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March 30, 2009

Former Khmer Rouge leader on trial

Kaing Guek Eav, 66, widely known as Duch, is standing trial for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people during the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia. CNN

CNN said that the trial started Monday in front of a U.N.-backed tribunal, who does not have the authority to issue a death sentence. Duch already admitted to his role during the Khmer Rouge regime, and he could receive a sentencing from five years to life.

Khmer Rouge rose to power in 1975 with its leader Pol Pot, who died in 1998. During their reign more than 1.7 million Cambodians died, which was one-forth of their population.

Duch is the first former leader to stand trial, and it is supposed to last three to four months, CNN reported.

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/03/29/cambodia.tribunal/index.html

March 29, 2009

Analysis on obits

In the obituary for Irving R. Levine a regular lead was used, and it did a good job of summarizing Levine's claim to fame. The sources that were used included, Danial Levine, his birth record, and other organizations that had information on his life. It differs from a resume because it tells small tidbits about his personality.

Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/business/28levine.html?ref=obituaries

Timberwolves have few options in next draft

The Minnesota Timberwolves are nearing another losing season, but their three first round picks in the upcoming draft leave them with limited options. Pioneer Press

Many improvements are in store for a team that will be picking in the lottery yet again. The Pioneer Press pointed out that the team's biggest need is at the guard positions. Consistency at the point guard position is a must, but this years draft is not considered as deep as the past couple years.

Spaniard Ricky Rubio is considered the top guard prospect, but there is still no word on if he will enter the draft. After him there are not many options.

The Timberwolves will have a lottery pick along with two other picks from Boston and Miami. The last two picks will be higher, and general manager Jim Stack thinks that the team will probably try to trade the picks for veterans.

"I don't think we're going to sit there and draft three or four rookies into our team next year," Stack told the Pioneer Press.

If the Wolves are lucky they may win the lottery this year, grabbing the top pick. Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin is the consensus top pick. This will prove to be an issue for the Wolves with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love playing the same position as Griffin.

ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla told the Pioneer Press that the log jam at the power forward position should not deter the Wolves from drafting a high impact player like Griffin.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/timberwolves/ci_12020442

Three Arrested in Lakeville Shooting

Four people were shot in Lakeville after a man was told that he had to leave a party Sunday morning, the Pioneer Press reported.

The four men are recovering at the Hennepin County Medical Center, and they suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Pioneer Press reported that the man along with two other suspects were arrested by Lakeville police, when they were pulled over at Cedar Avenue and 179th Street.

The suspects ages were 19,20, and 21 and they are being held at the Dakota County Jail awaiting charges.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/ci_12024429?source=most_viewed

March 25, 2009

Clinton Says U.S., Demand Feeding Mexican Unrest

On her arrival to Mexico on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is a part of the drug war that is devastating Mexico. (The New York Times)

The story said that since last year the drug war between drug cartels and police has resulted in 7,200 deaths. Escalating violence has spilled into boarder towns, and questions have been raised about the stability of the Mexican government.

Clinton said that the weapons that the cartels are using are sometimes smuggled from the United States to Mexico. She also added that, "our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade."

This adds further rhetoric from the Obama administration that said the drug war is a two-way highway.

On Tuesday the United States said that they will provide Mexican police with more equipment to help fight the heavily armed cartels. Also, 450 law enforcement officers will be deployed to the boarder.

The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/world/americas/26mexico.html?_r=1&hp

March 24, 2009

Metro Transit Bus Driver Charged With Driving Drunk

A Metro Transit bus driver was charged Monday for driving under the influence during his route Saturday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Alonzo V. Martin, 46 of St. Paul, was pulled over by officers in Brooklyn Center. He failed a field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, triple the legal limit.

The Pioneer Press reported that a Brooklyn Center attorney charged Martin with gross-misdemeanor and third-degree driving while impaired.

Martin was driving the Route 5 at the point of the arrest, which runs between Brooklyn Center Transit Center and the Mall of America. The Star Tribune reported that the bus was stopped by officers at 9:40 p.m.

Metro Transit said that is the first first time this has happened to any of their drivers. Tuesday, Metro Transit told the Star Tribune that they have created an internal task force that will look at agency safety, hiring and performance review standards and procedures.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/ci_11981647

Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/north/41776442.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUac8HEaDiaMDCinchO7DU

March 23, 2009

Texas School Board Vote Could Challenge Evolution

The Texas School Board of Education is expected this week to vote on new science curriculum that would challenge evolution, and possibly affect schools across the United States.

In the story by The Wall Street Journal, the new curriculum would have teachers tell students about the weaknesses in evolutionary theory. These weaknesses would include that the cells that makeup all organisms are too complicated to be the result of random mutations.

The school board chairman, Don McLeroy supports the new curriculum, and said that there is a problem with evolution. "We need to be honest with the kids," McLeroy said.

Texas is the biggest market for textbooks in the United States, and a curriculum change could spell a change in the evolution material in biology textbooks across the nation.

The school board consist of 15 members including seven social conservatives, a seven group bipartisan opposition, and one swing voter who supports teaching evolution.

The Wall Street Journal said that the vote is supposed to happen after a three-day meeting that starts on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123777413372910705.html

March 15, 2009

Gopher basketball team makes the Big Dance

The Gophers mens basketball team made the NCAA Tournament in coach Tubby Smith's second season. the Pioneer Press reported.

The Gophers are the No. 10 seed and they will play the No. 7 seed Texas Longhorns (22-11) on Thursday. The game will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Smith took over the team last year after the team had its worst season in 111 years. The Gophers improved from nine wins to 20 last year but they failed to make the tournament for the first time in 14 years for Smith.

A 16-1 start, a win over No. 1 seed Louisville and a sweep of Wisconsin, played a big roll in the team's selection into the Big Dance.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_11920384

Money found by Rosemount student from pot grower

Police say that the $18,000 found by a Rosemount student was from a Farmington marijuana grower, the Pioneer Press reported

That man, John T. Jordan, 36 faces charges from in Dakota County District Court for having over 200 pots of marijuana plants. A search warrant was issued for Jordan after police stopped by his house on a noise complaint and found a strong odor of pot.

On Tuesday police heard from a 16 year-old boy that he found $16,000 in a ditch. Police located the ditch and found four plants along with two scales and determined that Jordan threw them out his window before he was pulled over on a traffic stop on Monday.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/ci_11914361?source=most_viewed

Man Hospitalized after being shot by police officer

A man was brought to the Hennepin County Medical Center after he was shot by a Litchfield police officer, the Star Tribune reported.

The incident happened at the 300 block of South Litchfield Ave at 1:30 a.m. After that, the man was airlifted to HCMC according to the Litchfield Police Department.

Janell Rasmussen, the spokeswoman for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that the man is in critical condition in an intensive care unit.

The BCA did not release any other information but they told the Star Tribune that they are investigating the incident.

Both the man shot and the police officer's names were not released.

Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/41287862.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUr

Mass protest in Pakistan defies orders

A crackdown in Pakistan on a protest and an order to detain a leading opposition leader broke down as a mass demonstration was held, The New York Times reported.

Supporters of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif gathered around his house as he defied house arrest orders in Lahore. Police did not confront protesters at that time

Sharif then headed in a car on a march towards Islamabad as many of his supporters gathered around. The march reached an area in Lahore and that is where protesters clashed with riot police.

The clash of rocks and tear gas continued until about 5 p.m., and that is when the police disappeared.

Sajjad Bhutta, chief magistrate in the Lahore government refused to carry out "illegal" acts police action.

“This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the police and civil administration have defied orders by the government to control public demonstrations,” said Ashtar Ali, a corporate lawyer who supports the Pakistan Muslim League-N.

Farahnaz Ispohani, spokeswoman for President Asif Ali Zardari said that the police action was order for the sake of security.

Zardari has drawn much criticism from banning Sharif and his brother for running for office. The move was seen as a blatantly political move to eliminate political rivals.

The New York TImes: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/world/asia/16pstan.html?pagewanted=2&hp

A.I.G. to give millions in bonus to employees

The American International Group will start paying $450 million in bonus to the company's financial products unit, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported

A.I.G., received $170 billion in tax payers' money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve. This money bailed out the company that was on the brink of bankruptcy.

The financial products unit is the section of the company that is blamed for A.I.G.'s demise. The New York Times reported that they wrote trillions of dollars worth of credit-default swaps that protected investors from defaults on bonds backed in many cases by subprime mortgages. This issue is also a major factor into why the economy went into a tailspin.

Sunday, $165 million will be paid to 400 employees ranging in $1,000 to $6.5 million in bonuses. Seven executives will receive $3 million in bonuses. All these figures were reported by The New York Times.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner called the bonuses unacceptable and that the contracts should be renegotiated.

Edward M. Libby the government-appointed CEO of A.I.G., said that the company is contractually obligated to pay the bonuses, and that there is no legal way to break them. He also added that the bonuses were negotiated before the bailout, and that it is the best way to keep the top talent at A.I.G.

The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123707854113331281.html?mod=wsjcrmain

The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/business/16aig.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

March 8, 2009

Analysis on event coverage

The Minnesota Daily advanced a story about the event called Heads vs. Feds. The sources used in the story included the Minnesota Senate judiciary committee and the Minnesota Programs and Activities Council. The angle was how Minnesota has recently passed a bill about marijuana but that was pretty much it. The story was much more of a listing and it didn't have a strong angle.

Story: http://www.mndaily.com/2009/03/03/marijuana-legalization-debate-west-bank-tonight

Twins beat Orioles 2-0

Francisco Liriano threw four perfect innings as the Twins held on to a no-hitter until the ninth inning, the Star Tribune reported.

Liriano struck out five batters while Joe Nathan struck out two in his first appearance since Feb. 25.

The Orioles catcher Matt Wieters broke-up the no-hitter with a single leading off the ninth against Bobby Keppel.

Carlos Gomez provided the offense with a two-run homer in the sixth inning.

Star Tribune: http://blogs2.startribune.com/blogs/christensen/2009/03/08/twins-2-orioles-0-another-near-no-hitter/?elr=KArksUUUycaEacyU

Man taken into custody for kidnapping stepdaughter

A 46-year-old Elbow lake man was jailed for kidnapping his 17-year-old stepdaughter at gunpoint, the Pioneer Press reported.

Davin R. Sabby abducted Amy Henning at 7 p.m., in the parking lot of West Ridge Mall. Henning was about to view a movie with her 26-year-old stepbrother when Sabby duct-taped his son and took Henning.

At 1:15 a.m., Sabby gave the keys of the car to Henning and she drove to the nearest gas station to call the police. Sabby continued down the road and went to the house of person living near Swan Lake.

The homeowner called the police and Sabby was taken into custody.

Sabby is booked on suspicion of second-degree assault causing substantial injury, kidnapping causing bodily harm and possession of a firearm.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_11866189

Hit-and-Run Victim Still in Critical Condition

A 26-year-old Apple Valley woman remains in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center following a hit-and-run incident last week.

The victim Joan LeVasseur was walking down Ceder Avenue when she was struck at 153rd Street. The Pioneer Press reported that a large light-colored vehicle hit LeVasseur and continued without stopping.

Her sister-in-law, Lori LeVasseur told the Pioneer Press that LeVasseur sustained head trauma, a severe brain injury, multiple fractures to both legs, a fractured pelvis, a broken right hand and lacerations to the face.

Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_11866385

Colleges Rethinking Admissions Strategies This Year

Private and public colleges alike are changing their admissions strategies in light of the recent financial crisis, The New York Times reported.

The financial crises has put potential college students in hard position but this is also true for the colleges that are accepting students next year.

The number of applicants at private schools have gone down as students shop around for bargains. More students are choosing less expensive schools as worries of lower financial aid and job loss has gripped the nation.

To compensate for less applicants private schools are saying that they will be accepting more students including students who apply early.

Traditional methods of finding how interested students are in the schools are out the window. Higher travel cost have led to a drop in campus tours and more students are choosing to live closer to home.

The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/education/08yield.html?em

World Bank Predicts Global Economy to Shrink

World Bank said in a report that the global economy will shrink in 2009 for the first time since WW II, The New York Times reported.

The New York Times reported that pessimistic forecasters had predicted that there would be at least a little growth in 2009. Global trade is also predicted to shrink for the first time since 1982, and for the most since the 1930s.

The recent economic crisis is having major effects in the United States, but it's also wreaking havoc across the globe.

World Bank said that "emerging-market countries," are facing the biggest challenges with a financial gap of a combined $270 billion to $700 billion.

These countries are mostly located in Latin America, Central Europe, Asia and Africa.

According to World Bank, the wealthiest governments should create a "vulnerability fund," to help struggling countries

“We need investments in safety nets, infrastructure, and small and medium size companies to create jobs and to avoid social and political unrest.”said Robert B. Zoellick, the World Bank’s president.

The report is expected to be presented to a meeting of finance ministers from 20 large developing countries.
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The New York TImes: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/business/09bank.html?hp

March 1, 2009

Analysis on meeting/press conference

The AP wrote a story on a press conference held by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. In the story the war in Afghanistan and Iraq dominated the article. This was the same for in the transcript, but all the information was not included. Gates started the press conference discussing the defense budget. This wasn't included in the story. This was probably because the most important issue was what the administration was planning on doing in Afghanistan and Iraq.

AP story: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g4Y2OIVhugHSGoXJPn_opoNf6tIwD968VSFO0

News Transcript: http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4350

Kansas Gov. nominated for health postion

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accepted President's Obama's offer to head the department of health and human services, reported The New York Times and USA Today.

Sebelius is expected to be a major player in Obama's push for health care reform that will give health care to 40 million uninsured Americans.

As a democratic governor of Kansas, a reliable red state, Sebelius is know for her bipartisanship. She has been a supporter of Obama ever since she endorsed the current president early in his election run.

Even with her reputation as being bipartisan, Sebelius has had difficulty pushing health care issues in Kansas. The New York Times reported that she pushed a universal health care program that never took foot.

Sebelius is also a pro-choice Catholic and this will draw up the volatile issue of abortion during her nomination process.

This is Obama's second choice for the secretary position; his first was Tom Daschle who withdrew after reports surfaced that he refused to pay $128,000 in taxes.

The official announcement is expected on Monday.

The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/us/politics/01cabinet.html?ref=us

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/03/63488541/1

Iran and their current nuclear situation

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed that Iran has enough nuclear material to build an atomic bomb, The New York Times and Reuters reported.

The statement by Adm, Mike Mullen confirmed a report by the United Nations watchdog agency that found that Iran had a ton of low-enriched uranium.

This development adds to the cat-and-mouse game the U.S., and Iran have been playing for years.

Iran claims that the development of nuclear technology is strictly for energy purposes while the U.S., says that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon.

"And Iran having a nuclear weapon, I've believed for a long time, is a very, very bad outcome for the region and for the world," said Mullen.

The New York Times reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency found on Feb. 19, that Iran had underestimated its uranium supply by a third.

Reports say that Iran only has a stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which isn't ready for making nuclear weapons.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates confirmed this by saying, "They're not close to a stockpile,"

Reuters reported that 1,010 kg of highly-enriched uranium is enough to make a bomb, so Iran still has a ways to go.

The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/washington/02military.html?_r=1&hp

Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/usTopNews/idUKTRE5201Y920090301?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0