March 2010 Archives

By Sam Preston

The pressure on Iran this past week has been increasing to put a stop to it's nuclear program, according to both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

There was a meeting outside of Ottawa recently with the Group of Eight countries, where they all discussed the growing alarm about the situation in Iran, the Post said.

In this meeting, the foreign representatives concluded that they are willing to have discussions on possible cooperation, but if that does not go as they want it to, there will be sanctions imposed, the Post said.

President Obama said that he would like to see action taken within the next couple of weeks, instead of waiting months, according to the Post.

Even China seems to be leaning towards supporting the sanctions of the Security Council of the U.N., the Times said, which would help to intensify the pressure.

Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time

By Sam Preston

President Obama released on Wednesday a plan of limited expansion of offshore gas and natural oil drilling, according to both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The president proposed this in hopes of winning over Republican support, which will help him pass a greenhouse gas bill in the future, both the Times and the Post said.

And while most republicans are for the drilling, it doesn't go without some opposition even from some conservatives. Some republican representatives don't think President Obama is opening enough territory for the drilling, the Post said.

The expected area that will be opened up for the drilling are vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska, the Times said.

The president is, however, facing harsh criticisms from his own side about the drilling, as they feel it will be very harmful to the environment, the Post said.

Aside from getting the support he needs to pass the greenhouse gas bill, the president also hopes that the drilling will decrease U.S. independence on foreign oil, both the Times and the Post said.

Obit Analysis

By Sam Preston

I chose to do my analysis of an obituary I found on the New York Time's website, titled Elinor Smith, One of the Youngest Pioneers of Aviation, Is Dead at 98.

There were several sources used in this article, the first of such being her son. After that, they quoted a New York Times reporter whom had written about her when Elinor was younger, and then they had some quotes from Elinor herself. So this resembles what we learned in that when writing obituaries, you should stick to interviews with people who were close to the subject.

This specific article did not have a standard lead, because the only typical elements in this particular articles' lead was the name of deceased, and something notable about her. They talked about her first flying lesson as a girl, which tells you something about her, but didn't really go into the fact that she was a flyer. When and where she died, as well as how old she was at the time of death, was not included.

I feel like this lead works because it is setting up the whole thing, as this obituary is set up more as a narrative, more like the Portraits of Grief we saw in class. They work in the other details a bit later, which works from the reader's point of view. The narrative style is one of the things that makes this article differ from a resume, as well as the elements of the quotes from the insiders, and more details rather than listing of what she did.

For Years, Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest's Abuse

By Sam Preston

A priest from the Milwaukee area has recently been recognized as molesting over 200 deaf boys, according to both the New York Times and the Pioneer Press.

The man in question, Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, died in 1998 as a priest, the Times said. It is now believed that he molested the boys during his time at the school for the deaf, from 1950-1974, all of whom reported the incidents while they were in school.

The authorities found out this week that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, received letters in 1996 about what was happening to the deaf community, the Times said. The Vatican sat on the case, the equivocated after Murphy died.

The discovery of the Vatican sitting on this case has shaken citizens of Italy, where it was also reported that 67 deaf men and women reported incidents of priest molestation, the Press said.

The two cases threaten to tarnish the papcy itself, as the office charged with disciplining clergy was long led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, the Press said. However, the Vatican defended Benedict on Thursday.

St. Paul man accused of assaulting quadruple amputee over TV

By Sam Preston

A St. Paul man has been charged with two misdemeanor's after beating up a quadruple amputee, according to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

The man, 33-year-old Jacoby Laquan Smith, lived with the victim, according to both sources. He has been charged with fifth-degree assault and interfering with a 911 call.

Smith originally hit his roommate, the complaint said, because she was blocking his view of the TV, according to both sources. He threw her to the floor and punched her 10 times in the mouth and face, and then swiped her phone away and refused to give it back, the Press said.

The complaint said that he stopped the woman from leaving, but then agreed to take her to a SuperAmerica gas station to get ice for her face, the Press said. While they were there, the woman asked the attendant to call the police, and Smith fled the scene.

Smith has not yet been found, the Press said, and the woman told police she is still "very frightened," because he still has a key to her apartment.

Troubled son, 27, jailed in St. Paul family's fatal fire

By Sam Preston

A fatal fire took place Thursday on the 800 block of Blaine in St. Paul, killing a 2-year-old nephew and injuring four other family members of the suspect, according to both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

Khairi Coleman, 27, has been arrested on suspicion of arson and homicide, the Tribune said. He is being held in the Ramsey County jail, but no charges have been filed.

Coleman is suspected because he was seen at the residence just before the fire started at 2:30 p.m. that day, the Tribune said. He was seen arguing earlier that day with his two brothers and victims, Khalil and Kareem Coleman, 18 and 22.

Mother Shari Coleman obtained two previous orders of protection against him, and said he once threatened to destroy her house if she ever tried to put him out, both the Tribune and the Press said. However, she said in an interview Friday that there is no way he would have done this, the Tribune said.

The other two injured parties in the fire were Coleman's cousin and the cousin's 4-year-old-son. Coleman was arrested at Regions Hospital in St. Paul Thursday, after going to visit the four injured family members.

Obama signs historic healthcare reform into law

By Sam Preston

President Obama signed his historic health care bill into law Tuesday, according to both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

This bill is arguably the most expansive social legislation in decades, both the Times and the Post said. And while it has passed, the debate surrounding the nearly 2,000 page document is far from over.

Nearly minutes after the President signed it, thirteen of the nation's attorneys general filed suit in Florida, while Virginia joined with a suit of its own, the Post said. They are sueing on the grounds that the bill is unconstitutional, undercutting states' rights.

The Justice Department released in a public statement that it will "vigorously defend" the new law, the Post said. They are "confident that this statute is constitutional," spokesman Charles Miller said.

The bill will be a $940 million overhaul, and among many other things is said to require people to obtain health coverage, impose fines on those who don't and provide federal subsidies to help low and middle-income families afford the insurance, the Post said.

Google to stop censoring search results in China

By Sam Preston

Google announced on Monday that it was going to stop censoring information on its website in China, according to both the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Google has been working with China since January 2010, the Times said, to try and decide if there is a way to operate an unfiltered search engine under the country's laws, the Post said.

However, Chinese officials made it clear Monday that this was not possible, according to both the Times and the Post. In response to this, Google has redirected all searches within China to its search engine based in Hong Kong, a special part of the country with its own economic and political systems.

This move is completely within Chinese law, according to both the Times and the Post. However, it has left authorities in Beijing quite upset, and now Google may face being shut down in the country altogether.

The Internet in China has always been censored, with measures as intense as paid online commentators to direct discussion of the government, the Times said. Google's decision on Monday ends a four-year bet that its search engine in China, even if censored, brings more information to the citizens.

Uproar in India Over Female Lawmaker Quota

By Sam Preston

India's upper house of Parliament passed a bill Tuesday, which would reserve one-third of the seats in India's national and state legislatures for women, both the New York Times and Washington Post said.

Advocates for the bill hope to see it passed in order to help balance gender equality, both the Times and the Post said. Throughout Indian history, women have trailed men in life expectancy, literacy and legal rights, the Post said.

This bill met harsh opposition, however, from parties who feel the bill will not be helpful, both the Times and the Post said. Their arguments include them feeling that lower-class women will not benefit, and that the higher competition for seats will decrease Muslims running for office.

The bill passing in the higher house was the first of four obstacles for this bill, the Times said. From here, it will have to be passed in the lower house, win approval from at least half of India's state legislatures, and then be signed by the president.

India is the world's largest democracy, both the Times and the Post said. And though they are no complete stranger to women in government, they have a lot of work to do if they are serious about female representation.

Analysis: news story vs. press release

I have selected to compare a story written by the New York Times about a meeting Obama held about healthcare. I found the agenda on the website of the White House.

The story I found is one that covers what they think will be said at the meeting, more so than what happened at it. They talked about what the concerns with healthcare are, and what each party will be pushing for.

They touched on concerns the republicans will have with the Democratic-friendly bill before them, and what will happen if they can't reach a concensus.

I chose this story because I thought it was almost more interesting to see a story anticipating what will happen at a meeting than one written after it. It seems to target pepole that are really interested in what is coming up, so much so that they can't wait.

This story covers in-depth analysis of what other sources have also said, and further analyzes what could happen as a result of the meeting.

After looking at what the agenda of the meeting was, the report in the Times was highly accurate. It doesn't say whether they received knowledge about the agenda before writing the story, but more so it seems that they had enough information to go off to be able to make a prediction.

By Sam Preston

Six people were killed Friday on a busy interstate just outside of Phoenix, according to both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

The six people who died were on a passenger bus clipped by another vehicle, the Press said, that then rolled over on the interstate, the Tribune said.

The bus was carrying a total of 21 passengers, the Press said, and 15 others were injured in the accident.

Two of the 15 that were injured were 11-years-old, the Press said, and of those who dies, two were adult males and four were adult females.

10 of the 15 that were injured were taken by ambulance to local hospitals, the Press said, and five were flown by medical helicopter.

As Iraq votes, U.S. content to keep its distance

By Sam Preston

Iraquis head to the polls today to partake in the elections of a new Parliament, both the New York Times and the Washington Post said.

Their last elections were in December 2005, the Post said, and took place under U.S. occupation.

At least 38 people were killed today in Baghdad due to the polls, both the Times and the Post said, which was less than 2005, but still marked violence on election days.

President Obama saw this as a milestone for the country of Iraq, the Post said, and was satisfied with the results of the changing role there.

He said that the polls were something of a test of Iraq's stability, according to the Times, and that they will no be negotiating withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Gophers steamroll No. 3 Wisconsin 6-1

By Sam Preston

Minnesotas men's Gopher squad beat the Wisconsin Badgers 6-1 today at Mariucci Arena, both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press said.

This game marked the end of the regular season for both teams, according to the Times and the Press, and also marked family day as well as senior day for the Golden Gophers.

Minnesota will be graduating five seniors this May: Tony Lucia, Mike Carman, David Fischer, Ryan Flynn and Brian Schack, the Tribune said.

The senior's will definitley be missed, according to both sources, as they rallied a fair amount of points today. Lucia netted two goals, and linemate Carman netted another two goals and had two assists.

Following this game, both the Gophers and the Badgers knew their matchup in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, the Press said. Seventh-place Minnesota (17-17-2, 12-14-2) will open a best-of-three series on Friday at fourth-place North Dakota

Minnesota's golden 'Boy!' finally wins Oscar

By Sam Preston

Bloomington native Pete Docter won an Oscar today, according to the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

His award was for best animated feature film of the year, one that Docter's parents watched him accept from their Bloomington home, the Press said.

This Oscar is the first ever that Docter has won, and was one of the three that he was nominated for tonight, the Press said.

One of the nominations that he was up for and lost was for best original screenplay, the Press said. The other that he is up for and yet to see if he'll win is best picture.

Docter has been nominated for an Oscar six times before, for his work on such movies as Pixar's "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc." and "Wall-E," the Press said.

Date set for Gail Gagne sexual misconduct trial

By Sam Preston

A former teacher at Cretin-Derham Hall High School was accused of having sex with one of the school's students, both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press said.

A judge Friday set a trial date of July 12 for Gail Gagne, the Press and the Tribune said. She has been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal-sexual conduct.

Gagne allegedly had sexual intimacies with a 16-year-old student, the Press said. She was the supervisor of the athletic weight room last year when she was charged, both the Press and the Tribune said.

In the charges, it states that the male student said Gagne took him into her Bloomington home and had oral sex with him. The two later went to a Bloomington hotel, had sex and spent the night, the Tribune said.

Gagne has plead not guilty, both the Press and the Tribune said. Hennepin County District Judge Richar Sherer will hear the case.

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