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

March 2013 Archives

Analysis: Obituary of Richard Griffiths

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New York Times reporter Bruce Weber wrote the obituary for one of the famous Harry Potter actors, Richard Griffiths.

The obituary of Richard Griffiths was cited many times by Griffiths' agent, the Associated Press, and even the BBC News. Furthermore, when the obituary progressed, the writer used sources from interviews or newspaper articles from the past. The writer included many quotes from past interviews and from people who have been apart of Griffiths' career including Daniel Radcliffe.

This obituary has the standard lead with significances in the middle, when and where died. The next sentence included that he was 65. The obituary progressed like a normal obit with the statement of his death, his "rise to fame," and his brief biography.

The news value for this obituary is that Griffiths was a big actor (more so in England than the USA). For any Harry Potter fan, we all knew him as the mean-spirited Uncle Vernon. Furthermore, he had a profound impact on British acting today. He is a big name in Britain and recognizable in the United States.

Obituary differ from resumes because obits are more story-like. Obituaries are also more biographical. The purpose is to shine a light on why this particular person is significant. Resumes are more for jobs. They highlight education, special skills, and so forth. They are more lists rather than story. The tone is more professional and you only have a limited space to write about yourself. This is for job and professionals usually don't care about a story from your past. Obituaries get to highlight stories from the past.

"Harry Potter" actor Richard Griffiths dead at 65

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Famous "Harry Potter" actor Richard Griffiths died at the age of 65, according to multiple news sources.

Los Angeles Times reported that Griffiths has died from complications from his heart surgery in Coventry, England. Griffiths is being remember for his roles in movies such as "Withnail and I," "Gandhi," "Hugo," and of course, Uncle Vernon in the famous "Harry Potter" series, according to the LA Times.

Former "Harry Potter" co-star Daniel Radcliffe told BBC News "Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him."

LA Times reported that Griffith spend a decade with the Royal Shakespeare Co. and even won a Tony Award in 2006 for his role in "The History Boys."

BBC News reported that Griffith's last appearance was with Danny Devito in "The Sunshine Boys." Griffiths also appeared in TV shows such as "Pie in the Sky," "Minder," and "The Sweeney and Bergerac," according to the BBC News.

The BBC News reported that Britain is remembering him for his role in one of Britain's biggest cult classic movie, "Withnail and I" for his role as Uncle Monty.

Griffith is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson, according to the BBC News.

Minnesota officials proposed a plan that would increase fee on big water users Thursday, according to multiple news sources.

The Star Tribune reported that the Dept. of Natural Resources and Gov. Mark Dayton would impose an increase in water fees for the state's largest users to "get a better grip on growing demands for groundwater."

This proposal, the Star Tribune said, would raise the cost from $7.50 for 1 million gallons of water to about $15. Furthermore, the average farm water bill go from about $140 to about $500 a year, according to the Star Tribune.

The Pioneer Press said that it will increase household water bills from 50 cents to $1. About 7,000 permit holders would be effected by this proposal, Pioneer Press said.

Pioneer Press reported that the DNR would get an increased "revenue would help reverse a decade-long trend to diminished funding for water management programs."

Pioneer Press reported that this does not mean that the state is facing a water crisis.

Aurora, Colo shooter may plead guilty

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Aurora, Colo. cinema shooter may plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, according to multiple sources.

James Holmes, 25, may plead guilty to avoid the death penalty after killing 12 people and leaving another 58 injured, according to CNN. CNN stated that Holmes' lawyer said that he is ready to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, which is still in effect for the state of Colorado.

The BBC News said that the "judge entered a not guilty plea for Mr Holmes on 12 March after lawyers said he was not ready to plead." BBC News said that the prosecutors mentioned that Holmes planned the shooting for months and setting up booby-trips in his apartments.

BBC News added that the prosecution has not yet responded to the plea deal. However, according to the BBC, the prosecution is seeking death penalty on Holmes.

CNN stated that Holmes' lawyer are still "exploring the mental health defense." The lawyers added that they will continue to defend Mr. Holmes throughout the entire process, according to CNN.

North Korea sends a new line of threats towards Guam, Hawaii, the US Mainland, and their southern neighbors, according to multiple news sources.

North Korean officials put their military on "highest alert" Tuesday after South Korean president threatened North Korea with a possible outbreak of war, according to the New York Times.

North Korean officials stated that it is aiming at American bases in Hawaii & Guam as well as South Korea stated that "they should be mindful that everything will be reduced to ashes and flames the moment the first attack is unleashed," according to the New York Times. Tensions have risen between North and South Korea since December forcing the US and South Korea to push UN Sanctions against the North.

Washington Post stated that China, North Korea's closest ally, might need to step in to "calm" North Korea. Chinese officials have stated that it could hurt relations with the North but expressed deep concerns over North Korea's actions, according to the Washington Post.

Recently, according to the Washington Post, the US and South Korea have signed a pact to defend each other's nations if attacks were to happen.

Supervalu cuts 1,100 jobs with half in Minnesota

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Grocery store chain Supervalu will cut about 1,100 jobs after selling a few of their stores, according to multiple news sources.

Supervalu has struggled the last few years trying to compete with giant box stores like Target or Wal-Mart, according to the Pioneer Press. Pioneer Press reported that the grocery store business has been facing problems competing with these giant box stores. The job reductions will affect the company's offices and departments across the country, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Star Tribune reported that of the 1,100 jobs being cut, 600 of them will be in the Twin Cities area, where Supervalu is headquartered. The jobs will be reduced at not only Supervalu stores but also Cubs Food stores in Minnesota, Star Tribune said.

Star Tribune reported that the reduction in jobs and sales of some stores will help drive down Supervalu's debt.

Pioneer Press reported that the jobs that will not be effected by the cut are store level jobs. Pioneer Press reported that sales have completed with Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's and Star Market; All led by Cerberus Capital Management.

Detroit gets a new financial manager

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Facing major financial setback, Detroit becomes the largest city in Michigan to have an emergency financial manager, multiple news sources reported.

Detroit is currently facing a debt of over $300 million, according to the BBC News. Michigan Republican governor Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr to tackle Detroit's debt problem, BBC News said.

Reuters reported that Orr helped rescue Chrysler a few years. Reuters also reported that Orr was a graduate of University of Michigan in law and is known for bring back Chrysler from bankruptcy.

Detroit is currently facing an unemployment rate of over 18 percent, nearly doubled the national average, according to the BBC News. BBC News reported that Detroit is having on-going troubles with deficit, which the city has been running on for over 10 years.

BBC News said that Orr says he hopes to get the job done in 12 to 16 months. If he doesn't get the job done, Detroit could face bankruptcy becoming the largest city to go bankrupt, BBC News reported.

South Minneapolis gas leak evacuation lifted

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South Minneapolis residence received the approval to go back to their homes after a gas leak had them evacuated, according to multiple sources.

A gas leak Wednesday led to a disruption in school bus schedules and residence forced to evacuate their homes, Star Tribune reported. A resident reported that the neighborhood smelt of gas at around 12:30 p.m., Star Tribune said.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that the gas leak was caused by the changes in the weather from warmer to cooler temperatures. MPR said that Centerpoint Energy said that the leak was caused from constant freezing and thawing which made the wires expand and eventually leaked out gas.

Star Tribune said that students were held beyond their school hours at the local high school for "safety reasons." The city sent out public buses to keep residence warm while the crew repaired the damaged wires, Star Tribune said.

Both the Star Tribune and MPR reported that residence's doors were knocked on and residences were told to leave. They both added that residences were told to abandon their cars and leave the area.

A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota has advanced in the state Legislature, according to multiple news sources.

The Star Tribune reported the Legislature invited the public to speak their opinion about the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota. People from both sides came out and expressed their views, Star Tribune reported.

The bill advanced in both the House and Senate moving it one step closer to the a vote in the Legislator, Star Tribune reported. The Star Tribune added that lawmakers will put it aside for a the coming weeks to focus on the state's budget proposals, which Democratic leaders expressed is top priority.

Local CBS News reported that Governor Mark Dayton would sign the bill if it passes in the Legislature. If passes, Minnesota would be the ninth (or tenth, depending on what Illinois does) state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The move to legalize same-sex marriage, according to CBS Minnesota, came after Minnesotans rejected a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage in November. The committees heard from pastors, doctors, children, parents, and couples of both sides of the issue.

The Star Tribune released a poll showing that 53 percent of Minnesotans oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, while only 38 percent do.

New York policeman guilty of cannibal plot

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New York policeman found guilty after plotting to kill his wife, and cook and eating other women, multiple news sources reported

Gilberto Valle, 28, faces life in prison for plotting the murder of his wife and planning to cook and eat other women, CNN reported. CNN also reported that Valle is guilty of illegally accessing "a federal law enforcement database."

CNN reported that he was using the database to find potential victims. CNN added that no one was kidnapped and eaten. However, the jury did see his plans to do so, CNN said. The plots had a title that read something like this: "Abducting and Cooking Kimberly -- A Blueprint."

BBC News said that Valle contacted some of the women he had planned to "cook." Valle's plan also included what kinds of rope he was going to use to abduct these women, BBC News said.

BBC News said that Valle's wife testified against him. In her testimony, she mentioned how she found an email explaining how Gilberto was going to kill his wife and her friend, BBC News reported. Furthermore, BBC News said she mentioned how the email said that two women would be raped in front of the each to "heighten their fears." BBC News also reported that his wife said that one woman was planned to be burnt alive.

The jury ruled guilty, BBC News and CNN said.

Worries arise as North Korea nullifies 1953 truce

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North Korea has nullified the 1953 war truce which halted the Korean renewing threats to the South, according to multiple news sources

The New York Times said that the move "comes as the United States and South Korea are in the midst of two months of joint military drills." South Korea says that they are fearful of a potential attack from the North, The New York Times reported. South Korea added that the North might be using the military drills and UN sanctions as excuses to cause tensions, The New York Times reported.

South Korea's new President said that she would want to build trust with North Korea, according to the New York Times. The New York Times added that she criticized military officials for golfing instead of dealing with the crisis.

The BBC News reported that North Korea has cut the hotline between them and South Korea. BBC News has added that government officials in the South has attempted to contact the North but were unsuccessful.

The 1953 war truce was signed as an armistice, BBC News said. BBC added that the two nations are technically still at war.

The BBC News said that tensions the last few years have boiled since 2010 when North Koreans killed four South Koreans in a shelling on a boarder island.

North Korean Communist newspaper said that the situation was unpredictable, BBC News reported.

Analysis: Covering a Speech

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While most news sources just cover what the speech is about, this analysis will be based off of the article from the Chicago Tribune about what Rand Paul missed when he filibustered in the Senate this week.

The journalist who reported on the Rand Paul filibuster has decided that he would attack the Senator from Kentucky over what he "missed."

He crafted his story by paralleling Paul's filibuster to the infamous filibuster in "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington." The story starts off with background information by discussing what caused Sen. Paul to filibuster one of Obama's nominees, which had nothing to do with the nominee. The articles proceeds by discussing the reactions from both people within the Senate and from outside the Senate.

How did this help the readers? The writer expanded on the story by 1) explained the purpose of the filibuster, 2) gave reactions to the filibuster, and 3) gave information on what could happen in the future. The importance was to give the readers information on what is going on in politics today.

With all the votes counted, Deputy Prime Minister currently holds a thin margin in the Kenya presidential race, multiple news sources reported.

Uhuru Kenyatta won the Kenyan presidential election Friday in what appears to be Kenya's closest election yet, according to the BBC News. The official results will not be posted until Saturday, BBC News said.

Kenyatta's rival, Raila Odinga, will likely file legal challenges if the results show that Kenyatta wins, BBC News said. BBC News said that Kenyatta would most likely face hard times with Western Powers if confirmed as the winner. The BBC News added that he is currently facing trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague "for crimes against humanity."

The United States and United Kingdom hinted that if he wins, there would be some issues between Kenyatta and their governments, BBC said.

Christian Science Monitor reported that Kenyatta holds the lead of over 50 percent. Facing possible criminal charges, Kenyatta fired back at the British government by accusing that they are suspicious activities in the electoral process, Christian Science Monitor said.

Christian Science Monitor said that Kenya has a new electronic voting machine to help boost transparency and avoid allegations of ballot rigging. The move came after violence erupted at the last election six years ago that left over 1,000 dead, Christian Science Monitor said.

Democratic Senator wont seek re-election

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Michigan Democratic senior Senator Carl Levin has announced that he is retiring, according to multiple news sources.

USA Today reported that Senator Levin will not run for re-election in his Michigan senate seat that's up next year. The announce is expected to spark of interest in the seat from both political parties, USA Today reported.

The announcement came after many speculations have been made that he would not run for re-election, USA Today said. Levin, in the past, said that he has not made up his mind, USA Today reported.

Washington Post reported that Levin said he would focus the next few years on "corporate tax avoidance, the health of manufacturing industry, campaign fiance reform, military budget cuts, the end of the war in Afghanistan and verterans' care."

Levin has held his seat since 1979 and since then, has not faced any serious re-election challenges, Washington Post reported. The Washington Post also reported that Levin is chairman of the important Armed Services Committee in the Senate.

Levin's announcement became the 7th senator's announcement, Washington Post reported.

USA Today reported that Democrats are going to have a rough time picking a candidate to run in US Senate as they face picking a candidate to run against the unpopular Republican governor Rick Synder, USA Today reported.

Man charged for filming boys undressing

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A Coon Rapids was charged with stalking a minor and possession of child pornography, according to multiple news sources.

Robert Dennis Minor, 53, was charged after being caught filming underage boys with a wristwatch camera at YMCAs, according to the Pioneer Press.

Police have discovered that Minor possessed over 100 folders of underage boys names, Pioneer Press reported. In each folder were a boy's name, a picture of a boy, and some had some video included, Pioneer Press said. Pioneer Press said that two folders contained information regarding taping boys at the Andover and Coon Rapids YMCA.

The Star Tribune said that the police are trying to figure out how many videos Minor took. Police have discovered that Minor's computer was full of images containing children engaging in sexual acts, according to the Star Tribune.

Minor was arrested after one 12-year-old boy told his parents about the man's behavior, Star Tribune said. The arrest came when Minor was following the 12-year-old boy around the locker room, Star Tribune reported.

Minor is being held in jail with a bail of $500,000, Star Tribune reported.

Hugo Chavez dead at 58

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died at the age of 58 from cancer, according to multiple news sources.

The BBC News reported that Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced Chavez's death Tuesday evening during a televised announcement. BBC News reported that earlier that Maduro said that Chavez went into his "most difficult hours."

Maduro mentioned of a plot against Venezuela that Chavez's cancer was a result of foul play by enemies, BBC News said. BBC News reported that the government had "deployed the armed forces and police nationwide" to sustain peace while trying to protect the population. The military issued a statement swearing their loyalty to the vice-president and the parliament, BBC News said.

A temporary President will be put in place until a special election is held, BBC News said. Argentina President reacted by canceling all activities after the announcement of Chaven's death. The President was close friends with Chevez, BBC News reported.

The Chicago Tribune said that the special election could be held within the next 30 days. The Chicago Tribune also reported that Maduro is favored to win the election.

However, with opposition rising up, investors are worried about the political instability, the Chicago Tribune reported. Chicago Tribune reported that if Maduro were defeated, there would most likely be tensions between Venezuela and and the rest of Latin America, especially with communist Cuba.

US Government has not commented on the death as of the publishing of this post.

Analysis: Comparing News Websites multimedia

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(This, somehow, did not show up when I had problems accessing the website)

For this week's analysis, I will be comparing the BBC News and NBC News.

Comparing the BBC and NBC is a little difficult. Both of them are laid out similarly. However, as I dove into both sites, I noticed the differences between the two websites. The first thing you see on BBC is what is today's top story. For NBC, it is usually a follow-up story or even a breaking news story.

The biggest differences between the two, however, is that the BBC divided up the types of news you can get. There's an actual "news" tab but also a tab for sport, weather, travel, future, auto, tv, and more. The BBC is more than just a news channel. It is Britain's biggest network. NBC News has tabs, however, their website is already divided up, so it is easier to get right to the news.

When you get to the BBC's news page, it is a lot more clearer than NBC. The big story of the day is front and center. Other big stories are directly below and the lesser important stories are all the way down. When I look at the writing, I noticed that the BBC is straightforward and direct with what the story is about. It's going right for the news. NBC kind of hides it. You get a sense of what the story is about, however, you don't actually know what it is about until you click on it.

Rape suspect to be tried as juvenile

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Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that a 17-year-old will tried in juvenile court, multiple news sources reported.

The Star Tribune said the decision has "reversed a Ramsey County judge's order." The Appeals courts ruled that the suspect, Jim Her of St. Paul, was improperly certified to stand trial as an adult.

In March of 2012, he was charged, along with nine others, for raping a 15-year-old St. Paul girl, Star Tribune said. The nine suspects were part of a St. Paul gang.

Pioneer Press reported that Her turned 17 a few days before the attack. Ramsey County attorney's office was given 30 days on whether they wanted to make another attempt to certify him as an adult, Pioneer Press said.

Pioneer Press pressed reported that a psychologist who examined Her said that he doesn't have any significant problems with anger and "is generally compliant and does not have a mental illness."

If convicted as an adult, Her faces a maximum 28 years in prison, Pioneer Press reports.

About this Archive

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

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