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March 29, 2008

Tanzanian mine floods

A mine flood in Tanzania left at least 75 miners missing, all of whom are feared to be dead, a government official said Saturday. CNN

Heavy rainfall in northeastern Tanzania near the town of Arusha lead to the mine collapse, which operates as a mine for a rare gem called Tanzanite, a government official said. Reuters

Six bodies have been recovered so far, a journalist and an owner of the mine said.

The government is attempting to drain the mines to retrieve the workers, Manyara Regional Commissioner Henry Shekifu said. The rainfall is causing problems such as power outages for the rescuers.

The mines are dangerous to work in, for they are little more than holes dug hundreds of feet deep with little safety precautions taken, CNN said.

Previous accidents have occurred, including another collapse ten years ago, when more than 100 miners died,
CNN said.

Earth Hour tonight

Between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m., several buildings in downtown Minneapolis will shut off their lights, MPR said.

The city will join in shutting off their lights as part of the the International Earth Hour Saturday night, Kare 11 News said.

The IDS Center, the U.S. Bancorp building, the Wells Fargo Center and other Minneapolis skyscrapers will go completely dark tonight.MPR

The Stone Arch Bridge and some buildings in the theater district will also turn out the lights as the city joins the global Earth Hour event.
Kare 11 News

Earth Hour is an event designed to encourage the world to conserve energy.

Earth Hour already started on the other side of the globe, as the lights went out in Sydney, Australia. After Australia, lights will go out in major Asian cities before moving to Europe and North America.

City leaders in Minneapolis are encouraging residents and other businesses to participate as well. Kare 11 News

March 27, 2008

Henry Sibley beats Mayo

The Henry Sibley High School men's varsity basketball team beat Mayo High School in the first round of the state varsity boys basketball tournament.

The game, which had a final score of 68-58, took place at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

It was both teams' first ever state tournament men's basketball game, said Kare 11 News.

The second-seeded Henry Sibley had all five starters score in double figures, led by Peter Leslie with a team-high 19 points. Lucas Kuipers scored 18 points for Mayo. Kare 11 News

"I just couldn't get a rhythm going," Jordan Hicks, starting guard for Mayo High School said. Hicks, whose mother is battling cancer, has lead the team in scoring this year. He will attend Rice College next year on a full-ride basketball scholarship.

"It's hard to lose. We worked really hard to get here," Barry Kenny, a member of the Mayo Spartan's team, said.

March 25, 2008

Analysis on obits

Look at a news obituary -- not a paid death notice, but an obituary written by a reporter about the death of someone notable in the community. What sources are used? Does it have a standard obituary lead or an alternative? Does that lead work? How does the obit differ from a resume?

The news obituary for a former Ohio state Sen. Howard Metzenbaum was found at the Washington Post. The only source mentioned is the senator's former chief of staff, Joel Johnson. It has a mostly standard obituary lead because it starts with the title and name of the person, a notable characteristic, when he died (but the where is stated in the next paragraph), and the next sentence is his age. "Former senator Howard Metzenbaum, an Ohio Democrat who was a feisty self-made millionaire before he began a long career fighting big business in the Senate, died late yesterday. He was 90," the article says. The lead works because the notable characteristic is interesting and is more than just "he was a senator that died." It differs from a resume because this notable characteristic is not something to put on a resume. His background information is not dry or list-like, rather its points out notable facts in his lifetime and what he came to be known for as a member of the Senate and as a person.

Curfew imposed in Basra

A nighttime curfew was imposed by authorities in Iraq on Basra, a southern city in Iraq, on Monday, said the BBC.

The curfew was imposed due to clashes between authorities and members of Mehdi Army militia, a Shia organization. BBC

The movement of people and vehicles is forbidden from the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. everyday, and classes were also cancelled from Tuesday to Thursday. Reuters

Vehicles from other provinces are not going to be allowed in the city for three days this week, officials said. Reuters

A low profile has been kept in the last few months by the Mehdi Army militia, but gun battles in Baghdad and elsewhere have risen fears in the country.

Detroit mayor charged with perjury

Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit, was charged with felony perjury and obstruction of justice on Monday, said the Washington Post.

Kilpatrick was found to be lying about a romantic affair with his chief of staff, which contradicted their sworn court testimony. CNN

The mayor read from a prepared statement an hour after the charges were made, saying he was "deeply disappointed in the prosecutor's decision" to file charges, and that he will focus on the city's economy. CNN

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged the mayor with eight felonies and the mayor's former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, with seven. Washington Post

"Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people's lives were ruined, the justice system severely mocked and the public trust trampled on," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told reporters. "Witnesses must give truthful testimony. Oaths mean something." Washington Post

March 16, 2008

McCain goes to Iraq

Senator John McCain, who has linked his success in the race for president with his position on the fighting in Iraq, was in Baghdad on Sunday for the first time since becoming the presumed Republican candidate, the Associated Press.

Though he was expected to go there, the details of McCain's visit were not released for security reasons, the U.S. Embassy said. It is undetermined who he met with, as no press conferences were held. CNN

He went with fellow members of the Armed Services Committee, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut. CNN

McCain, a strong supporter of the United State's position in Iraq, is believed to be staying in the country for about 24 hours. Associated Press

"Senator McCain is in Iraq and will be meeting with Iraqi and U.S. officials," said Mirembe Nantongo, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Associated Press

Crane collapse kills at least 4

A large construction crane collapsed on the lower east side of Manhattan on Saturday, leaving at least 4 dead and many injured, the New York Times said.

The crane, which was at least 15 stories tall, damaged a residential building across the street from the construction said, eyewitnesses and police said. CNN

A piece of steel severed one of the ties holding the crane up, head of the construction crew said.

John PlaGreco, owner of the bar in the collapsed building, said he was worried that one of his employees was dead in the rubble. CNN

"Our bar is done," he said. "The crane crashed the whole building. If I wasn't watching a Yankees game, I would've come to work early and gotten killed." New York Times

March 15, 2008

High school student killed

A Rosemount high school senior was killed by a fellow student, leaving one dead and one in jail, the Star Tribune said.

Seventeen-year-old Cody Casey was stabbed by a 16-year-old boy in a dispute about a girlfriend, police said. Casey was taken to Regions Hospital in Rosemount on Thursday and died several hours later. WCCO

"He had a lot of friends and he didn't really have any problems with people, people most of the time just really liked him," said Ali Gullickson, a friend of Cody's. WCCO

Casey rode his bike to a rival's house who was interested in his girlfriend, police said. The rival was not home, but his younger brother was. The boys got into a fight in which Casey was stabbed several times. The boy made it a few blocks on his bike, but collapsed on a sidewalk on Dodd Road in Rosemount. Star Tribune

Memorials can be seen around Rosemount, and Casey's girlfriend started a fund to raise money for the boy's family. Star Tribune

Controversial treatment of disabled children

The parents of a disabled girl announced today that they are happy with the decision they made a year ago to perform a controversial treatment that stunted their daughter's growth, CNN said.

An article from ABC last year ABC says that the parents of the girl, Ashley, were worried about how difficult caring for their daughter would be if she were to continue growing. They were also concerned about how Ashley would be alarmed at her own development into a woman.

Ashley underwent a hysterectomy, breast surgery, and drug treatment to stay forever small, ABC said.

A year later, the parents are happy with the results of their decision to give their daughter what has now been called the "Ashley treatment."

"The 'Ashley treatment' has been successful in every expected way," Ashley's parents told CNN said. . "It has potential to help many others like it helped our precious daughter."

Controversy continues to surround the parents, who choose to remain anonymous. The hospital that hosted Ashley's treatment admitted to breaking Washington state law; furthermore Dr. Daniel Gunther, the doctor who oversaw Ashley's treatment committed suicide. CNN

The issue remains controversial, with people who agree that the treatment is a helpful option for caregivers of disabled people, and with those who agree that the treatment is a mutilation performed by doctors "playing God."

March 13, 2008

Hong Kong closes schools

Schools in Hong Kong were closed this week to prevent the spread of a flu outbreak, Fox News said.

Health Secretary York Chow made the decision to give all kindergarten and primary schools an extended break from school in addition to the scheduled Easter holidays. CNN

The government is also investigating the deaths of three children last week, one of the reasons for taking time off of school, according to Chow. The Secretary also said that this would help to reduce infections and calm the public.CNN

"We estimate this peak season of influenza will continue for a few weeks," Chow said. Fox News.

The influenza outbreak has contributed to overcrowding in hospitals, and Emergency Room activity has increased, Hospital Authority Chief Executive Shane Solomon said. Fox News

March 5, 2008

Paisley steps down

The Rev. Ian Paisley, an important figure in Northern Ireland politics, announced that he will step down today. MSN UK

As leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly for more than 40 years, he has played a role in the conflict between Northern and Southern Ireland. CNN

The decision made by the 81-year-old Protestant evangelist was made because of pressure from within his party. He will step down after an investment conference in Belfast, CNN said.

Although he will resign as Northern Ireland's first minister, he said he plans to remain a member of British Parliament and a Northern Ireland Assembly member, MSN UK said.

"I came to this decision a few weeks ago when I was thinking very much about the conference and what was going to come after the conference. I thought that it would be a very appropriate time for me to bow out," The Rev. Paisley said. CNN

McCain the republican nominee

Sen. John McCain locked up his Republican candidacy for the 2008 election upon winning essential states in the primary elections Tuesday CNN said.

Winning the primaries in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont gave him more than the 1,191 delegates he needed to clinch the GOP nomination. CNN

Mike Huckabee dropped out of the presidential race when the results came in.

"The most important race begins,'' he said in an interview with the Associated Press. BBC

President Bush will endorse McCain at the White House later this week, Republican sources said.

"I am very, very grateful and pleased to note that tonight, my friends, we have won enough delegates to claim with confidence, humility and a great sense of responsibility, that I will be the Republican nominee for president of the United States," McCain told supporters Tuesday night. BBC

March 4, 2008

Minnesota Senate passes bill

The Minnesota Senate passed a $1 billion support state borrowing bill today, for the use of construction on public colleges, prisons, and flood zones, said MPR .

It was passed overwhelmingly with a 51-7 vote. The House will vote by the end of the for its own version of the bill, which entails about the same amount of money. MPR

Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, chairman of the Capital Investment Committee, said the bill is good for helping out the failing economy. Star Tribune

"It helps to turn around the economy to have these people working," Langseth said. "It's the best time to be selling these bonds and constructing these projects. Doing it during booming times means the price is going to be considerable higher." Star Tribune

Power outage in Minneapolis

Thousands of XCel Energy customers lost power on Sunday due to the wet weather and salt on roads, XCel Energy said. MPR

600 customers are still without power, a number down from a peak of 7,000 on Sunday. Power transformers were short-circuited because of the combined weather and salt spray, and the tops of some of the poles caught on fire, XCel Energy said. No other damage was reported. Star Tribune

The power outage hit three areas of St. Paul and one in Oakdale, along with some 1,000 customers in northeast Minneapolis. MPR

"We always tell people to stay away from lines and call us," said Tom Hoen, a spokesman for XCel Energy. "But people need not be overly concerned." Star Tribune

March 2, 2008

Teenage daughter charged with the murder of her family members

A family's disallowance of a romance may have lead to the charging of a teenage daughter with the murder of her mother and two brothers in Texas, authorities said Sunday. CNN

The attacks occurred at the home of Terry and Penny Caffey, a statement released by Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said. The house was burned to the ground, and in it the bodies of Penny Caffey, 37, and her two sons, ages 8 and 13, were found. They had been shot and stabbed, the statement said. The father is in critical condition at East Texas Medical Center close to the Caffey's home.
Associated Press

The 16-year-old daughter and three other suspects are in custody on capital murder charges. CNN

"Early on in the investigation, it was revealed that the juvenile and one of the suspects were dating and made to break up," according to the statement. Associated Press

The mayor of the town said that this is the first murder the town 18 years. CNN