According to the Senate Democrats, they are getting closer to agreeing on a financial bill that will prevent a collapse like the one in 2008.

Part of the reason for expediting this regulatory bill is because other major bills like immigration and energy bills are going to need attention soon.

The New York Times said, "The proposed derivatives rules are an important part of the effort to strengthen regulation of the nation's financial system, and seem certain to infuriate some of Wall Street's biggest players."

One of the key problems in Wallstreet was the lack of regulations on large financial institutions which were able to go under the radar of the government.

Commenting on the Obama's speech of financial reform, The New Yorker wrote, "He focussed, appropriately, on the need to limit excessive risk-taking by systemically important and government-supported financial institutions, and the importance of changing the incentives that place a premium on short-term profits rather than long-term gain."

All this came as a timely reminder as Goldman Sachs was accused of fraud last week.

The New Yorker went on to explain the dangers of financial reform because the banks and bank employees are tied together though the CEOs and high level executives take home the lion's share.

Video Commentary: Iran tested new missiles over the weekend

Since we talked about broadcast this week I wanted to take a video portion and write about it in terms of what we learned.

I thought it would be good because I already wrote about Iran testing missiles in the World News category. Here is the link for the video on CNN.


The CNN story is about 1:25 minutes long and the actual footage of the training is only about 10-15 seconds.

The big difference in terms of broadcast is the video and how it's used. For this story the footage of missiles being fired was stunning.

The visual aspect of the story caused a distraction from what the reporter was saying.

The key information in the video was mostly the same in the written story but there were no extra details and no quotes.

The lack of quotes made this story a little shallow but the visuals made it compelling.

Six people killed in car collision near Cambridge

A head-on collision near Cambridge killed six people and the 16-year-old driver was hospitalized in serious condition.

According to the Star Tribune, the vehicle with the four victims in it smelled like alcohol.

The Star Tribune also reported, "While the patrol declined to release her name, citing her age, the car's driver was identified by a relative as Sabrina Schumacher."

The Pioneer Press obtained the girl's identity from a different source and said, "Jimmy Gordon, who owns Jimmy's Pizza in Isanti, visited the crash site today. He said the driver is Sabrina Schumacher, who worked at his shop making pizzas and answering phones."

According Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske, the accident was still under investigation.

Lt. Roeske also said it was illegal for the 16-year-old girl to be driving out past midnight noting that the crash happened at approximately 2:40 a.m.

The Star Tribune reported that 11 Minnesotans died this weekend in car-related accidents while the Pioneer Press reported that only 10 had died.

Obama gives the eulogy for miners in West Virginia

This is a followup post to the one I wrote earlier.

on Sunday Obama paid his respects by giving a eulogy to the 29 minors who died in West Virginia.

According to CNN, Obama and Biden met with the miners' families privately before the ceremony started.

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin was also there to honor the miners and their families. He also vowed to find out all the answers to this tragedy in order to prevent another one and give peace to the miners' families.

According to USA Today, "Obama did not specifically discuss his proposals to improve mine safety, nor the safety record of the nearby Upper Big Branch mine where the April 5 accident occurred."

Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller was there too and also spoke during the ceremony.

CNN noted that a minor accident of this caliber hasn't happened since 1971 in Idaho.

Iran is testing new missles

On Sunday Iran's Revolutionary Guard tested five new missiles in a waterway that is critical for oil supplies and transportation.

They tested various types of missiles including coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea weapons.

According to the New York Times, "The Guards' exercises in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz coincided with rising tension between Iran and the West, which says Tehran's nuclear work is aimed at making bombs. Iran denies this."

CNN also mentioned that the war games also included an exercise that used high-speed boats attacking a larger warship.

According to CNN, there have been other Iranian military tests in the past but this one was notable because they announced it in advance.

According to the New York Times, "Iran, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim state, has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz. "

This strait is the waterway that allows people to control oil traffic in the Middle East.

Essay on sexual abuse in the Catholic church

Hendrik Hertzberg wrote a short, inquisitive essay in The New Yorker about the Catholic Churches problem with priests sexually abusing children.

Even though the media can never seem to exhaust this topic, it can still be done tactfully.

Hertzberg started off by painting a familiar scene where Martin Luther is putting up the famous 95 Theses and how controversial it was.

Hertzberg compared the outrage then to a more relatable method of ranting. Blogging.

He wrote, "Dr. Martin Luther, put the finishing touches on a series of bullet points and, legend has it, nailed the result to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany--the equivalent, for the time and place, of uploading a particularly explosive blog post."

He then went on to use another engaging paragraph to pull in the reader, "The "Ninety-five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" touched off a high-stakes flame war that rapidly devolved into the real thing, with actual wars, actual flames, and actual stakes."

Hertzberg attempts to point out both sides of the issue, from the Church's perspective and the public's.

If it was unsure which side Hertzberg defended, he finally takes a stance.

"Our largely democratic, secularist, liberal, pluralist modern world, against which the Church has so often set its face, turns out to be its best teacher--and the savior, you might say, of its most vulnerable, most trusting communicants."

Overall this essay is a great glimpse into the pressing issues of the Catholic Church. It doesn't try to condemn the Church or ignore their problems.

Funeral and ceremony for Polish President and his wife

KRAKOW - About 150,000 Poles attended the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria on Sunday.

Along with the couple, 96 others were buried on Sunday too.

Unfortunately, because of the Icelandic ash cloud, not everyone was able to attend.

USA TODAY reported, "President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those who canceled at the last minute because of the expanding ash cloud, dangerous to airplane engines, that left nearly all of the continent's airports closed since late Thursday."

Not everyone was supportive of the president being buried in Wawel Cathedral.

USA TODAY reported, "The decision to bury Kaczynski at Wawel sparked protests in recent days, with some people saying that despite the national tragedy he still does not belong in the company of some of the nation's most august figures. The hue and cry over the decision even spilled over to Facebook where thousands said the decision was not right."

According to the New York Times, a well-known political scientist in Poland, Jaroslaw Flis, compared this tragedy emotinally to the J.F.K. assassination

Husband kills his wife and then himself in broad daylight

On Saturday a man shot and killed his wife and then himself in front of a Columbia Heights restaurant.

A relative said that his wife had made plans to leave him but neither of the victims have been identified at this point.

However the Pioneer Press reported, "But police were inspecting a vehicle at the scene registered to Josef Tomasovic."

The Pioneer Press reported that the murder-suicide happened right outside of Asian Chow Mien in Columbia Heights but there was no connection to the restaurant.

The Star Tribune got a quote from the Columbia Heights police chief saying, "It does appear at this time that this was a murder-suicide," and he added it was one of the deadly outcomes of domestic disputes that they've been trying to prevent.

The employees were getting ready to open the restaurant when they heard shots outside.

Although the police haven't confirmed that the victims names of Josef and Natalie Tomasovic, their house, a few blocks away from the crime scene, was being guarded by police.

Both papers reported that, "Neither of the two appeared to have a criminal record of any kind."

Investigative: The story of a crime lord

Frank Ma was considered to be the "last of the Asian godfathers," According to the New York times.

Ma was the classic Asain gangter who had dealings all over San Francisco, Toronto and Manhattan.

He loved to gamble, even on games which he didn't fully understand. Take basketball for example; Ma placed his bets based on the the color of the team jerseys.

The last components of this gangster story include a hitman known as "psycho," heroin, and graveyard murders.

Looking at this story brings a broader question of the level of prominence of Asian gangs in the United States.

The New York Times reported, "But in just two years, 1990 and 1991, at the height of the gangsters' power, federal agents in New York alone made 130 arrests, confiscated 200 pounds of heroin and seized $25 million in assets, including $15 million in cash, as well as homes, boats, apartment buildings, jewelry stores, even the Golden Palace restaurant, one of Chinatown's biggest, which was used to launder money."

Ma was eventually caught and pleaded guilty to murder and narcotics charges.

The New York Times reported, "'He'd killed the wrong guys, and it caused a conflict with his supplier back in Hong Kong,' Agent McMurray said in an interview."

The story concluded with Agent McMurray saying that it was very likely that Ma was the last of the Asian godfathers.

He said if there was another crime lord of the same caliber as Ma, they would probably already know of him.

Volcanic ash cloud delays thousands of flights in Europe

On Thursday the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull spewed an ash cloud that immediately grounded about 1,000 flights.

The ash cloud continued to spread across Europe and has now cancelled as many as 20,000 flights in and out of Europe.

According to CNN, "It's the worst disruption of air traffic since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001. Following those attacks, the United States closed its air space for three days, forcing Europe to postpone all transatlantic flights."

Britain's National Air Traffic services continued the ban of flights as far as Monday and are looking at all other possibilities.

It's very apparent that everyone is frustrated. Not just passengers but also the airlines.

Some airlines have been able to proceed with take-offs while others claim to be misinformed.

On a conference call with Eurocontrol on airline representative scolded Eurocontrol by saying they were "being inconsistent in applying flight restrictions and stressed that the flight bans were creating 'a serious economic issue for us.'"

The economic damage for the airlines and Europe are only beginning to be assessed.

The New York Times reported, "The disaster is estimated to be costing airlines $200 million a day, but the economic damage will roll through to farms, retail establishments and nearly any other business that depends on air cargo shipments. Fresh produce will spoil, and supermarkets in Europe, used to year-round supplies, will begin to run out."