December 10, 2007

Oprah endorses Obama in Iowa

Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and one of the most influential women in America, openly endorsed Barack Obama for President. She spoke at length about why she felt Obama was the best choice, and though she said she felt "out of her pew," her endorsement will in all likelyhood be a huge boost for Obama's campaign. The New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/us/politics/09oprah.html?ref=politics

Colorado River Compact of 1922 finally outdated

Federal officails have reached an agreement with the states served by the Colorado River about how water will be allocated in case of future droughts. Change was necessary due to the growing populations of the states, and the decrease in available water. Two major reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell are at about half full now, and with predicted climate change, will continue to grow shallower unless something is done. The New York Times has more.

New York Philharmonic Orchestra to visit North Korea

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Lorin Maazel, will visit Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea in February. This is one positive step in the complex relationship between the US and North Korea. The New York Times has a much more detailed report here.

Police Chief Tom Dolan Sued

Minneapolis Police Chief Tom Dolan is being sued by five black officers, who are saying Dolan and the city have a longtime pattern of racial descrimination. Dolan recently removed three black officers from his command staff for reasons he says are not racial. Both sides have strong arguments, and they can be found here at the Star Tribune.

2 men arrested for suspicion of mortgage fraud

Donald L. Walthall, 40, of Anoka, and Rahmeen D. Underwood, 30, of Minnetonka, the owner and loan officer of Universal Mortgage Inc. of Brooklyn Park, were arrested Friday on suspicion of being involved in a larger mortgage fraud scheme. The men are accused of using false documents to steal large amounts of money from lenders. The Star Tribune has a more complete article.

2 men arrested for suspicion of mortgage fraud

Donald L. Walthall, 40, of Anoka, and Rahmeen D. Underwood, 30, of Minnetonka, the owner and loan officer of Universal Mortgage Inc. of Brooklyn Park, were arrested Friday on suspicion of being involved in a larger mortgage fraud scheme. The men are accused of using false documents to steal large amounts of money from lenders. The Star Tribune has a more complete article.

December 3, 2007

New report gives specifics of Senator Larry Craig's Affairs

Details of Idaho's Senator Larry Craig's affairs with four men, said the Idaho Statesman, according to an Assoicated Press Acticle found here. This is the first article the Statesman has published on Craig since his arrest in September.

Venezuela awaits decision in country-changing election

Results should be released Monday of a vote to change Venezuela's constitution, removing term limits from the presidency, and allowing the president to declare states of emergency of indeterminate length. Opinions are mixed, with many of president Chavez's strong supporters against the change. The New York Times article here explains things quite well.

Employee missing after fire in St. Paul Refinery

The fire began at 8:30 Saturday morning at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery. The fire was contained t one tank, and was out by 9:30. An unidentified employee is missing since the fire. Company records show him clocking in that morning, but not leaving that night. The Pioneer Press has more information here.

Minneapolis police department taking heat over allegedly racist demotions

Minneapolis police announced Friday that they were transfering two balck officers into the homicide unit. This has done little to alleviate the criticism Police Chief Tim Dolon has been facing recently after transfering Chris Adams, a respected black detective from the homicide unit into a less prestigious one. Dolon had demoted three other high ranking black officers earlier in this, his first year as chief. The Star Tribune has the story here.

November 19, 2007

Law enforcement losing ground in New Jersey

According to a New York Times article, police in New Jersey are being urged by everyone from their governor to their police chiefs to make their gang related cases with as few witnesses as possible. Because of violence against witnesses, the attitude has changed from getting as many witnesses as possible to present the strongest case one of building the best case with the fewest witnesses in order to protect them.

US - Pakistani relations continue to deteriorate

Pakistan's President Musharraff refuesd again on Saturday to give in to the US's demands that he end emergency rule, and release several thousand of his political enemies. Musharraff has been a strong ally against extremism in the past, but the future of the relationship looks grim unless something changes.This Times of London article is very informative.

Respectful Opposition is the name of McCain's game

Accordin to a New York Times aritcle, Senator John McCain intends to use a much different tactic than his Repubican competitors. McCain said in a speech he made on the 18th in New Hampshire that while he disagrees with Senator Clinton on policy issues, he respects her as a person and a political leader, and will stick to arguing the issues with her.

Hennepin Techinical College Student diagnosed with Tuberculosis

School officials say that a student on the Brooklyn Park campus was diagnosed with an active and infectous form of the disease. Friends, family, and those who worked closely with the student have been screened, and noone has tested positive. More information can be found with the Pioneer Press.

Two St. Olaf Students Named Rhodes Scholars

Ishanna Rambachan and Nicole L. Novak, both of St. Olaf college, were selected as 2 of the United States's 32 Rhodes scholars for this year. Both had gone above and beyond, serving the global community admirably in addition to having stellar academic performances. Gary DeKray, the Rhodes Scholarship advisor at St. Olaf said "There are few liberal arts colleges that got any, and two is phenomenal." The Star Tribune has more information.