December 1, 2008

Search for RNC Protesters Still Under Way

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher is still pursuing the arrest of a number of protesters at the Republican National Convention whom he says are guilty of crimes. (

After viewing video of the riots at the RNC, Fletcher pointed out at least five participants who could be charged with aiding an escape and two who were "guilty of assaulting a police officer."

Fletcher believes there are more arrests to be made in addition to the 800 that ensued during the RNC and hopes to be successful in finding those who are guilty.

Condoleezza Rice Heading to India in Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was dispatched to New Delhi Sunday by President Bush in order to demonstrate the United States' support of India in its dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of almost 200 people, six of whom were Americans. (AOL News)

Rice's new itinerary calls for her to travel to New Delhi Wednesday after a NATO meeting in Brussels. It is not determined as to whether Rice's new planned visit to India will cancel or only postpone her original travel plans. Rice's original plans were to attend the NATO meeting Tuesday and Wednesday and from there travel to Rome, Helsinki, and Copenhagen.

Space Shuttle Endeavor Returns from Mission

The space shuttle Endeavor returned Sunday after a 16-day trip to the Inernational Space Station, landing in California. (AOL News) The aircraft was supposed to land in Florida, but was detoured due to weather complications. The space shuttle had aboard seven astronauts, all of whom returned safely.

The mission included remodeling the space station as well as repairing a solar wing rotary joint. Remodeling the space station included a new bathroom facility, a new kitchenette, an exercise machine, two sleeping quarters, and a new invention used to recycle sweat and urine so that it may be used for drinking water.

Repairing the solar wing rotary joint entailed four space walks in order to remove metal shavings that have caused the joint to be jammed for over a year, which has been detrimental to its energy production.

November 17, 2008

Argentine President visits North Africa

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez started her mission to strengthen economic ties with North Africa with a visit to Algeria. (

The President will visit Tunisia, Libya and Egypt in addition to Algeria in order to reassure that Argentina is conscious of developing nations and their significant role in global economics.

Last year, trade between Argentina and Algeria reached $874 million. A large phosphate export deal was signed prior to Fernandez's visit and meeting with President Abdelaziz Boutefilka, according to Algeria's official news agency.

Opus backs out of $10 million real estate deal

Opus Northwest's plan to redevelop a section along the riverfront in downtown St. Paul backed out of its $10 million commitment. (

The current residence of approximately 600 county workers in the Ramsey County Jail and the former West Publishing building was to be demolished in order to accommodate high-rises with offices and condos.

"Our plan was really dependent on securing an anchor tenant, and obviously, in this economy, that proved to be impossible," said Tim Murnane, Opus' point leader of the project.

Conditions of the existing contract between Opus and Ramsey County called for Opus paying $900,000 this month in order to exclusively market the property, leading to its decision to back out, though Opus will continue to market the site.

Attempted Robbery at the Waldorf-Astoria Left Security Guard Wounded

Physical struggles to halt a robbery attempt at a jewelry store in the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York led to the shooting of a 54-year-old security guard in the chest and hotel customers. (AOL News)

The suspect, 20-year-old Rafael Rabinovich-Ardans, instigated chaos when he smashed two display cases in the jewelry store Cellini Jewelers on the Waldorf-Astoria's first floor. When confronted by a retired New York Police Department detective, Gregory J. Boyle, a struggle ensued between the two that led to the firing of three gunshots and one bullet landing in Boyle's left upper chest. The suspect was then tackled by another hotel employee, causing one more shot to be fired, striking no one.

Rabinovich-Ardans was taken into custody when hotel security staffers arrived.

Boyle was in stable condition late Saturday at Bellevue Hospital, according to police.

November 10, 2008

2 Accused in Threat to Obama Kept on Lockdown

Two white supremacists in Little Rock, Arkansas facing accusations of planning to assassinate Obama are being kept on lockdown in their Tennessee jail cell. (AOLNews)

"20-year-old Daniel Cowart of Tennessee and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman of Arkansas are under the lockdown for their protection," according to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The two are only allowed to leave their cell for one hour to watch television or use the phone, but are reported to have caused no problems since arriving to the jail about two weeks ago. They have pleaded not guilty to charges but could face 50 years in prison if convicted.

70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht Acknowledged Sunday

Germans and Israelis acknowledged the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht Sunday with various events and ceremonies. ( The Nov. 9, 1938 riots and violence received by Jews from Nazis marked the instigation of the greater Holocost effort that ultimately killed 6 million Jews.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli President Shimon Peres, German-born Pope Benedict XVI, and Charlotte Knobloch, head of Germany's Central Council of Jews and a survivor of Kristallnacht, all offered statements and gestures commemorating the significant day.

Minnesota Astronaut to Travel to Space this Week

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper of ST. Paul will travel to space Friday night in order to clean and lubricate a jammed solar-wing rotating joint. (

Stefanyshyn-Piper will be the lead spacewalker on the shuttle flight that is to reach the international space station, and will be the first woman to do so. The flight will be her second, and calls for three spacewalks in order to perform the necessary maintenance on the solar-wing rotating joint.

As opposed to this adventure, on the space shuttle Endeavor, Stefanyshyn-Piper's first and only other mission called for two spacewalks. That mission took place in 2006.

November 3, 2008

Seven Injured after Drive-by Shooting in Chicago

A drive-by shooting outside a club on Chicago's West Side left three people hospitalized in critical condition and four others wounded but listed in good condition early Sunday morning, according to Chicago police and police spokesman Dan O'Brien. (

A van passing by opened fire around 4:45 a.m. on the seven victims as they were leaving a social club. It is unknown how many people were inside the van.

There is no known motive for the shooting, nor is anyone in custody, say police.

Investigators were attempting to discern whether there is surveillance camera footage available from the club.

November 2, 2008

New President in Zambia Sworn In

Seventy-two-year-old Rupiah Banda was sworn in as Zambia's new president Sunday after serving as interim president since the death of President Levy Mwanawasa in August. ( The veteran ruling-party member promised to continue the governmental free-market policies that influentially expanded trade between China and one of the world's top copper producers.

Sworn in immediately after election results were published, Banda is challenged by his opposition rival's intention to contest the vote. The rival alleged irregularities such as the printing of extra ballot papers, although foreign observers of the election expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the poll.

According to official poll results, Banda won 40 percent of the vote and opposition leader Michael Sata, 38 percent, with two other candidates trailing far behind.

Banda intends to deal with the collapse in the price of copper, Zambia's main export, and to maintain strong links with China as his top priorities. No foreign-policy declarations have been made thus far.

Pioneer Press Receives Fake Anthrax Package

According to a police report, a package labeled "anthrax" received by the St. Paul Pioneer Press Saturday was found to be sugar. (

The St. Paul incident was the latest in a string of similar occurrences across the nation. The Star Tribune had received a package Thursday. St. Paul police spokesman Pete Crum said investigation of the substance is to be continued by the FBI, U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Contained in the package was a CD with a photo of Gen. Colin Powell labeled "Anthrax Shock and Awe Terror" and a white substance resembling sugar taped to the top labeled "Anthrax" and "Biohazard."

A California man was arrested last week by the FBI on suspicion of sending letters labeled "anthrax" to more than 100 news media outlets.

According to Crum, no one was injured and no arrests were made Saturday in the St. Paul incident.

October 27, 2008

4,188 Members of U.S. Military Dead as Result of Iraq War

According the Associated Press, at least 4,188 members of the U.S. military have died as a result of the Iraq war since its initiation in March 2003, as of Sunday. This number includes eight military civilians killed in action, and at least 3,387 military personnel dead as result of hostile action according to the military's records.

The Defense Department's tally is one higher than the AP count.

Search for 2 Remaining Fishing Boat Crew Members is Ended

After searching almost 5,000 square miles around the Aleutian Islands, the Coast Guard announced Sunday the suspension of its search for the two remaining crew members of 11 who were aboard a fishing boat as it sank Tuesday. (AOL News)

The two remaining are thirty-year-old Carlos Zabala and 49-year-old Robert Davis. Four crew members were rescued from a life raft, five were found dead in the water.

According to Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm, the search can be reopened if needed. When in the surrounding vicinity of the sinking incident, fishing vessels are expected to keep a lookout.

Monday, testimony by surviving crew members is to begin in Anchorage at an investigative hearing.

October 25, 2008

Man Arrested in Shooting of Minneapolis High School Student

A 25-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night in Plymouth due to suspicions of involvement in the shooting of a Minneapolis high school student in earlier October behind the teen's home. ( Charges were expected to be handed today to the suspect, who was being held in the Hennepin County jail. The man was also being held by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, though his nationality was not shared publicly.

The 18-year-old victim was shot multiple times around 7 p.m. Oct. 11 in the 4100 block of 29th Avenue S. The Roosevelt High School student and aspiring rapper was struck by shots believed to be fired at a nearby home while retrieving a football for a group of kids playing at his cousin's birthday party in the alley behing his home.