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

March 2013 Archives

Obituary Analysis

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BBC News wrote an obituary for the famous British actor Robert Griffiths.

Many of the sources in the story are people that personally knew Griffiths and worked with him. For example, the reporter was able to receive statements from Daniel Radcliffe a co-star of Robert Griffiths in the Harry Potter series as well as his agent Simon Beresford.

The lead of obituary in the BBC News article says, "Actor Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery." This lead perfectly fits the formula of writing an obituary because it says the name of the person, how they are memorable, how old he was, and how he died.

The obituary written by BBC News seems to closely resemble a resume, but it seems more personal when they are highlighting Griffiths' accomplishments and achievements during his lifetime. By using quotes from people that knew him it immediately makes the story more personable and conversational, rather than listening his achievements.

The Minnesota Zoo began launching their new extensive and expensive renovation program Saturday to attract more visitors, news sources reported.

The Minnesota Zoo will be under renovation for the next 15 to 20 years, WCCO reported.

The first phase the renovation process includes construction of an African trial, that will allow visitors to learn about lions, giraffes, and hippos, and an events center, the Star Tribune reported.

The first phase of the renovation is expected to cost $50 million and will be paid for by private donations, additional state aid, and an increase in the zoo's admission fees, Star Tribune reported.

The zoo has seen record attendance the past three years Lee Ehmke, the Minnesota Zoo director, reported to WCCO News, but with the new renovations they hope to increase admissions to support conservation efforts and education the Minnesota Zoo provides.

Later renovations include camel rides, an elevated zip-line and a new restaurant, the Star Tribune reported.

British actor Richard Griffiths dies

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The British born actor, Richard Griffiths, died Thursday of complications following his heart surgery, news sources reported.

Richard Griffiths, 65, the popular British actor who was known for his supporting role as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series, died of complications following his heart surgery at University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire Thursday, The Guardian reported.

"Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence, " Griffiths co-star Daniel Radcliffe said, BBC news reported.

Griffith stared in a number of other films, stage performances and TV shows including Withnail and I, The History Boys and Minder, BBC News reported.

"Richard gave acting a good name. He was a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors. He will be greatly missed," Simon Beresford, Griffiths' agent, said in a statement to The Guardian.

Weapon arsenal found in relation to Newtown

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Details of the search of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza's home were released Wednesday, news sources reported.

In the search of Lanza's home over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, a bayonet, several swords and knives were found, BBC News reported.

Other sources reported more than 1,600 rounds, 11 knives, a starter pistol and three samuri swords were found, New York Times reported.

The details of the search also revealed that Lanza received money from his mother, which investigators believe was intended to be used for a purchase of a firearm, New York Times reported.

President Obama accompanied with families of the Newtown incident spoke to senators about the measures to control gun violence, which will be voted on next month, BBC News reported.

Youngest chess master

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A 9-year-old chess player became the youngest American chess master at a tournament in Dayton, Ohio Saturday, news sources reported.

Awonder Liang a 9-year-old chess player from Madison, Wis. became the youngest American chess master, NBC News reported.

Liang was a week younger than the previous youngest American chess master, Star Tribune reported.

To earn chess master status chess players must earn more than 2,200 points the United States Chess Federation rules state, NBC News reported.

Liang other accomplish include beating a chess grandmaster, the highest rank in chess, in August 2011, Star Tribune reported.

Liang is currently ranked the 10th best chess player in Wisconsin, Star Tribune reported.

University of Minnesota fires coach Tubby

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University of Minnesota fired men's basketball coach Tubby Smith Monday, news sources reported.

After coaching the men's basketball team Smith was fired Monday by the University of Minnesota after failing to make the program more successful Athletic Director Norwood Teague said to Star Tribune.

The University must buy out Smith because of the renewal of his contract last July, which will cost the University $2.5 million, Star Tribune reported.

In addition Smith will also be paid $250,000 in retirement and $450,000 in salary for the next three months, MN Daily reported.

Smith has the Gophers with a record of 46-62 in the Big Ten with no winning conference seasons, which Teague said lead to Smith's termination, MN Daily reported.

The decision to fired Smith was for the future of the University of Minnesota "something we feel like will propel us," Teague said to the Star Tribune.

New Catholic Pope elected

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A new Catholic Pope has been elected in Rome Wednesday, news sources reported.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected as the new Catholic Pope Wednesday, Time News reported.

Cardinal Bergoglio, who chose the name Pope Francis, was elected on the fifth ballot, BBC News reported.

Pope Francis will be replacing former Pope Benedict XVI was announced last month that he was retiring, Times News reported.

Pope Francis is 76-years-old and is the first Pope from Latin America, BBC News reported.

Google pays for invading citizen's privacy

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Google has agreed to pay $7 million Tuesday in regards to the recent lawsuit against Google, news sources reported.

Google was recently sued for using unsecured wireless networks across the nation to gather data for Street View cars during 2008 to 2010, BBC News reported.

The lawsuit was filed by 37 states and the District of Columbia, NPR news reported.

In 2010 Google used 600 gigabytes of personal information such as emails and passwords to photograph with their Street View cars, NPR News reported.

Google said that the data was collected by a rogue code that was mistakenly included in the software of the Street View program, BBC News reported.

"The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it," Google said in a statement to BBC News.

The law that would have restricted the size of sugary drink in New York was struck down by a judge Monday, news sources reported.

Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling stated that restricting the amount and sizes of sugary drinks bought in New York was "arbitrary and capricious," FOX News reported.

The New York law would have banned drinks being larger than 16 ounces being bought at any establishments, except convenience stores and grocery stores, US News reported.

The New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed the law last May to help lower the rate of obesity, New York Times reported.

Bloomberg planned on implementing the law Tuesday and to be collecting fines if businesses had not switched to the new regulated cup sizes, US News reported.

The judges also said that the law had many inconsistencies such as what types of beverages were considered sugary drinks, New York Times reported.

Public Meeting Analysis

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In the MN Daily's article, "Legislature appoints four regents," the journalist writes about the newly elected regents.

In crafting the news story the journalist carefully selected previous facts about the newly elected regents to include into the story. For example, the journalist has been closely following the race to know who has been in the lead. MN Daily wrote that, "Last week, [Lucas] faced a tight recommendation battle against Dennis Nguyen, chairman and co-founder of New Asia Partners and a Minneapolis resident," which clearly illustrates the knowledge of the journalist on this topic.

In addition, the journalist wrote about the regents achievements before being elected. Knowing the background of the regents before the race also illustrate the extra amount of work the journalist put into the story.

Search parties still have not found missing St. Paul when searching Lilydale Regional Park Sunday, news sources reported.

The St. Paul woman Kira Trevino has been missing since Feb. 21 and still has not been found, Pioneer Press reported.

Search parties are still searching for Trevino's body after her husband Jeffery has been arrested and charged with murder, KSTP reported.

Search parties searched Spring Lake Reserve in Rosemount on Saturday and still no progress has been made, Pioneer Press reported.

University of Minnesota dorm raided by FBI

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The FBI raided and searched a University of Minnesota student's dorm room Wednesday morning, news sources reported.

The FBI raided and searched Middlebrook Hall on the University of Minnesota campus, CBS reported.

A search warrant was obtained University spokesperson Matt Hodson said to MN Daily.

There has been no indication of what the FBI was searching for or whether they found anything, Hodson said to MN Daily.

A total of six Twin Cities residencies have been raided by the FBI, including the raid at Middlebrook Hall, Huffington Post reported.

No information has been released regarding the status of the student, MN Daily reported.

A Nigerian Islamic group claimed Saturday that they have killed hostages on their website, news sources reported.

Ansaru, a Nigerian Islamic group, kidnapped seven foreign construction workers and now has claimed to have killed them, The Guardian reported.

The seven workers worked for a Lebanese company called Setraco where they were seized and a guard was killed in the process, BBC News reported.

The UK government said that Ansaru is now classified as a terrorist group, BBC News reported.

The Foreign Office said that they are working urgently on this incident, The Guardian reported.

Martha Stewart back in the courtroom

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Martha Stewart testified in New York Supreme Court Tuesday about concerns of which retailers have the right to sell her decor and other home goods, news sources reported.

Stewart testified that her home merchandise has a legal contract with Macy's and also with J.C. Penney's, Washington Post reported.

Macy's argued during the trial that Stewart violated her contract with Macy's when she agreed to distribute similar merchandise to their competitor J.C. Penny's, New York Times reported.

Stewart claimed that she was not unethical in her decision to expand her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., Washington Post reported.

It has been nine years since Stewart was last in a court room testifying. Last time it was in regards of Stewart lying about stock sales, New York Times reported.

Easter candy containing Salmonella

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Chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs that may contain traces of salmonella were recalled by an Indiana candy company Wednesday, news sources reported.

Zachary Confections, Inc. announced Wednesday after a routine post-production testing that salmonella may be present in their chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, Fox News reported.

No illness have been reported, but Zachary Confections, Inc. has stopped production of the chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, ABC News reported.

"We are dedicated to manufacturing wholesome products for our customers," George Anichini, vice president of operations for Zachary Confections, told ABC News.

The recalled products are found in white 5-ounce crates and have the label Zachary Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs in purple, green and yellow lettering, FOX News reported.

The samples that had traces of salmonella were made on Feb. 20 or Feb. 21. All products made on these days are being recalled by Zachary Confections, Inc., FOX News reported.

Multimedia Options

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In the New York Times' article "In Medical First, a Baby with HIV Is Deemed Cured" and Huffington Post's article "Baby Born With HIV Apparently Cured, Say Scientists" both lack incorporate uses of multimedia to engage the reader.

Neither of these articles have a clip about the news breaking story. This would be an easy way to engage the reader instead of them having to read a long article about this medical breakthrough, which may seem boring yet important to the reader. To ensure that they receive the information they want sometimes listening to a minute clip is easier than reading a 10 paragraph story.

Though both organizations show handles for the consumer to share this story on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and email it does not aggregate tweets or Facebook posts that the organization has sent out about this topic.

On the bottom of the page both stories give the consumers a chance to sound off on the story and voice their opinions.

The stories also lack visual interest because there are no photos or breaks within the texts. The text overwhelms the reader because it goes on for a great length.

If these organizations incorporated more multimedia options to their stories I think they would appear more appealing to a great variety of people.

The trial pertaining the arrest of a New York Police Officer on charges of conspiring to kidnap, torture, and rape before eating targeted victims had an additional witness testify on Friday, news sources reported.

Dale Bolinger, a British citizen, testified Friday to whether Gilberto Valle was intending to commit acts of cannibalism, New York Post reported.

Bolinger who met Valle on an online sex-fetish forum said that the plan was a fantasy, New York Post reported.

Valle, who is also being charged with conspiracy and illegal use of crime database, was targeting his wife along with another woman that was his former college roommate, Huffington Post reported.

Aly Khan and Bolinger claimed to be veteran cannibals and were coaching the New York Police Officer, Huffington Post reported.

Bolinger is being charged with conspiracy and possession of kiddie porn, New York Post reported.

The trial is scheduled to resume Monday, New York Post reported.

About this Archive

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

February 2013 is the previous archive.

April 2013 is the next archive.

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