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

March 2013 Archives

Analysis 7: Obituaries

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The New York Times' coverage of the death of Virgil Trucks is formatted exactly as we learned in class.

The lead is structured with his name, a statement describing who he is, when and where he died, and finally his age.

The writer didn't have a cause of death, so the second graph just has the source who confirmed the death.

Then it has the claim to fame section in which the writer mainly lists records Trucks set in baseball.

The bio section begins with Trucks' full name and goes through his life chronologically.

There is a survived by section, followed by a short anecdote as a kicker.

The only quote included is one by Trucks in the final kicker.

Stoppard pens Dark Side of the Moon radio play

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Award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard has written a new play based on the Pink Floyd album "The Dark Side of the Moon" that will air on BBC Radio 2, Playbill reported.

The radio play, which incorporates music from the album, will air Aug. 26, Playbill reported.

The audio drama will feature Olivier Award-winning actor Iwan Rheon, Amaka Okafor, Bill Nighty, Rufus Sewell and Adrian Scarborough, Playbill reported.

The announcement of Stoppard's play lands on the 40th anniversary of the album, which stayed in the charts for 741 weeks, The Guardian reported.

"This is more or less, I think, the first time anything like this has been done on radio," Stoppard said. The playwright first thought of writing the play when it was first released in 1973, The Guardian reported.

The play, Dark Side, is a "dramatic examination of themes including conflict, greed and madness," Jeff Smith, Radio 2's head of music, said as reported by The Guardian.

Minneapolis temple vandalized with graffiti

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Minnesota's largest synagogue, Temple Israel, was vandalized with graffiti Tuesday night, The Star Tribune reported.

The graffiti was composed of purple spray-painted letters, including the word
"soap," in a possible reference to Nazi atrocities, CBS Minnesota reported.

The vandalism occurred during the Jewish holiday of Passover, The Star Tribune reported.

"To arrive this morning to vandalism of the graffiti was upsetting and shocking," Senior Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman said as reported by CBS Minnesota.

Security cameras caught at least one person in the act, and the tape is being turned over to Minneapolis police to assist their search for a culprit, CBS Minnesota reported.

The Bridge, a home for troubled youth, was also tagged with graffiti. It is unclear weather the events are related, CBS Minnesota reported.

The synagogue will continue with services as scheduled. "We stand strong in our Jewish traditions, our Jewish beliefs and our Jewish work for social justice," Rabbi Zimmerman said as reported by The Star Tribune.

Biggest cyber-attack in history slows global internet

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What security experts describe as the biggest cyber-attack in history has slowed the internet across the globe, BBC News reported.

The attacks stem from a row between Geneva-based spam-fighting group Spamhaus and a hosting firm, BBC News reported.

Spamhaus, a non-profit organisation meant to eliminate email spam, blocked servers maintained by a Dutch web host named Cyberbunker, The Pioneer Press reported.

The attacks on Spamhaus measured at 300 billion bits per second, according to San Francisco-based CloudFlare Inc. "It is a small miracle that we're still online," Vincent Hanna, a Spamhaus resaercher, said as reported by The Pioneer Press.

Cyberbunker, in cooperation with criminal gangs from eastern Europe and Russia, is behind the attack, Spamhaus said as reported by BBC News.

Spamhaus was abusing its position, said Sven Olaf Kamphuis, who claims to be a Cyberbunker spokesman. Kamphuis said Spamhaus should not be allowed to decide "what goes and does not go on the internet", The Pioneer Press reported.

Supervalu cuts 600 Minnesota jobs

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Grocery company Supervalu will cut about 1,100 jobs nationally, 600 of which are in Minnesota, the Eden-Prarie-based company announced Tuesday as reported by MPR News.

The cut comes less than a week after the supermarket operator sold several of its grocery chains, The Star Tribune reported.

2,700 of Supervalu's 35,000 corporate and regional employees are in Minnesota, The Star Tribune reported.

10 percent of the cuts include open jobs that will not be filled, company spokesman Mike Siemienas said as reported by MPR News. The total jobs cut amount to about 3 percent of Supervalu's national workforce, The Star Tribune reported.

Casheiers, stock staff and other store level employees will not be affected by the cut, MPR News reported.

"This move is an important part of our strategy to be more focused and efficient in our operations," President and CEO Sam Duncan said as reported by The Star Tribune.

Ellis Island will not reopen in 2013

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There is no projected reopening date for Ellis Island after the damage sustained from last October's Superstorm Sandy, The National Park Service announced as reported by CNN.

The storm's 8-foot water levels destroyed boilers and electrical systems, The Pioneer Press reported.

The Statue of Liberty is set to reopen for public viewing by the Fourth of July, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced as reported by CNN. Security screenings for Statues of Liberty viewers have moved to temporary facilities on Ellis Island, The Pioneer Press reported.

Repairs to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island could cost up to $59 million, National Park Service said as reported by CNN.

Megan Hilty will celebrate album release at Joe's Pub

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Megan Hilty, star of NBC's Smash and the Broadway revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, will celebrate the release of her debut album, "It Happens All The Time", at Joe's Pub at the Public on April 23, Broadway World reported.

"It Happens All The Time showcases a different side of Hilty. The repertoire is a significant step outside of both the musical theatre world in which Hilty initially found fame as well as her television character Ivy Lynn in 'Smash'," a press release said as reported by Playbill.

"I want to show a different side of me because it's the first thing i've ever done that's just me and not attached to any character or story line," Hilty said as reported by Broadway World.

"Coming from a musical theater background, everyone expects that I'd do a Broadway album or pop standards. Smash changed all that. We did a completely different arrangement of 'Crazy Dreams', and it resonated with a lot of people," Hilty said as reported by Broadway world.

Hilty's debut concert will include compositions by Aimee Mann and Damien Rice, among others, Playbill reported.

A Minneapolis man was charged with murder Thursday when his victim, who had been in a coma for nearly six years following the initial assault, died, The Star Tribune reported.

Scott Allen Lipe, 36, was imprisoned for an attempted vehicle theft and assault that took place on June 19, 2007, outside Mortimer's Bar in Minneapolis, The Star Tribune reported.

Victim Willie Mack Hervey, 42, died almost six years later as a result of acute bilateral pneumonia, a result of the vegetative state he suffered following the incident in which he was thrown off of the top of his SUV, MPR News reported.

Lipe pleaded guilty to first degree assault shortly after the incident and was sentenced to 122 months in prison, MPR News reported.

Mom falls 8 stories to death; baby survives

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A New York woman holding her baby fell 8 stories to her death on Wednesday, and the baby survived, Fox News reported.

Cynthia Wachenheim, 45, fell out of a New York City apartment window in an apparent suicide, Fox News reported.

Police found Wachenheim's 10-month-old son, Keston, in her arms and took him to a hospital. Keston was listed in critical but stable condition, Fox News reported.

Police found a seven-page suicide note under a bed in Wachenheim and her husband's apartment. In the note, Wachenheim expressed conscerns about her child's development, an anonymous law enforcement official said to The Associated Press as reported by The Pioneer Press.

There were no signs of struggle near the apartment window, and surveillance footage showed Wachenheim's husband leaving the apartment about an hour before the incident took place, The Pioneer Press reported.

Wachenheim went to Columbia University for law, and worked in state Supreme Court in Manhattan doing legal research for judges, court officials said as reported by The Pioneer Press.

Minnesota gay marriage bill faces committee vote

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The Minnesota state House and Senate will vote Tuesday on a bill that would make gay marriage legal in the state, The Pioneer Press reported.

The House Civil Law Committee will be the first to vote on the bill. Nine of its 17 members said they would vote for the bill when polled by The Associated Press, The Pioneer Press reported.

The House heard from Minnesota doctors, parents, children, pastors and couples on both sides of the issue, The Star Tribune reported.

A Senate committee is scheduled to vote on the bill after the House. It could be months before a final vote on the bill occurs, The Star Tribune reported.

Minnesota voters turned down an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage in November, The Pioneer Press reported.

Five die in Afghan helicopter crash

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Five NATO foreign forces members in Afghanistan died in a helicopter crash Monday, NATO said as reported by BBC News.

A NATO news release said there was no enemy activity in the southern Afghanistan area when the crash occurred, but it did not disclose the nationalities of the service members or the crash's specific location, CNN reported.

US, British, and Australian troops normally operate in southern Afghanistan, BBC News reported.

This was the coalition's first helicopter crash resulting in deaths since September, CNN reported.


Analysis 6: Obama Barnard Commencement

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The Huffington Post's coverage of Present Obama's 2012 Barnard College commencement speech focused a lot on elements surrounding the speech rather than the speech itself.

The lead paragraph focuses almost entirely on the audience response to Obama's speech, quoting the students chanting "Yes, we can!" and "Obama, Obama!" It does so in order to provide for first paragraph's turn-around of the audience not responding as expressively to Obama's advice statements, such as "persevere, nothing worthwhile is easy."

The article quotes a student who was disappointed with Obama's lack of "life-lesson things" in his speech.

The article mentions the mania surrounding the speech, noting that parents lined up outside of Barnard's gate more than five hours before the scheduled speech.

Huffington covers the peripheral issue of student loans, noting that Obama did not mention the issue in his speech. Several students commented about their personal student debt issues.

The article even notes what Obama was wearing -- light blue robes in order to match the student body of Barnard College.

Robert Sean Leaonard will play Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's first production of the 2013 season, Broadway World reported.

Leonard last performed on the West End in the Shaftesbury Theatre's 1991 production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Playbill reported.

To Kill a Mockingbird will begin performances May 16, before it's official run from May 22 to June 15, Playbill reported.

The production will be directed by Open Air Theatre's artistic director, Timothy Sheader, Broadway World reported.

The role for which Leonard is best known for playing is Dr. James Wilson in eight seasons of the TV show "House". Leonard is also known for playing Neil Perry in the 1989 film "Dead Poets Society," Playbill reported.


Lion kills intern at California sanctuary

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An intern was mauled to death by a lion inside a cage at a Central California animal park, CNN reported.

Dianna Hanson, 26, was attacked by her favorite lion when she entered its cage, Project Survival founder Dale Anderson said as reported by BBC News.

When Fresno County police found her, deputies shot and killed the lion in order to get to her, but she died at the scene, police said as reported by BBC News.

Investigators were looking into why Hanson entered the enclosure and what might have provoked the attack, sheriff's Sgt. Greg Collins said as reported by The Star Tribune.

The sanctuary is normally closed on Wednesdays and there was only one other person working when the mauling happened, The Star Tribune reported.

The 4-year-old male lion, Cous Cous, was raised at Caven Haven since he was a cub, Tanya Osegueda, a spokeswoman for nonprofit organization Project Survival, said as reported by The Star Tribune.


A Minnesota House committee is considering a proposal to increase state taxes on beer, wine, and liquor, The Pioneer Press reported.

The Taxes Committee will review the proposal from Rep. Karen Clark, a Minneapolis Democrat, on Wednesday, March 6, The Pioneer Press reported.

The bill would increase excise taxes on beer about 3 cents a glass. The excise taxes for wine would go up about 9 cents a glass, and liquor taxes would go up about 10 cents a glass, CBS Minnesota reported.

The money raised from increased taxes would go to treatment programs, drug courts, and other support programs, CBS Minnesota reported.

While Clark has several Democratic co-sponsors for the bill, Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton's budget did not have any liquor tax hikes, CBS Minnesota reported.

Analysis 5: Multimedia in Queen Elizabeth story

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Both the CNN and ABC News news stories about Queen Elizabeth being released from King Edward VII's Hospital included video of the queen exiting the building.

The CNN page had a sidebar of related videos next to the article, which included captions reading "Should British princes do more?", "Mark Saunders discusses Queen's illness", and "Why Queen Elizabeth will never abdicate".

The ABC News page featured a similar sidebar layout with related videos captioned "Queen Elizabeth Sent to Hospital", "Queen Elizabeth Goes 3-D This Christmas", and "Queen of England Releases Holiday Greeting in 3D".

Some of these related videos provide helpful background information for the article and some of them go on more general tangents. Both types of information have appeal to the casual reader.

The writing of these captions is poised to catch readers' eyes and makes them want to click the links. The captions are written in a very to-the-point manner.

Queen Elizabeth left a hospital Tuesday after being checked in on Sunday for a stomach infection, ABC News reported.

The queen, 86, went to London's King Edward VII Hospital to be treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace said as reported by ABC News. The queen was taken in as a precautionary measure, and the illness was not serious, the palace said as reported by ABC News.

Queen Elizabeth had to cancel a week of engagements for her first hospitalization in a decade, CNN reported.

Gastroenteritis, commonly known as the "stomach flu," is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines not caused by the influenza virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as reported by CNN.

Elderly patients with gastroenteritis are hospitalized and given intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration, which can lead to kidney problems, Dr. Corey Siegel, a gastroenterologist and professor at Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine, said as reported by CNN.

Minnesota bans purchase of products with triclosan

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton ordered state agencies to end purchases of hand soap, laundry detergent, and other products that contain the chemical compound triclosan, The Star Tribune Reported.

The chemical found in antibacterial soaps showed up in Minnesota lakes, including Lake Pepin and Lake Superior, CBS Minnesota reported.

When triclosan is exposed to sunlight, it forms dioxins that could harm the environment, The Star Tribune reported.

The chemical is also found in cosmetics and toothpaste, CBS Minnesota reported.

State officials said Minnesota will work for more triclosan-free cleaning products, The Star Tribune reported.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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