Kidnapped Women in Cleveland Rescued: National News

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I chose this article from the Extra Extra section of www.nicar.org.

Since Rep. Mel Watt started in Congress in 1992, he has received $1.33 million in campaign contributions from the finance, real estate and insurance industries.

The records in this story state that President Obama appointed Watt to oversee mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt has received more campaign money from financial interests than any other industry of special interest.

Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), in short, govern the integrity of home loans, lending refinancing, and loan modifications.

This article talks about where the campaign money has come from for Rep. Mel Watt, how much it has cost the U.S. government and other finance giants, and the percent of new mortgages Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy (90 percent).

This author, Alison Fitzgerald, accessed the company's websites to get information. She also managed to get information from the U.S. Treasury on the amount Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cost the U.S. government.

There were no interactive graphics included on this site, but the reporter did understand the skills needed to find the statistics she ended up using in her article. She obviously knew how to sift through public records to find the most relevant information that helped the readers understand the depth of the campaign costs for Rep. Mel Watt.

Fitzgerald found an interesting piece of information from the Fannie Mae website, which said Fannie Mae has contributed $3.3 trillion in mortgage credit to the market. She calculated how much both companies have borrowed from the U.S. government.

Fitzgerald related each of her statistics to the time period it was happening in, and how it was relevant/contributed to Watt's campaign.

Alcohol Sales at Lake Harriet: Local News

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Wine and beer is likely to be legalized during summer music shows on Lake Harriet.

The City Council regulatory committee voted on Monday to approve a wine and beer license at the Bread & Pickle, an eatery abutting the band shell on Lake Harriet. It is expected to receive approval from the full council on May 10, the Star Tribune said.

Some city officials say they want to limit liquor sales to just the back patio of Bread & Pickle, KSTPsaid.

Other people say that limiting the sales to the back patio isn't smart. It would make drinking beer or wine at the actual band shell, illegal, KSTP said.

The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council approved the license application, the Star Tribune said.

Two other park/lake eateries, Sea Salt at Minnehaha Falls and Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun, already serve alcohol.

Bread & Pickle owner, Kim Bartmann said it would likely take four to six weeks after approval before the eatery can start serving, the Star Tribune said.

The children of illegal U.S. immigrants, are eligible for in-state tuition at the University of Minnesota after the Minn. senate passed the "Path to Prosperity Act" on Wednesday.

The University of Minnesota, along with other state universities and colleges, will allow undocumented children of illegal immigrants to be granted in-state tuition, financial aid, under the Path to Prosperity Act, also known as the Dream Act, CBS said.

The bill will allow these benefits, provided that the illegal immigrants attend a Minnesota high school for at least three years, CBS said.

Fewer than 500 students will take advantage of the Dream Act. Sen. Sandy Pappas said. It is more of a symbolic act stating that immigrants can also get an affordable college education, Star Tribune said.

The Dream Act is sponsored by Sen. Pappas. It has been debated for the past ten years, but has recently gained momentum as immigration reforms are now prevalent at the state and federal level, Star Tribune said.

Marco Loera, an 18-year-old senior at Mayo High School in Rochester said his parents are not U.S citizens and he's not eligible for in-state tuition rates and aid. He said it would be difficult to afford college without in-state rates and financial aid, CBS said.

A 5-year-old boy fatally shot his 2-year-old sister after firing a rifle he had gotten as a gift, Ky. state officials said.

Caroline S. was in her home in Burkesville, Ky., when her brother fired the rifle he had been given as a birthday present. The incident happened around 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times said.

CNN reported the shooting, which took Caroline's life, has been ruled an accident, Kentucky State Police Trooper, Billy Gregory, said. Young children in the area are introduced to guns at an early age, he said.

The children's mother has just stepped outside he house for a moment. Caroline was pronounced dead at Cumberland County Hospital, the Los Angeles Times said.

Caroline's death comes after two other incidents involving young children shooting others. In early April, a 4-year-old Tennessee boy fatally shot a 48-year-old woman, and a few days later 6-year-old Brandon Hold as killed in New Jersey after his 4-year-old playmate shot him in the head, CNN said.

The rifle used was a Crickett, a company whose slogan is, "My First Rifle." It is a .22-caliber rifle, and one shot was enough to kill a 2-year-old girl. It is a single-shot rifle and it has a child safety, CNN said.

In Kentucky, it is legal to give a child a rife as a gift, Cumberland County Coroner Gary L. White said. It is not unusual for children to have rifles, he said.


**Cannot find if the last name of this family is STARKS or SPARKS, because it is used differently from article to article. I used Caroline S., to avoid confusion.

New King of Netherlands: International News

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Holland got its first king in over 100 years on Tuesday.

King Willem Alexander, 46, is the first Dutch king since Willem III in 1890, USA Today said.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the throne in favor of her son, Willem-Alexander, USA Today said.

Queen Beatrix, 75, who spent 33 years as queen, stood down from the throne at a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on Tuesday, USA Today said.

In his first speech as king, Alexander promised to continue his mother's course of action for the Netherlands. He stressed the need to respect diversity, and ensured everyone, despite his or her backgrounds, be granted an equal voice, the New York TImes said.

In his speech, Alexander also acknowledged the economic strife the country has faced, as citizens struggle with the third recession since 2009, the New York Times said.

As Willem-Alexander was formally sworn in, cheers erupted from the audience. Most for the new king, and some for his new queen, Argentine born, Maxima, who is said to have brought glamour and romance to the otherwise frumpy royal family, the New York Times said.

Opinion polls show support for the monarchy in the Netherlands, the New York Times said.

"Some moments ago I abdicated from the throne," Queen Beatrix said while nearing the end of the swearing in ceremony. "I am happy and thankful to present to you your new king."

Monster Sues City of San Francisco: National News

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Monster Beverage is suing San Francisco's city attorney because of the city's demands that the company reduce the amount of caffeine in its energy drinks and stop marketing to minors, Huffington Post said.

Monster believes it's being unfairly singled out by City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Last year, Herrera asked Monster to produce document showing its energy drinks are safe, CBS said.

Herrera said in his letter that three cans of Monster amount to 480 mg of caffeine, or about five times the recommended maximum for adolescents. It is also 400 mg more per day than the FDA has said is safe for adults, the Huffington Post said.

Some brands of coffee contain more caffeine than Monster's energy drinks. Herrera said that coffee is typically served hot and therefore consumed slowly. Herrera also said energy drinks companies market to youth and encourage them to drink energy drinks in large quantities, the Huffington Post said.

The suit was filed in the Central District of California with the U.S. District Court, CBS said.

Energy drink companies are currently under fire due to the FDA investigation reports of deaths linked to them. The FDA discovered the reports do not directly prove the drinks caused the deaths, Huffington Post said.

Energy drinks have surged in popularity and in 2011, sales for energy drinks rose by nearly 17 percent according to Beverage Digest, CBS said.

George W. Bush Library: Analysis

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After the opening of George W. Bush's library, many people wrote about it, but in my opinion, few did it as well as the Los Angeles Times.

There were five presidents at the gathering; almost all of them had something to say about the opening of the library. The reason why I chose to write on this for my speech analysis was because so many people spoke at one time.

The reporter used a few quotes from the different president's speeches, but the quotes were not the bulk of her story.

She used quotes from almost everyone who spoke and it really added to the story. In the first two paragraphs she prefaced the scene and used a quote from President George W. Bush.

She then wrote about how Obama spoke about supporting President Bush and his new library.

The author then talked about the minor speeches given. George H.W. Bush just gave a brief thank you and a God Bless America. While President Clinton spoke about how even though democrats and republicans may have their disagreements it makes this country great.

The last few paragraphs of the story were quotes from President Bush, with many descriptions of what him and the others looked like at the ceremony. It uses words like "smiled," "joked," and "wiping away a tear," which really made the story come to life.

It ended with a quotation from one of the few "average Joes" who attended the ceremony, which I thought was a good way to wrap up the story, since there were so many different aspects of it.

All in all the article was informative and interesting to read but I think a little bit of chronology would have added to this story. It got a bit confusing because at one point President Obama was giving a speech then it was President Clinton, then it was President Bush, then it was President George H.W. Bush, and then back to President Obama and President Bush again. Since there were so many speakers there needed to be a little more order.

Associated Press Twitter Hacked: Notable

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The Associated Press's Twitter was hacked on Tuesday, sending the stock market into a tailspin.

The tweet that sent the market into a downward spiral read, "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured via @AP," NPR said.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped about 130 points seconds after the tweet, but bounced back quickly after the rumors were debunked, NPR said.

A group of hackers claimed responsibility for the hoax. The hackers were allegedly loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. They sent out a tweet saying:
"Ops! @AP get owned by Syrian Electronic Army! #SEA #Syria #ByeByeObama," USA Today said.

This tweet came at a delicate time for America, just eight days after the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Associated Press suspended their Twitter account and is currently working to correct the issue, USA Today said.

The wire service also said its mobile Twitter account was hacked, and all of its account has been shut down, USA Today said.

Bangladesh Building Collapses: International News

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A commercial building collapsed in Bangladesh on Wednesday, and the death tolls continue to rise.

It was Wednesday morning, and most garment workers had come in for their shift already, the building was packed with workers, CBS News said.

The building housed five different garment factories, a bank and shops, CNN said.

On Tuesday, cracks in the building structure were noticed, and the bank called its employees off of work, and the shops were closed due to a strike. Garment workers were told to come in, even though the owners knew of the problems in the building's structure, CNN said.

This was the worst tragedy to hit the garment industry in Bangladesh, and shined a spotlight on the poor working conditions for the employees. Most employees were working for about $38 a month and were producing brand name clothing CBS News said.

Massive blocks of concrete crushed most of the victims after the 8-story structure crumbled to the ground, CBS News said.

The Bangladesh army brought in heavy machinery to tear through to concrete in an attempt to save the living. Many people including troops and volunteers are using bare hands and rusty saws to find the survivors, CNN said.
As of Saturday the death toll stands at 378. ***To be updated

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