January 2012 Archives

Leads Analysis

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The lead of a news story is one sentence that shares vital information to quickly grab the attention of the reader into the story. News elements included in a lead are the 5 Ws: the who, what where, when, why and/or how. With the Ws, the lead summarizes the most important information, without much detail unless it is critical to the story.

A reporter may choose a non-straightforward lead to deliberately tease your readers by withholding key information until your second paragraph. This is common in blind leads or leads in creative writing, not hard news.

Vanessa Bryant recieves large divorce settlement

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Kobe and Vanessa Bryant's divorce settlement, after a ten year marriage, allegedly resulted in Vanessa Bryant taking away $75 million and three properties formerly belonging to the couple in Newport Beach, Calif.

The Los Angeles Times reports the Orange County properties' estimated worth to be around $18.8 million and that Vanessa will most likely receive child and spousal support from Kobe, who has a net worth of $150 million.

According to The New York Post, the Bryant couple had no prenuptial agreement and Vanessa is being represented by Laura Wasser and Samantha Klein, top, celebrity divorce lawyers.

Controversial methods to building new Vikings' stadium

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Minneapolis negotiators are prepared to bypass the city charter requirement to build new stadium.

One of the larger roadblocks Viking stadium planners must face is the city charter provision that requires approval from voters if the city is to pay $10 million or more for a sports facility, since 1997.

Ted Mondale, top stadium negotiator, seeks to nullify the charter provision by depositing the city sales tax revenues into an independent stadium authority that would be able to spend the money, in which case, the city charter would not have power. He was also quoted by The Star Tribune saying, "It really isn't the city spending that money. In order to do this in Minneapolis, we need that"

Additional Source: NBC Sports

Minneapolis gang faces indictment

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Numerous Native Mob members, a local, American Indian gang, faced indictments this week. According to The Chicago Tribune, authorities said the indictment of 24 Native Mob members could bring some communities a reprieve from violence from one of Minnesota's most violent gangs.

The Star Tribune reports a dozen currently incarcerated, six arrested and two members that turned themselves in this past week are now in custody and will face a 47-count indictment. One of the largest gang-related indictments in Minnesota, the charges date back several years and include conspiracy to participate in racketeering.

It is reported the gang has been around since the 1990's and has around 200 members, majority Native American men and boys, and is actively recruiting.
Minneapolis Native American housing communities, such as Little Earth of United Tribes in south Minneapolis, expect to see this indictment have impact on violence around such areas.

New Jersey's battle for Gay rights

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Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey called for a state-wide referendum last Tuesday to settle New Jersey's Gay rights political battle.

The referendum would allow state residents to make the decision. According to The Washington Post, recent polls show majority of the citizens of New Jersey are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, CNN reports 52% of the population. If approved, New Jersey would be the seventh state to permit same-sex marriage.

New Jersey's conservative Republican governor disagrees with the Legislature, controlled by Democrats on this controversial issue. The Associated Press via The Washington Post predicts and protracted standoff likely with Democratic leaders resisting the referendum Gov. Christie seeks.

Democrats and Gay rights advocates protest the idea of a referendum saying this is an issue of civil rights and should not be included on a ballot.

In Nairobi, Kenya, four Kenyan leaders were charged by the International Criminal Court in The Hague with crimes against humanity during the post-election violence in 2007 that killed at least 1,000 people.

Two of the four men charged include Uhuru Kenyatta, deputy prime minister, finance minister and son of the country's founder president, Jomo Kenyatta, and William Ruto, former higher education minister. Both men plan to run for president in upcoming elections, aware that rulings in this case may affect their campaigns.

Allegations include violent conflict between the major contenders and their respective camps. Kenyatta, a part of the Kikuyu camp, and Ruto, a Kalenjin, are both aware of the involvement of both camps in much of the post-election violence in December of 2007. As reported by The Wall Street Journal Africa, the court states that both ethnic groups mobilized militias to attack political rivals and are accused of organizing murder and forcible transfer of people and rape.

The Associated Press via The Washington Post
reported The ICC prosecutor commended Kenya's political leaders for cooperating with the international tribunal.

The International tribunal officials have since warned Kenyan leaders and political hopefuls against acts of 'organized intimidation,' making it clear those parties not in accordance will be held accountable.

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