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April 25, 2009

3-year-old killed in St. Paul

Mai Moua, 3, had just arrived at a family gathering when she was fatally struck by a pick-up truck while crossing the street in St. Paul on Monday morning according to the Star Tribune. She slipped away from her mother and was crossing Rose Avenue around 9:30 that morning when the truck hit her. It is unclear whether or not speed was a factor in the accident. The man behind the wheel has been questioned and his identity has not been released. A neighbor living two doors down heard a thump and came running out to see what it was. He saw the girl lying in the street bleeding from her mouth. She was taken to Regions Hospital where she died. According to the Pioneer Press, she was a daddy’s girl.


April 23, 2009

Suicide Bombing in Iraq

Iraqi security officials claim they have captured one of the most wanted top al-Qaida leaders on Thursday as reported by the Star Tribune. The man was identified as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who leads the Islamic State of Iraq, a group of Sunni militants that is believed to have dominated Al-Qaida. He is also believed to be linked to the two separate suicide bombings that killed 54 people. This information however is not necessarily accurate given Iraqi official’s track record of wrongly reporting this man’s arrest or death. The New York Times reports that the two attacks that happened Thursday actually killed 75 people. The first attack was by a woman wearing a suicide belt who exploded herself in the Karada district of Baghdad. The second attack was in the Diyala Province, where a bomb went off inside a restaurant.

Pakistan Sends Troops to Area with Taliban

According to the New York Times, the Taliban have taken power in Islamabad, a city only 70 miles from Pakistan’s capitol and a strategically important district. The Pakistani government deployed four platoons of a special unit there on Thursday at the request of the civilian commissioner of the area. This was following the four platoons that had arrived there the night before. At least one officer was killed and another seriously wounded in the clash with the Taliban when they arrived. The troops were there to protect government buildings and bridges in the district according to the Star Tribune. It is important the Taliban not gain complete control in this area because that may lead to them getting closer to the capitol.

Apple Rmoves Baby Shaker Program

A 99-cent program for iphones called “baby shaker” was taken off the market Wednesday after public outrage ensued according to the Pioneer Press. The program featured a black and white outline of a baby who cried until you shook your phone to make it stop. When the shaking was done and the crying stopped, the baby was shown with red Xs over its eyes. The program went on sale Monday on the itunes website and was taken off Wednesday because of people’s reaction to it. Organizations like the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome condemned Apple for approving the sale of this game. The program was designed by Sikalosoft who also makes other applications for Apple. Apple has been know to reject apps in which the user can throw shoes at former president George W. Bush, but they have also approved many apps that have questionable content.

Family Sues Peanut Butter Company Over Death

A 78-year-old man died in Brainerd after consuming the tainted peanut butter that lead to the salmonella outbreak and now the family is suing according to the Star Tribune. Clifford Tousignant, originally from Duluth, died in a Brainerd nursing home on January 12. Health officials say that his health conditions make it hard to pinpoint salmonella as the direct cause of his death, however a Minnesota law firm is now filing a suit against the company that makes King Nut Peanut Butter. The Pioneer Press reported that according to the lawsuit, the man ate peanut butter in his nursing home in December and tested positive for salmonella when he died in January.

April 19, 2009

Man Shot and Killed in Hopkins

Around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, a man was shot and killed in a fast-food parking lot in Hopkins reported the Star Tribune. The 24-year-old’s identity has to yet been released by the police who also say they have two suspects, but wont release their information. The dispute happen between two grounds in the parking lot of White Castle off of Blake Road, and ended when someone took out a gun and shot the victim. The crowd dispersed but police have two men in custody. The Pioneer Press reported that this is the first homicide in Hopkins since July eight years ago.

Iran Sentaces American Journalist to Prison

Iran Sentences American Journalist to Prison
An American journalist from Fargo was convicted in Iran of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison reported the Star Tribune. Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, was arrested last January in Iran, and accused of working without press credentials. Earlier this month an Iranian judge set a much more serious allegation against her; she was accused of spying for the United States and sentenced to 8 years in prison. The New York Times reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is disappointed by what she is calling baseless charges against Saberi, and fears for her safety, specially because such charges could have lead to the death penalty. Her lawyer says he will appeal the verdict and the U.S. government is doing everything they can to get her released.

New U.S. Cuban Relations

For the first time in years, at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, President Obama extended his hand to Cuban leader, Raul Castro, and opened up the doors for new and improved relations between the United States and Cuba reported the Star Tribune. Obama signaled he was ready to accept Castro’s proposal of talks on certain issues that were once off limits to Cuba. He even accepted a book called “The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, a man who once compared former U.S. President George W. Bush to the devil. The New York Times reported that Obama told the gather of Western Hemisphere leaders that, “The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba.” Obama hopes to find a new partner in finding alternative energy sources and combating global warming with Cuba.
For the first time in years, at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, President Obama extended his hand to Cuban leader, Raul Castro, and opened up the doors for new and improved relations between the United States and Cuba reported the Star Tribune. Obama signaled he was ready to accept Castro’s proposal of talks on certain issues that were once off limits to Cuba. He even accepted a book called “The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, a man who once compared former U.S. President George W. Bush to the devil. The New York Times reported that Obama told the gather of Western Hemisphere leaders that, “The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba.” Obama hopes to find a new partner in finding alternative energy sources and combating global warming with Cuba.
http://www.startribune.com/politics/43220547.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUycaEacyUs
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/18/world/americas/18prexy.html?_r=1&ref=us
For the first time in years, at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, President Obama extended his hand to Cuban leader, Raul Castro, and opened up the doors for new and improved relations between the United States and Cuba reported the Star Tribune. Obama signaled he was ready to accept Castro’s proposal of talks on certain issues that were once off limits to Cuba. He even accepted a book called “The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, a man who once compared former U.S. President George W. Bush to the devil. The New York Times reported that Obama told the gather of Western Hemisphere leaders that, “The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba.” Obama hopes to find a new partner in finding alternative energy sources and combating global warming with Cuba.

Firefighter Accused of Arsen and Fraud

John Berken, a Forest Lake firefighter was accused of starting the grass fire in Winona County that he later helped to extinguish. Days before this alleged action, a federal court filing accused him of perjury according to the Star Tribune. They were going to start an investigation of a case in which Berken allegedly ran up $4 million in improper credit card charges. The Pioneer Press reported the area in which Berken allegedly started the fire was a nature preserve. When questioned in October about the financial case, Berken lied under oath about his failed Ford Dealership business.


Roller Coaster Marriages

15 couples were married Wednesday morning at the Mall of America on the roller coaster. The mass wedding was performed on the 15-car orange streak roller coaster in Nickelodeon Universe Theme park according to the Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune reported the wedding was performed by reverend Tairie Starr of the non denominational Church of Love. The couples exchanged vows and rings while in their cars before they took off for a ride around the 7-acre indoor theme park.


April 12, 2009

U.S. Reclaims Cargo Ship From Pirates

Wednesday the crew of a U.S. flag ship that was taken over by pirates off the shore of Somalia, retook control over the ship reports the Star Tribune. However, contacts onboard the vessel say the captain is still being held by the pirates. The crew members onboard the Maersk Alabama have indeed retaken control over the ship and are holding one of the pirates until negotiations to reclaim their captain go through. The ships captain, Captain Joseph Murphey is being held by the remaining pirates on a lifeboat not far from the vessel. The New York Times reports that this is the first time a U.S. flagged ship has been taken over by pirates.
http://www.startribune.com/nation/42663392.html?elr=KArksUUUU
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/world/africa/09pirates.html?_r=1&ref=world

Woman Commits Suicide and Lands on Teen

Last Wednesday, the New York Times reported, a woman jumped to her death in the Queens Center Mall atrium and landed on a high school teenager four stories below, injuring the student. The woman, who’s identity has not been released, was in her mid-50s and jumped over the glass barrier on the 3rd floor, landing four stories below, which was below ground level, on a group of teens sitting in massage chairs. Derrick Muñoz, 17, was injured when the woman landed directly on him, and was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. He was apparently knocked out by the impact, but regained consciousness in the ambulance. Doctors ran tests to see if there was any damage to his brain. The Star Tribune reported the boy, who was on spring break at the time, suffered a large gash on his head after being briefly unconscious.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/nyregion/09jump.html?ref=nyregion
http://www.startribune.com/nation/42732927.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMEaPc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

Pistachio Recall

The Star Tribune reported that Federal officials found traces of salmonella poisoning in a pistachio processing plant in California on Monday. The outbreak led to the recall of more than 2 million pounds of nuts, and the company expanded the recall to include all raw and roasted pistachios from its 2008 crop. Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. is where the outbreak was found, and is the nation’s second largest pistachio plant and sells its products to large companies like Kraft. No illnesses have been reported yet from consumers eating the bad pistachios. The New York Times reports that this is part of the new Obama Administration’s policy that food makers with sloppy manufacturing processes would not be tolerated.
http://www.startribune.com/nation/42561797.html?elr=KArksUUUU
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/index.html

Man Hospitalized After Police Chase Crash

The Pioneer Press reported a man who lead police on a high speed chase through Anoka County Wednesday night was hospitalized after the chase ended in a crash in Coon Rapids. The 26-year-old Brooklyn Park man lost control of the vehicle and crashed it into a Help-U-Sell building near Hanson Boulevard around 10:30 p.m. The suspect was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and remains in their care. He has not yet been arrested or charged and remains unnamed. The vehicle he was driving was stolen earlier that night. The Star Tribune identifies the suspect as Michael Antoine Devine, age 34.
http://www.twincities.com/ci_12006312
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/42456382.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUr

Missing St. Thomas Student

A freshman at the university of St. Thomas was reported missing Sunday and was last seen walking down St. Clair Ave. towards the river reported the Star Tribune. Daniel Zamlen, 18, was drinking at a party Saturday night when he got into an argument and left. Friends last heard from him on his cell phone when he told them he was walking home on St. Clair Avenue toward Mississippi River Boulevard S. around 2:30 a.m. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Friends and family confirm he was drinking at the party but shouldn’t have been because he has Type I Diabetes. Students join in the search along with the Ramsey County police, who are using dogs, helicopters, and water search teams to find the missing student. The Pioneer Press reported that Zemlen wears an insulin pump that is automatic but may require adjustments. Friends and family fear he may be laying somewhere in a coma.
http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/42521817.html?elr=KArksUUUU
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_12079744

April 5, 2009

Media Analysis on Numbers

The New York Times published an article on Egypt’s Peace Treaty. The article used numbers when referring to the year and years past, including the number of years in between certain relevant events. The second way in which the article referred to numbers was when talking about money. When the cost of something came up it was reported in decimals points of the billions. Instead of writing out $1,400,000,000.00, the reporter crunched it and wrote $1.4 billion. The last way numbers were used was in reference to age. These numbers could have been more overwhelming if the reporter hadn’t crunched the dollar amount, and spoke of the time by using “30 years ago” instead of simply stating the dates, which would have made the reader have to do the math. The numbers in the story were not all sourced. The dates in the story I am assuming were pretty much known fact, as well as ages of the people. The numbers were calculated by the reporter according to what it said in the treaty. In that way the reporter did math to make things easier for the reader to understand.

Teen Fired Into Lakeville Party

A 16-year-old Eden Prairie boy was charged Wednesday with firing gun shots in a Lakeville mobile home during a party Saturday night according to the Star Tribune. Mohamed Yusef Hussein reportedly paid to enter the party with his two friends and asked for their money back because of the lack of girls at the party. When they were denied a refund, he open fired into the mobile home. Jibril Farah Mohamed, 18, of Burnsville, and Mohamud Ahmed Hassan, 19, of Minneapolis were charged with aiding the offender. According to the Pioneer Press, there is a court movement to charge Hussein, 16, as an adult because of the seriousness of his crime.

St. Paul Victims of Botched Robbery Shooting

Chong Yia Lor and his wife Plia Her were victims of a botched mid-day robbery Thursday in their Frogtown home reported the Star Tribune. Lor, 44, was shot in the hand and foot, while his wife Her, 48, was shot in the neck. Both were rushed to the hospital and received surgery. Both are expected to recover just fine according to a police spokesman. The suspect, who is unnamed, but known to the victims is still at large. The gunman knocked on their door around noon on Thursday and when someone answered forced his way inside and the attempted robbery and shootings occurred. The couple’s five children were at home, ages 2-15, when this occurred but none of them were injured. According to the Pioneer Press the man was an acquaintance of the couple and had been to their home once before.

Red Cross hostage Freed By Al Quida

The New York Times reported that the Red Cross worker who was kidnapped along with 2 college by an Islamic extremist group in the Philippines was freed and is now in the custody of the Philippine Government. Mary Jean Lacaba, 37, of the Philippines, was kidnapped 11 weeks ago along with 2 of her colleges, Andreas Notter from Switzerland and Eugino Vagni from Italy. The Times reports that it is unclear whether she was captured by the military or released by the Islamic group linked to al-quida, however the Star Tribune reported that the Islamic group that kidnapped her were the ones to release her. The three were kidnapped while visiting a water sanitation project in Sulu, an island providence in the southern Philippines. Lacaba is urging the military to take care of their offense in Sulu for she worries about the safety of the other two hostages.

Gunman Kills in New York

The Star Tribune reported 13 people were killed Friday when a gunman opened fire in the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York. Victims included a caseworker, an English teacher and 11 students ranging from 22 to 57 in age. The New York Times reported the shooting began around 10:30 a.m. and was over in minutes when the gunman shot himself.

Iowa Court Claims Ban on Gay Marriage is Unconstitutional

On Friday Iowa became the third state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to wed reported the Star Tribune. The Supreme Court’s decision will be made final after a three week period and the new ruling will go into play then. In general, the people of Iowa see this as a very big accomplishment, however conservative critics have already started their lobbying process to let the people of Iowa vote on the issue. The case began in 2005 when a New-York based gay-rights firm sued the courts for denying 6 homosexual couples their marriage licenses. Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only other states in the nation to permit gay marriages after California took back their decision to briefly allow for gay marriages. The New York Times reported that Iowa’s Supreme Court found the 1998 law that marriage is reserved for a man and woman to be unconstitutional.