May 2, 2007

FDA wants suicide warning on antidepressants

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed changes in labelling of antidepressants in order to warn people taking them that they may increase suicidal thoughts. They propose the labelling be on the bottles for 18 to 24 year old adults during their first month or two of treatment. This recommendation is based on a Journal of the American Medical Association study.

The Washington Post added that the proposal would affect labelling of all antidepressants.

The facts from the study used to support the proposal was a good element in these stories.

Dog attacks are down in cities

In both Minneapolis and St. Paul, the number of dog attack incidents has been declining in the past few years. However, dangerous dog declarations have doubled in the past year in Minneapolis. St. Paul City Councilman Dan Bostrom has suggested outlawing pit bulls in St. Paul to aid the decline.

The Pioneer Press added that City Council President Kathy Lantry said that a breed-specific law is not the way to go.

I think more concentration on the pit bull issue would be good, as they are a big topic of debate.

Double-fatal rollover still under investigation

The Minnesota State Patrol is still investigating a rollover on 694 that resulted in two deaths. After a jeep rear-ended an SUV, the SUV rolled over and two of its passengers, who weren't wearing seat belts, were killed.

The Pioneer Press added that six people were in the two cars.

Both stories report well on the incident, but it would be good to have more witness accounts.

Judge dismisses lawsuit over trans fat in KFC's chicken

A federal judge dismissed a case brought against KFC by a doctor, who claimed that the company does not tell customers that it uses trans fat to cook chicken. The case was dismissed because the judge said the doctor could not provide ample evidence of the harmful effects of the trans fat from KFC chicken.

The Washington Post added that KFC announced Monday that they no longer use trans fat in any of their restaurants.

I think more information about the lawsuit would be interesting to see in either story.

Researchers claim to find music coded in carvings of 'Da Vinci Code' chapel

A father and son team of researchers claims to have discovered music hidden in the carvings of Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, Scotland. Musical experts did not dismiss the claim. The team believes that the musical patterns are created by vibrations of musical pitches.

The New York Times added that if the team is correct about the meaning of the patterns, the builders of the chapel knew this aspect of the science of sound over two centuries earlier than the West.

I think that the story is very interesting and that it might easily become one of the most-read stories in both newspapers. It's soft news, but it's what people will be interested in.

April 29, 2007

California highway interchange collapses

A gasoline tanker truck overturned and caught fire on a freeway near Oakland, Ca., Sunday. The fire caused the freeway to collapse. The driver suffered second-degree burns and no other injuries were reported. Officials say it will take months to repair.

The Times added that it is the worst collapse in the area since the 1989 earthquake-related collapse that resulted in 40 deaths.

The story is interesting, but I think that the specific times provided in each are a little much.

St. Paul mayor's car hit by alleged drunken driver

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's car was rear-ended on Thursday by a drunk driver. Abbie Raymond, of St. Paul, was booked into jail after she hit the vehicle, charged with a DUI. She had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26.

The Pioneer Press added that even two hours after the incident, Raymond was struggling to understand that she had hit the mayor's vehicle.

I thought it was interesting that the Star Tribune story said Raymond was "allegedly" drunk, although her blood-alcohol level was recorded as 0.26.

Sapphire's sale leaves Minnesotans in shock

The Minnesota Historical Society entered a 22.66 carat sapphire belonging to the society, into a New York City auction last week, speculating that it might bring around $80,000. The gem was sold for $3.06 million, of which the society will receive $2.6 million after commission and fees.

The Pioneer Press added that the gem was given to the society in 2006 and was never on display.

I think that both stories would be better if they gave more detail about the historical value of the gem.

Firefighters contain 70 percent of huge wildfire in Georgia

Over 100 square miles of land have been charred in Georgia's worst wildfire in history. Firefighters have been able to contain 70 percent of the fire. The fire is expected to continue for another week.

The Times added that three other fires have also broken out in Georgia, none as major.

I had trouble imagining "100 square miles," and neither story did a good job of comparing it to a specific city or lake or anything for reference.

More than 100,000 in Turkey protest government

More than 100,000 secular Turks protested the pro-Islamic government in Istanbul Sunday. This was the second large protest in the past two weeks, with a 300,000 member protest in Ankara two weeks ago. The demonstrators demanded that the prime minister, a "traitor," resign.

The New York Times added that the confrontation has come into public view over the prime minister’s choice for president.

I thought it was interesting that the Times story did not give a number for the demonstrators.

April 21, 2007

Clerk accidentally prints 2 Powerball tickets, wins $200,000

Wadburn Allen, a convenience store attendant in Conover, N.C., accidentally printed two identical Powerball tickets on Tuesday. She could not sell the second ticket by the end of the day purchased it herself. She returned to work the next day to find that all five numbers on the ticket matched. Allen said that has not decided how to spend her prize.

An Associated Press article, I could not find different coverage in other papers.

The article is interesting, but not very relevant.

Driver accused in crash is fugitive

Fei Ni drove his Lexus SUV the wrong way on Crosstown March 11 and killed two women in another car as the two vehicles collided in a fiery crash. Officials believe that after being bailed out of jail, Ni fled to China. He is now a fugitive after he missed his court hearing Friday.

The Pioneer Press added that because the United States has no extradiciton agreement with China, there is no way of bringing him back.

The Star Tribune article provided more thorough analysis, as well as quotes from the husband of one of the women killed. It turned this tragedy into something a person can sympathize with.

3M chemical not in cities' drinking water

State health officials announced Friday that chemicals formerly used by 3M are not in Minneapolis' or St. Paul's drinking water. Officials said that the chances of the chemicals being in the water were slim, but performed the tests as a precaution.

The Pioneer Press added that the tests were performed after the chemicals were found in fish lakes in Minneapolis.

Both articles should have discussed, or mentioned, the previous stories about 3M chemicals in drinking water in the eastern suburbs, but didn't.

Latest U.S. tactic to calm Baghdad: Build more walls

The U.S. military has begun to build concrete walls in Baghdad to calm very violent areas, but it could further divide Sunnis and Shiites. Military officials said that the up to 12-foot tall walls are a temporary measure.

A Washington Post article published this morning added that Sunni residents are already complaining about the walls. Some feel imprisoned by the walls, intended to keep in the "few terrorists here and there."

I like that both articles had quotes from not only military officials but also residents of Baghdad. It adds a human quality to both stories.

NASA pledges to review security policy after gunman kills hostage

NASA has decided to re-examine it's security after an employee smuggled a handgun into the Johnson Space Center and killed a hostage and then himself. 60-year-old Will Phillips had apparently had a disagreement with 62-year-old David Beverly before shooting him. The ordeal lasted several hours.

The New York Times added that the center had already reviewed its security policies after the Virginia Tech shootings earlier this week.

Both stories do a good job in attribution and are plentiful in quoted matter. I like that the New York Times related the incident to other recent news.