February 2011 Archives

Analysis: multimedia options

The New York Times features pictures of the day, videos and interactive maps/graphs. A good example of an interactive graph on the NY Times website is a chart they put together that profiles all the countries that are involved in some sort of political upheaval. They attached articles about each country, what people are saying on Twitter, a map showing where the country is located and facts about the current leader. All the writing that goes along with the interactive features is incredibly concise but still gives enough information to understand the story.

The LA Times also has a photography and video section on their website and like the NY Times, the writing is very concise but informative. The LA Times sometimes incorporates a little bit more background information to go along with the picture, but for the most part both news organizations use the same style of writing.

The main difference between the two sites is that the NY Times incorporates their interactive features a little bit more into the main content than the LA Times does.

Police nab 'Beat-Down-Posse'

The police finally got the two powerful members of the 'BDP' or the 'Beat-Down-Posse', a notorious north Minneapolis gang that had been sought after for years, the Star Tribune reported.

The ruthless gang robbed drug dealers, sold guns and drugs, and brutally beat up members who did not cooperate and criminal associates who were in debt to them, according to the Star Tribune.

The Pioneer Press reported that Joseph Duane Gustafson Jr., the alleged founder of 'BDP', and Troy Michael Neuberger, Gustafson's right-hand man, were charged with crimes that ranged from drug sales and assault to mortgage fraud, according to Hennepin Police.

According to the Pioneer Press the biggest charge that the men face is racketeering, which could put them in prison for as long as 20 years and add up to $1 million in fines, if they are found guilty.

Dayton's budget proposes financial aid cuts for students

Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal protects the Minnesota State Grant System, but would cut other financial aid services including the State Work Study Program, reported the Minnesota Daily.

According to the MN Daily, the work study program, which provides funds for 11,000 students statewide, would receive the largest cut and reduce the program's funding by $9.76 million.

Minnesota Republicans have also criticized Dayton's tax proposal in his budget, which plans to raise $3.3 billion in taxes mostly on the wealthy, reported the Star Tribune.

Dayton fired back at Republican lawmakers and said that Republican policies would result in increased property taxes, according to the Star Tribune.

Libyan rebels stand up against Qaddafi's forces near Tripoli

Libya's sprouting protests grew into a revoluntionary movement when rebels repelled an assault from Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Thursday near Tripoli, reported the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, the stands that the rebel forces took on Thursday in Zawiyah, a city situated 30 miles from the capital and near vital oil resources, presented the most serious threat to Qaddafi.

Qaddafi also gave a speech on Thursday in which he rambled about how Osama bin Laden was responsible for drugging the young protesters into a rebellious uproar, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Obama administration was in communication with the United Nations and other allies, to come up with a solution dealing with the crisis.

Four American hostages held on hijacked yacht are killed

According to the New York Times, four Americans were taken hostage after their yacht was hijacked last week by Somali pirates off of East Africa, when early Tuesday their captors shot and killed them, American military officials said.

U.S. Naval forces were following the Americans' hijacked yacht with four warships, and quickly boarded the yacht after gunshots were heard, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, U.S. Central Command in Florida said in a statement that the U.S. officials tried to provide lifesaving care to the Americans, but they died from their gunshot wounds.

The four travelers were the first American hostages to be killed ever since the continuous hijackings around the Horn of Africa began two decades ago, reported the New York Times.

Ohio and Wisconsin prepare for protests over public workers

According to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday, layoff notices for state employees could go out as early as next week if his proposal, which eliminates the bargaining rights for unions, is not resolved soon, reported the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reported that Walker said in a statement to the Associated Press, that the layoffs would not take effect immediately and did not indicate which state employees would be targeted, but that up to 1,500 employees could be laid off by July if his budget is not approved.

The New York Times reported that Tuesday morning pro-union demonstators began showing up in Columbus, the state capital of Ohio, to protest a bill being heard in the legislature that is similar to Wisconsin's.

The bill, if passed, would end collective bargaining for Ohio state workers and dramatically reduce bargaining power for local workers such as firefighters, according to the New York Times.

Analysis: Protester clashes in Libya

The Los Angeles Times reported on the unrest in Libya and published an article on Feb. 19th. The lead in this story talks about how Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi responded to the protesters by deploying troops, and mentions the number of reported deaths known at the time the story was published.

Story 1
Story 2

The lead in the second story released by the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 20th differs in that it talks about both Libya and Yemen, and how both countries developed similar situations, both with protesters being killed.

The main news in each article is summarized with the most important information first, focusing on how the government reacted to the unrest and the fact that people were killed by the different security forces.

The second story advances the news by making a connection between Yemen and Libya and their current situations, which were influenced by neighbors Egypt and Tunisia.

The second-day story is not a response to a report from a competing news organization, even though the NY Times released articles about Libya's situation at the same time. If anything, the first-day story tried to compete with the NY Times because it was constantly being updated with new facts. The second-day story was more developed and gave deeper information.

Minnesota's liquors laws to change?

Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, wants to change Minnesota liquor law's to allowing liquor stores to be open on Sundays, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, Reinert's bill might not bring in a lot of new tax revenue, but it is consumer friendly recognizing that families are not always able to finish all shopping in one day.

The Minnesota Daily reported that this new liquor bill would eliminate the need to make the 40-minute drive to Hudson, Wis., replacing it with a quick trip to a nearby liquor store.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Minnesota is one of 14 states with a ban on liquor sales on Sundays.

From Libya to Yemen, tensions continue to rise

The tensions in the Middle Eastern and Northern African countries on Friday have intensified, as protesters continue to confront security forces with the determination to overthrow their governments, who have plagued their societies with poverty and oppression, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the demonstrations and protests in Libya, Jordan and Yemen have not yet reached a political tipping point.

According to the New York Times, anti-government supporters clashed with government supporters for the eighth day in Yemen in the city of Taiz.

The NY Times reported that according to a Reuters report in Yemen, a grenade exploded in the city's Freedom Square in a large crowd of anti-government protesters, which left eight people injured.

Protesters in Libya die as situation intensifies

A funeral procession was fired on by Libyan security forces in the city of Benghazi on Sunday, while residents tried to bury dozens of people who died from the crackdown the day before, reported the New York Times.

The uprising in Libya against dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has been going on for five days, and the independent group Human RIghts Watch has recorded 173 confirmed deaths in the country, according to the New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reported that according to eyewitness reports the country has been isolated with the internet largely shut down, making it difficult for journalists to work freely.

Protesters were throwing firebombs and stones, using bulldozers to try and break into a presidential compound where troops had fired on marchers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Dayton's budget includes $171M higher education cut

Gov. Mark Dayton introduced his budget plan on Tuesday which proposes to raise income taxes on Minnesota's most wealthy by 5 percent, making it the highest in the nation, according to the Star Tribune.

According to the Minnesota Daily Dayton's budget plan aims to cut the cost of higher education, and if enacted the budget would cut the state's $6.2 billion deficit in half.

Senator Majority Leader Amy Koch criticized that Dayton's budget plan would put Minnesota as having the highest income tax in state history, and that the plan lacks stimulus for private-sector job growth, the Star Tribune reported.

The Daily reported that Republicans believe Dayton's budget to be out of sync with the needs of the state and consider tax increases to be out of the question.

Obama passes $3.7 trillion budget plan to Congress

President Barack Obama released a $3.7 trillion federal budget plan on Monday which would reduce some safety-net programs for the poor, but also comply with the Republican demand for dramatic cuts in the government, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reports that this 10-year proposed budget plan does not mention any changes to the long-term problem areas of Social Security and Medicare.

According to the Minnesota Daily Obama's plan, if passed, would drastically cut the Pell Grant program over the course of 10 years, which lends millions of dollars of financial aid to University of Minnesota students.

The Pell Grant program distributes about $28 million to U of M students every year adding up to around 20 percent of the population on campus receiving some aid, the Minnesota Daily reported.

This story about Obama's budget proposal that he will present on Monday, from the Los Angeles Times, organizes the most relevant information that the U.S. citizen will be most interested in.

The first paragraph summarizes the challenge of creating a budget plan when there is a Republican dominated House. The story unfolds to describe how Obama will have to argue his budget blueprint to win the support of the Republicans who want deep cuts in programs.

The reporter organized the article to first articulate how his budget proposal that he presents on Monday, will be received from politicians in oppositions. This is effective because any national decision on budget cuts will affect how the economy runs, and in turn how many jobs will be created.

It could have been organized differently but it would not be as effective because the most important aspects are: how the Republicans react to the proposal, what the proposal entails, and how the proposal will affect the economy. That is exactly what the reporter focused on and it worked very well.

Egypt's military rulers suspend the constitution

The Egyptian military took steps to fulfill the protesters' demands for a democratic governmental transition on Sunday, by dissolving the current parliament, suspending the constitution and setting elections to be held six months from now, the New York Times reported.

The New York Times reports that according to a statement from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Egypt is temporarily under direct military authority which has not happened since Egypt's foundation in 1952.

The protesters have pressed the current military authority to immediately put the transition from Mubarak's authoritarian rule into effect, by appointing a presidential council and releasing political prisoners, the Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune reported that Hossam Bahgat, director of the non-governmental Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said that the military steps are positive but warned that Egypt was in a uncharted legal area.

Dayton vetos $900 million Republican budget bill

Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday turned down a Republican budget billl only hours after it passed, that would aim to eliminate $900 million from the state's deficit, reported the Minnesota Daily.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Dayton criticized that the bill would increase property taxes and would not solve the state's $6.2 billion budget shortfall.

The Star Tribune reported that Dayton was believed to have cast the earliest veto from a firt-term governor since World War II.

According to the Star Tribune, that dramatically contrasted his State of the State address on Wednesday where he talked about ending political polarization between Republicans and the DFLers on the matter of the state deficit.

Hospitals shift policies towards tobacco-free employees

Many medical businesses and hospitals in different states, are implementing a policy that allows smoking to be a reason to turn away potential employees, reported the New York Times.

The Times reports that the idea is to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and promote a healthy lifestyle.

These types of policies have started to become more mainstream in the health industry, but the the legality of employers turning down smokers applying for health care jobs has been questioned before in state courts, the New York Times reported.

In terms of quitting smoking, according to the Los Angeles Times two new online studies released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine encourage consumers to try the electronic cigarette.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the electronic cigarette potentially can help a smoker break the habit, and users inhale nicotine in a vapor form mimicking the behavior of smoking.

Protesters enraged that Mubarak remains in office

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday told the public in a speech that he will hand over power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, but he gave no indication of full resignation, reported the New York Times.

According to the New York Times Mubarak's decision to stay in office may push some protesters to the limit, potentially changing the peaceful protests into desperate violence.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the crowd had been misled because before Mubarak gave his speech, the public had heard wild rumors all alluding to the idea that Mubarak was no longer in power.

Immediately after Mubarak's speech as many as 1,000 protesters left Tahrir Square, and marched to the building that houses offices of state television, according to the Los Angeles Times.

English-only bill introduced in Minn.

Last week a bill was introduced in the state Senate that would make English the official language of Minn., according to the Minnesota Daily.

The Daily reported that this bill would make it ilegal for government business, such as meetings and documents, be conducted in any language other than English. It would also eliminate the need for agencies to hire employees that have bilingual skills.

According to the Star Tribune, the bill would prohibit people who aren't fluent in English from receiving a driver's license, and would require that applicants take the test without an interpreter.

The Star Tribune reported that this bill, if passed, would create legislation similar to 20 other states.

Analysis: first lady to focus on restaurant nutrition

The New York Times reported on this story that focuses on Michelle Obama's ambitions to eliminate the child obesity epidemic within a generation, through promotion of exercise and healthy-eating.

She now looks to restructure certain aspects that pertain to the restaurant industry.

This story uses around 12 sources and the sources that were identified were specific people who were quoted directly. The sources were scattered throughout the story, lending more credibility and development to the article as a whole.

The quotes were from specific people and the information as well came from credible representatives, from companies that are involved with the first lady's future plans.

I found the attributions in this story to be very effective because the reporters set up the facts, and then they directly supported them with logical attributions.

For example the reporters talk first about how she persuaded Congress to encourage schools to incorporate more healthy foods in the lunches, and lawmakers to have restaurants print nutritional information on menus. The attribution that follows is from Lanette R. Kovachi, a corporate dietitian for Subway, and she effectively comments on Michelle Obama's tactics that were mentioned a sentence before.

Husband of Giffords to return to space mission

The husband of Tuscon Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Mark E. Kelly a NASA astronaut, announced Friday that he will oblige his commitment of a two-week shuttle mission to the International Space Station, reported the New York Times.

Space Shuttle Commander Kelly said that Giffords would be "very comfortable" with his decision to return to the mission, that is planned to launch in April, according to the Star Tribune.

During a news conference on Friday, Kelly failed to talk about Gifford's current condition and explain how he knows that Gifford supports his decision, according to the Star Tribune.

The New York Times reports that many people voiced their opinion on Kelly's decision via the Internet, and that the general consensus showed support.

Egypt's top leadership resigns from ruling party

In Cairo the top leadership of the National Democratic Party, including President Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal, resigned simulating change, but continued to try to hold onto power, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The dramatic restructuring of the party puts immense pressure on Vice President Omar Suleiman to completely erase the trail of Mubarak's power, and any ambitions his son may have for continuing the reign, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to American officials whoever becomes the next president in September, the Egyptian military will play a key role in governing Egypt, reported the New York Times.

Tucson shooting suspect scheduled for federal charges first

Jared Lee Loughner, suspect of the Tuscon shooting rampage, will go to federal court before facing state murder charges, for leaving six dead and 13 injured from the shooting on Jan. 8, reported the New York Times.

Loughner, 22, will first be tried in federal court for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two other government staff members.

He faces one charge of attempted assassination and two of attempted murder, while also looking toward indictments that could carry the death penalty, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the federal and state authorities are working together to ensure that the rights of the victims and their families are vindicated.

Circle Pines deaths declared murder-suicide

Two people discovered dead in a Circle Pines town home on Wednesday, were declared to have died from a murder-suicide, iniciated by the man who was in a relationship with the woman, the Star Tribune reported.

Jesse Oakley, 36, took his own life after he shot and killed Nicole Meier, 26, who was returning to the home for rent money, according to the Star Tribune.

The Sheriff's office said Meier's co-workers were aware that she did not feel comfortable meeting with Oakley alone at the home, reported the Pioneer Press.

When Meier did not show up for work her co-workers called the authorities.

New Islamic Law Program born at the U

The University of Minnesota opened their new Islamic Law and Human Rights Program on Friday.

The program will aim to engage students to analyze the issues surrounding the rule of law in the context of the Muslim community, reported the Star Tribune.

Abdulwahid Qalinle, an adjunct professor of law at the University of Minnesota, will be in charge of the new program.

The program will intertwine traditional academic endeavours such as conferences and research, as well as offer internships and a chance to partner with groups to confront different community issues, according to the Minnesota Daily.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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