that, and other times they take care of that,'' Boese told MPR News.
After Crothall Laundry notified the hospital about the remains, Regions officials collected them "immediately," the hospital told The Pioneer Press.
Regions is "working to" notify the infant's family, but the message has not been delivered, Boese told The Pioneer Press.

Letter to Obama tests positive for ricin, officials say

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A "suspicious substance" in a letter adressed to President Barack Obama was identified by White House mail handlers the same day a letter containing the poison ricin was found in the the Senate mailroom, the Secret Service told CNN Wednesday.
The letter to the president arrived at an off-site White House mail facility Tuesday, a federal enforcement official told NBC News.
The letters have been sent to laboratories for additional tests, results are expected after 24 to 48 hours CNN reported.
Shortly after the Secret Service announced the suspicious letter, Capitol Police questioned a man with a backpack in the first floor of the Hart Senate Office Building during its evacuation, CNN reported.
Sealed envelops in his backpack raised suspicion but the authorities do not believe the man was connected to the letters found Tuesday, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.
Ricin has no antidote and is made from castor beans which can kill within 36 hours, NBC reported.
Anytime suspicious powder is found in a mail facility, field tests are conducted and anytime there is a possibility of a biological agent, the material is sent to an accredited laboratory for further testing., NBC News reported.

The article covers the American Indian Community Development Corp.'s proposal to turn two buildings at Fort Snelling into a K-12 charter school and an outpost of the Leech Lake Tribal College (link here).
The lead references how to American Indians the land that the government calls Fort Snelling's Upper Post is known to them as the Upper Bluff. This is substantive because it shows their attachment to the land past just a simple need for space.
The article puts it into context of the history behind Fort Snelling but really doesn't compare it to what it means to the American Indians.
The reporter references Roxanne Gould, co-chair of the charter school's board with her saying, "The Dakota people had always hoped that land would be returned to them," The Star Tribune reported.
The reporter also wrote that Gould said the school would be called Bdote, a Dakota word referring to the convergence of rivers.
The reporter makes sure that the importance of Dakota and Ojibwe history comes across as just as important as history like Dred Scott.
The article doesn't go very far to move into something substantive, but instead does it lightly and centers around the land.

Secretary of State John Kerry went to Beijing Saturday to persuade the Chinese government to act on their frustration with North Korea's nuclear program, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He said that North Korea's nuclear program threatens the entire Pacific region and gained a restatement of sharing the goal of a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula, the Washington Post reported.
Kerry said there is a clear commitment between the United States and China to "bear down" to reduce the risk of nuclear war from North Korea, the Washington Post reported.
The United States and South Korea welcome reducing tension by talks under the right conditions, which China agreed to help in, the Washington Post reported.
Kerry met with South Korea's new president, Park Geun-hye and Foreign Minster Yun Byung-se to suggestions to opening the Pyongyang government to return to negotiations over its nuclear program, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Analysts believe a missile tests in North Korea might be timed for Kim Il Sung's birthday on April 15, a major public holiday for Kim Jung Un's grandfather who founded the nation, the Los Angeles Times reported,
"It is a huge mistake for him to choose to do that [a missile test] because it would further isolate his country and further isolate his people, who are frankly desperate for food, not missiles," Kerry told the Los Angeles Times in Seoul.

Three boys were arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing 15 year old, Audrie Pott, who later took her own lifeThe Associated Press reported.
The three 16-year-old boys were arrested last week by deputies on suspicion of sexual battery against the Northern California girl who hanged herself last fall after an explicit photo of the assault was circulated, The Associated Press reported.
"Based upon the discussions with police officers, at least on picture was disseminated extensively," the family's attorney, Robert Allard told ABC News.
During the week after the alleged assault at a friend's Labor Day party, Pott posted messages on Facebook saying, "My life is ruined," Allard told CBS News.
Social media has played a large role in alleged sexual assault cases this past year, CBS News reported.
Pott's parents were relieved by the recent arrests after watching the boys live their lives unaffected, Allard told CBS News.
They hope to develop Audrie's Law on cyberbullying where juveniles would be tried as adults in the most heinous cases, CBS News reported.

Anoka jurors convicted Minneapolis police officer Sgt. David Clifford Saturday for nearly killing a man at a bar by punching him, The Star Tribune reported.
Clifford, a SWAT team leader, will be sentenced May 29 for the assault on Brian Vander Lee, The Star Tribune reported.
Vander Lee, 44, fell and hit his head on the concrete patio floor at Tanners Station last June and was put on life support for 40 days and underwent three brain surgeries, The Star Tribune reported.
Clifford was convicted of first-degree assault and third-degree assault, The Pioneer Press reported.
Clifford faces a seven year term, two-thirds would be served in prison while the rest would be supervised release, The Star Tribune reported.
"Everyone assumes we're going to give him a break because he;s a police officer," prosecutor Blair Buccicone told The Star Tribune.
Buccicone said he called Vander Lee after the verdict was read who said Vander Lee was "emotional," The Pioneer Press reported.
The state's decision to charge Clifford was based on the video taken from a bar surveillance camera, The Pioneer Press reported.

Palestinian prime minister resigns

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Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, resigned Saturday, the New York Times reported.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Western-backed authority, accepted Fayyad's resignation but asked him to stay until a new government could be formed, Palestinian officials told the New York Times.
Fayyad was known for building institutions of future Palestinian statehood while cleaning up financial corruption, the Washington Post reported.
Abbas's ruling Fatah party criticized Fayyad's economic policies, which created strained relations between the two leaders, and worsened after the resignation of Finance Minister Nabil Qassis last month the Washington Post reported.
Secretary of State John Kerry talked with Fayyad last week to proposing a movement to aid the Palestinian government, the New York Times reported.
Fayyad was expected to play a key role in the effort as an expert in development, the Washington Post reported.

STDs increase in Minnesota

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The number of reported cases of sexually-transmitted diseases has increased 10 percent in 2012 since the previous year in Minnesota, The Minnesota Department of Health told The Pioneer Press.
About 21,500 cases were reported in 2012 while 19,500 were reported in 2011, the Pioneer Press reported.
The results were released by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday, The Star Tribune reported.
"Untreated STDs can have serious health consequences, and we need to increase out efforts in partnership with our most impacted communities," Minnesota's health commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger told The Star Tribune.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are the reportable STDs in Minnesota, The Pioneer Press reported.
Chlamydia, which can cause infertility in men and women, reached a record of 18,048 reports in 2012, a 7 percent increase from the previous year, The Star Tribune reported.
Teens and young adults accounted for 65 percent of last year's 3,082 cases of Gonorrhea, which rose 35 percent, The Star Tribune reported.
Minneapolis has the highest STD rates for metro areas, which make up 80 percent of gonorrhea cases while suburban areas accounted for 30 percent, The Star Tribune reported.

In the Associated Press's article about Portugal's continuing spending cuts they use numbers to tell the story by talking about money, percent, and time. Most of the numbers are not overwhelming especially when money is mentioned because I think those amounts are easy for people to grasp. The only time it's a little over whelming is when four percentages are given in the same paragraph. It makes sense but its just too many numerals.
It doesn't really seem that the reporter crunched numbers as much as only reported them. They took amounts from different years and put them next to each other and future predictions.
No direct sources, just mentions of events and cases when there was an amount of money or percent to measure.

New prime minister named in Lebanon

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Tammam Salam was named the new prime minister of Lebanon on Saturday, the New York Times reported.
Salam was named after receiving endorsements from the country's warring factions, the New York Times reported.
Lebanon's government is a sectarian system which is meant to balance power among the country's multiple sects by requiring that the president be a Maronite Christian, the prime minster a Sunni Muslim and the Parliament speaker a Shiite Muslim, the New York Times reported.
Salem was tasked by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to form a cabinet which is likely difficult because of the differences between his own Sunni Muslim community and Shiite Muslims, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Salem expressed at a news conference Saturday that he would be independent and intended to establish a national unity government made up of technocrats, the New York Times reported.
He served as culture minister in 2008 and is expected to serve through parliamentary elections scheduled in June but are likely to be delayed amid deadlock among Lebanon's Sunni, Shiite and Christian blocs over the new election law, the New York Times reported.

Two men caught after escape from federal prison

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Authorities apprehended two men who escaped from Duluth Federal Prison Camp last Saturday, The Pioneer Press reported.
A U.S. Marshal task force arrested Gerald James Greenfield and Michael Joseph Krzyzaniak at about 1 a.m. at a Burnsville hotel and were booked at Ramsey County Jail pending an initial appearance in U.S. District Court, The Pioneer Press reported.
Krzyzaniak, 64, and Greenfield, 67, were discovered missing during an evening headcount, The Pioneer Press reported.
They were not considered to be armed, dangerous or violent, prison officials told The Pioneer Press.
They had stayed at the hotel since Sunday registered under an alias, Laura Bourdon, a spokeswoman for TMI Hospitality, which owns and operates the hotel told The Star Tribune.
Krzyzaniak has nine years to serve of a 12-year-plus term for defrauding investors through development projects that never happened, The Star Tribune reported.
Greenfield was serving four years for helping the developer of the Sexton Lofts in Minneapolis hide profits, The Star Tribune reported.

SPCO makes new offer to end lockout

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The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra management offered a new proposal late Friday after a push from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman to prevent canceling the rest of the of the SPCO season, MPR News reported.
Coleman encouraged the musicians to consider the offer in a letter which addresses the their concerns, MPR News reported.
The musicians' attorney received a copy of the letter Friday, The Pioneer Press reported.
Some of the things Coleman got the SPCO to accept were compensation for substitute performers and alternates, a return-to-work agreement and the process for the artistic review, The Pioneer Press reported.
SPCO management proposed a $60,000 salary for three years and a reduction of full time positions in the orchestra from 34 to 28 March 28, which the musicians agreed to, The Pioneer Press reported.
SPCO management gave a Monday deadline to musicians for cancelling the remainder of the season, The Pioneer Press reported.
The musicians cannot vote on a contract until negotiations over digital media use between SPCO management and the American Federation of Musicians is resolved, The Pioneer Press reported.
There has been a lockout since Oct. 21, concerts are canceled until April 21, and the season schedule runs through June 8, The Pioneer Press reported.

Connecticut lawmakers agree on strict gun laws

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Connecticut lawmakers announced a deal on some of the country's toughest gun laws Monday from proposals after the mass shooting in the state Monday, The Associated Press reported.
The ban would included new registration requirements for existing magazines that carry 10 or more bullets, The Associated Press reported.
It would also include new state-issued eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rife, shotgun or ammunition and a mandates that offenders convicted of 40 or more weapons offenses register with the state, the New York Times reported.
The deal did not include a complete ban on high-capacity magazine ownership, something anti-gun forces asked for, the New York Times reported.
"When you take all the elements and compare it, I think you could judiciously say this is the strongest bill in the nation," Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence told the New York Times.
The proposal was revealed Monday after weeks of bipartisan negotiation, The Associated Press reported.

North Korea's leader announced Sunday that his country was determined to rebuild its economy while expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal, the New York Times reported.
Korean Central News Agency said North Korea's nuclear weapons "are neither a political bargaining chip nor a thing for economic dealing," the New York Times reported.
Kim Jung Un presided over the meeting of the central committee of the ruling Worker's Party which discussed building a stronger economy and nuclear arsenal, CBS reported.
The announcement comes after military exercises from the U.S. and South Korea, the New York Times reported.
U.S. and South Korean officials are still trying to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons through sanctions and diplomacy, the New York Times reported.
North Korea's nuclear weapons are a "treasure" that they will not trade for "billions of dollars," a KCNA statement said, CBS reported.
North Korea identified itself as a nuclear power when it revised its constitution last April, the New York Times reported.
President Obama and Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser, have urged Kim to learn from Myanmar where changed resulted in billions in debt forgiveness, large-scale development assistance and more foreign investment, the New York Times reported.
Economic development and expansion of their nuclear program could take place "simultaneously" because the nuclear development could allow them to limit military spending and pur more resources in agriculture and light industries, North Korea said Sunday, the New York Times reported.

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

March 2013 is the previous archive.

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