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

April 2013 Archives

Analysis: Cab drivers in Boston, a losing battle

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For the final analysis, I am writing on a story from the Boston Globe (found on nicar.org) about cab drivers accepting bribe.

For reporters of the Boston Globe, finding the information required intensive investigative reporting. The story focused on Boston Cab drivers accepting illegal amounts of payment from who is getting the ride. They used analysis and records to discover that many cab drivers are at financial risk for insurance, constant accounts of being held for professional conduct, police are not tracking crimes by or against cab drivers, and cab drivers don't produce a legally required receipt.

To enhance the story, the Boston Globe has used many interactive to keep the story alive. At the top of story is a video behind what this story is about. Towards the middle of a story is a graph that shows how much medallions in the cab industry are worth. The graph shows that is beats S&P 500, CPI, and Gold. Furthermore, the writers used pictures to show who is important, what the writer said, and why the writer wrote it.

For this story is be what it is, the reporter must've had skills in producing a video to get this story moving and knowledge in how to produce a graph that tells the story even more. The graph produced was to help readers get a better understanding of what the story was about.

Owner held after building collapse

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The owner of a factory building that collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh is currently being held after trying to flee Wednesday, according to multple news sources.

Mohammad Sohel Rana was arrested at the border of India, according to the BBC News. The BBC News reported that rescuers are still racing to pull out survivors from the rubbles of the factory.

Bangladesh News reported that Rana was trying to escape the country. Bangladesh News also reported that the Prime Minister ordered the arrest of Rana herself.

Bangladesh News reported that Rana had known about the cracks in the walls but dismissed it a not a serious issues the day before.

BBC News reported that there is widespread anger as three factory owners and two engineers have been arrested. BBC News also reported that the death toll is at 377 people, but hundreds more are missing.

According to the BBC, there is a reported roughly 3,000 working in building when it collapsed and about 2,430 are known to have survived.

Bangladesh News reported that has been described as "the worst industrial disaster in the history of Bangladesh."

Historic transplant may cure HIV, leukemia

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Doctors at the University of Minnesota may have cured HIV and leukemia in a boy Tuesday, according to multple news sources.

Star Tribune reported the boy, who has not been identified, could be the second person in the world to be cured from deadly illnesses by "an extraordinary type of cell transplant." Dr. John Wagner has been working with his team to prepare for this operation for weeks, Star Tribune reported.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that the solution may be "umbilical cord blood containing a protein known to protect a person against HIV." MPR reported that a similar operation was successful on an adult using bone marrow which contained the same protein.

MPR reported that if it is successful, the doctors will still continue to monitor the boy's leukemia for the next two years, when it could likely recur.

Star Tribune reported that Dr. Michael Verneris, who is assisting in the operation, said that less than 1 percent of the population is born with a genetic resistance that fights off HIV and leukemia.

Star Tribune said that the boy's transfusion took only ten minutes. The boy will have to remain in the hospital for at least four weeks for risk of complications and will not be able to go home for at least three month, Star Tribune reported.

France legalizes same-sex marriage amid protest

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The French Parliament became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage even with massive protest, according to multiple news sources.

The decision was made even when France has seen one of the biggest protests in years, according to the BBC News. French opponents of same-sex marriage rallied the National Assembly when the results were shared, according to the BBC News.

The move to legalize same-sex marriage was championed by current French President Francois Hollande, who vowed to create equality for all, Reuters reported. This is considered the largest social reform since the abolishing of the death penalty in 1989, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that pro-same-sex marriage supporters were often greeted with violent protest over the last few weeks including a 24-year-old being beaten in the southern French town of Nice.

BBC News reported that the first wedding could take place in June. BBC News reported that France became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage which includes 9 countries in Europe. BBC News added that legislation is currently moving through the British Parliament.

The French Catholic Church and Conservative Party said that this will undermine the essential building blocks to society, BBC News reported.

Minnesota House passes health care budget

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The Minnesota House has approved a budget bill Monday for funds from hospitals and HMOs, according to multiple news sources.

The bill included a spending increase of 5 percent or about $11.2 billion for two-years beginning in July, according to the Pioneer Press. Pioneer Press reported that Democrats and Republicans debated for about 9 hours over why funds wont go towards nursing homes.

The Star Tribune reported that the House floor was stacked with over eighty-seven amendment proposals for the bill. Many amendments were proposed that countered political opponent's amendments, Star Tribune reported.

Pioneer Press reported that the bill was passed 70-64 vote with almost all voting by party lines. The bill includes hospitals pay more towards Medicaid surcharges and HMOs to face a new limit on financial reserves, Pioneer Press reported.

Pioneer Press reported that Democrats in both the House and Senate have called for "slower growth in the programs, where health costs have ballooned with the aging state's population."

Marathon Bomber charged

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Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged Monday and could face the death penalty, according to multiple news sources.

Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged with one count of using and conspiring weapons of mass destruction resulting in multiple deaths and also one count of destruction of property, according to the USA Today. Tsarnaev is still in serious condition at the hospital but is communication with official via writing, according to the USA Today. Both USA Today and BBC News reported that maximum penalty is death.

BBC News reported that he, and his brother Tamerlan, 26, were behind the Boston Marathon bombing. Tamerlan was killed after a shoot-out with police, BBC News reported.

The BBC News reported that the city of Boston has observed a moment of silence at 2:50 pm EST, exactly one week after the attack.

USA Today reported that the suspects remained "calm" and walked the opposite direction when the bombing took place last week. The suspects carjacked a Mercedes Benz shortly after the bombing, USA Today reported.

The USA Today reported that Tsarnaev could face the most serious terrorist charges which includes death.

Former Packistani Military Leader Arrested

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The Pakistani Police arrested former military leader Pervez Musharraf Friday in Islamabad, according to multiple news sources.

Musharraf was arrested on charges of "unlawful detention of judges in 2007," according to the BBC News. BBC News reported that Musharraf appeared in court on Friday with heavy security.

The Washington Post reported that if Musharraf were prosecuted, he would be the first army leader to go to prison in Pakistan's modern history. The Washington Post reported that it could bring down tensions in Pakistan as the nation prepares to vote on May 11.

The Pakistani Senate approved a resolution in which Musharraf should be tried "on charges of high treason relating to his declaration of a state of emergency in 2007," BBC New said.

The BBC News said that Musharraf's candidacy for leader of Pakistan was rejected. The Washington Post said that Musharraf successfully gained power in 1999 and ruled until 2008.

BBC News reported that the Pakistani Taliban vows to assassinate Mussarraf.

Michele Bachmann former aide to testify on ethic probe

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A former aide to Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign will testify to whether Bachmann wrongfully paid staffers, according to multiple news sources.

Former Cheif of Staff to Bachmann, Andy Parrish, is expected to tell a panel in Iowa about Bachmann's improper payments to the GOP chairman, according to the Star Tribune. The Star Tribune reported that the claims came when a Florida pastor said that Bachmann had hidden payments to an Iowa Senator, which is against Iowa Senate ethic rules.

The MinnPost reported that Bachmann and the state senator have not admitted to any wrongdoings, despite complaints for a staff member of Bachmann's campaign. Parrish left Bachmann's campaign in February of 2012 to help run an unsuccessful campaign for Minnesota's ban on gay marriage, MinnPost reported.

The Star Tribune said that "Parrish's willingness to go public against his former employer and political mentor is likely to send shock waves through Minnesota GOP circles." The decision to go forward came when Iowa's Senate Committee set a 10-day deadline for "Witness A" to come forward, Star Tribune reported. The panel is made of three Democrats and three Republicans, Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune reported that Bachmann's campaign was rocked when the Iowan State Senator stopped supporting Bachmann and went to support her rival, Ron Paul.

Mourners attend Thatcher's funeral

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Former British Prime Minister's Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held Wednesday at St. Paul Cathedral in London, according to multiple news sources.

Over 2,000 dignitaries from various nations attended the funeral to pay their last respects, according to the BBC News. Thatcher's casket was carried throughout the streets of London as Britannia lined the streets to get a glimpse of the funeral precession, BBC New reported.

BBC News reported that there were protest, but smaller than expected. Mourners from North America included Canada's Prime Minister David Cameron and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, CNN reported. CNN reported that Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attended. Nancy Reagan, widow of Thatcher's main ally President Reagan, was unable to attend but sent a representative, CNN reported.

BBC News said Thatcher's funeral began when a hearse took her casket from Parliament for the last time and began the procession. The Union Jack, the name of Britian's flag, was laid on top of the casket. Her carriage was drawn by horses through the streets.

Margaret Thatcher died April 8th of a stroke, CNN reporter. Her funeral, CNN said, was with full military honor, similar to Princess Diana's funeral. Thatcher was 87, CNN reported.

Investigation underway for Boston Bombing

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Investigations underway Tuesday for who and why bombs were planted at the Boston Marathon, according to multiple news sources.

Two bombs exploded in a crowd of spectators at the Boston Marathon Monday, according to the Boston Globe. The Boston Globe reported that over 176 people were injured and three people had died Monday night. Boston Globe reported that one of the victims killed was an 8-year-old boy.

President Obama said in a briefing "any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terrorism," BBC News reported. The BBC News also reported that it is unknown whether this was an act of an individual or an organization. BBC News reported that President Obama said "...we will find whoever harmed our citizens ad we will bring them to justice."

The Boston Globe reported that the shrapnel used in the bombs were prepared. The Boston Globe also reported that two bombs were hidden inside "two black bags."

The BBC News reported that the authorities are asking for citizens to bring forward any footage or photographs that might be able to give clues into who established these bombs.

21 to face charges for poaching wall-eye in Minnesota

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Twenty-one people will face charges after being caught last week selling wall-eye in a black market in Minnesota, multiple sources reported.

The Department of Natural Resources said that they will press charges Monday after catching more people, according to the Star Tribune. The Star Tribune reported that this is part of a three year investigation after authorities noticed the number of fishes declining in lakes in Northern Minnesota.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that some charges "will involve the wanton waste of less commercially valuable species including northern pike that people caught and just dumped in the woods." Some members of the Ojibwe Tribe will also face charges, San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported wall-eyes caught in northern Minnesota have been sold for around $2 compared to legal ones which run from $11 to $17. The Star Tribune reported that the suspects could face up to 35 misdemeanors and "six gross misdemeanor charges in six northern Minnesota counties." The Star Tribune reported that they will face a fine that will likely exceed tens of thousands of dollars.

The Star Tribune reported that this is Minnesota's largest fish poaching case since 1993.

Anaylsis: Inside North Korean

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National Public Radio did a report on what it is like inside North Korea. Their headline read "No Obvious Signs of Crisis."

The story begin with a slight background on what North Korea has been doing the last few month. It mentioned the numerous threats, the preparation of missile launches, and more. There has been speculations that North Koreans will be hostile within their own boarders as the government continues to threaten the US and South Korea.

But NPR says it is the exact opposite. Reporters saw children and their parents laughing and having a good time in North Korea's capital. The reporter specifically writes "rollerblading and shouting with joy." The reporter wrote that people who have visited North Korea many times say that it has never been hostile.

The reporter used sources of people who have been to North Korea many times. The reporter continued to say that while there is a presence of strong patriotism, there is also prosperity among the people. The reporter said "mobile phones are much more common, and the shops are full of goods." Furthermore, they added that there is a consumer class and it is growing.

The reporter closes out the story comparing what is and isn't real about North Korea. What's real is the political propaganda that the government is pushing. What isn't real is that the people are completely shut off.

US a target in new North Korean threat

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New missile threats from North Korea aimed right at the United States Friday, according to multiple new sources.

BBC New reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the any attempts to launch a missile at the United States would be a "provocative act" and "huge mistake." BBC News said that North Korea "has moved two missiles to its east coast and South Korea is on alert."

Reuters reported that Kerry said that it would be up to North Korea's closet ally, China, to push for them to abandon their nuclear ambitions. But North Korea said repeatedly that they wouldn't abandon their nuclear plans. Kerry's visit is around the time of the celebration of North Korea's founder birthday, Kim II-Sung, a day which is expected to showcase the North's strength, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that the threats came when the UN sanctioned the North for nuclear testing leading the North to release threats of a possible war.

BBC News reported that China has begun a series of emergency evacuation drill if such attack were to happen. The BBC News said that these drills included carrying out civilians living on a boarder town with North Korea and raising awareness of "disaster prevention and relief."

North Korea has urged many countries to "withdraw diplomatic staff, saying it cannot now guarantee their safety," BBC News reported.

State legislators begun searching for a Plan B for help funds for the proposed new Vikings Stadium, according to multiple news sources.

Star Tribune reported that the electronic gambling was to help pay for the state's $975 million share for the new stadium. Democratic state representative proposed the idea of taxing pro jerseys and foam-finger sport memorabilia.

The move to a new idea was fueled by lack of money-making from March's pulltab numbers, according to Minnesota Public Radio. MPR reported that the state did take a record $2.4 million in bets, which is up by nearly $2 million from February, but it is still not enough to help pay for the new stadium.

MPR reported that the state would need $225 per day per machine to match what is needed for the new stadium. The state has only made $87 per day per machine, according to MPR.

The idea that was purposed included a 10 percent tax on wholesales of professional sports memorabilia no matter where it is sold, Star Tribune reported. State Republicans and the state's professional sport teams-Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, and the Wild- oppose the idea.

No idea has been approved yet, according to the Star Tribune.

Deal reached on gun control

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A deal has been reached for gun control bill in the Senate which has bipartisan support Wednesday, according to multiple news sources.

Chicago Tribune reported that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) held a press conference to announce that the senate has come up with a compromise on background checks for people buying guns.

CNN reported that the NRA had struck the gun measure but Democratic leaders are hoping to still get the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate. The senate is expected to debate the measure for two weeks, CNN reported.

CNN reported that Republicans said that they will only vote for this measure if they can offer amendments to the proposal. Democratic leaders said they will give members of both parties opportunity to offer amendments to the measure, CNN reported.

Chicago Tribune reported that the Senate is expected to hold the first vote on the bill on Thursday. The Chicago Tribune said that the bill is expected to pass in the Senate, but it fell short of what President Obama pushed for. If passed, the bill includes "expanded background checks, more funding for school security and tighter restrictions on gun trafficking."

A pilot who was suspected of being under the influence before taking off has been charged for three offenses, according to multiple news sources.

Kolbjorn J Kristiansen, 48, has been charged in Hennepin County District Court after attempting to fly an aircraft while under the influences of alcohol in early January, according to the Star Tribune.

Star Tribune reported that Kristiansen was found to have a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.1. Star Tribune reported that he was removed from the American Eagle flight before taking off to New York's LaGuardia. Minneapolis KARE 11 News reported that Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police found him at around 6 a.m. right before he could take off.

KARE 11 reported that the legal alcohol consumption limit for commercial pilot in Minnesota is at 0.04, which was way under what Kristiansen was consuming. He was charged with three counts including attempting to operate an aircraft under the influence of alcohol, attempting to operate above a 0.04, and attempting to operate with alcohols content 0.04 or more within 2 hours.

Star Tribune reported that the flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours for the arrest. Star Tribune reported that twelve pilots failed the breath test in 2011.

Margaret Thatcher dies at 87

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Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the 87, according to multiple news sources.

Margaret Thatcher was known for her conservative shift in British politics, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Tribune reported that she was Britian's first female prime minister and Britian's longest continuous prime minister.

New York Times
reported that she died of a stroke and that she has been in poor health for months. "Thatcher died peacefully on Monday morning at the Ritz hotel after a stroke," New York Times reported.

The New York Times reported that her legacy included helping the USA and USSR through the last years of the Cold War and leading England to victory in the Falkland War. The New York Times reported that Thatcher has been criticized for her actions on labor union and dealing with economic troubles in England during her later years.

Chicago Tribune reported that mourners has gathered outside her home in London to lay flowers and play their respect. Prime Minister David Cameron has cut his European visit short and ordered all flags on government buildings and royal palaces be lowered to half mast, Chicago Tribune said.

The BBC News released a story regarding the monthly US jobs report which showed the use of numbers in many different ways.

The reporter used the numbers to show how much jobs were added in the month of March and to show the percent change in the US unemployment rate. The reporter went on to talk about the average monthly decline in job losses and explained how that compares to March's numbers. The reporter continued the story by breaking it down into demographics and talking about the unemployment rate among demographics.

I believe that these numbers are overwhelming. First, there were a lot of numbers to the point where it was kind of hard to figure out what goes where. Second, the reported used both million, thousands, and percents which threw me off because I had no idea which one I was supposed to compare and contrast.

As the story progressed, the reporter used started to use a "header" number. There was a specific number that the next section would be based off of. The reporter, sadly, did not use math effectively to show how the percent works with the number above. It would have enhanced the story more. The source of the story came from the US Labor Department but the analysis were from British economists who were able to make numbers somewhat understandable.

Federal prison escapee caught in Minnesota

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Two federal prison escapee were caught in a Hampton Inn in Burnsville, Minn. Friday, according to multiple news sources.

Michael Kryzaniak, 64, and Gerald Greenfield, 67, were arrested early Friday after being found in a Holiday Inn in Burnsville, Minn., the Star Tribune reported. The pair was escaping to Mexico, Star Tribune reported.

Both men were convicted of defrauding investors of millions of dollars, according to the Pioneer Press. The were discovered missing "at about 10 p.m. Saturday from a minimum-security camp near the Duluth International Airport," Pioneer Press reported.

Pioneer Press reported that tips have led them on to Holiday Inn in Burnsville. Both men are currently being held in Ramsay County Jail pending "an initial appearance in U.S. District Court," Pioneer Press said.

The two men have been staying in the hotel since last Sunday and were registered under allies, Star Tribune reported. Both men used a credit card first but paid cash for each extended stay, Star Tribune said. Star Tribune reported that Greenfield's co-defendant said that he was a "master of disguise," citing his multiple fake ID's.

Star Tribune said that the prison camp in Duluth operates "on the honor system."

Argentina Flood devastes country's capital

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Flooding in Argentina has killed over 50 people after one of the nation's heaviest storms dumped rain Wednesday, according to multiple news sources.

Thousands of Argentinians living in Buenos Aires and La Plata, a city just south of the capital, have been forced to evacuate after a record storm swooped through Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the BBC News. Argentina's government has called for a three-day national mourning for one of its' worst catastrophes, BBC News reported.

New York Times reported 250,000 people are still without electricity in Buenos Aires and thousands still stranded on rooftops. Victims told reporters that everything has been ruined by the flooding, New York Times said.

BBC News reported that as much as 16 inches were falling every hour in La Plata. BBC News said that the Red Cross reported that most of the vicitms were elderly people who had drowned in the flood. Only half of the bodies have been identified, BBC News reported.

BBC News reported that residences of La Plata have set up roadblock to "protect their neighborhoods from looters." Argentinian President visited one of the worst hit areas to ensure that security will increase for residences, BBC News said.

Pope Francis has called on authorities to protect the homeless, BBC News reported.

St. Paul Mayor to seek re-election

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St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman has announced that he will will seek a third term for mayor, according to multiple news sources.

Pioneer Press reported the DFL mayor was praised by Gov. Mark Dayton for keeping major development project operating during a major nation-wide recession. Coleman made his announcement in the vacant Pioneer-Endicott building which has been turned into a complex, according to the Pioneer Press.

MinnPost reported that no other candidate has filed to run for Mayor. Coleman was joined by Governor Dayton and members of his cabinet joined Coleman as he announced his reelection campaign, according to MinnPost.

Coleman referred to his accomplishments and plans including the light-rail transit line and creating new developments in the city, according to Pioneer Press. Pioneer Press reported that Coleman supported closing minority education gap, which is one of the largest in the county.

MinnPost reported that Coleman's next term, if he were to get reelected, is going to focus on closing that education gap. Governor Mark Dayton has made his endorsement to Coleman at the event, according to the MinnPost.

Illinois GOP US Senator Mark Kirk announced his support for same-sex marriage, according to multiple news sources.

Senator Mark Kirk's announcement came after numerous moderate Democrats and fellow GOP Senator Rob Portman all announced their support for same-sex marriage according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Kirk supported civil unions and endorsed the Deference of Marriage Act in 2010. Washington Post reported that Kirk comes from a more Democratic state, home of President Obama.

Washington Post said that GOP Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski has said her views on same-sex marriage are "evolving," but has not made a statement on whether she supported it or not, according to the Washington Post.

Senator Kirk said he returned to Capitol Hill with an open mind after having to leave for nearly a year after a like-threaten stroke he had last year, according to the Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune said that Illinois' other senator, Dick Durban, supports same-sex marriage as well.

Senator Kirk becomes the 50th US senator to support same-sex marriage, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Oil Pipeline breaks in Arkansas

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An oil pipeline broke Friday spilling thousands of barrels of oil over a small town in Arkansas, according to multiple news sources.

Reuters reported that the 65-year-old Pegasus pipeline spill thousands of barrels of oil leaving the development in Mayflower, Arkansas to evacuate the area. Reuters added that the pipeline shut down and Exxon, who operates the pipeline, declined to comment on the situation. No reasoning for the damage has been released yet, Reuters reported.

A total of 22, according to Reuters, homes have been evacuated. The oil spill reached the city streets and residence's lawn and the smell has "permeated" Mayflower, Ark., according to Reuters.

CNN reported that the crew has begun round-the-clock cleanup of the area. The cleanup, CNN reported, including scrubbing the streets and driveways of the division effected. CNN reported that the oil spill missed Lake Conway, a local source of drinking water.

Many residences have expressed their complaints to CNN about how Exxon is handling the situation. Many expressed their concerns for children's health and others have expressed their frustration over when they can returns to their homes, CNN reported.

About this Archive

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

March 2013 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.