March 2011 Archives

Minnesota teen will face separate trials

A Minnesota teenager charged with killing two convenience store clerks in Iowa Wednesday will face separate trials for the incident that took place in November, the Pioneer Press reported.

Michael Swanson, 17, of St. Louis Park faces two sets of first-degree murder and robbery in Algona, Iowa, KARE 11 reported.

Kossuth County District Judge David Lester ruled Tuesday that he can't merge the trials because the crimes were committed in different counties and different judicial districts, KARE 11 reported.

The attorney for Swanson said that the trials should be merged because they plan to use the insanity defense for both cases, the Pioneer Press reported.

Does food dye causes hyperactivity in children?

The Food and Drug Administration is concerned about artificial dyes in food and a link between chemicals that may cause hyperactivity in children Wednesday, NPR reported.

The FDA panel will meet Wednesday and Thursday to discuss this question, although the food industry ensures that dyes are safe, CBS reported.

Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian, told CBS that kids eating artificially processed foods are not getting all the important nutrients that are offered in whole foods, and that the approval of the amount of dyes in food has quadrupled in the U.S., CBS reported.

The meeting will discuss if the FDA should ban foods containing food coloring or at least require a warning label, NPR reported.

Hearing cancled for Somali man that was held on terror charges

The hearing for a Somali man whose been in custody for more than two years on terror charges Monday has been canceled because of a scheduling conflict, the Pioneer Press reported.

Kamal Said Hassan, who stayed at a training camp for al-Shabab in 2007, is expected to ask to be released while he awaits his sentence, KARE 11 reported.

Al-Shabab is a violent group that wants to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, and Hassan said he followed orders from the terror group after he left the camp, KARE 11 reported.

Hassan pleaded guilty to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and other charges, the Pioneer Press reported.

Japan's energy crisis

The lack of power and gasoline in Japan Thursday has slowed the economy and forced severe measures.

The largest fish market in the world is usually streaming with people and wholesalers but recently the blackouts have made the market nearly empty, NPR reported.

The earthquake and tsunami on March 11 has forced Japan into a dark age that could last up to a year due to electricity shortage, the LA Times reported.

The explosions and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear compound, the shutdown of other nuclear plants by Tokyo Electric Power Co. have decreased the supply of electricity by almost 30%, the LA Times reported.

Nearly 30% of the gas stations near Tokyo are also closed because they have no gas, the LA Times reported.

NATO takes lead in Libya

NATO is assuming command of Western military intervention in Libya Thursday and the U.S will keep flying combat missions.

The U.S. role will is to support ally partners with refueling, surveillance, and other noncombat flights, NPR reported.

A humanitarian crisis is taking place in rebel-held cities despite a campaign of airstrikes and missile attacks, the Washington Post reported.

Vice Adm. William E. Gortney said the coalition is using every way to send messages to Gaddafi's forces telling them to stop fighting or risk attack, the Washington Post reported.

Analysis of the obituary on Elizabeth Taylor

The sources the reporter used for Elizabeth Taylor at the LA Times were Taylor's publicist Sally Morrison, Elton John, and President Clinton. The obituary also contained a quote from New York Ties critic Vincent Canby. Richard Burton was one of her husbands that was quoted from a diary.

The obituary does have a standard lead. It states the person's name, major achievements, cause of death, and age.

The lead works because Taylor is a famous actress that many people know about. Although this particular obituary is very long and includes a lot of history about Taylor that is negative, not just positive. She had drug abuse and marriage problems.

The obituary differs from a resume because it includes many negative drug abuse and marriage problems. It tells all about Taylor's lively personality and extravagant lifestyle. Telling all readers about her many diamonds and lavish life. It provides more then a resume asks for in a complete manor. It gives more than Taylor's credentials as an actress and AIDS activist.

Two teens shot to death in home

Two teens were shot and killed Tuesday at their home in western Minnesota, according to authorities.

A 16-year-old girl, a sophomore at Perham High School, was dead at the scene, and a 17-year-old boy, Dylan Cox, died Tuesday afternoon in Fargo's Sanford Hospital, the Star Tribune reported.

The shooting was near the Otter Tail County town of Amor around 9 p.m. and there have been no arrests, KARE 11 reported.

To maintain a secure environment for the students, Perham schools were put on lockdown so the schools could control who was coming and going, KARE 11 reported.

AT&T plan to buy T-Moble USA to make it the Largest US cellphone company

AT&T plans to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion Monday and this deal would make it the largest US cellphone company.

AT&T will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal that would decrease the number of wireless carriers with national coverage from four to three, the Star Tribune reported.

Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin told NPR that if the deal goes through, consumers would benefit from improved quality and coverage with high-speed broadband services, the NPR reported.

"We know the results of the arrangements like this--higher prices, fewer choices, less innovation," Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn said in a statement, the Star Tribune reported.

Disasters in Japan force U students to come home

Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear threat Monday has caused the University to call home students studying abroad near Tokyo.

Three days after the University of Minnesota called students home more than half of the seven students near Tokyo had returned, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The evacuation of the students was urged by the international travel risk assessment committee, the Star Tribune reported.

The Tokyo University, where the students had been studying, was closed and this was one of the main reasons the seven students were asked to come home, the Star Tribune reported.

Two U health professors indicted for fraud

Two health professors were indicted in Georgia Wednesday for receiving payments from the University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech.

Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko, husband and wife, face several felony counts for alleged lies about their dual employment at the two public universities, the Star Tribune reported.

Jacko is a leader in the health informatics field, and Sainfort was the head of the Division of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health before the incident, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The U fined Sainfort $44,024 for fringe benefits collected during the double employment time, and Jacko was fined $14,712 , the Minnesota Daily reported.

Baby born on I-94 in Wisconsin

A woman in labor stopped at Milepost 125 along interstate 94 Tuesday and gave birth before responders arrived.

A Wisconsin state trooper had responded to the report of the woman in labor in Jackson County about 12:10 a.m. but arrived after the baby was born, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Chippewa Herald says the mother and child were carried to the Black River Falls hospital by an ambulance, the Star Tribune reported.

Senate Democrats not planning to return Tuesday despite fines

The Wisconsin Senate Democrats that fled to Illinois instead of voting on a bill Tuesday will now receive a $100 fine for each day they are absent.

Gov. Scott Walker's spokesman said that communication will remain open with the 14 Democratic senators but the senators said there has been no contact that they know of with the governor's office, Eyewitness News reported.

Democratic Sen. Fred Risser said senators will not return on Tuesday but when they will return is a day-to-day decision and he said the fines will not motivate them to come back, the Star Tribune reported.

The Senate met without them to start charging the fines for each day they are absent, the Star Tribune reported.

Obama warns Qaddafi as forces attack rebels again in Libya

President Obama warned that the West is considering all options in Libya including possible military intervention because Libyan government warplanes bombed rebels near Ras Lanuf's oil refinery on Monday.

On Monday evening a warplane dropped bombs two times near a heavily-defended rebel checkpoint killing an untold number of people, the New York Times reported.

The president said at a White House news conference that "it is their choice to make how they operate moving forward, and they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there", NPR reported.

Government troops have gained strategic parts of the country in recent days but are still on the defensive as they try to suppress the rebels, the New York Times reported.

3 Shot at IHOP in Bloomington with no arrests made

Three people were shot and wounded near Mall of America in the parking lot of IHOP.

Bloomington Police Cmdr. Mark Stehlik told the Star Tribune that the shooting happened around 3 a.m. and everyone shot will survive.

Only two of the three victims were taken to the hospital because one was shot multiple times in the lower body and the other was shot in the leg, KARE 11 reported.

Authorities are still trying to identify the suspect or suspects but do not have a lead on the vehicle, KARE 11 reported.

Two convicted bank robbers arrested for Uptown holdup

Two St. Paul suspects were arrested Tuesday for an Uptown bank robbery that left behind injured bystanders and stolen cars.

The two men await federal charges in connection with the holdup that took place about 9 a.m. Monday morning at the TCF Bank on Lake Street in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.

Gregory Scott Tyler, 49, had been in a Minneapolis halfway house, and Orlando Vasquez, 40, who came from a Las Vegas halfway house, are both wanted on federal arrest warrants for escape, the Pioneer Press reported.

The robbers tried to speed away in a stolen Acura but they crashed it into a BMW so they hijacked a parked car to flee the scene, the Star Tribune reported.

Libyan Rebels attacked by Warplanes

Rebels in Brega, a strategic oil town in Libya, repelled an attack Wenesday by mercenaries with artillery and war planes.

At least five are dead and 16 are wounded in the fighting with government-aligned mercenaries, the New York Times reported.

The troops are loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and were trying to take control of the city and the oil refinery, NPR reported.

Gadhafi said in a televised speech that Libya would engage in a "bloody war" if the U.S. or NATO forces intervene, NPR reported.

House passed a bill to temporarily prevent government shutdown

The House of Representatives passed a bill that will cut $4 billion in spending Tuesday, and help the U.S. government prevent a shutdown for two weeks.

The government was at risk of shutting down because Congress did not get enough money to fund all of government's spending for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, NPR reported.

The legislation will now go to the Senate and is expected to pass, the Washington Post reported.

Senate Democrats said they will go along with the temporary measure for spending cuts even though they have been resisting extreme spending cuts pushed by House Republicans, NPR reported.

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