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August 12, 2007

Lutherans to keep gay clergy in ministry

The nation's largest Lutheran denomination urged its bishops to refrain from disciplining gay ministers who are in committed relationships at a meeting of the church's leaders Saturday in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported. The resolution, which came from Chicago's bishop, was surprising to some because it came just a day after the same group defeated a measure that would have ended a ban on non-celibate gay clergy. The agreement, which passes 538-431, stems from a case involving an Atlanta pastor who told his bishop that he was in a relationship with another man and was subsequently dismissed from the clergy. Although the new measure would not reinstate him, the pastor said he was happy it passed because it prevented others from going through what he went through.

August 5, 2007

Army offers bonus to ship out fast

Struggling to fill slumping recruitment numbers and pump up its ranks in the Middle East, the Army is trying a new incentive, the Pioneer Press (http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_6552115) reported Saturday. The P.Press, which picked up the story from the Chicago Tribune, reported that the Army is now offering new and returning recruites a 20,000 dollar bonus upon sign up for their "Quick Ship" program. Recruits are guaranteed the bonus if they promise to ship out to basic training in less than a month. Part of the inspiration for the program stems from the Army's difficulties meeting its recruitment goal of 80,000 new recruits by the end of the federal fiscal year in September. Under the "Quick Ship" program, a new recruit can be in a combat situation in as little as three months, depending on how much specialized training is required for the soldier's job.

July 29, 2007

Vice President Cheney ok after surgery

Vice President Dick Cheney was in good condition Saturday after having his defibrillator replaced, the Washington Post reported Sunday. Doctors at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., replaced the device that monitors Cheney's heartbeat. The device, commonly used in the United States, sends an electronic surge through the heart when it detects an irregular heartbeat, setting it normal again. Doctors did not have to replace any of the wiring connected to the device, which is woven through Cheney's heart and therefore would have been a more extensive and serious surgery. Cheney smiled and waved when he left the hospital, about four hours after his arrival. He is expected to resume regular activity and duties immediately.

July 15, 2007

Sniper shoots wife

A singer was shot just after midnight Saturday as she sang in a Wyoming bar, the Associated Press reported Sunday. Authorities are now looking for her husband, who went to sniper school while in the Army. Robin Munis recently separated from her husband, David Munis, who is now in the National Guard. She complained to authorities Friday that her estranged husband had left a threatening message on her phone. Customers at Old Chicago in Cheyenne, Wyo., ran for cover in bathrooms, freezers and the kitchen after a shot rang out in the bar and Robin Munis fell to the stage. So far, no one has reported seeing the shooter or where the shot was fired from. However, witnesses did see a black pick-up truck slowly pull out of the parking lot and then speed away immediately following the shooting. David Munis currently works as a recruiter for a base about 100 miles north of Cheyenne, and is scheduled to become a second lieutenant next month.

June 28, 2007

Wrestler kills family, then himself

A wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. cancled an appearance in Texas on Saturday, and was found dead Monday in his suburban Atlanta home, the Washington Post reported Thursday. Chris Benoit, 40, also suffocated his wife and seven-year-old son before hanging himself. The three were discovered by authorities Monday. Friends had requested law enforcement check on the family after receiving disturbing text messages from Benoit. Authorities found multiple prescription drugs in the home, including anabolic steroids. United States health officials have linked this type of steroids to angery outbursts, something that could prove as a motive in this case. WWE authorities said Benoit passes a random drug test in April that included a screening for steroids, but they said they could not confirm whether or not he was using the steroids at the time of death. Toxicollogy reports have not been completed in the case and authorities said it could take weeks to get the results back.

June 22, 2007

Cheney says rules don´t apply to him

Vice President Dick Cheney´s office refused to cooperate with an agency that oversees classified documents, later attempting to abolish the office when it tried to challenge his actions, CNN.com reported Friday. The National Archieves´ Infromation Security Oversight Office is designed to make sure classified information and documents are properly handled by members of the Executive Branch, which includes the Vice President´s office. According to the oversight office´s director, Cheney´s office argued that the Vice President´s office did not meet the definition of an Executive Branch office, therefore making it exempt from the rules. According to the agency director, the letter also suggested that his office would be abolished under a revision of the presidental order that created it. That revision is now under consideration. In an article published Friday in the LA Times, Cheney denied trying to abolish the office but neither confirmed or denied the charges that his office had successfully resisted mandatory on-site security checks by the Oversight Office.

June 11, 2007

Senate considers 'no confidence' vote in Gonzales

Senators are considering a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Reuters reported Monday. The senators hope the vote will help push Gonzales to resign as controversy around the dismissal of U.S. attorneys for political reasons grows. President Bush called the effort "meaningless" and said the movement is likely to fail. A no confidence vote has no physical impact in the United States, however, Democratic leaders in the Senate want to bring further pain to the struggling Bush Administration. Senate Republicans are expected to block a no confidence vote, since Democrats hold a majority of Senate seats but not the 60 required to pass a vote of no confidence.

June 7, 2007

Libby gets 2 1/2 years

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentanced to 30 months in prison Tuesday for his role in the leaking of a CIA officer's name to the media. Libby was convicted of lying to federal investigators about his knowledge in the case, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

A U.S. District Court Judge who sentanced Libby imposed the strict prison penalty and a financial penalty of $250,000, also saying he thought Libby "got off course" during his time at the White House.

Libby, a prominent Washington lawyer, resigned from his job at the White House in October, 2005 after being indicted in the leak. A federal jury found Libby guitly of four felonies in March, including perjury and obstruction of justice.

May 27, 2007

Terror suspect extradited to US

An American student arrested last year in London on suspicions of aiding terrorists was extradited to the United States Saturday, the New York Daily News reported Saturday. The Brooklyn College graduate from New York was born in Pakistan and raised in the United States. He was arrested in 2003 in a London airport while alledgedly trying to meet up with a terrorist group. He is also charged with sending money and military equipment to terrorists, specifically to Al Qaeda. The 27-year-old has begged the British government not to extradite him back to the United States, according to the New York Post.

May 18, 2007

Dems drop timetable

Democratic congressional leaders cut out a schedule for troop pull-out in Iraq from a spending bill Friday, the USA Today reported. This is the first concession the new congressional majority has made to the White House over the war in Iraq. However, in a closed meeting with top White House aides, Democrats said they would strip billions of dollars in domestic spending if President Bush would accept a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq. They even offered Bush the opportunity to waive his compliance with the timetable if he would accept the spending bill.

The White House declined to accept the conditions laid out in the closed meeting, leaving Democrat leaders still scrambling to complete their agenda before the session ends.

April 29, 2007

California bridge collapses after fire

The Associated Press reports breaking news of a heavily-trafficed bridge in California's Bay area collapsing after a gasoline tanker truck overturned and erupted into flames early Sunday morning. According to the article in the Boston Globe, the heat from the fire was so intense that it melted part of the freeway, which caused the collapse. The truck driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns. Otherwise, according to the San Francisco Chronicler, no injuries were reported. Transportation officials were working to find alternate routes fit for the heavy traffic flow from two interstates to downtown Oakland.

February 25, 2007

Virginia says sorry for slavery

Virginia's General Assembly voted Saturday to express "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery, the Miami Herald reported. In a unanimous measure, the former Confederate capital appoligized not only for the state's role in slavery but also for their role in exploiting Native Americans. The measure doesn't hold as much weight as a law, but the Virginia resolution is an unprecented step in that direction, according to Al Jazeera.

February 17, 2007

Senate blocks effort to renew Iraq debate

The US Senate narrowly defeated an effort to renew debate over the troop build-up in Iraq Saturday. The minority Republicans successfully formed a block against Democrats' efforts to formulate an official opposition to the Bush administration's war policy. This decision came just a day after the House successfully passed a resolution stating their opposition to the troop build-up plan, according to the New York Times.

However, the outcome (56-34) fell short of the neccessary 60 votes to break a procedural stalemate on the issue. The vote also suggests, according to the New York Times, that Senate Republicans are beginning to defect from party lines in joining the Democrats on the administration's Iraq policy. Among the defects, the New York Times reported, was Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), along with six other Senate Republicans.

This is the second time the Senate Republicans have successfully blocked an Iraq resolution. According to the Houston Chronical, Bush said that Congressional opposition to his war policies will not change his decided course of action.

The Pioneer Press picked up The Associated Press's version of the story, which also reported that Democrat leaders would no longer focus their attention on non-binding resolutions like the one that failed Saturday.

January 27, 2007

Thousands protest war

Both the major papers covered this protest march in Washington, DC.

Interestingly, both papers also appear to have used the same (or very similar) Associated Press articles detailing the event. Although both the P. Press and Strib use the same information and follow the general same format, their ledes differ in style and content.

The P. Press lede focused mostly on the who (who the marchers were) and also touched on the why (why they decided to march).

The Strib lede touched on the who but not in as much detail. It also explained the why, when and what in more detail than the P. Press lede.