December 13, 2008

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

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.

November 29, 2008

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

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 16, 2008

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 7, 2008

Italy's Prime Minister Describes Obama

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi added another notch to his seemingly never-ending totem pole of criticism Thursday in Moscow. Berlusconi made a comment while meeting President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia about the United States of America's newly elected President, Barack Obama.

According to the article, Berlusconi said that the new U.S. President was "young, handsome and tanned." This immediately sparked criticism from liberals and left-wingers all over.

According to the New York Times article, Berlusconi said the statement while talking about how he thought Obama and Medvedev would have a good relationship together and would be very cooperative with each other.

The article went on to talk about how Berlusconi is known the world wide for politically incorrect comments and gaffes. The entire article is about how Berlusconi does this quite a bit and have numerous quotes from others to back up their initial claim.

The New York Times article took a similar angle on how Berlusconi has made a habit of making controversial comments, however, they do not do it in such an attacking manor as the Canada.come article. They do not give off the persona of being extremely liberal to the reader while still addressing the issue at stake.

Personally, I think that the New York Times article is much more well written. It gives both sides of the story while still making sure that the reader sees exactly what Berlusconi did wrong.

October 30, 2008

US to Leave Iraq by 2011?

Iraq wants a guaranteed plan from the United States about how the U.S. will pull out all troops by 2011. According to the MSNBC article, a proposed security agreement is now under negotiation between the prime minister of Iraq and President Bush, and has been for months now.

As of right now, the agreement is to have U.S. soldiers leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the government asks them to stay to help with training or other missions. However, a member of the prime minister's inner circle said the government wants that possibility removed, according to the MSNBC article.

According to the Washington Independent article, Iraqi officials are extremely tired of this on-going process. The Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. said “All Iraqi officials I’ve talked to are worn out by this, not only because of negotiators on the Iraqi side [feeling frustrated with the U.S.], but also by internal Iraqi negotiations. You cannot underestimate the complications to the SOFA created by internal Iraqi political dynamics.?

Both articles are very good ones. They both cover the background information of the story while going in-depth with interviews with officials that are involved from both sides. This is good because it shows that the articles are very unbiased and is able to portray both sides of the story.

October 25, 2008

Aides to Greek Leader Dropping Like Flies

One of the Greek prime minister's closest aides resigned on Thursday over a land scandal that has left the government at a blank on what exactly to do. Theodore Roussopoulos, the aide who stepped down, was not the first to do so. Another aide to the prime minister stepped down earlier over the exact same issue, according to the International Herald Tribune article.

The issue over the land scandal was brought on over more than 250 land swaps of valuable land that has been traded for cheap tracts of lakeside property with a 1,000-year-old monastery, according to the New York Times article. The NYT later states that the total loss is about $136 million.

Both articles give good background information on the issue. The International Herald Tribune actually gave the name of the aide who stepped down. That was one thing that the New York Times article neglected to do. The International Herald Tribune came from a point of view that the newsworthy topic was the aide stepping down.

The New York Times article was more in-depth. They want on to use personal interviews on what people thought and other peoples' comments that were involved. The New York Times took the newsworthy topic of how the Greek government is in the biggest scandal to hit Greece in a long time. The article went on to talk about how this is effecting Greece and how it something needs to be done soon.

Overall, both articles are good. It is interesting to see how the same story can be covered from two completely different newsworthy focus points.

October 19, 2008

Taliban Strike Again

On Thursday, Taliban officials in southern Afghanistan stopped a bus and killed at least 30 passengers. The reasoning for the mass killing was because Taliban officials believed that the passengers were actually Afghan soldiers going to help the governor take over the Taliban.

Afghan officials have retrieved six bodies as of now, but there is believed to be 24 other missing bodies. A Taliban official said that they had captured 50 passengers, but released 10 back to the bus and let it go on its way. He also said that the Taliban had taken 27 "Afghan soldiers" to court and killed them after the trail.

According to the New York Times article, the passengers' throats were slit and they were beheaded.

The two articles are pretty similar. Both articles are filled with solid background information.

The article doesn't really go too in-depth with the topic. It hardly givens any names of people that they talked to and other interesting facts that the NYT article does.

The New York Times article gives little details such as who the Taliban official was that talked to them and quotes on why the Taliban did what they did. Also, it talks about what the passengers on the bus were actually going to do. Overall, this is a better, more in-depth article that is much more informative.

October 12, 2008

North Korea Off Terrorist List

On Saturday, North Korea was officially removed from the U.S.'s Terrorist List. The Bush Administration said the move came to help salvage a fragile nuclear deal that seemed on the verge of collapse.

According to the New York Times article, the U.S. made the decision after North Korea agreed to resume disabling a plutonium plant and to allow some inspections to verify that it had halted its nuclear program as promised months earlier. The Yahoo News article said that both the U.S. and the U.N. would send inspectors to nuclear facilities throughout the country.

The Yahoo News article had a very good introduction to the piece. It gave the background of what was going to be taking place. Later on in the article, it went on to talk about how Republican leaders found the agreement between the U.S. and North Korea bad for the country. There are countless testimonials from various Republicans that show their dislike for the agreement.

The New York Times article also had a good background introduction to the article. Later on, it gave statements from both Republican and Democrat leaders. They even included how presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama felt on the agreement.

It was good that the NYT article showed both sides of the story on how politicians from the U.S. felt on the topic instead of just showing one political side.

October 5, 2008

Teenage Sex Boom in Chile

Once considered one of Latin America's most sexually conservative countries, Chile is now in the midst of a teenage sexual rebellion. Teenage boys and girl aging from 14-18 are now using the technological advances in the country, such as the internet and cell phones, to explore their boundaries according to the New York Times article.

the NYT goes on to talk about how the sexual eruption could be an effect of the growing industry for clubs and parties that promote to people who are 18-and-under.

“There is much more of a rebellious spirit among young people today. There is much more freedom to explore everything," said a 17-year-old teenage boy at a party. The teenagers are obviously trying to shed their countries' past reputation and take their own freedom into their own hands.

The article was a short piece that honestly could have been used as a summary of the NYT article. It gave good info, but it could have expanded more on everything that was mentioned. It left me asking questions of "why" and "what else happened" after finishing it.

The New York Times article was muc more in-depth. It expanded on certain things such as how the internet and cell phones are possibly contributing to the rebellion and what the scene of a typical teenage party is like. I felt very informed after reading and had a better understanding of what really took place.

September 28, 2008

Car Bomb in Syria Kills 17

A car bomb in Damascus, Syria left 17 civilians dead and wounded at least 14 more went off Saturday morning. The bombing was near a Shia shrine where Shiite pilgrims from across the region visit each year to pray at the tomb of Zeinab, granddaughter of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, according to the article.

The car bombing was the worst the worst attack in Syria since the 1980's. The bomb itself was believed to have contained more than 400 pounds of explosives according to the New York Times article. NYT went on to say that the bomb went off at approximately 8:45 a.m. in a crowded intersection near the Shia shrine.

The Ottawa article was very short. It gave the basic fact about the car bomb killing 17 and wounding 14 others. It did not go into any depth other than that.

The NYT article went very deep into the background of the story. The article talked about previous bombings and other problems between Syria and Israel. The article also talked about how the bomb actually may have been targeted for a nearby intelligence agency. The building was one of Syria's highly secretive security services according to the article. This article went much further into this story and ended up giving the reader more information on the story. It made the story that much more interesting by knowing other factors involved in the bombing.

September 21, 2008

South Africa's Pres Calls It Quits

South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, left his roll on Sunday after heavy pressure to do so from other members of the African National Congress. Mbeki was pressured to step down after allegations arose that he was a major contributor to pressing charges of corruption against his political rival and ANC leader, Jacob Zuma.

Corruption charges against Zuma were dropped because "the prosecuting team violated some of his procedural rights," according to the article.

Zuma will likely run for the South African presidency in 2009 when the election comes around. According to the New York Times article, Zuma is in line to be the next president.

The two articles differ drastically. The Aljazeera article is very straight forward and is very unbiased to the situation. The NYT article focuses on the downside of Mbeki as the president. It even later goes on to talk about conspiracy theories that are brought upon by Zuma and his followers. The article is very one-sided.

September 14, 2008

Bombing in New Delhi

5 areas in the capital city of India, New Delhi, were the sites of 5 explosions at around 6 p.m. Saturday evening. The total number of deaths is uncertain. The Associated Press lists the total at "at least 8 killed and 61 wounded" while the New York Times says "18 were killed" and neglected to say how many in total were wounded.

A Muslim terrorist group known as the Indian Mujahedeen was responsible for the bombings. The group has also been responsible for bombings against Hindus in May and July where the casualties were much higher.

The Associated Press story is very one sided. It talks about how the Indian Mujahedeen has committed all these terrorist acts against the Hindus, but nothing about what the Hindus do to the Muslims. The story from the New York Times talks about an attack against the Muslims where "nearly 1,000 Muslims were killed by Hindus in 2002, in one of the worst outbreaks of religious violence in India’s history."

The New York Times story goes more in depth with the past between the Hindus and Muslims in India and gives the reader a chance to be able to pick a side if they desire to instead of how the AP story is very one sided and guides readers to a certain way without educating them on the situation in its entirety.

The Associated Press story:

The New York Times story: