Recently in Notable News Category

Palin's book is "Going Rogue" on facts

WASHINGTON -- Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, represents herself in her new book, "Going Rogue," as a frugal politician and a reformer who avoids conflict-of-interest donations -- representations that may be false, the Associated Press said.

Palin said that she emphasized frugality when traveling for state business on tax-payers' dime, but she spent more than $20,000 on her children's travel expenses, the Associated Press said. For a five-hour conference in October 2007, she spent five days and four nights at the Essex House, a luxury hotel that costs $707.29 per night, the Associate Press said.

Palin said that her campaign for governor was funded by small donations and not big donors in order to avoid a conflict of interest, but more than $650,000 came from political action committees and $76,000 from Republican Party committees, the Associated Press said.

The book has reignited issues with John McCain's campain team which denies that her accusations of being billed $50,000 for her vice presidencial running spot to be true, the Washington Post said.

Justices weigh life in prison for youth

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Two juvenile offenders will appeal Monday to the Supreme Court about their sentence for life in prison, the New York Times said.

Joe Sullivan, who committed rape at 13, and Terrance Graham, who committed armed burglary at 16, argue that the Eighth Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment, which means they should not be sentenced to die in prison for crimes other than homicide, the New York Times said.

About 2,700 juveniles are facing life sentences in the United States -- a punishment no other nation in the world has, Newsweek said.

Sullivan, now 33, and Graham, now 22, are serving life sentences without parole and hope their case can open the door to a revised sentence, Newsweek said.

The Supreme Court has generally allowed states to determine punishment for crimes, the New York Times said.

Asian business owners file complaint on Met Council

A group representing Asian businesses located on the Central Corridor filed a federal complaint against the Metropolitan Council last week alleging that it failed to fully consider the effects light-rail construction will have on businesses, the Minnesota Daily said.

Concerned Asian Business Owners, a coalition of 30 businesses filed its complaint last week, the second federal complaint against the 11-mile-long construction that in the end will connect the downtowns of the twin cities, the Star Tribune said.

The group is seeking mitigation funding to ease financial loss that will result from the construction, the Minnesota Daily said.

The Met Council does not have enough funding to provide assistance, spokesman Laura Baenen said.

The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development conducted a 14-page-analysis of the project, showing that 85 percent of business parking will be permanently lost, gravely affecting 69 businesses, the Star Tribune said.

MINNEAPOLIS - Two Northwest Airline pilots flew their plane full of passengers 150 miles past their destination Wednesday night, the New York Times said.

Timothy B. Cheney, 53, of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Richard I. Cole, 54, of Salem, Ore., flew Northwest Flight 188 for an hour and 150 miles past their Minneapolis-St. Paul destination with 144 passengers on-board, the Star Tribune said.

Air traffic controllers tried to gain contact with the two pilots for nearly 90 minutes through radio, email, data text, and cell phone, and upon no communication, they put four military fighter jets on alert, the New York Times said.

The pilots claimed that they were distracted by a conversation and were not asleep, the Star Tribune said.

Delta Airlines, which merged with Northwest last year, has suspended the pilots', and the Federal Aviation Administration reported Saturday that it might suspend the pilots' licenses as well, the New York Times said.

Prior Lake couple faces felony for teaching son to make bomb

A Prior Lake couple faces felony charges after teaching their son and his friends how to make pipe bombs, the Star Tribune Said.

Robert Joseph Masters, 48, and his wife, Roberta Lynn Masters, 52, were charged with helping an offender and possessing explosive devices in September, the Prior Lake American said.

The couple said that teaching their son and his friends how to make bombs was "educational," the Star Tribune said.

The teenagers used these bombs to blow up six mailboxes, the Star Tribune said.

Marge Simpson is first cartoon ever on Playboy Magazine

Marge Simpson, the loving mother on the popular show "The Simpsons" is the first cartoon to ever appear on the cover of Playboy Magazine, BBC News said.

The magazine has given Simpson the complete star package: a cover photo, a data sheet, an interview and a two-page centerfold, the New York Times said.

According to the New York Times, James Jellinek, the magazine's editorial editor, kept quiet about how much Simpson reveals in the November issue, but said, "It's very, very racy." Jellinek emphasized the cartoon form, BBC said.

"We knew that this would really appeal to the 20-something crowd," Playboy spokeswoman Theresa Hennessey said.

Since 2006, Playboy's circulation has slipped from 3.15 million to 2.6 million, the New York Times said. Putting Marge on the cover would ideally lower the magazine's median age to 35 while keeping its older subscribers, the New York Times reported.

Hugh Hefner, owner of Playboy Magazine, is a big fan of "The Simpsons" and even appeared in an episode in the early 1990s, BBC said.

The


Neo-nazi protest is surprised by counter-protest

Four neo-Nazi protesters were surprised Saturday by about 200 counter-protesters outside of a South Minneapolis Young Women's Christian Association, the Star Tribune said.

The four men, participants in the National Socialist Movement, were at the midtown YWCA to protest a workshop called, "More Than Skin Deep: Uprooting White Privilege and White Supremacy one cell at a time," the Twin Cities Daily Planet said.

After 30 minutes, the four men were escorted to their car by Minneapolis police officers and counter-protesters, the Star Tribune said.

The neo-Nazi group relocated its Minneapolis headquarters to Detroit, Mich. in 2007, the Twin Cities Daily Planet said.  Their group intends to re-establish a presence in Minneapolis.

More than 100 Minneapolis residents met Wednesday to discuss strategies for a counter-protest, the Twin Cities Daily Planet said.

"Our city must remain a 'no-go' zone where white supremacists cannot organize or build a movement with their hate speech and violence," Dan Gannon, an anti-racist community organizer, said in a press release.





Madagascar President Prevented from Speaking

The South African Development Community stopped Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina from speaking at the United Nations General Assembly this week.

The SADC and the African Union prevented Rajoelina from speaking on Thursday and Friday because they refused to recognize Rajoelina's government.

Rajoelina seized power of Madagascar in March through a coup, BBC News said.

Rajoelina's name was dropped from the speakers list on Thursday after the SADC objected, Voice of America News said.  He was scheduled to speak again on Friday, but
the foreign minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo Alexis Mwamba stepped in.

The SADC encouraged mediation in Madagascar in order to reestablish constitutional order, VOA said. As long as it is unestablished, SADC will not recognize Rajoelina and his nation.

Charges against Vang Pao are dropped

After a two year-long tug and war over Vang Pao's alleged plot to overthrow the Lao government, the charges were dropped Friday.

Vang Pao was accused by the American government of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks on the Laotian capital, the Pioneer Press reported.

Over 500 Hmong-Americans and supporters rallied for his freedom when he was arrested in 2007.

The Star Tribune reports that no evidence was ever found suggesting that Vang Pao ever viewed or helped to develop the plan.  The charges were dropped Friday.

The federal grand jury has indicted 12 others in the same charges. 

Vang was a major general for the Royal Lao Army during the Secret War and an ally of the United States.  His military activities were supported by the American Central Intelligence Agency.  He is a highly respected figure in the Hmong community.


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