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September 30, 2007

Expanded beef recall

According to the New York Times, the Topps Meat Co. has expanded their recall to 21.7 pounds of beef patties saying the meat may be contaminated with E. Coli that has made more than a dozen people sick throughout the country.

The number of pounds has significantly increased, as it was 332,000 announced on Tuesday. The beef is distributed to thousands of retail chain stores in the United States and the meat company said all meat has been USDA established and included a "sell by this date" sticker marked on the package.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it had suspended the grinding of raw products at the Topps plant after inspectors found inadequate safety measures at the Topps plant. The USDA declined to detail the inadequate safety measures.

According to MSNBC, the USDA also have proven three cases in which victims have been diagnosed with being affected by E. coli and over 22 more cases have already been filed in multiple states.

E. coli causes intestinal illness that generally clears up within a week for adults but can be deadly for the very young, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms can include severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and, in extreme cases, kidney failure.

Rape-tape suspect wanted in Las Vegas

According to the USA TODAY, there has been a shift in the suspect regarding videotape that featured a 3-year-old girl being molested. The investigation has been switched from a rural county to Las Vegas where Arthur Stiles, the suspect, was last seen two weeks ago. He is also registered to be a resident of the city.

Photographs and information of the now 7-year-old, which are usually not disclosed, were released Friday and has helped to locate the child. The girl's mother said she was unaware of any of this and is deeply saddened to hear of the news.

According to MSNBC, Stiles, 34, has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1999 that included assault, battery, resisting a police officer, auto theft, leaving the scene of an accident and contempt of court.

The mother said she did recognize Stiles in the video saying the face is familiar as well as furniture that was in the background.

September 25, 2007

Vick, indicted by grand jury

According to CNN, a grand jury indicted Atlanta Falcolns Quarterback Michael Vick Tuesday on dogfighting charges, prosecutors announced.

The grand jury brought two separate charges on the football star: one for killing dogs, and one for promoting dogfights.

Arraignment for Vick is scheduled for October 3.

Vick and three associates -- Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach; Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia; and Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia -- have pleaded guilty to the federal charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Surry County Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter said he plans to bring more than 10 indictments to Vick and his co-defendants.

Vick, 27, could face up to 18 months in jail and the National Football League has suspended him indefinitely without pay.

According to the Star Tribune, the grand jury passed on indicting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and two co-defendants on eight counts of animal cruelty, which would have exposed them to as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.

Poindexter asked that the four be arraigned Oct. 3 and requested that each be released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. None of the defendants nor their lawyers were in court.


*Note to GG: This entry did not meet Sunday's deadline due to technological problems but I added it anyway per our conversation 9/25


Vick alone could face up to five years in prison and has been dropped from all his major sponsors.

Attribution

The story on President Bush and the children's insurance bill was the story I choose to focus specifically on attributions. This story has a number of sources, but not as many as I thought. A lot of the facts stated in the story aren't backed up as to who said, or where the facts were found because they are easily accessible facts, such as public records or knowledge that is easily understood after researching the story.

President Bush is the main source and receives several attributions in regards to thinks he said as well as direct quotes. He is sporadically mentioned throughout the entire duration of the story. I think this was good because it presented the story with great credibility. Everyone knows who the president is and everyone knows that what he says is mostly true and isn't made-up.

A governor was also attributed and cited as a quote as well. The governor was in opposition of Bush's statements and made the story more interesting to have it included.

The writer is effective in using all the sources he/she had and correctly attributed as well because they are very clearly to the reader. Well, for me anyways. There were also attributes to groups of lawmakers, and the democratic and republican parites (very general and broad).


*Note to GG: This entry did not meet Sunday midnight deadline due to technological problems either with my computer or the website, but I went in and added it anyways. Taken into consideration when analyzing my final grade for course.

September 23, 2007

Bush vows to veto kids' health insurance bill

According to MSNBC, "Democrats in Congress have decided to pass a bill they know will be vetoed," Bush said of the measure that draws significant bipartisan support, repeating in his weekly radio address an accusation he made earlier in the week. "Members of Congress are risking health coverage for poor children purely to make a political point."

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said that if Bush doesn't sign the bill, more than 15 states won't have any funding left in the program.

The Children's Health Insurance Program that subsidizes health coverage mostly for children in lower income families that can't afford insurance but make too much money to be qualified for MedicAid. The program already hs 6.6 million people and the proposal that was announced Friday would include $35 billion dollars over the next five years which will add four million more to the program.

The money provided will come from cigarette taxes increasing from 61 cents to $1 per pack.

According to CNN, a vote is scheduled for Tuesday and is heavily supported by the Democratic party with support from the Republican party as well. Bush has planned for a veto saying the issue is too costly and doesn't move children's healthcare forward.

"Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage -- not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage," Bush said.

Many governors want the bill to pass and some say that if it doesn't, thousands of chldren will lose health coverage.

Iraqi government plans to file charges against Blackwater employees

According to CNN.com, the Iraqi government does plan to file charges against the U.S. security company Blackwater, after a shooting last weekend that left 20 Iraqi civilians dead.

Iraqi government disputes the U.S. contractors statement that the event was provoked and they've got a videotape to prove it. Iraqi officials haven't confirmed how they're going to bring files against them.

Word that charges would be filed came as no surprise. One day after the shooting, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said his government would punish those responsible.

According to MSNBC, 11 people are dead and the case has been turned over to the Iraqi judiciary.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Iraqi authorities had completed an investigation into the Sept. 20 shooting in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths. He also said they're looking into six other cases involving Blackwater and says that they have an extensive criminal record.

The Blackwater is currently allowed to have contractors on Iraqi territory due to keeping the balance of security equal.

Girl, 12, recovering from being shot

According to the Star Tribune, a girl, 12, was shot in the head on Saturday in Minneapolis while walking home from a party and is now in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center. This event raises concerns from officials about the link between youth and violence.

"The ages of the people being shot and the ages of the shooters has gone down over the past four, five years," said City Council Member Don Samuels.

The criminal activity of youths have declined according to Police Chief Tim Dolan, but there still have been recent incidents involving violent acts. Officials have not ruled it gang related.

According to the Pioneer Press, the name of the girl was not released Saturday but the Hennepin County Medical Center said the girl, who is in critical condition, is named Vernice Hall.

Apparently, the girl, who lives with her parents, was at a party for her brother. While leaving shortly after midnight, witnesses said they heard eight or nine shots fired. One witness said he saw a bunch of 17-, 18-year-old boys crouching down behind bushes about a block away from the party.

Police said the girl's wounds are "very grave," but they would not comment on a possible motive for the gunfire and said no arrests had been made Saturday night.

Minnesota man receives silver star

According to the Pioneer Press, Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg of the Minnesota National Guard was awarded the silver star for his curageous acts during an ambush south of Baghdad last January.

More than 30 insurgents ambushed him while he was commanding five gun trucks escorting a convoy. During the 50 minute battle, he had jumped out of his truck under gunfire to throw grenades at the enemy to protect himself and the civilian drivers.

At the end of the battle, Malmberg and all 20 of the drivers, including their trucks, were not harmed.

According to the Star Tribune, his ceremony was held on Saturday where he was awarded the silver star, the fourth-highest military decoration available to a member of any branch of the U.S. military.

"Anybody who is there when their country calls upon them and is willing to go overseas and serve their country is a hero," Malmberg said.

The 27-year-old University of Mankato student is the first since World War II to receive this outstanding medal of honor.

September 16, 2007

Leads Analysis

A 14-year-old boy was in surgery at Regions Hospital in St. Paul after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike to school, said Lt. Brian Sturgeon of the West St. Paul Police Department. -Star Tribune

I think this lead does work for the story. It gives most of the facts up front leaving the reader with minimal questions as to what the story is about. Several news elements are sated in the lead; such as Who? (the 14-year-old boy), Where? (St. Paul), What? (hit by a vehicle), The only element that is missing is the When? There is no day indicating when the event happened. I think the writer should have definitely included this as it is a pretty important element. The lead also does give other interesting facts that the reader would probably want to know, which is why the day might have been left out. The writer obviously thought the fact that the boy had surgery and was in the hospital was more important. I do, however, think the day should have been included anyways.

Aside from the day not being stated, I think the lead works. It's very factual, informative, giving detailed descriptions of the event. It doesn't go too into detail which is a good thing as you are supposed to give specific details after the lead.

Thailand plane crash, 87 dead and counting

According to MSNBC.com, a passenger plane crashed Sunday in Thailand as it tried to land in rainy weather conditions on the island of Phuket. The plan split in two and burst into flames leaving 87 dead so far.

The plane was filled with 123 foreign tourists and seven crew members and belonged to the One-Two-Go Airlines. Phuket, an island tourists seem very attracted to, was also one of the areas that was hardest hit by tsunami in 2004, killing over 8,000 people.

“I saw passengers engulfed in fire as I stepped over them on way out of the plane,? Parinwit Chusaeng, a survivor who suffered minor burns, told the Nation television channel. “I was afraid that the airplane was going to explode so I ran away.?

According to the Star Tribune, 88 people were found dead. Although the cause is currently unknown, officials say the bad weather could definitely have something to do with it.

"The visibility was poor as the pilot attempted to land. He decided to make a go-around but the plane lost balance and crashed," said Chaisak Angsuwan, director general of the Air Transport Authority of Thailand. "It was torn into two parts."

Passengers say visibility was poor, but the pilot attempted to land anyway. The plan lost balance and crashed.

O.J. Simpson arrested for possible armed robbery charges

According to CNN.com, O.J. Simpson was arrested Sunday in Las Vegas as a suspect into an alleged armed robbery is in process. Simpson was taken into custody in his room at the Palm Casino Resort and Hotel. Walter Alexander, another suspect was arrested Saturday along with two handguns that were possibly related to the robbery.

The investigation regards numerous sports memorabilia that were taken from collectors at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. Simpson claims the items belonged to him.

According to MSNBC.com, there may be as five other suspects in this case. Police got search warrants and searched two properties, with evidence being collected from the first home. Police Leutenant Clint Nichols said, "And I believe we recovered some clothing that the individual was wearing in the commission of the robbery.?

Simpson told The Associated Press that he never bothered to file a report when he suspected the items were stolen because he claims police authorities have not been responsive ever since the 1994 murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

“The police, since my trouble, have not worked out for me,? he said, noting that whenever he has called the police “It just becomes a story about O.J.?


Gun fired at Target Center

According to the Pioneer Press, a man was shot Saturday night at the Target Center where the WFC World Fighting Championship was being held. Bystanders say they saw the gunman fire the gun at the top of a stairwell and then saw a man fall down the stairs immediately after. A Minneapolis police officer said the victim ran off untreated. No one was taken into custody.

According to the Star Tribune, reports stated that no one was hit by the gunfire and that the gun went off after an argument occurred between two men.

September 15, 2007

14-year-old boy in surgery after being run over

According to the Pioneer Press, a 14-year-old W. St. Paul boy was hit by a car Friday while riding his bike to school. Fernando Hernandez is now sedated after surgery this afternoon and Leutenant Brian Sturgeon of the W. St. Paul Police Department said more surgeries are possible in the near future.

Hernandez was just two blocks away from his school at the intersection of Bidwell Street and Moreland Avenue when a car proceeded through the 4-way intersection and struck him.

According to the Star Tribune, Sturgeon said the female driver was not cited and didn't appear to have broken any traffic laws. The school is now reviewing safety rules with students.

September 14, 2007

Bush brings soldiers home as the war makes progress

According to the Star Tribune, President Bush ordered troop reductions Thursday and is allowing for soldiers to come home due to the progress our country is making in the war. He made the announcement during an Oval Office address, but Democrats believe his actions to be "unacceptable."

While Bush seeks out a sense of togetherness from his country and proceeds to carry-on with the war, Democrats are disappointed. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army Ranger who delivered the Democratic response, said that "once again, the president failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it."

The New York Times says Bush will send 5,700 marines and soldiers home with the intention of them not being replaced. Bush won't offer specific numbers on how many soldiers will be home next summer, but said that more certainly will be. Currently, there are about 160,000 United States troops in Iraq.