December 13, 2008

Sam's Club Hit-And-Run

A man accused of running down and killing a woman in front of a Bloomington store had a blood-alcohol level that was more than five times the legal limit, according to charges filed Friday. Anthony Phillip LaSalle, 36, was charged with third-degree murder and three counts of criminal vehicular homicide. His blood-alcohol level was 0.41 percent, according to the charges. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08 percent.

According to the article, police said 66-year-old LuAnn Marie Johnson, of Burnsville, was with her husband when she was struck in the crosswalk outside the store, located at 200 West American Boulevard, around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Paramedics rushed Johnson to Hennepin County Medical Center where she died.

According to the Star Tribune article, LaSalle gunned the engine and drove over Johnson, hitting her and dragging her 10 feet as he sped away. Lasalle told police he had drank a half-liter of vodka before driving to Sam’s Club. He also admitted that he knew he had hit someone and was required to stop. However, he told officials that because he was drunk, it affected his decision to leave the scene.

Both articles have completely different angles on this story. The Star Tribune articles is completely on the incident. They have reports and interviews from the police and that is it. The article gives more background information on LuAnn Johnson, who was killed. Overall, both angles are effective ones that gives the reader a good account of what took place.

Factory Employees' Sit-In Works

After a six-day sit-in that ended Wednesday night in a Chicago windows factory, the employees got what they wanted. After being told that the factory would be shut down in three days, all the workers wanted was what they deserved under the law: 60 days of severance pay and earned vacation time.

According to the New York Times article, the 240 laid-off workers at this previously anonymous 125,000-square-foot plant had become national symbols of worker discontent amid the layoffs sweeping the country. To the workers surprise, their drastic action worked. Late Wednesday, two major banks agreed to lend the company enough money to give the workers what they asked for.

According to the Daily Lobo article, the standoff has also come to embody mounting anger over the government's willingness to bail out deep-pocketed corporations but not average people. Many of the employees laid off did not understand why they were so abruptly let go and given nothing in return while the government continued to help out huge corporations.

Both articles are good articles. They interviewed numerous sources to give different angles on the story. The New York Times article interviews many different factories in the Midwest that are in similar positions. This shows what exactly other factories are going through in relation to this one. The Daily Lobo article interviewed many of the employees who were participating in the sit-in. They gave their personal stories and really included the human interest element into their story. Overall, both were good stories with different angles.

Vatican's Bioethics Document

The Vatican issued its most authoritative document on bioethical issues in more than 20 years on Friday. The document took into account recent developments in biomedical technology and reinforcing the church’s opposition to in vitro fertilization, human cloning, genetic testing on embryos before implantation and embryonic stem cell research.

According to the New York Times article, the Vatican says these techniques violate the principles that every human life — even an embryo — is sacred, and that babies should be conceived only through intercourse by a married couple. The article then went on to say that the document has been under discussion for six years, it is a moral response to bioethical questions raised in the 21 years since the congregation last issued instructions.

The Yahoo New article says that the Vatican's overall position stems from its belief that human life begins at conception and must be given the consequent respect and dignity from that moment on. The Vatican also holds that human life should be created through intercourse between husband and wife, not in a petri dish.

Overall, both articles are very good. There is a lot of good reporting and they both used quotes very well to support the topic of what was in the document.

December 7, 2008

Shattuck Teacher Shoots Himself

Friday night, Shattuck St. Mary's teacher Len Jones, 34, shot and killed himself in his faculty apartment around 9 PM. No one witnessed the shooting, but several boys in grades seven through nine were in the residence hall and heard the shot. They were quickly taken to another area of the school as adults rushed to help Jones

According to the Star Tribune article, Jones was a well-liked history teacher and lacrosse coach who "brought a Southern flair" to things. He wore loafers without socks well into winter and bow ties to class. He also had good rapport with the students, Amy Wolf, a spokeswoman for the school of about 400 middle- and high school students.

According to the article, Jones immediately instituted his southern flair on things when he came to the school about six years ago from South Carolina.

Both articles give a good depiction of what took place. However, the article was only a few grafs long. It was just a brief summary of what took place and a statement from the school. The Star Tribune article was much more in-depth. It talked about Jones and how good of a teacher he was and how much of a shock this was from the school and everyone else who knew Jones.

Overall, the Star Tribune article was a much better article.

Amsterdam Starts to Clean Up its Act

Saturday, the city of Amsterdam unveiled plans to close brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafes in its ancient city center as part of a major effort to drive organized crime out of the area. The city wants to drive out the businesses that draw criminality towards it.

According to the New York Times article, the city has singled out are peep shows, massage parlors and souvenir shops that are used by drug dealers for money-laundering, gambling parlors, and the so-called coffee shops where marijuana can be bought openly. The article then went on to say that the measures announced Saturday would affect about 36 coffee shops in the center itself — a little less than 20 percent of the city total.

According to the Observer article, a representative of the city said that by reduction and zoning of these kinds of functions, they will be able to manage and tackle the criminal infrastructure better.

Both articles are solid ones. They both go into good background detail on the matter. They both gave a brief history of how this would be such an epic change for the city. They were also successful in finding good sources from the city and others to represent how the city and the people who live in it feel about this massive change.

December 1, 2008

Alabama Mayor Charged With Fraud

The mayor of Alabama's largest city, Larry Langford, was arrested Monday on federal bribery and fraud charges. These charges stemmed from doling out county financial business to a favored firm when he was head of the Jefferson County Commission from 2002 to 2006.

According to the New York Times article, Langford was charged in the 101-count indictment with taking over $230,000 in cash, clothing and jewelry in exchange for ensuring that a well-known Alabama investment banker, William B. Blount, took part in lucrative bond deals related to the financing of improvements to Jefferson County’s failing sewer system. It when on to talk about how those deals have led the county, which includes the city of Birmingham, to the brink of bankruptcy.

The AOL News article says that the charges also include money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Both articles are very similar. They both have solid background information for the reader to learn about what is taking place. Both have interviews and quotes from different sources giving their opinions on the matter at hand. Overall, both are very good, informative articles.

November 29, 2008

Same Offense, Different Result

A man shot and killed by Brooklyn Park police Tuesday night had been threatening his live-in girlfriend, who had locked herself in the bathroom with a phone and was calling for help. Eric Kirk Kolski, 45, was shot twice by two officers shortly before 7 p.m. at his home in the 10600 block of Winnetka Avenue N in the northern part of Brooklyn Park.

According to the Star Tribune article, this was not the first time that police have had to come to the house to answer a call from Kolski's long-time girlfriend on domestic charges. The couple has owned the home since 1988. In that time, Kolski had been arrested three times for domestic assault. The most recent case had a pending court date next month.

According to the article, Kolski's girlfriend had locked herself in the bathroom, and after several minutes of negotiations police officers forced entry into the home when she called authorities back and said the man was trying to get in the bathroom with the gun. Shortly after is when Kolski was shot twice by the police and was killed.

Both articles are very similar. They even share many of the same quotes from the Brooklyn Park police. Along with sharing the quotes, many of the vital facts of what took place are very similar. Overall, both are good articles

Obama's New National Security Adviser

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen who his national security adviser in his cabinet will be once he enters office in January. James L. Jones is a marine with 40 years of experience, including four years as Marine Corps Commandant, and he spent three years as NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and as Commander of the United States European Command. He's chaired the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq and been a special envoy to the Middle East, negotiating for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

According to the New York Times article, Jones was among a mostly Republican crowd watching a presidential debate in October when Barack Obama casually mentioned that he got a lot of his advice on foreign policy from General Jones. This is when the idea of having Jones as a possible national security adviser first came public. Jones will not talk about his political stance, so to determine if he is Democratic or Republican is still yet to be seen.

According to the Daily Green article, Jones differs very drastically from Obama on many energy problems in the nation. Jones has even gone on record as saying that he seems to embrace the McCain "all of the above" approach, with a dose of Obama's call for increased energy efficiency:

Both articles take very different angles on this story. The New York Times article is much more standard. It talks about Jones being selected and reasoning of why Obama would do so. The Daily Green article goes on to talk about how Jones would be a better fit in McCain's party instead of Obama's because Jones isn't seen to be as green as a typical Democrat.

Both articles are very interesting and give interesting spins on the same topic.

Massacre in Mumbai

Indian commandos killed the last Islamist gunmen holed up at Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel, ending a three-day battle at landmarks across India's financial capital. Saturday, the removal of the bodies from the ruins of the 105-year-old landmark began.

According to the New York Times article, by evening the death toll had risen to 172, a figure that was sure to rise once the dead from the Taj hotel were counted. Funerals went on throughout the day. The article then went on to talk about troubling questions arose about whether Indian authorities could have anticipated the attack, taken better security precautions in a city as vulnerable as Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, or crushed the attackers more swiftly.

According to the Reuters AlertNet article, India blamed the strike on "elements" from Pakistan, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. Pakistan said the two countries faced a common enemy and it would send a representative of its spy agency to share intelligence.

Both articles are different types of writing styles. The New York Times article is a standard article that uses information and interviews to write the piece. The Reuters AlertNet article uses bullet points to show what key events happened throughout all three days of the attacks and what took place on Saturday in the aftermath of everything.

November 23, 2008

North Hennepin Professor Names Prof of the Year

Eugenia Paulus, professor of chemistry at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minn., was named the 2008 Outstanding Community Colleges Professor of the Year. Paulus was presented with the award during a ceremony Thursday in Washington.

According to the ASribe article, Paulus elected to teach at a community college so she could "make a difference at a place where everyone is welcome." The article then goes on to say that Paulus has challenged students to reach their fullest potential, advocating the use of scientific principles to help solve everyday problems. Her commitment to their success led her to develop a "Web-based, step-by-step tutorial" after she realized that many of her students lacked hands-on laboratory skills. And after conducting research showing that local employers needed working students to be proficient in certain laboratory techniques, she developed an industry skills course and helped raise $65,000 for the equipment needed to teach it.

According to the Star Tribune article, Paulus, who has taught at the Brooklyn Park campus for the past eight years, is the first professor from Minnesota to win the national award recognizing professors for excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring, and for dedication to their fields and profession.

Both articles take completely different angles on this story. The AScribe article talks about all of the different winners individually, not taking too much time for any one winner. The Star Tribune article is more of an in-depth personal piece on Paulus herself and great things she has done during her teaching years.

Overall, the Star Tribune article is more along the lines of what we would do in this class. The AScribe article just mentions everyone, not really ever doing too much analysis of the the people.

President Bush Ends Final Economic Meetings in Asia

U.S. President George W. Bush wrapped up his final meeting with Asia Pacific leaders here Sunday. President Bush left his last meeting with a collection of modest achievements: an endorsement of his plans for international financial regulatory reform, a renewed call for free trade and a promise from China to host another round of meetings that are aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

According to the MSNBC article, Bush got a boost as the six nations involved in ridding North Korea of its nuclear weaponry agreed to meet in China in December, perhaps to finally lock in a disarmament deal. The article then went on to talk about how Bush displayed a new willingness to look back on his term and speak wistfully about it, the kind of reflection he previously had dismissed as premature or pointless.

According to the New York Times article, the global financial crisis, free trade and North Korea were high on President Bush’s agenda for the meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. But with fewer than 60 days left in office, advisers to President Bush were realistic about what they could accomplish.

Both articles take different angles on this story. The New York Times article talks about how even though President Bush has so many things that he wants to address, he only has a limited amount of time. The MSNBC article takes the angle of reflection over Bush's foreign affairs meetings and how they have gone over his term as President.

Overall, both articles are good informative articles that capture two different angles on Bush's final meetings in Asia.

November 22, 2008

Clinton and Obama Unite

The former presidential hopefuls from the Democratic Party, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are expected to unite with each other in the cabinet now that President-elect Obama has taken over. Clinton is expected to leave her senate position and accept the invitation from Obama to become the new Secretary of State.

According to the article, Obama selected Clinton so the two can build a broad coalition administration. The article goes on to say that Clinton would be well placed to become the country's dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing Condoleezza Rice. Since being elected senator for New York, she has specialized in foreign affairs and defense.

According to the New York Times article, Clinton's selection is still to be formalized and will not be announced until after Thanksgiving.

The two articles are both solid articles that take completely different angles on the same story. The New York Times article goes into how this is an interesting move for Obama because only months ago, Clinton and himself were bashing each other on how one would make a better President than the other.

The article takes the angle on how Clinton is the perfect fit for the opening in Obama's cabinet. The article talks about how Clinton is perfectly qualified for such a job.

Overall, both articles are well written with solid facts and interviews to back up their angles.

November 16, 2008

High School Killed by Friend on Accident

Friday night, Fridley High School football star, Emmanuel Bartuoh was shot and killed on an accidental shooting in his house. Bartuoh's friend, Samuel Keleih Dennis, a 20-year-old graduate of Fridley High, was booked into the Anoka County Jail on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter after he pointed a semi-automatic gun he didn't know was loaded at his friend, Bartuoh, and pulled the trigger, authorities said.

According to the article, Dennis was unframiliar on how to operate the semi-automatic gun. At some point, Dennis pulled out a gun and showed it to Bartuoh. Unfamiliar with how to operate a semi-automatic, he pulled the slide back, ejecting a round, authorities said. He mistakenly thought the firearm was unloaded. He then pointed the gun at Bartuoh and pulled the trigger.

According to the Star Tribune article, when police and paramedics arrived at the Rice Creek Townhomes in Fridley on Friday, they found a sobbing and blood-soaked Samuel Keleih Dennis, 20, who said he had tried in vain to revive his longtime friend after pulling the trigger on a gun he thought was unloaded.

Both articles are good ones that are full of similar facts to tell the story of what exactly happened. Both articles included necessary facts, such as what happened, what the scene was like when officials arrived, and background information on Bartuoh. Overll, they were both very good articles.

Obama Win Possibly Good for Russia?

During a speech in Washington on Saturday, Russia's President, Dmitri Medvedev, said that he is very hopeful that the relationship between the United States and Russia will be rebuilt with the election of future U.S. President, Barack Obama.

The current relationship between the two countries has been strained because of what Medvedev blames current U.S. President George Bush for. Medvedev said that there is a lack of mutual trust.

According to the BBC News article, Medvedev plans to meet with Obama shortly after he takes his place in office in January. The article also says that Medvedev indicated that Russia might accept a compromise over a planned US missile shield in Europe.

According to the New York Times article, Medvedev repeated his threat, first made the day after Mr. Obama was elected, to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad if the United States moved ahead with plans to build missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. However, he still is willing to listen to what others have to say on the situation.

The two articles are both solid background articles with quotes to further their points. One key thing I noticed however, is that the BBC News article misspelled Medvedev's name. This is a huge problem and automatically mad me think less of the article from the beginning. It was the first thing I saw and put a dark cloud over the rest of the article because we learned in this class that getting your facts correct is the number one priority.

November 15, 2008

Wildfires in California... Again

Wildfires in the Los Angeles broke out this weekend and have put many in danger. So far, 165 homes have been destroyed and over 10,000 people have been ordered to immediately evacuate the area.

According to the article, the fires have covered more than 10 square kilometers. The mayor of Sylmar, Antonio Villaraigosa, signed a local emergency order just before 8 a.m. PT Saturday. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger later issued a state emergency declaration.

According to the New York Times article, the wildfires were spread so quickly due to strong winds with gusts up to 70 miles an hour and have damaged 100 other houses besides the 65 that were completely destroyed. The article also stated that the area's electric power supply was in great danger because of the fires and winds knocking down vital power lines.

The two articles differ a lot even though both are full of numerous facts to support the story. The New York Times article said that the fires started on Thursday night while the article said that the fires broke out late Friday night. Also, the article said that only over 5,400 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes while the New York Times article said over 10,000.

This seems very odd to me that these crucial facts are so different in each story. Both articles were written today (Saturday), so they both have availability to the correct statistics on the fires. I don't understand why these numbers differ so much because of this. If one of the articles was done earlier, I could see why the numbers differ so much, but this isn't the case.

This leads me to believe that even though both articles are solid background articles that cover the entire story with quotes and statistics, I can't say either article is of any value because of the discrepancy between the statistics. I simply don't know which one to believe.