April 2012 Archives

Computer-Assisted Reporting Analysis

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For this analysis, I used the article titled 'EPA fails to warn families of lead contamination where smelters once stood'

The reporter that wrote this piece was able to link other stories relating to this topic, such as the link to USA Today's investigative report about the issue. The reporter also linked, or tagged, search words related to the article so that if you clicked on to them, you would be led to a list of articles that focus on the same search terms.

The reporter had to possess the computer skills of information gathering, as well as researching past research on current topics.

Source: www.nicar.org

Two black men from Nashville filed a class action lawsuit against ABC and the producers of the reality television show The Bachelor for purposeful discrimination against people of color, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson's suit, according to the Vancouver Sun, says ABC has never put a single person of color - whether African American, Hispanic or Asian - in the central role of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

Attorney representing Claybrooks and Johnson, Cyrus Mehri told Entertainment Weekly, "...[the producers of the show and ABC] are sending a message of exclusiveness - of denying people opportunity - and that has a negative effect on this country that we plan today to start to turn around."

NFL Commissioner talks Vikings' stadium

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Minnesota legislative leaders, including Mark Dayton, on Friday.

As reported by the Pioneer Press, Minnesota legislators were put in the hot seat after the visit from the commissioner, insisting that if a new Vikings' stadium was not approved this year, the team would have no other choices but to relocate.

"This is the time to get things done," Goodell said to the Star Tribune. "I've been here several times tone the stadium front over the years. In 2006, they moved forward with a stadium for the Twins and the Gophers. We were asked to move to the next year. And it's now 2012."

Inmate charged with the death of Oakdale woman

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Friday, murder suspect Thomas James Fox faced a grand jury in court after being indicted with the fatal stabbing of Oakdale nanny, Lori Baker.

According to the Star Tribune, Fox brutally stabbed and killed Baker in her apartment as she tried to break up with him.

It is also reported key witnesses to the murder included inmates who served time with Fox, so disturbed by his demeanor, decided to help convict Fox.

Pioneer Press reports Fox was formally charged with first-degree premeditated murder and first-degree intentional murder committed in the course of aggravated robbery. Fox faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of release.

Death penalty case reversed due to racially bias laws

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In what the LA Times calls a landmark ruling, a judge in North Carolina vacated the death penalty for a man convicted of murder due to prosecutors allegedly engaging in systematic racial discrimination.

The prosecutors deliberately struck black potential jurors in death penalty cases.

According to the NY Times, Friday Judge Gregory A. Weeks order the death sentence of the convicted to be changed to life in prison without parole, which is the first decision of its kind under the controversial Racial Justice Act of North Carolina, passed in 2009.

It is also reported Weeks said in a 167-page ruling the prosecutors "intentionally used the race of [jury pool] members as a significant factor in decisions to exercise peremptory strikes in capital cases."

Prosecutors plan to appeal the decision.

Earthquake hits Indonesia causing damage and panic

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According to RTT News, a U.S. Geological survey said a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit Papua, Indonesia on Saturday.

It is also reported the quake hit nearly 29.8 kilometers beneath the ocean floor near the north coast of the Papua province.This earthquake closely follows a 6.1-magnitude struck off Indonesia's Sumatra Island, RTT News reports.

The Guardian
reports that although the powerful earthquake hit and panicked residents to vacate buildings, homes, and schools, authorities said it did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami.

It is also reported that the area has suffered a few quakes exceeding 8.0 magnitude, and is prone to these natural disasters due their location along what is named the "ring of fire" on the Pacific Ocean.

According to the LA Times, Jada Pinkett Smith decided to recently address the public rumors about a separation from her long-time husband Will Smith in an interview with the magazine Gala, translated by People magazine.

"These rumors are completely untrue ... our lifestyle hasn't changed," Jada told the magazine, according to the LA Times. "Before we had the kids, we were already far away from each other quite often because of separate projects."

After a media frenzy, circling her marriage for months, Jada put a stop to the circus, according to People magazine, after she was quoted replying to a question of the couple living at separate estates, "That's ridiculous. We've always lived together."

Arrest made for shooting in North Minneapolis

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Police have made an arrest in the case of a 22-year-old shot after assailants attempted to rob him of his bicycle.

Jody Patzner Jr. died after collapsing onto the sidewalk a few blocks from home after being gunned down, while he delivered food to a neighbor, according to PostBulletin.com.

The Pioneer Press reports Hezekiah Hamiliton, 24, was arrested in connection with the murder Wednesday, one block away from where police were called after the shooting according to a Minneapolis police spokesperson Sgt. Stephen McCarty.

The Pioneer Press also report that Hamilton is expected to be charged Friday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A witness in a federal trial concerning nine people involved in sex trafficking tells jurors she was solicited for sex in apartments in Minneapolis.

As reported by ABC News, the young woman testified Monday that at 12-years-old, she was expected to sexually service gang members for free.

They also report she told jurors gang members used force to lead the 6th grader into sex trafficking between Nashville and Minneapolis.

According to the Associated Press via Star Tribune, the young woman is one of four unidentified Sdomali female victims listed in the originally, unsealed indictment in 2010. The majority indicted were of Somali descent, and were members or associates of three Somali gangs: the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia, and the Lady Outlaws.

U.S. experiencing worst drought in years

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According to RT News, climatologists say the weather community is beginning to worry about the dry spell throughout the U.S. It is thought to be one of the worst droughts in recent years.

RT News also reports 48 of the 50 states in the U.S. are experiencing at least moderate drought conditions, and this experience could lead to catastrophe for the country's agricultural and economic businesses.

According to USA Today, this year's 61% of 48 states in the "abnormally dry" drought conditions is the highest percent of dry or drought conditions since September 2007.

USA Today reported the U.S. has not been this dry in five years and wildfires and brush fires have become common in recent weeks because of the dryness and windy conditions.

Bombs explode while President Obama is in Colombia for summit

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MSNBC and NBC News reports fours small bombs exploded in Colombia, after Obama arrived for the Summit of the Americas.

According to CNN, two small explosions took place in Cartagena, far from where the world leaders gathered for the beginning of the Summit, one near a bus station and the second near a shopping mall.

Two further bombs exploded near the American embassy in the capital Bogota, as reported by EuroNews. They also report police say they may have been planted by leftist rebels.

It is also reported no one was killed or injured in the attacks.

Diversity Analysis

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From The Guardian article: Nigeria bombing kills 38 in city of Kaduna

I asked a co-worker of mine to comment on the language of this particular article as it relates to Nigerian people, as she herself is from Africa.

She spoke of the resistance to celebrating religion, as attacks on churches holding Easter services were not surprising to her. "These type of things happen in my country," she says to me, shaking her head, "it just is how it is. I don't feel like they lie about us at all in this story. It is a real representation."

She later shared with me although it is troubling to see her Nigerian heritage in the news all over the world painted as terrorists, it is a reality in certain parts of her home country.

Gopher Linebacker found dead in dorm

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Minnesota Linebacker, Gary Tinsley, was found dead in his dorm room on the Minneapolis campus Friday morning. He was 22.

University Police Chief Greg Hestness told reporters Tinsley was found unresponsive in his apartment at Roy Wilkins Hall, according to ESPN.

A senior graduating this May, Tinsley completed his athletic eligibility with the U, ending with 87 career tackles last season.

According to the Pioneer Press, the death of the Jacksonville, Fla. Native will be treated by investigators as "suspicious" because it involved a "young athlete," Hestness said, mentioning there was no evidence of foul play, He also told reporters the police were not aware of any pre-existing medical conditions that may have caused his death.

An autopsy is planned, and the cause of death will not be released prior to those results.

Police arrest Occupy MN protesters downtown

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As reported by the Star Tribune, Minneapolis police arrested Occupy MN protestors for public nuisance and impeding traffic on Saturday.

This arrested followed the police ordering the activists to take down their tents, where they set up camp at Peavey Plaza, near Orchestra Hall.

According to MPR News, Police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty said officers warned the group at Peavey they were violating city ordinances and blocking public access and needed to leave. Following the demonstrators march through Hennepin Ave and 5th street, were McCarty said they blocked intersections and impeded an ambulance on an emergency call and that is when officers arrested 12 protestors.

MPR News reports in a release, Occupy protestors say they were marching peacefully when officers "attacked" them,

The Nice Ride bike sharing program has expanded into downtown St. Paul this season, announcing plans to open 30 new stations, according to MPR News.

The Star Tribune reports Minneapolis has the nation's second-highest bike commuter rate, thanks in large part to programs, such as Nice Ride, that promote bicycle commuting.

According to MPR News, 1,200 bicycles are available at 116 stations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Nice Ride Executive Director Bill Dossett told NPR News, "Last year we added 51 stations and that's what got us to 116 and that expansion was both in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This year, we're going to be adding 30 more stations, and 26 of those are going to be in downtown St. Paul."

NBC News producer fired for airing edited 911- call

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According to Police News, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Police News Saturday that an NBC News editor was fired for editing a recording of George Zimmerman's 911-call to police the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

They also reported the identity of the producer was not disclosed.

The Huffington Post reports the president of the network's news division stated the decision to air an edited call from Zimmerman to police was "a mistake and not a deliberate act to misrepresent the phone call."

It is also reported the edited recording was played on NBC's "Today" show March 27, and suggested Zimmerman volunteered Martin's race to the police without being prompted but the portion of the tape that was left out of the editing recording was the 911 dispatcher asking Zimmerman if the person who raised his suspicion was "black, white or Hispanic." After which, Zimmerman answered, "He looks black."

NBC News President Steve Capus confirmed to the Huffington Post "several people" involved in were disciplined, saying the nature of the disciplinary actions were internal personnel matters.

Avalanche in Pakistan buries at least 100 troops

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An avalanched engulfed a military complex Saturday, burying at least 135 people, according to the Associated Press.

They also reported rescue workers used bulldozers to plow through nearly 80 feet of snow, and after over 24 hours, no bodies are yet recovered.

A Pakistani military spokesman told the Miami Herald that the avalanche smothered the garrison headquarters, located 16,000 feet high in the Gayari sector of the Siachen Glacier, shortly before 6 o'clock in the morning.

The Siachen Glacier is located at the border of Pakistan, India, and China, in the Kashmir region.

Numbers Analysis

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The reporter in this story uses numbers to show the big picture, by using words such as 'totaling' instead of numbers for every detail. Because the reporter uses this technique, the story is not overwhelmed by numbers. The numbers used were to represent totals so there wasn't any complicated math involved. Many of these numbers came from statistics given by a General Motors spokesperson.

Source: The New York Times

Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs in film

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In the creation of a biopic of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher has been cast in an indie film called Jobs.

According to the Wrap, Mark Hulme of the Five Star Institute is producing and financing the project.

As Mail Online reports, it will have a big studio competitor, as Sony is planning a separate biographical movie.

Medtronic agreed Friday to pay $85 million to resolve a federal class action lawsuit, brought on by alleged misled investors.

According to the Star Tribune, Medtronic denied in a statement "that it made any misrepresentations or omissions or that it otherwise engaged in any wrongdoing."

It is also reported that the lawsuit was originally filed December of 2008, alleging the company misled investors about the profitability of its infuse bone-growth device.

Post Bulletin.com
reported the Minneapolis Firefighters Relief Association filed the original class action that claimant Medtronic's actions inflated the company's stock price, and when revealed, the stock fell.

Minneapolis Police Officer shoots suspect wielding a knife

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A knife-wielding suspect was shot and injured Sunday morning in a busy Minneapolis intersection.

According to the Pioneer Press, after being called to the intersection of Lyndale and Franklin avenues in South Minneapolis around 9 a.m., the police approached a man and woman who had been arguing, the woman was identified as the person who called, according to Sgt. William Palmer, a Minneapolis police spokesman.

The police officer asked the man to drop the knife after he produced the knife and threatened the officer. As reported by the Duluth News Tribune, the officer shot the man after he refused and continued toward the officer in a threatening way.

It is also reported the officer shot the man more than once, and the man was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center and is expected to survive.

Jobless claims lowest in U.S. since April 2008

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Evidence of a thriving economy and improving job market, Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest in four year.

According to Bloomberg News, the initial jobless claims and applications for jobless insurance fell 5,000 to 359,000 the week of March 29.

As reported by Providence Business News, this follows the close to minus 33.7 reading two weeks prior, the lowest since March 2008, reported by the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, which changed to minus 34.7 for March 25. The statistics for those on the unemployment benefit rolls dropped to levels as low as August 2008.

Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit told PBN, "The labor market is still improving at a modest pace."

Indonesia Parliament Allows Government to Raise Gas Prices

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According to Businessweek, Indonesian lawmakers voted 356 to 82 in favor of a proposal to allow an increase if the crude price exceeds the budget assumption by 15 percent over a six-month period. This amendment follows the biggest public protests since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's efforts to control the budget cap in 2008.

The Wall Street Journal reported that protests against the amendment spread Thursday with thousands participating across Archipelago, in rallies that become violent as well.

It is also reported that the escalating costs of food and fuel in one of the world's most populated areas caused riots that later rid the country of the long-reigning dictator.

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