September 2012 Archives

Iranian Court Finds Reuters Guilty of Lies

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The jury of Iran's media court on Sunday found Reuters' Tehran bureau chief guilty of "publishing lies and negatively influencing public opinion," CNN reported Sunday evening.

The court case stems from a video put out by Reuters that showed women practicing martial arts and described them as "ninja assassins." After a complaint, Reuters changed the headline of the story, but the controversy led to the suspension of the Reuters bureau in Tehran, according to the New York Times.

A spokeswoman for Reuters, Barb Burg, said: "We understand that the jury has stated its view and we now await the court's ruling. We do not intend to comment further until a decision is issued."

The New York Times said a court sentence should be issued within the week.

Analysis: Structure

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A quick read of a Pioneer Press article about the arrest of a group of unlawful moviemakers reveals that the story is meant to amuse as well as inform.

The lead gives the main facts, but the main draw of the story-the fact that the "criminals" were shooting a movie-is left for the second sentence. Several jokes are made about this throughout the story.

The story follows the inverted pyramid structure, with the first few paragraphs giving the most important facts, the next paragraphs giving important details, and the last paragraphs smaller details that could be cut out if necessary.

Quotations are used on several occasions, with quotes from police mentioned early on in the story and less important quotes-like those given by neighbors-kept for the end.

Moviemakers Arrested for Gunplay in St. Paul

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Police raced to St. Paul's North End neighborhood Thursday on a call concerning a car crash and a man with a gun, only to find the suspects shooting a movie, according to the Pioneer Press.

Police arrested four people for aggravated assault on the scene, said police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos, adding that the incident threatened residents in the neighborhood, the 300 block of West Maryland Avenue. The filmmakers were using the yard of a long-abandoned house.

Police say that the moviemakers had no permit and failed to notify residents or police of their morning movie shoot.

Neighbors stated that movies had been filmed before in the yard the group used, reported the Star Tribune.

Four Shot in Minneapolis Home

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Four people were shot inside a North Minneapolis home Wednesday night, the Pioneer Press reported.

The shooting happened just before 9:30 p.m., when the four were shot from outside the house. The victims were two men, a woman, and a juvenile boy.

The victims' injuries are not life-threatening.

According to the Star Tribune, police collected 11 bullet casings from the home.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Robbery/Assault Unit at 612-673-3702 or 612-673-2568.

Community Groups Help Students Register to Vote

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As Election Day draws closer, volunteers have banded together with celebrities and community organizations to get out the vote.

Volunteers flooded the streets Tuesday for National Voter Registration Day, reminding people to vote and helping with registration forms, according to the LA Times.

The nonpartisan campaign moved to the University of Minnesota campus, with groups like the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group helping students get registered to vote, the Minnesota Daily reported.

MPIRG registered 275 students throughout the day.

Grace University Lutheran Church also hosted volunteers who helped students register to vote.

Panda Cub Dies Unexpectedly

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Washington zookeepers are mourning the sudden death of a newborn panda six days after its birth, according to CNN.

The newly born giant panda was pronounced at 10:28 a.m., just minutes after zookeepers heard the mother panda honk in distress.

Zoo officials had previously exulted over the birth of the baby panda, as it was not believed its mother would not be able to conceive again.

It appears that the newborn panda cub had liver abnormalities and fluid in its abdomen, though the direct cause of death is unknown, reported the Washington Post.

Analysis: Attribution

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A CNN article written about a secretly recorded videotape of Romney speaking to a crowd of supporters utilizes a number of attribution techniques.

The article cites quotes from television interviews, polls, and written articles.

The wide variety of sources from which the article draws its information provides depth and insight for readers. Readers understand what happened, what the candidates said about it, and how the situation may affect the presidential race.

The article attributes its information throughout the story using both direct quotes and paraphrased comments. It also provides links to some of its sources.

New York Man Mauled by Tiger

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A young man was mauled by a tiger Friday when he jumped out of the Bronx Zoo's monorail into the tiger exhibit, NBC News reported.

David Villalobos, 25, experienced "various bites or puncture wounds on his arms and legs and also the top of his shoulder on his back" before zoo workers rescued him using fire extinguishers.

Villalobos was taken to a New York hospital in critical condition, but has since stabilized. Authorities say he jumped into the exhibit to be "one with the tiger," according to a CNN article.

Villalobos is set to be charged with trespassing.

No Charges in Minnesota Drug Training Program

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No charges will be filed against a Minnesota State Trooper or a Hutchinson police officer, both accused of supplying marijuana to subjects in a drug training program, the Star Tribune reported.

"There simply was insufficient evidence for us to file criminal charges," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Last spring, Occupy Wall Street protestors claimed that police had offered them drugs and then performed tests on them at a Richfield facility as part of a drug testing program. The program was designed to train officers in detecting drug-impaired drivers, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Drug Recognition Evaluator program was suspended after allegations were made, and will not be reinstated.

Protests in Pakistan Incite Violence

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Government-sanctioned protests in Pakistan turned violent Friday, leaving one man dead, according to the New York Times.

The Middle East has been experiencing widespread protests since an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. went viral recently. Since Sept. 11, when a Libyan protest resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador, Muslims have begun protests in more than 20 countries, says a CNN report.

The protestors in Pakistan set two movie theaters ablaze, leaving more than 25 people injured.

Pakistan's interior minister said the government will take "strict action" against the destruction of property.

Graves Releases First Advertisements

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Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's Democratic challenger has released his first two campaign advertisements as of Wednesday, reports the Pioneer Press.

Jim Graves will be running the two ads on each of the four Twin Cities television stations through Sept. 23. The advertisements are the first to be released in the race, says the Star Tribune, and the Graves campaign says it will continue running ads through Election Day.

The first advertisement is a basic biographical spot, meant to introduce Graves, a hotel and restaurant developer, to voters. The second ad goes negative, featuring Sartell's Verso paper mill workers, who say Bachmann did not reach out to them after a fire closed the mill.

Polls reveal that the race is competitive, but still a likely win for Bachmann.

Romney Video Shakes Up Race

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Secretly taped video of Mitt Romney at a fundraising event is making waves in the race for the White House, adding to an already tough stretch for Romney.

In the video, taken at a May campaign fundraising event, Romney makes comments about the 47% of Americans who "believe they are victims," according to CNN.

The Obama campaign quickly released a statement condemning Romney's remarks, calling it "shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as 'victims,' entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take 'personal responsibility' for their lives," according to the CNN article.

The video has garnered more than 1.9 million view on YouTube, surpassing every official Romney videos on the video website, says Yahoo.

Analysis: Lead Writing Techniques

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The lead used in the Fox News report about the recent air base attack in Afghanistan seems standard.

The lead is a summary that combines the most significant facts of the situation into one sentence. The lead addresses several key pieces of information-who, what, and where-immediately, drawing the reader into the situation.

The lead sets up the Afghanistan news article into an inverted structure, in which the lead summarizes the most important facts, leaving the rest of the article to add more and more detail.

Chicago Teachers Strike Continues

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Public school teachers in Chicago will continue their already weeklong strike into the coming week, says CNN. Though union leaders and school officials had reached a tentative contract deal, a group representative of the Chicago Teachers Union chose to continue the walkout.

"They're not happy with the agreement. They'd like it to be a lot better for us than it is," Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told the Chicago Tribune.

In a statement, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he will seek an injunction to end the strike, contending that it is illegal.

St. Paul Stores Busted in Sting

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Four St. Paul mom-and-pop stores have been busted this week for reselling stolen goods in a sting operation led by St. Paul police Sgt. Charles Anderson.

When Anderson began investigating a series of robberies at big-box retailers on University Avenue late last year, he realized that the stolen goods were not for personal use, according to the Pioneer Press. Once Anderson began following the trail, he noticed that the stolen goods were reappearing at lower prices in small mom-and-pop shops around St. Paul.

Six people have been charged in the sting operation, nicknamed "Operation Pacifier" because of the large amounts of baby formula that were stolen.

Police chose to go after stores reselling the stolen goods-rather than the thieves-because the stores create the demand that fuels thefts, says the Star Tribune.

U.S. Marines Killed in Afghanistan

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An attack on a British air base in southern Afghanistan Friday left two U.S. Marines dead and other troops wounded, according to officials.

Afghan militants breached the Camp Bastion/Camp Leatherneck air base with grenades and small arms, causing damage to an aircraft hangar, military jets, and buildings, Fox News reported.

Approximately 16 Taliban fighters were killed as well, reported the Huffington Post.

Prince Harry, who is serving his second tour in Afghanistan, is stationed at the base but appears to be safe.

Minnesota Drought Worsens

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Drought conditions are worsening across Minnesota, according to a news report by the Pioneer Press, with 84% of the state facing either abnormally dry or drought conditions. This is up about 20% from one week ago.

The state has seen above-record temperatures throughout this summer, and the Pioneer Press story states that this summer is the third-hottest ever recorded in the Twin Cities. At this point, plants will likely enter the winter season stressed, which could harm or even kill them.

The Star Tribune reports that the only part of the state currently not rated abnormally dry or in a drought is northeastern Minnesota.

U.S. Investigates Embassy Attack

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Just one day after an attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya left the American ambassador dead, U.S. officials are uncovering evidence that these attacks may be the work of militants, according to CBS News.

After the release of a film portraying the prophet Mohammed in a negative light, protests broke out in the city of Benghazi in Libya Tuesday, leaving four Americans dead, including ambassador Chris Stevens. While it was initially believed that the attack on the U.S. embassy was the work of an out-of-control crowd, evidence now shows that the attack may have been premeditated, according to the CBS News Report.

The Obama administration has taken a hard stand on the attack, vowing that "justice will be done." According to CNN, the U.S. has moved warships toward the coast of Libya and is preparing to track those suspected of the attack using drones.

It is not believed that the Libyan government was involved.

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