October 2012 Archives

Disney purchases "Star Wars"

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On Tuesday, Disney Co. agreed to purchase Lucasfilm, the production company behind the "Star Wars" franchise, for over $4 billion, the LA Times reports.
Disney plans to add new sequels to the series, beginning with "Episode 7," which is scheduled for a 2015 release.
Entertainment Weekly reports that the deal came with extensive, detailed treatments for three films.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas had envisioned three separate trilogies since the inception of the series, though he came out earlier this year with the announcement that he would retire from making large-scale blockbuster films.
Along with "Star Wars," the rights to the "Indiana Jones" franchise now belong to Disney.

A massive tropical cyclone hit the shores of the East Coast Monday evening and brought with it a wide swath of devastation.
The former hurricane and current "superstorm" Sandy reached the shores of New Jersey shortly before 6 p.m. The storm system has since spread to more than a dozen states.
At least 48 deaths have been reported as of Tuesday night. More than 8 million people are without power, including more than 2 million in New York, AP reports.
Seven subway tunnels in New York City are under water, suffering damage like never before, and remain closed indefinitely.
Floods, fires and fallen trees have paralyzed streets and destroyed homes all along the coast, with the harshest effects felt in the highly populated areas of New York and New Jersey.
The New York Stock Exchange was closed on Monday and Tuesday, the first time it has been closed on consecutive days since 1888, according to the New York Times.
Sandy is the largest tropical storm on record, the Washington Post reports.
Areas along the coast remain evacuated and severe weather warning throughout the region remain in effect.

Earthquake strikes Canadian coast

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A massive earthquake struck the west coast of British Columbia Saturday evening, the San Juan Journal reports.
The 7.7 magnitude quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands at around 8 p.m. and was felt throughout British Columbia, though no serious damage has been reported. A 5.8 magnitude aftershock followed several minutes later.
A tsunami warning was issued for the west coast of Canada, Alaska and the Hawaiian islands. The warning passed without further incident on Sunday.
Saturday's earthquake was the strongest to hit Canada in more than 50 years, according to the Associated Press.

Woman shot on freeway

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A road rage incident early Sunday morning on Interstate 35 resulted in the nonfatal shooting of a 26-year-old woman, the Star Tribune reported.
The victim was one of eight people riding in a Volkswagen Jetta that was heading north, the report said.
The suspect was driving a dark-colored SUV, and had been "tailgating" the Volkswagen. The driver of the Volkswagen gave the suspect "the finger," after which the suspect opened fire on the car, the Pioneer Press reported.
Police were called around 2:25 a.m., and the wounded passenger was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
The driver of the Volkswagen was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated, and the shooter remains at-large, the report said.

A nanny who allegedly killed two children with a knife on Thursday was suffering from several emotional problems, Fox News reports.
Yoselyn Ortega, 50, is in critical condition after stabbing herself several times with the knife she allegedly used to kill two children that she was caring for in the Upper West Side are New York on Thursday.
Investigators have been unable to question Ortega, but it has been revealed that she sought psychiatric help earlier this year.
The killings came as a shock to the family, who spoke highly of Ortega.

Hurricane Sandy headed towards East Coast

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A severe tropical storm is headed towards the Atlantic coast and will likely hit early next week, the Boston Globe reports.
The storm tore through the Caribbean on Thursday, leaving 21 dead, AFP said.
Meteorologists warn that the storm could merge with North American weather systems resulting in what Businessweek has called "the worst storm in 100 years."
Winds in excess of 100 miles an hour battered the region. More than 3,000 buildings were damaged in eastern Cuba and it is estimated that 70 percent of the roads in Santa Domingo are flooded.
The storm has been dubbed as "Frankenstorm" and is expected to hit the New Jersey area early next week, just in time for Halloween.

Obama, Romney face off in final presidential debate

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President Barack Obama and republican challenger Mitt Romney faced off in the third and final presidential debate on Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
The focus of the debate was on foreign policy, and the candidates discussed their stances primarily on Middle East issues, as well as trade with China.
The two agreed on several of the key issues, including the handling of Iran's nuclear program, protecting Israel, what to do about the Syria crisis, and holding China accountable. The execution of taking action on these issues is where the two clashed, Newsday reports.
Obama repeatedly championed the accomplishments of the military under his administration, citing the end of the Iraq conflict and the death of Osama bin Laden, while Romney attacked the president for his lack of urgency regarding the pending nuclear threat posed by Iran and other volatile issues in the Middle East. Both candidates had harsh words directed towards Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Romney even pledged to indict him on charges of war crimes if elected president, a claim which may have been promising too much, according to a report by CBS.
Ultimately, the two each made their case for why he would be the stronger leader for the country moving forward.

Analysis: Obama "Romnesia" Speech

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CNN's Kevin Liptak published a story about a speech President Barack Obama gave on Friday at a rally in Virginia. Liptak chose to craft his story around the "condition" Obama has dubbed "Romnesia," a sort of flip-flopping condition that he alleges his opponent suffers from. The author cites numerous quotes from the speech in which Obama accuses Mitt Romney of changing his position on issues in an attempt to gain a wider appeal.
The lead of the story is two paragraphs, which cover the elements of newsworthiness present in the story, and summarize the President's agenda within its context. He cites the specific areas in which Obama attacks his opponent, and in doing so accomplishes the goal of writing a solid lead- the reader is intrigued to continue reading on, but could also stop reading at this point and know what the speech/story was about.
The author uses the quote-support model for the body of the speech. Following each statement, a sentence or two of background information is given. Much of the content the author quotes was delivered in a comic tone by the president in regards to his "Romnesia" claim. Obama uses the "...then you might be a redneck (Jeff Foxworthy)" formula when referencing "Romnesia," while the author elaborates with further context on the inconsistent stances for which the republican candidate is charged.
It seems that the author has chosen certain comical quotes to emphasize the comical atmosphere that is the political circus which accompanies these elections every four years. The reporter does a fine job in clarifying with ample detail the issues presented in this speech, and in doing so, provides the reader with some useful information as he/she continues to follow the campaign. The event covered is part of a much larger event that will take place in a few weeks, and the reporter synthesizes the past and future nicely with the present event at hand.

Four dead in Wisconsin spa shooting

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Authorities say that a man suspected of killing three people and wounding four others inside of a health spa in eastern Wisconsin took his own life following a lengthy standoff with police on Sunday afternoon.
At around 11 a.m., Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, entered the Azana Day spa in Brookfield and opened fire, the USA Today reports.
The surrounding area was immediately locked down, as police and medical personnel arrived on the scene.
Authorities initially believed that Haughton had fled, and they initiated a manhunt. Six hours later, the suspect was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the spa, CBS reports.
According to the report, the shooting is likely related to a domestic dispute. The suspect appeared in court on Thursday and had a restraining order placed on him by his wife.
The names of the victims have not yet been released.
An explosive device was also found in the spa, police said, though it is not clear whether the suspect attempted to detonate it.

Security official killed in Lebanon

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A Lebanese security official and seven other people were killed on Friday when a car bomb exploded in Beirut, the country's capital city, AP reports.
The official, Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was apparently the target of the attack. In addition to the eight deaths, the blast wounded dozens of civilians and caused serious damage to several buildings and vehicles in the area.
Lebanon's Prime Minister speculates that the blast was connected to the ongoing civil war in neighboring Syria, Fox News reports.
Al-Hassan was in charge of an investigation that led to the arrest of a man who planned to transport explosives from Syria to Lebanon over the summer.

Kevin Love to miss 1-2 months with broken hand

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Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love is expected to be out of action for the next 6-8 weeks after breaking his hand during a pregame workout on Wednesday, ESPN reports.
Love, a two-time NBA all-star, led the Wolves in scoring and rebounding in each of the last two seasons, and received a four year contract extension in January worth over $60 million.
According to the Boston Globe, Love met with specialists on Thursday in New York and was told that he will not need surgery to repair the broken bones in his right hand.
The NBA regular season begins for the Timberwolves on November 2, and they will be without their two best players until December. Love joins second-year point guard Ricky Rubio on the injured reserve list. Rubio tore his ACL in a game versus the Los Angeles Lakers in March.

A 21-year-old man has been arrested following an FBI sting operation, in which he attempted to blow up a fake car bomb outside of the Federal Reserve building in New York City on Wednesday, CBS reports.
It is alleged that Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a student from Bangladesh, came to the United States earlier this year with a mission to commit an act of terror.
Undercover agents had been "working" with Nafis since the summer on a plot to blow up the Federal Reserve building in Manhattan.
On Wednesday morning, Nafis and an undercover agent loaded up a van with fake explosives and parked it outside of bank, the New York Post said.
The suspect then attempted to detonate the explosives with his cellphone, at which time he was arrested.

Valuable paintings taken from museum in Netherlands

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Several paintings, including works by Picasso and Matisse, were stolen from a museum in the Netherlands early Tuesday morning, the AP reports.
The alarm system at the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam went off at around 3:00 a.m., alerting security. They arrived shortly, discovered the paintings were missing, and notified the police.
Works by Picasso, Matisse and Monet were among the missing items. The paintings are potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Fox News.

Analysis: Function of multimedia in news reporting

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CNN and The New York Times utilize a number of different multimedia platforms on their websites.
Many of CNN's articles are accompanied with a slideshow featuring several photographs of the subject of the story, along with a brief caption to each. They also have videos to go along with most of the articles, often short clips which were aired on their network.
The multimedia complements the article- the slideshow is often above the story, and the video is to the side on the webpage. It seems to be the format for this news organization to include multiple platforms on a single page.
Additional multimedia options offered by this website include a large video section, with short clips of the day's top stories, accompanied with one sentence captions; several different channels with featured journalists and television personalities, with a 1-2 sentence caption of the main topics; and the option to watch CNN live if you are a subscriber. This site combines the news article, video and slideshows very effectively, though the pages tend to be a bit cluttered.
In addition to the written story, the captions which accompany the slideshow often provide a background to the person in the story and more of a "human" spin on the news. The videos speak for themselves and are accompanied with a caption that tells the reader what it is about. The site also offers pod casts.
The New York Times uses many of the same techniques as CNN, but they differ in a few ways as well. The organization of the news on the website is a little different, in that the videos, slideshows and news articles are generally separate entities, as opposed to all being on the same page. The multimedia stories act independently and are accompanied with a link to a related news article. The writing for the slideshows moves the story along and gives perspectives from many angles.
The New York Times has a number of interactive features on its website that set it apart. One of these is a presidential debate feature which provides play-by-play analysis and fact checks on key/controversial statements made by the candidates.
Another interactive political feature breaks down the candidates budget proposals in a graph in which the viewer can drag his/her mouse over a particular section for a detailed explanation.
The site has many more interactive features that provide different and interesting perspectives on news topics. The surface writing that goes along with these features is generally minimal- it is presented in a visual manner. However, further explanation is often available and can be retrieved easily on the site.

The search for Elizabeth Marriott, a New Hampshire college student who has been missing since Tuesday, has been temporarily called off, the Boston Globe said.
Police have a man in custody who they believe is responsible for the incident.
Seth J. Mazzaglia, 29, was charged on Saturday with one count of 2nd degree murder and will appear in court on Monday.
Marriott is believed to be dead, and tips have led investigators to the area around Peirce Island in Portsmouth, N. H.
No further details have come out regarding the suspect's relationship with Marriott, according to AP.

Scotland moving towards vote for independence

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A referendum is being put together which will give the citizens of Scotland the opportunity to choose whether or not they would like to become an independent nation or stay part of the United Kingdom, AP reports.
Officials from London and Edinburgh reached a tentative deal on Friday which will put the referendum on the ballot in 2014, according to the report.
Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, are expected to sign off on the agreement on Monday in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, Reuters reports.
If the referendum passes, it will end a union dating back more than 300 years, and effectively break up the United Kingdom.

Felix Baumgartner broke a world record on Sunday morning when he jumped from a capsule more than 120,000 feet above the earth and landed safely, the New York Times said.
Baumgartner, 43, broke the world record for free-fall set back in 1960, and was attempting to be the first person to break the speed of sound. The project had been in the works for 5 years.
Red Bull Stratos was the name of the event, and it was broadcast online using 12 cameras, including one on the daredevil's helmet, LA Times reports.
After the leap, Baumgartner was in free-fall for more than four minutes before deploying his parachute. The remainder of his descent took about 15 minutes.

Gophers football team defeated in homecoming game

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The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team lost their second consecutive game on Saturday, this time to division rival Northwestern, Star Tribune reports.
On the very first play of the game, Lamonte Edwards fumbled the kickoff, resulting in a turnover. On the very next play, Northwestern scored a touchdown.
The Gophers spent the rest of the game trying to catch up to the Wildcats, and managed to keep the game close until the very end. Unfortunately for Minnesota fans, the offense was never able to get into a consistent rhythm, and had several costly mistakes in the 21-13 defeat.
Senior quarterback MarQueis Gray made his return to the team following an ankle injury sustained in the third week of the season. He started at wide receiver and caught a pass, then replaced Max Shortell after Shortell was roughed up on a play in the first quarter, the Examiner reports.
Gray ran the ball effectively for the Gophers but it was not enough to lead them to victory. The team is now 4-2 and will travel to Wisconsin to play the Badgers next Saturday.

Disgraced former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced on Tuesday to 30-60 years in prison for sexually abusing ten boys over a period of at least 15 years in a scandal that shocked and disgusted the nation earlier this year, Detroit Free Press reports.
Sandusky, 68, was arrested last November and charged with several counts of sexual abuse. As the months passed by, the charges piled up as more and more victims came forth with similar allegations.
In June he was convicted on 45 counts of abuse, but still maintains his innocence, according to the Washington Post. He plans to appeal the decision, but it appears likely that the convicted predator will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Analysis: Syria/Turkey Conflict

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I have been following the conflict between Syria and Turkey for the past several days. On Wednesday The Wall Street Journal reported that the two nations had exchanged air strikes. A Turkish border village was struck by a mortar shell from Syria. Turkey quickly responded. This was the lead to the story, and the rest of the story provided details about the attacks and the relationship between the two countries. The next day it was reported that the Turkish government had authorized military action against Syria for up to a year following the previous days' attack. The next paragraph explained the reasons for the decision, and basically re-stated the lead from Wednesday.
In an ongoing story like this, the most recent events are what makes the leads of stories, and the following paragraphs generally restate previous leads and provide background information. The first story I read broke the news, and the second one advanced the story by providing details about the consequences of the events in the first.

The Replacements record an EP

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Two of the surviving members of the Replacements got together and recorded four cover songs in a Minneapolis studio last week, Rolling Stone said.
Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson cut the tracks for an EP to be released later this year, with proceeds going to former guitarist, Slim Dunlap.
Dunlap suffered a stroke last year and has encouraged his former bandmates to start playing music together again.
The critically-acclaimed rock and roll band from Minneapolis broke up in 1991, but Westerberg does not rule out a reunion. "A new album is possible," he told Rolling Stone.

On Wednesday night, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera finished the season leading the American League in batting average, home runs and runs batted in- an accomplishment that has only been done 15 times in the history of Major League Baseball, most recently in 1967 by Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox, Fox News said.
Cabrera, a seven-time all star, joins the likes of Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams on an elite list of hall of fame players who have won the elusive triple crown.
Despite his numbers, there is still debate over whether Cabrera will be named the league's most valuable player, Time reports. Mike Trout, the rookie sensation from the Los Angeles Angels, will likely receive some votes when they are cast next month, the report said.
Cabrera's Tigers are headed to the postseason and will face the red-hot Oakland Athletics in a best of five series beginning on Saturday.

Syria fires into Turkey, Turkey retaliates

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The Syrian and Turkish governments exchanged air strikes Wednesday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A mortar shell was fired from Syria and hit a house in Akcakale, a Turkish border village, killing two women and three children.
Turkey responded quickly, firing artillery rounds into Syria.
This is the most serious military activity between the two countries since the revolt in Syria began in March 2011, the Associated Press reports.
The rebels attempting to take down the Syrian President Bashar Assad have been using Turkey as a base, a move which has enraged the regime, AP said.
On Thursday, the Turkish government authorized additional military operations in Syria.

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