This news blog is an educational exercise involving students ath the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

Analysis: Data Sets

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Source: Investigate West

I found an investigative report about Boeing and how it managed to manipulate the government of Washington State into not passing pollution rules that would have protected Native Americans from polluted fish.

The story gathered a wide range of sources for its reporting. Many of these were not public documents but included emails between legislators and even emails from private company officials. The reporters likely gathered these sources either form a leak provided to them or by seeking out people close to the sources who had access to them.

Throughout the story, the reporters link to the documents digitized and hosted on their sites when they reference material from them. This allows readers to see what exactly is in the documents without the reporters needing to spell it all out in their article. This improves the flow of the writing while also including all the behind-the-scenes information.

This feature is just one in a series of stories about businesses triumphing over public health. Links to these stories, organised in an orderly sequence, is displayed on the right side bar of the story. This lets readers jump to them easily.

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial Begins Monday

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The Michael Jackson wrongful death trial, which promises dramatic revelations and legal wrangling, begins in a small Los Angeles courtroom Monday, news sources report.

The opening statements Monday will kick off three months before jurors, who are being paid $15 a day, will decide whether one of the world's largest entertainment companies should pay Jackson's mother and three children billions for its alleged liability in the pop icon's death, CNN reports.

The lawsuit brought by Jacksons elderly mother Katherine on behalf of the singer's children comes four years after his shocking death, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Jackson died of an overdose of powerful surgical anesthetic propofol and a cocktail of other sedatives meant to help him sleep in June 2009, The Chicago Tribune reports. Jackson's physician at the time was convicted in 2011 for involuntary manslaughter.

The Jacksons argue that AEG executives knew about the star's weakened health and past use of dangerous drugs while on tour, and that they are liable in his death because they pressured Jackson and his doctor to meet their ambitious schedule for the pop singer's final "This Is It" tour in London, CNN reports.

Iraq orders 'misleading' TV networks off the air

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The government of Iraq ordered 10 television networks to shut down Sunday, accusing them of stroking sectarian violence in the countries north, news sources report.

The order from the Communications and Media Commission banned networks, including Qatar-based satellite network Al Jazeera, eight outlets aimed at Iraq's Sunni minority and the Shiite network Al-Anwar, for what it called "unprofessional" and "unethical" conduct, CNN reports.

The CMC said it believes that the network's 'rhetoric' promoted misleading and exaggerated content aimed at "disturbing the civil and democratic process," Al Jazeera reports.

The Sunnit outlets, based outside Iraq, have been critical of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government since fighting last week between government troops and Sunni tribes in northern Iraq let more than 100 people dead, CNN reports.

Al Jazeera claims that more than 215 people have been killed in clashes between security forces and Sunni Arab protesters.

E-Bingo to be used for paying Vikings Stadium cost

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Minnesota officials are betting on electronic bingo to boost sagging revenue meant to pay the state's share of the new Vikings football stadium, news sources report.

Starting this week, Minnesota will be the first state to launch a stateside bingo system that will allow players compete for jackpot prizes at dozens of video screen sites, the Star Tribune reports.

Players will only be able to play with other gamblers using the same device, according to the Star Tribune.

Proceeds from electronic gaming devices are supposed to pay Minnesota's $348 million share of the Vikings stadium, but the first round of gaming -with electronic pulltabs - have failed to bring in much revenue, forcing to state to slash projected game revenue for this year from $35 million to $1.7 million, according to the Star Tribune.

Officials are hoping this new form of linked charitable gambling, approved by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board on March 18, will bring in greater funds, the Pioneer Press reports.

Minnesota School Installs Bulletproof Whiteboards

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A Minnesota school district is stocking its classrooms with bulletproof whiteboards to help protect students in the event of a possible future school shooting, news sources report.

The Rocori School Distirct in Cold Spring, Minn., recently purchased nearly 2000 18-by-20 inch whiteboards designed to guard a head and torso against several magazines of ammunition from a handgun or shotgun, ABC News reports.

The boards are to be used as a last line of defense according to the school district, the first in Minnesota to adopt the boards, which are already in use in certain schools in California, North Dakota, Maryland and Pennsylvania, according to ABC News.

The whiteboards' manufacturer, Maryland-based Hardwire LLC, which has provided armor protection devices for military vehicles and personnel for years, turned its attention to school security after 20 children died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Fox News reports.

Rocori School District faced its own school shooting in 2003, when two teens were shot to death at Rocori High School before a teacher convinced the gunman to put his weapon, Fox News reports.

Evidence Grows over Syrian Use of Chemical Weapons

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United States government officials investigating reports of chemical weapon use in Syria say it is likely that the Syrian government used them on a "small scale" against rebel forces in the countries escalating civil war, news sources report.

U.S. Spy agencies have investigated reports from Syrian opposition groups that President Bashar al-Assad has used sarin gas on at least two occasions during the two year conflict, Al Jazeeera reports.

Syrian officials deny the US accusations, which were backed by Britain Friday, and likened them to false accusations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction ahead of the U.S. invasion of that toppled the countries government, Al Jazeera reports.

President Obama had earlier stated Syrian use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line" that would trigger serious action against Assad's regime and it would be a "game-changer," NBC reports.

The Israeli military published intelligence findings Tuesday that Assad's force had used chemical weapons repeated in recent months, NBC reports.

British military scientists studying soil samples brought back from the area of an attack close to Damascus say they found it tested positive for the use of chemical weapons, although the government has yet to confirm it, Al Jazeera reports.

Hospital apologizes for losing baby's body in laundry

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A St. Paul hospital has admitted to mishandling the remains of stillborn baby that wound up in hospital linens sent to a laundry service, news sources report.

Chris Boese, chief nursing officer for Regions Hospital, apologized for the mistake, which he said should have been prevented, CNN reports.

An employee from Crothall Laundry in Red Wing, Minn, called police Tuesday afternoon to report that a baby's body had been found in items picked up from the hospital, CNN reports.

The baby boy had been stillborn on April 4 at 22 weeks development, Fox News reports. His body was placed in the hospital morgue and it is currently unknown how his remains ended up in the linens sent to Red Wing for cleaning, according to CNN.

Boese said it was too early to say whether any hospital employees would be disciplined, and that child's family has yet to be notified of what happened, Fox News reports

CNN reports that hospital officials said Wednesday that they were reaching out to the baby's family, offering their apologies and support.

A newly proposed re-route of an Iron Range highway has drawn the ire of business owners along the current route, news sources report.

The stretch of highway between Eveleth and Virginia must be moved to make way for a expansion of an open pit taconite mine, but will bypass both cities and local businesses, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation hopes to have the new highway in place by 2017, the Pioneer Press reports.

Public safety officials in Virginia are worried that the proposed reroute would cut communities off from quick access to ambulances, according to MPR. The city of Virginia instead prefers a route over the abandoned Rouchleau Pit, which is hundreds of feet deep and partially filled with water.

the proposal would require the construction of a bridge with 200 foot piers and cost $160 million, according to MPR. The state has set aside only $60 million in bonding funds for the project so far.

Police Hunt Suspects in Boston Bombing

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The city of Boston and the surrounding area have been placed under lockdown amid a massive manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, after the first suspect died following a shootout with police, news sources report.

The operation started late on Thursday when a police officer was killed on a Boston area MIT university campus, Al Jazeera reports. Authorities say the officer was shot while sitting in his vehicle and that they believe the bombing suspects were responsible, CNN reports.

Police then shot one of the men after a wild car chase in which the suspects hurled explosives at pursuing officers, CNN reports.

He died shortly afterward at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre from multiple bullet wounds and what appeared to be a blast injury, Al Jazeera reports.

Police believe they are the same people identified in images released Thursday by the FBI that show two men walking together near the marathon finish line right before the bombing that killed three people Monday, Al Jazeera reports.

CBS has reported that the two men are from the Chechen region of Russia. The suspect still on the run has been identified as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Residents have been warned to not open their doors as police conduct their door-to-door, street-by-street search, Al Jazeera reports

Syria rebels capture part of Homs army base

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Opposition fighters have taken control of a large section of a Syrian government military complex, news sources report.

The base, located in the strategic central province of Homs, was taken after weeks of fighting with government forces for control, Al Jazeera reports.

Sporadic fighting was still ongoing at the former Dabaa air force base, the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights said according to Al Jazeera.

The Syrian rebels have chipped away at territory controlled by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the north and east of the war-torn country, USA TODAY reports.

Syrian officials continue to deny there is an uprising against Assad's rule, claiming those who are rising up against the government are foreign terrorists backed by Europe and the United States, according to USA TODAY.

The government is dominated by Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam, while the opposition fighting to overthrow his government is mostly from the country's Sunni majority, Al Jazeera reports. The Syrian government's main allies, the Hezbollah militant group and the Islamic Republic of Iran, are dominated by Shia Muslims.