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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.

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.

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.

April 5, 2007

NY Times Corrections page

The corrections on the corrections page from April 5, 2007, vary greatly in importance, in my eyes. A few of them are about pictures and misidentifications, others are more important, like the one correcting that schools in New York City would get a monopoly on playing fields, whereas the original story said the city would. It seems that a lot can go wrong in a story and still be published due to the immediacy factor in news. It's comforting to know that if and when I make a mistake, it won't be terrible because a correction can be put in the next day's paper.

March 25, 2007

Kill Knut? He's way too cute

Knut, a polar bear cub rejected by his mother after birth, has been sentenced to lethal injection in Germany. Animal experts said the cub should not be raised by bottle because it would go against animal welfare laws. They said he should be put to death. Many people, including schoolchildren, are petitioning for his being kept alive.

The New York Times added tha the Berlin Zoo, where Knut was born, is supporting the effort to keep him alive.

Both articles treat the story very well. It is a story that people will inevitably read as the story is about an animal.

March 8, 2007

How 'bout a trolley?

The city of Minneapolis is looking at bringing back streetcars, which last ran in the city in 1954. They hope to put in seven lines, hoping this will help with development by spurring real estate investment along the lines. The estimated cost is about a third of what it would take to build light rail.

I could not find a simillar article in any other periodical.

I liked the use of quotes from City Council members.

March 2, 2007

Star Tribune faces lawsuit over circulation

The former owners of a Coon Rapids car dealership are suing the Star Tribune over advertising rates. They said that the Star Tribune augmented circulation numbers in order to charge higher advertising prices. They are seeking a class-action in this suit deemed "without merit" by a Star Tribune spokesman.

The story in the Star Tribune was the only story I could find.

The article does a good job giving background with similar cases.

February 25, 2007

'The dog probably saved their lives'

Three climbers who tumbled off a ledge on Mount Hood into a canyon were likely saved by their dog. While search parties were trying to locate the climbers overnight, the black Lab probably lied across the climbers, keeping them warm. They spent the night huddled together in two sleeping bags and a tarp.

The New York Times added that the climbers fell about 500 feet down an incline. "They’re lucky to be alive after that," Clackamas County Sheriff Jim Strovink said.

Both newspapers provided a good analysis of this intriguing story.

February 17, 2007

Senate panel hears from smoking-ban foes

The Minnesota Senate listened to opponents of the proposed statewide smoking ban Monday. As the proposal is written, it would ban smoking in all Minnesota bars, restaurants and workplaces. Issues raised included rights being taken from people as well as a decrease in gambling receipts.

The Pioneer Press reported on suggested changes to the proposal.

The story is treated well by both papers.

February 11, 2007

New law will expand collection of DNA

An almost unnoticed amendment to the 2006 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act has expanded rights of DNA sampling. DNA can now be collected from anyone under arrest by federal authorities and from illegal immigrants detained by federal agents. Supporters come mostly from victims' organizations and women's groups, saying it would help to identify sexual predators and criminals. Immigration lawyers argue against the law, saying it could be used against people erroneously detained. These facts were taken from Monday's Star Tribune, but I could not find the article online.

The New York Times article, linked above, states that the law will make DNA sampling as regular as fingerprinting. It also details the methods of DNA sampling.

The full article in the Times provides a much better story. It is more in-depth and has more quotes and viewpoints detailed. With the growing Hispanic population in the Twin Cities metro area, I would have expected the Star Tribune to have made the story longer.

February 4, 2007

Apple Valley man shot in the head in Minneapolis dies

Famis Franklin was shot in the head after an apparent break-in at his sister's apartment, where he was staying. He fought for a week in the hospital, got to the point where he could squeeze his mother's hand, but then died. Although he died, his family is very happy because his organs have been donated to at least four recipients. "Whatever he had, it was yours," his mother Serena said. "If one of his organs could help someone live, that's something that he would have done."

This article uses this quote well, but others could be avoided. At one point, Selena Franklin is quoted to have said, "Oh, that's so wonderful. We're feeling really good." This quote is useless except for its emotional quality which could have been displayed as well with a paraphrase.

I could not find a parallel article in any other publication.

I think this article is notable because it shows the side of death that we never hear about. It shows the power of organ donation by talking about it actually occuring, as opposed to thinking about the sticker on a driver's license.

January 28, 2007

Scientists predict that glaciers will vanish from Alps by 2050

The glaciers in the Swiss Alps are predicted to be gone by 2050 using observations of 30 ice sheets that are melting worldwide. This is important because there are a number of scenarios that could occur after this melting, including devastating floods of the valleys below. The glaciers also help secure a multimillion-dollar tourist industry for Switzerland. Scientists suggest a possible cause is global warming due to manmade carbon dioxide emissions.

The lead, "Glaciers will all but disappear from the Alps by 2050, scientists warned Monday, basing their bleak outlook on mounting evidence of slow but steady melting of the continental ice sheets," is very good. It provides the what, where, and when, as well as attributing the claim.

The first phase of this four-part report will be released in Paris in the coming week, according to the Pioneer Press. It was written by more than 600 scientists and details the climate observations.

Both stories treat the subject well, but I think that the Star Tribune story is better. It has a sidebar that lists facts about global warming, related to the story. It gives the what as well as the what's next.