July 2012 Archives

Head on Collision in Arizona Kills Seven

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A tractor-trailer truck crossed the median of an Arizona highway and hit a van going the other direction, killing all seven passengers inside on Sunday evening.

The truck, driving west on Interstate 10, crossed the median, slamming into the van traveling east on I-10, CNN News said.

Both vehicles caught fire after the collision ran them off the right side of the road, the Star Tribune said.

The crash occurred about 60-miles west of Phoenix the Star Tribune said.

The driver of the truck and his wife who was in the passenger seat were both injured and taken to Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, CNN said.

The seven victims' identities are still under investigation by medical examiners, but they are believed to be from western Arizona, CNN said.

The Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which left 14 people dead, was not initially detected as Ebola because patients did not have the typical symptoms.

The outbreak began in June and measures were taken to contain the illness, but experts could not identify that it was Ebola until this week, BBC News said.

Typical symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, rash, red eyes, and hemorrhaging, which was the symptom not seen in this Ebola outbreak, CNN said.

An isolation center was made in Kibaale's hospital where it is trying to contain the outbreak, CNN said. 20 people have been infected, 14 of which have died.

One of the doctors who was treating the infected patients is one of the 14 dead, CNN said.

Ebola is contracted through direct contact with bodily fluids, is highly infectious, and there is no vaccine for the virus, BBC News said.

Traffic moving westbound on Interstate 94 is back to normal after a semi was towed from the entrance of Lowry tunnel where it jackknifed on Sunday morning.

The semitrailer truck jackknifed and overturned at the entrance of Lowry tunnel just after 10 a.m. blocking two lanes of traffic going westbound on I-94 for about 90 minutes, the Star Tribune said.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, the truck was not carrying any cargo, and the driver was uninjured, the Pioneer Press said.

The driver said that wet roads caused the incident, but the cause is still under investigation, the Pioneer Press said.

The semi was removed by towing crews around 11:35 a.m., the Star Tribune said.

A water waste pipe line proposal in an Eastern Chinese city was halted after amounting pressure from local residents who began protesting against the pipeline and the pollution that would follow.

Thousands of residents gathered in a downtown square of Qidong city north of Shanghai where police awaited the demonstrators, CNN said.

Protestors overturned cars, entered and ransacked local government buildings, and even stripped one local official of his shirt, replacing it with a t-shirt marked with an anti-pollution slogan, BBC News said.

The 110-kilometer (70-mile) pipeline was to be for a local paper-making company, and according to demonstrators would eventually release 150,000 tons of sewage into the ocean every dear, CNN said.

In the last few months more protests against pollution have occurred through out China, and according to BBC News the demonstrations are becoming more outspoken, better organized, and more effective.

U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to deliver a foreign policy plan late Sunday where he is expected to side with Israel and "respect" any actions taken by Israel to control Nuclear Development in Iran.

During a morning briefing in Israel, Romney's foreign policy advisor, Dan Senor, said "If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability the governor would respect that decision," CNN said.

On Sunday morning Romney discussed his concerns about Iran with Israeli Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also a close friend of Romney, BBC News said.

Romney expressed his worries on Nuclear development in Iran saying "The threat it would pose to Israel, the region and the world is incomparable and unacceptable," BBC News reported.

The GOP's candidate's campaign released excerpts of the speech making it clear that Romney will fully support Israel in whatever future actions that take against Iran.

"My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away, and neither will my country," Romney is expected to say, CNN reported.

A South Minneapolis house, over 100-years-old, caught fire early Saturday morning leaving one person dead and four other hospitalized.

Firefighters arrived at the house, 2812 1st Av. S., at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and found the front of the 2 1/2-story house on fire and surrounded in smoke, the Pioneer Press said.

Firefighters found five people inside the house. One died at the scene and the others were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with conditions still unknown, the Star Tribune said.

The owner of the building, Cy Ratsamy, said that he was renting the home to a mother in her 40's, her boyfriend, and the woman's daughter. No names have been released of the victims, the Pioneer Press said.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, the Star Tribune said.

Numbers Analysis

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I analyzed the news story on the 1 percent American stock decline that happened on Friday. The reporter used points and percents; sales and stocks to report the story, which was convoluted at times but overall manageable and easy to grasp. It was a business article written for the finance section of CNN, so naturally the whole story revolved around figures and numbers. I rarely read the financial section from CNN, but there appeared to be a set structure to how the reporter attributed the sources and organized the story.

The sources were in blue type and bold letters, and each company mentioned was followed with the abbreviation and status of the company. For example, Bank of America was immediately followed by (BAC, Fortune 500).

The reporter used math to present the numbers in different ways. Every time the reporter wrote the points for the Dow Jones, S&P, or Nasdaq, the percent was also given. The reporter also calculated the mean of various sale estimates for companies in the article.

Overall I found the article manageable to read, well written, and well calculated.

Five firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion and one resident was injured in a three-alarm fire on Sunday in northeast Minneapolis.

The fire started around 3 p.m. after an explosion occurred at 2321 Fillmore St. NE., where firefighters arrived to find flames in the basement, the first and second floors of the duplex house. The source of the fire was not discovered, the Star Tribune said.

Firefighters gained control of the fire around 4:30 p.m., the Pioneer Press reported.

The fire severely damaged the house, as well as melting the vinyl siding on the home north of the duplex, Star Tribune said.

The condition is not yet known of the resident who was injured in the fire, and the firefighters were treated and released from Hennepin County Medical Center, the Pioneer Press said.

The other residents of the home were uninjured and found shelter with the aid of the Red Cross, the Star Tribune said.

A small experimental aircraft crashed into Upper Whitefish Lake near Brainerd on Sunday, killing the pilot and injuring the passenger.

The plane, a fixed-wing single engine Skystar Kitfox 4, crashed into the lake at around 9:50 a.m., and was found submerged approximately 75 yards from shore, MPR News reported.

The pilot, a 55-year-old man from Crosslake, died in the crash and the passenger, a 61-year-old man also from Crosslake, was injured and taken to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, where he is being treated for serious injuries, the Star Tribune said.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was amateur-built in 2008, MPR reported.

The suspected gunman of the Aurora, Colorado shooting rampage that left 12 people dead, and 38 injured at the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie on Friday, has been taken into custody.

The suspect, James Holmes, 24, was found by police behind the theater after the shooting ended, and did not resist arrest, CNN said.

Police found an intricate booby trap at Holmes apartment, which was investigated after Holmes told police there was a bomb in there, CNN said.

Witness and police reports said that Holmes entered into the packed theater wearing a gas mask and body armor when he tossed a canister of tear gas into the audience and began randomly shooting people, USA Today said.

The victims have not yet been identified and the conditions of the injured range from minor to critical, USA Today said.

"This is not only an act of extreme violence, it is also an act of depravity," Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper said. "It is beyond the power of words to fully express our sorrow this morning," USA Today reported.

Bomb Kills Seven in Bus Outside of Bulgarian Airport

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A bomb detonated in a bus leaving the Bulgarian airport on Wednesday killed seven people, which included five Israelis and left at least 30 people seriously wounded.

The bombing was "clearly a terrorist attack," according to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and he, along with other Israeli politicians, has cited Iran as the most probable suspect, CNN said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly accused Iran of the attack and said that "Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror," BBC News reported.

U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both released statements expressing the United States' remorse and support for Israel, but neither made any mention of Iran, CNN said.

The Iranian Government has not released any immediate comment on the bombing, CNN said.

Witnesses described the bus exploding shortly after it was boarded by passengers. One woman said the explosion had taken place in the front of the bus, BBC News said.

Bulgarian journalist Dobromir Dovkacharov arrived to the scene 30 minutes after the attack and described three buses as "completely burnt-out."

Dovkacharov relayed what some eyewitnesses had seen, which included flames, decapitated heads and human limbs, BBC News said.

Boy Scouts Uphold Policy to Exclude Gay People

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The Boy Scouts of America upheld their policy on Tuesday, which bans openly gay boys from being members and gay or lesbian adults from being leaders.

The news release said that the Boy Scouts of America do not require potential leaders, volunteers or members to share their sexual orientation, but "individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA," are not to be granted membership or employment, the New York Times said.

The committee placed in charge of evaluating the policy consisted of 11 volunteers and professional leaders who concluded that the longtime policy represents the "beliefs and perspectives of BSA members," CNN said.

"The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," Bob Mazzuca, BSA's chief scout executive, said.

The policy has been challenged fiercely since a 2000 Supreme Court ruling which allowed the BSA to fire an openly gay employee, saying the BSA had the right to do so because it was a private organization, the New York Times said.

A statement released by the deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Darlene Nipper said "Once again, officials of the Boy Scouts of America have turned their backs on a chance to demonstrate fairness, exercise sound judgment, and serve as a role model for valuing others, free of bias and prejudice," CNN said.

Richard Ferraro, vice president for communications with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation pointed out that the Girls Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the 4-H Clubs and now the military, all "forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation," The New York Times said.

"The Boy Scouts of America is one of the last cultural institutions to have discrimination as part of their policy," Ferraro said. "It's policies like this that contribute to bullying in schools."

Drought Affects 55 Percent of the United States

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The United States is experiencing the worst drought since 1956 according to the National Climatic Data Center's monthly report released on Monday.

Conditions of withered crops, cracked soil, and hungry livestock have extended through the West, the Great Plains and the Midwest leaving 55 percent of the U.S. in moderate to extreme drought conditions, and June's heat only worsened conditions, the Star Tribune said.

June was ranked as the third-driest month nationally in at least 118 years, the center said, and more areas became affected by severe to short-term drought because of the heat and lack of rain, CNN said.

Unlike the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s that were the result of seasons gradually warming and drying lands, climatologists are calling this years drought as a "flash drought," because it developed in a matter of months, the Star Tribune said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also reported that 38 percent of corn crops in the 18-corn producing states are in poor or very-poor conditions, CNN said.

Obituaries Analysis

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I read the obituary of Rosemary Furtak who was a librarian for the Walker Art Center and built the internationally known collection of contemporary artists and avant-garde books.

The sources used included friends of Furtak, staff members from the Walker, the Walker's chief curator, and artists. There were no sources from her family.

The lead was not a standard obituary lead, but it did seem similar to other obituary leads I have read in the Star Tribune. It began with saying who Furtak was and what she was best known for, which was the creation of the Walker's acclaimed book collection. The next paragraph further explained why the collection was important, and thus why Furtak was important.

The lead didn't hinder or progress the report in my opinion. I had never heard of Furtak and if it hadn't been for the title I would have assumed it was an announcement of her retirement and not an obituary until reading the third paragraph. I think having a more traditional lead and explaining to the reader what happened would not have detracted from the story at all.

The obituary differs from a resume in that it tells a story. In a way Furtak's obituary made me proud of her accomplishments and contributions to the Twin Cities. This specific obituary allowed the reader to see Furtak as not only a creator of a great book collection or an award winning librarian, but as someone who was passionate and committed to their work and community. A resume doesn't say that.

Police continue to investigate the Apple Valley shooting that left a man and a woman dead in the parking lot of the woman's apartment building on Saturday morning.

Witnesses told police that they saw a man chasing a woman through the parking lot of 12790 Germane Av. where he shot her several times before he also shot himself, the Star Tribune reported.

The man and woman, both 41, whose names have not yet been released, were declared dead at the scene, Police said.

"It looks like a straightforward murder-suicide," police Capt. Mike Marben said Sunday.

According to the Pioneer Press, the man and woman had previously been in a relationship and had two children together. The children lived with their mother and were placed in protective custody following the shooting.

The children were with a baby-sitter at the time of the incident, the Pioneer Press said.

Red Cross Declares Syria in State of Civil War

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced Sunday from Geneva that Syria is now classified to be in a civil war.

The Thursday attack on the town of Tremesh and the Sunday attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, placed the fighting outside of the known war zones, which initiated the ICRC's decision, the New York Times said.

The only specific war zones, prior to the ICRC's decision, were the areas around Idlib, Homs and Hama, but now all of Syria will be held accountable under the laws of the Geneva Conventions, BBC News reported.

The Geneva Conventions forbid indiscriminate attacks on civilians, attacks on medical personnel, and the destruction of basic services like water or electricity, BBC News said.

If either the Syrian government or rebels do not abide by the Geneva Conventions, they will now be subject to prosecution of war crimes, BBC said.

The U.N. investigation of the government attack on the town of Tremesh in Syria determined that the homes of rebels and activists were the main targets of the attack.

The attack was initially reported as a "massacre of civilians," the BBC News said, but the U.N. investigation revealed that the truth coincides more with the Syrian government's account than the rebels'.

Syria's government said the attack was a military operation, and the U.N. investigation determined that the attacks focus was on the rebels, not the civilians, BBC News said.

However, the number of deaths counted by the UN was reported at 220 and the government only reported 50 deaths, NPR News said.

U.S. Olympic athletes will attend the opening ceremony wearing America's colors, but the fabric and the stitching will be China's.

Lawmakers were upset and in dismay after the Ralph Lauren designed uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team were reportedly made in China, MPR News said.

Lawmakers who spoke out on the China-made uniforms were disappointed that the U.S. Olympic Council did not choose, or think, to have the uniforms made in the United States when so many Americans are struggling to find work, MPR said.

"You'd think they'd know better," House Speaker John Boehner said of the USOC, according to USA Today.

Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. has requested USOC to reverse the decision, and to take the steps needed to have the Olympic uniforms made in the U.S., MPR said.

However, the USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky referred to the debate as "nonsense," and he stood by the decision saying "We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America's finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London," USA Today reported.

Ralp Lauren has released no statement and has declined to comment on the criticism, MPR said.

Mother of the three River Falls girls who were murdered on Tuesday, received a phone call from her ex-husband who said to her, "You can come home now, because I killed the kids," according to a criminal complaint that was filed Thursday.

The murder report stated that Aaron Schaffhausen slashed the throats of his daughters Amara,11, and Sophie,8. Cecilia, 5, was strangled as well as having her throat cut by her father, the Star Tribune reported.

The three girls were found in their separate beds with sheets pulled up to their necks, the criminal complaint said.

"I've been prosecuting for 30 years ... and this is, by far, the worst case I've seen," said St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson.

Aaron Schaffhausen was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide by the St. Croix County Circuit Court on Thursday, and will have a preliminary hearing on July 24, the Pioneer Press said.

Obama announced Monday that he plans to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making under $250,000 a year, while having the wealthiest return to the tax rate of the Clinton administration.

Republicans agree that taxes should not increase for the middle-class, but strongly discourage increasing taxes on the upper-class for fear that any tax increase would disrupt the already fragile economy, NPR News said.

The fiscal disagreement has been going on for two years The New York Times said, and Obama remains firmly certain that taxing the wealthiest in America would decrease the federal budget deficits.

Obama also contends that a stronger middle-class, one that does not have high taxes, is where economic growth should stem from, rather than a "top down" approach, the New York Times said.

"We don't need more top down economics. We have tried that theory. We have seen what happened." Obama said. "We can't afford to go back to it," The New York Times reported.

Speech Analysis

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I read the News event story by the Las Vegas Sun on Attorney General Eric Holder's speech from the National Council of La Raza Convention on Saturday.

The quotes that were used were primarily crowd-pleaser quotes. They were what got a reaction from the audience, which the author went into great detail about the size of the audience, the overall ethnicity of the audience, and how the audience responded through out the speech. The author included one direct quote from an audience member which was an "I love you!" directed towards Holder as he appeared on the stage.

The author gave a brief background on the convention, and explained what the audience was participating in and presumptions on why the audience was excited to hear Holder's speech.

The focus of the news event coverage was truly focused on the audience and the suggested height of emotion and excitement that was felt amongst audience members. The focus on the speech was primarily on Holder's support of NCLR, a national Hispanic civil rights advocacy organization along with the Dream Act, which whenever was mentioned the crowd apparently burst into cheers.

Hennepin County District Court is scheduled to sentence either jail or probation to Amy Senser who is guilty of two felony counts of vehicular homicide.

Senser, the wife of former Viking star Joe Senser, was charged in May for hitting and killing Anousone Phanthavong while he was putting gas in his stalled car on the Riverside Avenue exit ramp on August 23, the Pioneer Press said.

Senser was convicted of fleeing the scene and not notifying the police as soon as possible, the Pioneer Press said.

Senser has defended the incident was an accident and her attorney said she is "deeply remorseful," but the prosecution states that Senser's remorse has not been genuine and she has only given "hollowed excuses," the Star Tribune reported.

If Senser is sentenced to jail on Monday she could get between 41-57 months in prison, the Star Tribune said.

Ethan Stiefel, the principal dancer of American Ballet Theater who has been dubbed one of the great technicians of our time gave his last performance at the Metropolitan Opera House theater on Saturday, the New York Times said.

Stiefel had a 23-year long performing career that lifted the mid-western boy to astounding recognition for his technical skills and a "bad-boy" style which made his dancing unexpected and unique with each performance, the New York Times said.

Amongst his many other accomplishments Stiefel was the Dean of the School of Dance for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts from 2007 to 2012, and is leaving ABT to take full responsibility as the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, The New York Post said.

ABT ended its season with the ballet "Le Corsaire." Stiefel did not play the lead role, a cocky pirate, but instead was Ali, the endearing slave who mimes "as you wish" repeatedly to the heroine, performed by Gillian Murphy who is the fiancee of Stiefel off stage, the New York Post said.

While the role of Ali may not have been of Stiefel's typical, brazen and charismatic style, he certainly made the dancing daring and relentlessly large, including a 90-second solo that the New York Post said was a "showpiece packed with jumps exploding into splits."

"Risk was palpable, and yet classical form was never distorted," the New York Times said of Stiefel's final performance

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves forward, will compete on the U.S. Olympic basketball team with a position change to center.

It was announced on Saturday in Las Vegas that 23-year-old Love will join the 12-man roster, which includes Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony to name a few, the Pioneer Press said.

U.S. Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski described Love as a "versatile" and "unconventional" player. "He becomes a very difficult guy to defend. He opens the door for our other four guys, he's such a good shooter," Krzyzewski said in a Star Tribune article.

This will be Love's first Olympic Games and potentially his last due to a proposed rule change that would only allow players 23 years and younger to compete in the games, the Star Tribune said.

But Love is staying focused on this year's opportunity saying, "It's great to have the team set. Now, we can really focus on just getting better every day. I'm very excited for the next six weeks," the Pioneer Press quoted.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 80,000 jobs, an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, during the month of June to make it the third consecutive month of weak hiring.

It is also the third straight year that the economy and job-market has seen a roller-coaster trend. The economy gets a substantial increase in jobs and consumption early in the year only to have a decrease in hiring once spring and summer arrives, The Star Tribune said.

The slowdown trends, economists say, can be connected to "one-time negative shocks," such as the tsunami in Japan and the Arab Spring from 2011, The New York Times said.

Europe's financial crisis is playing the "shock" role for 2012 as it steadily affects U.S. trade, financial markets, and credit availability, the New York Times said.

The rest of 2012 will continue to create little job growth, economists said. 5 million jobs remain lost from when the recession officially ended in 2009, and at the rate jobs are moving it could be three years before employment returns to where it was in 2008, the Star Tribune reported.

A teenage girl was hit and killed by a speeding SUV while she was waiting for a bus in St. Paul on Thursday.

Clarisse Grime, 16, and her boyfriend were sitting in the grass in front of Harding High School and waiting for a city bus when a red SUV sped through a stop sign, hopped over the curb, knocked over a fire hydrant, and hit Grimes, killing her instantly, the Star Tribune said.

Grime's boyfriend, Eduardo Vazquez-Torres, 17, was injured in the incident and was taken to Regions Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Witnesses at the scene said the SUV was speeding on Third Street headed east when the driver attempted a sharp turn onto Hazelwood when he lost control of the vehicle, MPR News reported. He jumped out of the SUV before it rolled down a small embankment where Grimes was crushed by the vehicle, witnesses said.

The driver, a 50-year-old man, is in custody on suspicion of criminal vehicle operation, police said.

Following the apology given by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday for the November airstrike that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead, Pakistan informed the United States that they will reopen crucial supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan

"We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," Clinton said in the statement. "We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again."

After the November 26 incident, Pakistan and United States relations became incredibly strained partly because the U.S. never gave a formal apology, which sent the two countries into a seven-month standoff, BBC News said.

According to the New York Times the decision by Pakistan and the apology from the U.S. came about after many weeks of e-mails, visits, and phone calls between the two countries. "This was jointly done," a person with knowledge about the process said.

Pakistan's statement also announced that their previous demand to increase transit fees from $250 to $5,000 per container will not be applied when the routes open, BBC News said.

Multimedia Analysis

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I analyzed the coverage of the mid-Atlantic storms from the New York Times and CNN.

From the front website page of both I was initially directed to a story of what happened along with the most recent statistics and updates. Both websites had a photo slideshow link near the top of the article. The New York Times had a slideshow link on the left, top side of the page whereas CNN had a slideshow directly above the article.

By placing the slideshow slightly departed from the article in the New York Times, this allowed the reader to read the most important information before being given the option of looking at photos from the event.

By having a slideshow be the first item available the readers are able to visually grasp the severity of the situation which may encourage the reader to continue down the written article.

The New York Times multimedia slideshow differed from CNN significantly. There were only nine photos in The New York Times which followed one couple from a block that had been damaged and was still without power. The captions in the photos told a very specific and detailed story.

Alternately, CNN had a much longer slideshow with pictures from around the different states affected by the storms with captions that told exactly what was going on in the photos.

I thought the different approaches and writing styles worked well for both papers in relaying the breaking news event.

In a public demonstration in the central African country Gabon, President Ali Bongo ignited a government-owned stockpile of elephant ivory on Thursday to fight against the elephant poaching and black market trade of ivory through out central Africa, the National Geographic said.

Two elephant massacres occurred this past year in Gabon, where over half of Africa's forest elephants reside, the Environment News Service said.

According to a June report released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) elephant poaching has risen to a "crisis level" in the central African region, the National Geographic said.

The June report also stated that ivory seizures have not been this extreme since 1989.

Ivory is primarily used in Asia for artistic purposes, and the demand continues to increase, the National Geographic said.

"Gabon has a policy of zero tolerance for wildlife crime and we are putting in place the institutions and laws to to ensure this policy is enforced," President Bongo said at the ivory burning demonstration.

Nearly two million people through out the East and South states are still with out electricity on Sunday after thunderstorms and intense wind barreled through the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday killing 12 people, The New York Times said.

Thunderstorms began to accumulate outside of Chicago and moved east to south striking Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, and New Jersey, NPR News reported.

According to NPR, the type of storms can be described as land hurricanes, also termed derecho, because wind reaches a speed of 58 miles per hour or higher.

The high temperatures and humidity across the region was what allowed the derecho system to reach the intensity and wind speed that caused so much destruction, meteorologists from The Washington Post explained.

Damages included, uprooted trees, blown off roofs, and ruined power lines, The New York Times said. 12 people were killed and at least 20 people were injured through the course of the storms.

Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia all declared states of emergency and President Obama signed a disaster declaration for West Virginia.

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