June 2012 Archives

Timbuktu shrines destroyed by Islamist

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Islamist group has destroyed historical site in Mali on Saturday, AFP reported.

The Ansar Dine group, which controls the northern Mail, attacked ancient tombs of Muslim saints in Timbuktu, the BBC reported. The group attacked the shrines with shovels and pickaxes.

AFP reported that the militants said the shrines are ideals.Sanda Ould Boumama said,a spokesman for the group, "Ansar Dine will today destroy every mausoleum in the city. All of them, without exception."

UNESCO, the UN's cultural organization, has placed Timbuktu as an endangered sites.According to the UNESCO website,Timbuktu is home to 16 cemeteries and mausoleums, and three mosques, AFP reported.

"I appeal to all those engaged in the conflict in Timbuktu to exercise their responsibility - for the sake of future generations, spare the legacy of their past," said Alissandra Cummins, the chairwoman of UNESCO's executive committee, AFP reported.

The group has destroyed three shrines. "They have already completely destroyed the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud (Ben Amar) and two others," Malian journalist Yeya Tandina said to Reuters, the BBC reported.

AFP reported the UNESCO said its List of World Heritage in Danger "aims to raise cooperation and support for the sites threatened by the armed conflict."

Dayton asks $ 108 million for rebuilding

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Gov. Mark Dayton sent a federal disaster request Friday to the Obama administration. Dayton has requested for $108 million for the rebuilding of the flooded areas,Star Tribune reported.

The Associated Press reported Dayton wants to use the money to fix infrastructure of the northeastern Minnesota and south of the Twin Cities. The preliminary damage has been estimated to $ 108 million.

"When a disaster like this occurs, we're not Republicans and we're not Democrats. We're all Minnesotans," said Dayton in state Capitol afternoon, Star Tribune reported. He will call a special session to discuss the distribution of aid in the affected regions.

The sever flood affected the 13 counties and three tribal nations. Last week's rain caused flooding, damage to private and public properties, and mudslide. The heavy rain damaged the Duluth zoo, Star Tribune reported.

If the request approved, the federal government will cover 75 percent and the state will cover the rest of it. Some communities' municipal budget would be wiped out without any aid, Star Tribune reported.

SCOTUS: Affordable Care Act is constitutional

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The Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health care law as constitutional on Thursday. Chief Justice John Roberts voted in favor of the law and claimed the individual mandate was a tax, The New York Times reported.

The court ruled the individual mandate was in the Congress's authority to collect taxes. The law will extend coverage to more than 32 million americans, Al Jazeera reported.

The court "upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance," Obama said, Al Jazeera reported.

The New York Times reported that the court rejected the argument made by the Obama administration to support the law. The Congress's power under Commerce Clause to force individuals to buy insurance was unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote, in the majority opinion, "The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax," The New York Times reported.

The presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who oppose the health care law, said he will repeal the law,if elected in November, Al Jazeera reported.

The court said the federal government's ability to limit the funding for states is unconstitutional. The 26 states and other plaintiffs brought this issue to the court, The New York Times reported.

Al Jazeera reported that Romney said "If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we have to get rid of President Obama."

Ron Paul's bill to audit the Fed advances

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The House oversight committee voted a bill that would require broad audit of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

Rep. Ron Paul, the longtime opponent of the central bank and R-Texas, sponsored the bill to audit the Fed. The bill has been sponsored by 263 members, The Washington Times reported.

Th bill would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct full audit of the Fed. Ben Bernake,chairmen of the Fed, has opposed the audit because it will impact the independence of the institution from political pressure, The Hill reported.

Paul said, in a statement, the Fed's lending policies and European bailouts have created " the critical need for transparency," The Washington Times reported.

An amendment sponsored by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., was defeated by the committee that would have prevented auditors from looking into the Fed's deliberations on monetary policy, The Washington Times reported.

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich,D-Ohio, said,"We have to be able to have control over the Fed because it's controlling every aspect of our economy," The Washington Times reported.

Coon Rapids hit-and-run suspect pleads not guilty

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A man was arrested on Tuesday that injured a 9-year-old boy's head in Coon Rapids, Star Tribune reported.

Pioneer Press reported that Nathan Wade Boese, 32, was arrested and charged with criminal vehicular operation and fleeing the scene.

"He is pleading not guilty because he is not guilty of this charges,"Steven Meshbesher, Boese's attorney, said. Meshbesher said he had made arrangements with the authorities to allow Boese turn himself voluntarily on Wednesday, but the police arrested him on Tuesday night, Pioneer Press reported.

Amir Taylor was biking near his gradmother's house in Coon Rapids this month, when he was hit by a truck. He was transferred Tuesday to Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul for recovery, Star Tribune reported.

Boese had attempted to fix his vehicle that matched the description of the hit -and-run truck.The bail was set $100,000, Star Tribune reported.

Brotherhood's victory casts doubts in peace treaty

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Mohammed Morsi has been elected as the president of Egypt in the last week's election, AFP reported.

Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, won the election by a narrow margin against the former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, Al Jazeera reported.

Al Jazeera reported that Morsi gave an interview to Iran's Fars news agency about strengthening ties with Iran and reconsidering Camp David Accords with Israel in 1979. However, the network cited a spokesmen that Morsi had not given any interview to Fars.

According to the Fars, Moris and his administration " will revise the Camp David treaty" and discuss the Palestinian issue.

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that his country "expects to continue co-operation with the Egyptian administration" in a statement, Al Jazeera reported. Morsi in his victory speech said that he will "keep all international treaties, " Al Jazeera reported.

Cairo broke off it's diplomatic ties with Iran in 1980. Iran with Shiite Islam as a prominent faith has been reaching out to the Brotherhood, which follows Sunni Islam, in recent months, AFP reported.

Al Jazeera reported that the president-elect has started to form a new government. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has limited the presidential powers, congratulated Moris on his victory.

Analysis of Attribution in a News story

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Attribution is key in journalism because it identifies the source(s). The readers will know where the information is coming from.

The story is about Syria shooting a Turkey jet and the search for the pilots in Reuters contains variety of sources to create the news story. The story attributes to different sources to present a fair and accurate representation of the situation.

Government officials from Syria and Turkey is included in the piece like the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu or a Syrian military account. They provide the official story of their side.

There is also experts from universities are interviewed for the story and they analyze the situation.

An anonymous source is attributed in the story. This Arabian diplomat conforms an important detail that Turkey is involved with the funding of Syrian rebels. The attribution to a source helps the reporter and the news organization to show the readers that the information is not created by them.

The reporter uses 'said' to attribute sources. It's effective because it helps the reader to focus on the quote or paraphrase. Overall, attribution is a must in news writing.

Dayton names CEO for new stadium project

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Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Ted Mondale as the executive director of the new Metrodome on Friday, Pioneer Press reported.

Star Tribune reported that Mondale, who lobbied for the new stadium in Minneapolis downtown last year, will overseas it's operation as the executive. The first meeting of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority held at the Metrodome in downtown.

Mondale, former chairman of the the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns and operates Metrodome, helped Dayton to pass the stadium bill in the state Legislature. He will receive $157,181 annually as the executive of the public watchdog in the construction of the stadium, Pioneer Press reported.

The authority will make decision along with the Vikings on the stadium with the cost of $975 million. The state and the city of Minneapolis will contribute $500 million and the Vikings will pay $475 million, Star Tribune reported.

"I appreciate the confidence you put in me and I will not let you down," Mondale said to he fellow members on the first meeting, Pioneer Press reported.

Rights group accuses Duluth zoo of killing animals

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Como Park Zoo and Conservatory became a safe haven for three animals that were affected by the flood in Duluth, Pioneer Press reported.

Meanwhile, an international animals rights group said that the Lake Superior Zoo was negligent of killing a dozen of animals, Duluth News Tribune reported.

A bear and two seals were brought to the zoo on Thursday. Berlin, a 23-year-old-bear, will be on display to the public and the two seals will be also on display, said zoo spokesman Matt Reinartz, Pioneer Press reported.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' Daphna Nachminovitch, vice president of cruelty investigations, said that "It's difficult to imagine the terror that these animals experienced, having no way to escape as the water engulfed them," reported Duluth News Tribune reported.

Sam Maida, CEO of the Lake Superior Zoological Society, said that the employees took measures to protect the animals based on the information, Duluth News Tribune reported.

Maida said, "Taking the zoo and isolating on it with all that went on in the counties around here with $100 million worth of damage in the area. I think taking it out of context is somewhat dangerous," Duluth News reported.

Pioneer Press reported, Gunnar Johnson, Duluth's city attorney, said he has taken the allegation very seriously and "the facts of the case do not appear to support criminal charges."

Sandusky's son claims sexual abuse

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Jerry Sandusky's adoptive son accused his father of sexual abuses, one of the son's lawyers said on Thursday, the BBC reported.

Matt Sandusky,33, had offered to testify against his 68-year-old adoptive father and the former Penn State football couch. He had previously denied about the abuses and showed support with his family to the couch,The New York Times reported.

The allegation by his son has raised as the juror began deliberating trial against Sandusky. He denied 48 counts of abusing 10 boys over 15 years and could serve life sentence, the BBC reported.

Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing boys from the Second Mile, a charity for poor kids, and he admitted that he took naked showers with the kids, the BBC reported.

The defence said the financial motive has fueled accusations against the couch and claimed the police questioned the accusers many times, reported The New York Times.

The New York Times reported that Judge John M. Cleland said, "The issue is not what the child felt. The issue is what the defendant intended."

Eric Holder faces contempt charges

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Attorney General Eric Holder was voted by a Republican-controlled House panel for contempt of Congress as the Obama administration claimed executive privilege, Al Jazeera reported.

Holder was voted by 23-17 for refused to give the House Oversight and Government Operations Committee documents related to a failed Operation Fast and Furious on Wednesday, AP reported.

"I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over relevant ... documents," Deputy Attorney General James Cole said, Al Jazeera reported.

The administration invoked executive privilege for the first time withhold documents demanded by the committee. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa,Calif., accused the administration of delayed to give the documents, AP reported.

Before the vote, Issa said that "This untimely assertion by the Justice Department falls short of any reason to delay today's proceedings," reported Yahoo News.

The panel found out the use of risky gun-walking, a method to track high-level traffickers and in the process guns will cross the borders to Mexico. A U.S. border agent Brian Terry was killed by the guns used in the operation, AP reported.

If the full House decide to vote against Holder, then he will face federal criminal charges, reported AP.

Josephine and Kent Terry,the parents of slain agent, said " We are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious" in a statement on Wednesday, AP reported.

Parliament to elect new prime minister

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Pakistan's lower house of parliament will elect new prime minister on Friday after Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified to hold the office, CNN reported.

President Asif Ali Zardari called the parliament to elect a new prime minister after the Supreme Court ruled Gilani was contempt of court, BBC reported.

Gilani was convicted of contempt in April, but he did not appeal against the rule.He refused to ask the Swiss authorities to reopen the case against the President Zardari citing the president has full immunity, Al Jazeera reported.

CNN reported the court ruled "office of the prime minister shall be deemed to be vacant."

Swiss closed the case against Zardari in 2008. When his late wife, Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister in the 1900s, they were accused of laundering bribe money with Swiss banks, which was denied by the president, BBC reported.

Zardari told a meeting held on Wednesday that the new prime minister will "follow the guidelines set by the party leadership and by... Mr Gilani," a source at the meeting said. The current government will be the first administration in Pakistan's history to complete a five-year term, reported BBC.

Chaos in Egypt's politics

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Political uncertainty arose as both candidates claimed victory over the Sunday's presidential election. Meanwhile, the military rulers gained more power before the results are announced, reported Al Jazeera.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsy declared himself as the winner on Monday. Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister of Mubarak's era, claimed he won the election, reported Reuters.

Mohamed Mahmoud, an unemployed 28-year-old, voted for Morsy, said "I don't want an Islamic state or a new Mubarak state."

Al Jazeera reported that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a decree increased its power to draft a new constitution, and control the budget and the legislative process until a new parliment is elected.

The new president will need "the approval of the military council" to declare war, Al Jazeera reported.

The decree was "null and unconstitutional, " said the Brotherhood on Twitter, reported Al Jazeera.

Analysis of Colorado's fire news lead

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The story is about the wildfire in Colorado starting with the five W's.

Thomas Peipert of The Associated Press answered the who question at the beginning by saying that the firefighters are working to control the fire. Then, he writes the place where the fire was happening. The what in the story is the fire.

This hard-news is an important story because of the news values. The impact of the fire in the community is happening right now. This is a national news due to the federal funding issues, thus important to Minnesotans. But, the fire is happening in Colo., so it is not literally closer Minnesotans.

There is an argument about the rsponse to fire by the federal government, which is a conflict. The reporter covers this part of the story thoroughly.

The story focuses on the effort by the firefighters to control the fire and provides detailed information with quotes, numbers, public records and press release. Overall, the story summarize the important facts in the lead.

Former employee steals from archdiocese

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An accountant for the Archdicese of Minneapolis and St.Paul was charged on Friday with stealing more than $670,000 for his personal use, reported KMSP .

Scott J. Domeier, 50, was placed on administrative leave on Jan.3 after the Archdiocese learned he had misused his Archdiocese issued credit card and accepted a first class airline tickets from a vendor, reported Star Tribune.

Domeier had stole more than $670,000 to allegedly pay for his credit card, tuition for his children's private school, and other expenses. The Archdiocese hired a private accounting firm to investigate the misuse of money. They learned that he used others to write check for his use to avoid any suspicious, reported KMSP.

He faces seven counts of theft by swindle and was arrested on Friday, reported Star Tribune.

Hit-and-run vehicle may be found, says authorities

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Authorities found a truck connected to a hit-and-run accident that put a 9-year-old boy in a critical condition, said the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

The police obtained a search warrant and towed the Chevy truck. Investigators are looking for any forensic evidence to link the truck with Wednesday's hit-and-run, reported KMSP .

Amir Taylor was biking near his gradmother's house in Coon Rapids, when he was hit by a truck. He is still in critical condition at North Memorial Hospital, reported Star Tribune.

The owner of the vehicle brought it to Lehman's Garage in downtown Minneapolis on Friday morning. The workers were suspicious about the truck and called the authorites.

"He wouldn't give me any information as far as what happened. He was very adamant on making sure it got done right away," said Jill Hodel, Lehman's Garage employee, reported KMSP.

An arrest warrant may be issued against the driver if the truck could be linked to the accident, said the sheriff's office.

Gov. Walker to Romney: simple plan

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who won the historic recall election, visited Washington and offered some advice to Mitt Romney, reported The Boston Herald.

U.S. News reported that Walker suggests to follow President Regan's play book with strong defence and small government. "You've got to have a vision, you've got to have a message," Walker said.

"I am bias for Paul," said Walker, who suggests Rep. Paul Ryan to be the vice president pick for Romney, reported U.S. News.

He came to the national spotlight for his banning on collective bargaining rights for public employees. Walker thought Romney had a "shot" in wining the November's election, reported The Boston Herald. President Regan won Wisconsin in his second term for presidency in 1984.

First African ICC chief prosecutor sworn in

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Fatou Bensounda of Gambia sworn in as the International Criminal Court's new chief prosecutor in The Hague on Friday, reported Voice Of America.

Bensounda, 51, the first African and women to held the position was elected by 122 state parties. The 122 countries have signed up the Rome Statute, the founding document of ICC. She will lead prosecutions in 15 cases against 7 African countries, reported Al Jazeera.

She rejected her critics about perusing only war crimes against African countries. In interviews this week, Bensounda said she's " working for the victims of Africa." She replaced Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, who was in the job for nine years, reported VOA.

The ICC issued warrants against Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony for crimes against humanity, reported Al Jazeera.

Human Rights Watch group urged the Qatar government to reform it's labor laws as the country will host the FIFA World Cup 2022. Qatar has planned to build stadiums and facilities, reported Reuters.

The The New York based group added that the migrant workers are faced with problems such as the lack of minimum wage, not signed international treaties, and prohibits unions. The stadiums and facilities for the World Cup ""will not be built on the backs of abused and exploited workers," reported Al Jazeera.

Qatar's sponsorship system, the most restrictive laws in the Gulf, was criticized due it's restrictions on the migrant workers. Workers need their employers permission to switch jobs and the employer must sign an exit permit for the workers to leave the country, reported Al Jazeera.

The government said that the World Cup organizers will ensure the international laws are enforce by the contractors in January, reported Reuters.

Protest against Putin on Russian Day

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Thousands of protesters gathered in Moscow to call for new presidential election. The protest was sparked after the police raided the homes important figures in the opposition movement, reported the BBC.

The anti-government protesters want a new election law and term limit for president. Vladimir Putin sworn in as the Russian President on March for the third time, even thou the opposition alleged fraud in the December's election, reported the BBC.

"The revamped Constitution should limit the president's authority and his term of office, " said Evgenia Chirikova, leader of the Movement to Defend the Khimki Forest in the rally, according to Russia Today (RT).

"Putin is a thief" was chanted in the demonstration.

Activist Sergei Udaltsov, who was summoned for questioning attended the protest, urged the protesters to continue the protest and said "The investigators will wait, I've made my choice," according to the BBC.

The Russian Investigative Community officials reportedly confiscated documents, political banners, computers and about 1.5 million euro from the raided houses, reported RT.

RT reported that the Moscow police said that about 22,000 protesters gathered, not 100,000 as the organizers said. The protesters included various political parties like Fair Russia and Yabloko, the Communist, LGBT members and many others

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