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February 27, 2009

Daughter, Mother Plot to Kill Dad

A man's wife an daughter were arrested Wednesday on charges of soliciting a hit man to kill the man, reports ABC News.

Tammy Lewis, 31, conspired with her mother, Shirley Hughes, 56, of Garland, Texas to hire a hit man to kill Kenneth Hughes, reports MSNBC.

Police investigators told MSNBC that Lewis met with an undercover officer in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

According to ABC News Lewis gave the officer a pistol and asked him to shoot her father and offered him $25,000 for the job.

The two planned to collect Hughe's $500,000 insurance policy after he died according to ABC News.

The two women are in jail on charges of criminal solicitations to commit capital murder. They are being held on $100,00 bond. If convicted the two could serve up to life in prison.

Boy, 5, Run Over by Bus

A Minneapolis boy, 5, was seriously injured Tuesday when a bus ran over over him after he slipped on the ice while waiting for the school bus with his mother reports the Star Tribune.

The boy was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition, reports MPR. The injuries he sustained included a broken leg and a crushed pelvis.

According to the Star Tribune, the boy and his mother were waiting for the school bus that goes to Windom School. The two boarded a bus and were told by the bus driver they were on the wrong bus. As the two exited the bus the boy slipped on an icy path and fell below the bus as it pulled away.

Police Sgt. Bill Palmer told the Star Tribune that the incident was a freak accident.

"We're all Minnesotans, and we've all slipped on the ice. That's what this little boy did, and he went under the bus." Palmer said.

The Bbs driver said he was not aware that the boy had fallen below the bus as he pulled away.

No Charges are expected.

February 25, 2009

Three Quit After Prisoners Escape From Jail Via Helicopter

The directer and two employees of a maximum-security prison in Greece resigned Monday after two of the prison's inmates escaped by helicopter, reports CNN.

The Greek minister of justice, Nicholas Dendias, said he had asked for the resignations of the director, security secretary and head of inspection and control at Korydallos Prison, in an Athens suburb.

"Those involved in this escape will be brought to justice and punished," Dendias said.

The Justice Ministry told the AP that two men hijacked a commercial helicopter Sunday, and flew it in low over the prison to avoid radar. When they reached prison a rope ladder was lowered that the two prisoners,Vassilis Paleokostas, 42, and Alket Riza, 34 climbed up.

Witnesses reported that guards at the prison shot at the helicopter as it left the scene, reports CNN. The helicopter was found north of Athens with bullet holes in the gas tank Sunday.

This was the second time in three years that Paleokostas had escaped from prison by helicopter. Paleokostas who is convicted of kidnapping a Greek businessman, and 16 bank robberies escaped in June 2006 and was recaptured several months later.

The resignations of Leonidas Karampekiou, the prison director; Foti Vlachou, the security secretary there, and Apostolos Economou, the head of inspection and control at the prison was announced by the justice minister Monday.

February 22, 2009

Follows Analysis

The two sources following the Hamas letter to President Obama are stop and follows. One of the stories only cover the delivery of the letter to John Kerry. The Second story covers the denial of the letter from Hamas.

The denial story is a later story from a different news source. It brings later information about the story than the first one. Because it is later it focuses upon the latest information as the main news value. It goes into limited detail about the information from the first story, telling only what is essential to know the background of the story.

Hair Saves Woman's Life

A Kansas City woman's hair weave stopped a bullet shot by her ex-boyfriend Wednesday, AP reports.

Officers found a bullet fired by her ex-boyfriend stopped by the tightly woven weave in her hair, reports MSNBC.

Police said the woman pulled into a convenience store parking lot, where a man told her that her ex-boyfriend still loved her.

When the woman said she no longer loved her ex-boyfriend she heard gunshots coming from behind he. The woman saw her ex-boyfriend holding a handgun. She drove her car into another parking lot where she called the police.

The two men were later arrested.

Mother and Daughter Indicted For Death in Day Care.

A Bloomington woman and daughter were indicted Thursday on charges of manslaughter for the death of a 22-month-old boy at the woman's day-care last summer, reports the Star Tribune.

Doris D. Meeks and Harmony S. Newman. were charged with three charges of manslaughter each for child neglect, child endangerment, and culpable negligence.

Demar Joseph-Amir Hicks as placed in a car seat in a play-pen for a nap on Aug. 28 at Mama D's Day Care on 10th Avenue South, reports the KTSP TV.

Police told the Star Tribune that Hicks was found unconscious with the seat belt buckle under his chin. He was revived by paramedics as he was taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina where he died two days later.

According to the indictment, Meeks had left Newman in charge of watching the 23 children while she went to run some errands. Meeks' license only allows her to watch up to 14 children at a time and requires two adults to be present at a time.

Meeks' license has been suspended and the county has shut down the daycare, reports KTSP.

February 20, 2009

Hamas denies Giving U.S. Senator Letter for the President

Hamas denied Friday that it gave a U.S. Senator a letter for President Barack Obama, Reuters reports.

Hamas denies any involvement in the letter Senator John Kerry received Thursday during his trip to the Gaza Strip.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Hamas, denies any such letter being given to Kerry.

"Hamas denies any such thing had happened. No letter was given to John Kerry," said Barhoum. "At the same time we stress that we are open to hold dialogue with any country and our only enemy is the Zionist occupation."

Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was touring the region and meeting with officials from the United Nations Relief and Works

Kerry received the letter along with a bundle of other materials following the meeting with the UNRWA, which he turned into the consul general in Jerusalem. State Department officialsconsulate alleges the letter is in fact from Hamas, regardless of any denials

The U.S considers Hamas a terrorist organization and maintains no contact with Hamas. According to CNN talks with Hamas have not been ruled out by President Obama as long as the organization Hamas swears off violence and abides by agreements made with previous Palestinian governments.

Eric Holder Calls Nation

Attorney General Eric Holder is receiving criticism for calling the United States cowards when it comes to race relations, reports CBS News.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards," Holder said in a speech he delivered as part of Black History Month, reports CNN.

Conservatives in America are criticizing Holder's remarks as incendiary and divisive.

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said America has shed more blood than any other nation in abolishment of slavery and advancement of civil rights, and that Holder's comments were inexcusable.

Holder said in his speech that issues like affirmative action should be openly debated in a nuanced, principled and spirited.

February 18, 2009

Fire Temporarily Closes School

A fire that closed down Sleepy Eye, Minn., public schools is being investigated as vandalism, reports the Mankato Free Press

The Sleepy Eye Fire and Police Departments arrived at the scene around 2:45 Wednesday where there found a fire in the basement and smoke in the building. Police said vandalism appears to have cause the fire but the cause exact cause is unknown, reports the Star Tribune.

No one was hurt in the fire, but several adjacent rooms did receive minor damage.

February 15, 2009

Structure Analysis

Article : Microsoft bounty for worm creator

The structure starts as a general overview of the story. It then goes deeper into the story and gets more specific. Most of the information a person would need to comprehend the full story. Things like paraphrasing and quotes are used to summarize the important elements.

The structure allows for the reader to get all the needed information at the beginning of the story. This allows for fluid reading. A reader does not have to search through the story for buried information pertinent to the news value of the story.

Man Killed By Train in St. Paul

A 33-year-old man was found dead after being struck by a train late Saturday, reports the Pioneer Press.

Police Cmdr. Kevin Casper said a train operator reported around 11:00 p.m. that a man was laying on the tracks near Bush Avenue and Burr Street.

Police spokesman Peter Panos told the Star Tribune that the man was already on the tracks when he was struck by a train.

It is unclear why the man was on the tracks. The time the man was struck is still unknown.

U.S. and Russian Satellites Collide Over Siberia

A Russian and a U.S. satellite collided over Siberia Tuesday, reports the BBC.

Iridium, a U.S. communications satellite and Kosmos-2251, an inactive Russian Satellite collided Tuesday roughly 500 mile above Siberia. The crash poses a threat to other unmanned satellites and is thought to be the worst incident of this sort ever.

The U.S. Department of Defense's Space Surveillance Network tracks the 6,000 man-made satellites and debris in orbit around the space, reports AP. They are tracking the debris to ensure the the safety of nearby satellites, specifically the Hubble Telescope and the International Space Station.

A NASA memo listed the risk to the ISS as elevated, but low and within acceptable limits.

A spokeswoman from Iridium said their satellite was where it was supposed to be. Iridium has the ability to move their satellites, but has never received a report accurate enough for the company to do so.

Russia has not commented on the status of their satellite.

February 13, 2009

Train Derailment Leaves 15 Dead, Others Injured

At least 15 people were killed and 150 injured when a train derailed Friday in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, reports the AFP.

Railway officials said the 12 cars came off the tracks 60 miles outside of Jujpar, near the state capital.

Officials from the East Coast Railway company said others may be still be trapped inside the train and they are worried that more fatalities may occur.

"At least 15 deaths are confirmed," said JP Mishra, a senior spokesperson for East Coast Railway. "We do not know what caused the accident as yet."

Witnesses at the scene said the train was traveling at high speeds, reports the BBC/

Rescue workers from the East Coast Railway company along with hundreds of local volunteers worked to aid survivors and clear away wreckage

This accident comes on the same day that Minister Lalu Yadav took credit for saving the state-run railways from bankruptcy.

300 railway accidents occur in India every year.

Starbucks Closes, Spurs Protesters

Customers of the Main Street location of Starbucks in Stillwater are staging a rally Sunday to help keep the store open, reports the Star Tribune.

Kevin Thode, Starbucks regular, organized the Sunday's rally to stop the closing of the Main Street location. He is hoping that at least 200 people attend the rally.

"It might be a fool's errand" said Thode. "It still will be fun no matter what the results are."

Similar rallies have occurred in other cities since Starbucks began closing under-performing stores in July.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks said that the company does grant interviews for individual store closings. She commented that the company was humbled by the support the company was receiving and realized the effect the closing had on the community.

Two other Starbucks remain open in Stillwater along with two locally owned coffee shops on Main Street.

February 11, 2009

Marijuana Advocates Boycott Kellogg

Advocates of marijuana have called for a boycott of Kellogg Co. after Kellogg Co. cut ties with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps following a pot smoking incident, AP reports.

The leader of the Marijuana Policy Project is calling Kellogg Co.'s split with Phelps hypocritical.

Rob Kampia said smoking pot is a safer alternative to beer and that dropping Phelps because of it is a dangerous message to send to young people.

"Kellogg's had no problem signing up Phelps when he had a conviction for drunk driving, an illegal act that could actually have killed someone" said Kampia, the group's executive director.

Other groups who have joined the boycott include the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Kellogg Co. announced last week that their contract with Phelps ended in February and their choice not to renew was a business decision. No official statement has been made concerning the boycott.

February 8, 2009

Attribution Analysis

Looking at the BBC story concerning the Wii console being used to help the elderly, the BBC used four sources; the University of Aberdeen, NHS Grampion, Dr. Alison Stewart and Dr. Marie Fraser. The sources are spread out throughout the article, usually preceding information that BBC received from the source.

The article is set up so the source is named before information is given from that source. It is effective in that the reader knows who the information came from. It is somewhat confusing. Information listed several graphs after naming the source hangs in the open as if lacking a source.

Venezuelans Protest Infinite Re-election

Tens of thousand of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas Saturday to protest a constitutional amendment that would allow President Hugo Chavez and other officials indefinite re-election, the BBC reports.

The amendment, proposed by Chavez, would allow him to finish the work he has began in the country socialist revolutions, supporters said.

The amendment will be put to a referendum Feb. 15. Polls show that support for the bill is leading by a slight margin.

The protest was lead by opposition political parties and anti-government students, Reuters reports.

BBC's Will Grant said the protests show there is strong opposition to the amendment proposed by Chavez.

A similar amendment failed to pass the referendum in 2007.

If this referendum fails to pass Chavez will leave office in 2012.

February 7, 2009

Wii Used to Study Balance in Elderly

Researchers in Aberdeen, UK are studying the effects the Nintendo Wii on the balance of the elderly, reports the BBC.

The University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampion are studying the results the Wii console's balance board has on people over the age of 70. Researcher want to know if the console can reduce the risk of falling in older people.

"Falls are the most common cause of accidental injury in older people and the most common cause of accidental death in 75 year olds and over," Dr. Marie Fraser, specialist registrar at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen, said.

Dr. Alison Stewart said she got the idea to use the Wii console after funding could not be raised for a more piece of equipment.

Stewart hopes the Wii console can help reduce the chance of falling and entertain at the same time.

February 6, 2009

AP Seek Componsation for Hope Poster

The Associated Press is seeking compensation for the use of an image used to create the Barack Obama hope poster, the BBC reports.

Shepard Fairey acknowledged he created the image based upon an original picture taken by Mannie Garcia for the AP. The image has since been placed upon a variety of consumer goods and is now in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

Paul Colford, AP's director of media relations, said the the use of the image required permission.

"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis," he said, "We hope for an amicable solution."

Fairey's lawyer, Anthony Falzone, said that the picture is protected under fair-use laws, allowing the public to copy an author's work for the purpose of criticism, parody, or educational use without permission.

Georgetown University law professor Rebecca Tushnet said the Fairey work only copies the characteristics of Obama's face which does not have a copyright.

Eagan Principal in Trouble For Questionalbe Punishment

Discipline was proposed Thursday for an Eagan elementary school prinicipal who forced a 6-year-old student to unclog a toilet with his bare hands, Reports the Star Tribune.

Doug Steele, prinicipal of Rahn Elementary, has been on paid leave since December while the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district investigated the event. The district passed a resolution proposing disciplinary action against Steele. No specifics of his punishment have been announced, reports KSTP.

The boy's parents, Elijah and Shannon Hannah, said their Steele asked their son to unclog a toilet by hand which their son had accidentally clogged on Dec. 12. They said the boy had used the paper towels to clean himself.

Elijah Hannah described Steele as being apologetic for the event. He has not said the nature of the discipline or whether he plans to appeal the districts resolution, reports the Associated Press.

February 4, 2009

University Puts Garbage in Public to Raise Recycling Awareness

Student volunteers sorted through a load of garbage Wednesday to raise awareness about recycling on the University of Minnesota Campus, the Star Tribune reported.

A garbage truck emptied its entire load in of Coffman Memorial Union on the university campus Wednesday. Volunteers started to sort through the load of garbage in search of recyclable material shortly after. The effort hopes to increase the amount of recycling done on campus and decrease waster per student.

The Star Tribune reports that recycling efforts have been going on at the university for 25 years. Currently only 32 percent of waste at University is recycled.

Dana Donatucci, the director of university recycling programs hopes to increase that to 50 percent.

Wednesday's event and the university's recycling programs are part of the university RecycleMania effort. RecycleMania is a competition between university to reduce waste and increase recycling.

February 1, 2009

Lead Analysis

This article from the BBC had the following lead paragraph:

US swimming star Michael Phelps has admitted to "regrettable behaviour", after a UK newspaper published a photo of him apparently smoking cannabis.

The news elements this lead includes are the who, the what, and the when. The who is Olympic athlete Michael Phelps. The what is admitting to the regrettable behavior. The when is a general time after the newspaper ran a photo Phelps committing said behavior.

This lead tells the reader the most important part of the story in a concise manner. Things are left out of the lead, like the where because it is unimportant to the overall story. The when is left general because the news value is in the event happening, not the day it happened.

The two most important parts of the story are in this lead to draw readers in. The famous athlete and his misdeed are mentioned in the paragraph.

Focusing on some aspects and omitting others conveys the story and keeps people reading.

Who's Got Jenny's Number Now

He's got it, he's got it, and now he doesn't want it any more.

A New Jersey man is giving up his claim to one of rock 'n' roll's most notable phone numbers, the AP reports.

The phone number 867-5309 was immortalized in Tommy Tutone's 1982 hit "867-5309/Jenny."

Spencer Potter said that he and his roommates chose the number for their home on a whim. Since then they report receiving 30 to 40 phone calls a day.

Potter, a disc jockey, plans to move to New York. He willing be selling his business and the number on eBay. The bid stand as nearly $4000 as of Sunday.