March 2011 Archives

Analysis: Obituaries

I looked at the obituary of Geraldine Ferraro used in the New York Times. The lead is pretty standard, telling the reader who Geraldine Ferraro was, where and when she died. The second sentence tells us she was 75 and that she lived in Manhattan, not completely standard but close enough. It definitely works for the article because the article itself is a more extensive examination of her life. This obituary is different than a resume because it tells her claims to fame, with interpretations about her life and commentary on her impact on people.

Anarchists Will Target Royal Wedding

Fears about the royal wedding mounted when a peaceful protest in London turned into a violent ransacking of local businesses, banks, and restaurants by anarchists, the Express reported Saturday.

The original demonstration was 250,000 strong against spending cuts, but more than 200 people ended up being arrested and 31 officers were injured, according to the Telegraph.

Commander Bob Broadhurst said that the anarchists would be "deliberately targeting" the royal wedding on April 29. According to the Express , the anarchists will occupy five key points near the wedding location, stretching police forces out in order to create chaos.

The plans come as a outcry against the publicity given to the royal family. Chris Knight, a ringleader who was arrested in 2009 for inciting violence at the G20, said "No one objects to a couple displaying their affection, but public extravagance on this scale seems an insult and provocation to the rest of us."

Maplewood Man Dies In Accident Near Airport

A man from Maplewood was killed Thursday in a car accident near the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport according to Kare 11 news.

31-year-old Twamar Terry was killed when the Chevy pickup he was a passenger in crossed the median on Highway 5, resulting in a crash with 3 other vehicles. The other injuries were minor or non-life-threatening.

Boy, 4, Killed When Father Accidentally Ran Over Him

A Hubbard County boy, 4, was killed Friday when his father accidentally backed over him plowing snow, Kare 11 reported.

According to relatives, Kyle Vredenburg was riding his bike near the area his father was plowing. His sister tried to call him back, but his father accidentally ran over him, the Star Tribune said.

The Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Auke said no charges would be pressed for such a tragic event.

At least 1 million flee the Ivory Coast

At least 1 million people have fled the Ivory Coast in an effort to escape a violent standoff, UPI.com reported. Most have been fleeing the capital city of Abidjan, fueled by fear of an all-out war, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

The violence erupted as a result of Laurent Gbagbo's efforts to stay in office, despite losing the presidential elections last November. Gbagbo's security forces have been attacking neighborhoods loyal to the newly elected president, Alassane Ouattara.

France and Nigeria are asking for additional sanctions against Gbagbo, and there is already a heavy presence of peacekeeping forces in Abidjan.

Geraldine Ferraro Dies

Geraldine Ferarro, the first woman to be nominated by a major party for vice presidency, died Friday in Boston. She was 75.

Ferarro died from complications of the blood cancer myeloma, which she had been battling for 12 years, and was surrounded by her family when she passed, the Huffington Post reported.

Ferarro was best known for her 1984 Democratic nomination for the vice presidency, running alongside Walter Mondale. Her nomination was proclaimed a victory for the women's movement 64 years after women obtained the right to vote, the New York Times said.

Her family said in a statement that "Geraldine Anne Ferraro Zaccaro was widely known as a leader, a fighter for justice, and a tireless advocate for those without a voice. To us, she was a wife, mother, grandmother and aunt, a woman devoted to and deeply loved by her family. Her courage and generosity of spirit throughout her life waging battles big and small, public and personal, will never be forgotten and will be sorely missed."

"Wire" TV villain Caught in Drug Bust

Actress Felicia "Snoop" Pearson was arrested in a drug bust in Baltimore ABC News reported Thursday.

Pearson, who played a TV drug villain on the popular show "The Wire", was detained along with 60 other people in connection with a marijuana and heroin drug ring after five months of police investigation, Salon.com said.

Pearson landed the role on "The Wire" after publishing "Grace After Midnight," a memoir about her triumph over childhood poverty in Baltimore, the same site that the show was based out of.

Weighing only 3 pounds at birth, Pearson grew up under the care of foster parents. She was convicted for fatally shooting another girl when she was 14, and was released from prison after serving six and a half years.

"I'm certainly sad at the news today. This young lady has, from her earliest moments, had one of the hardest lives imaginable. And whatever good fortune came from her role in 'The Wire' seems, in retrospect, limited to that project. .." David Simon, creator of "The Wire", said in a statement.

Minnesota GOP releases Budget Plans

Minn. Republican legislators released budget plans today, outlining cuts to social services, higher education, state agencies and aid programs, the Pioneer Press reported Thursday.

The budget cut $1.6 billion cut to social services for the poor, elderly and disabled, and senate GOP members touted tax breaks for businesses, KARE 11 said.

The proposed budget seeks to deal with the $5 billion deficit Minn. faces. "Property taxes are going to go up, we're going to continue that trend. Tuition is going to continue to go up and health care is going to be more expensive," DFL Caucus Leader and Senator Tom Bakk said.

Woman Accidentally Runs Over Daughter

A White Bear Lake woman accidentally ran over her 10-year-old daughter after dropping her off at the bus stop, KARE 11 reported Thursday.

The girl was taken for Regions Hospital where she was later released with "just some bumps, bruises, and scrapes," White Bear Lake Police Chief Lynne Banks told the Star Tribune.

Apparently the woman pulled over to drop her daughter off and the girl started walking around the car to speak with her when she slipped and fell. The mother did not see her and began started pulling forward, striking the child. Several people at the scene helped pull the child from under the vehicle.

Libyan Rebels Retreat From Key Strategic Town

Rebel fighters retreated from the key port town of Ras Lanuf after being bombarded by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, Al-Jazeera English reported.


Government forces had bombarded the rebel fighters with mortar and rocket fire, forcing them eastward in what the New York Times called "a change in momentum." The rebel's retreat from Ras Lanuf, the site of a key oil installation, demonstrates the reality of pinning protesters-turned-rebel-fighters against fully-armed government forces.

After the French recognition of the opposition government, leaders of the rebel forces seem to be asking for help from other countries. "We expected it from the government that taught the world the notion of revolution," We're waiting for the Americans to follow."

A few lawmakers in the U.S. and other countries have called for a no-fly zone over Libya, which would require military enforcement, and the Obama administration has kept their options open.

Charlie Sheen Sues Warner Bros. For $100 million

Charlie Sheen has filed suit for $100 million against Warner Bros. and the creator of Two and a Half Men Chuck Lorre, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The suit accuses Lorre of orchestrating Sheen's downfall in order to kick him off the hit TV show, Inside TV said. The opening statement of the suit accused Lorre of taking money from the crew and cast of Two and a Half Men "in order to serve his own ego and self-interest and make the star of the series the scapegoat."

Sheen was fired last week from the show in response to his recent behavior which has included drug use, accusations of violence with women, and comments about Warner Bros. executives and Lorre.

Sheen's lawyers don't represent any other crew or cast members from the TV show so far.

Analysis: Press Release

The Minn. Twins issued a press release that the 14 spruce trees at Target Field had been removed on Feb. 28. The release outlined the process of removing the trees and where they were taken. In a Pioneer Press article, the author interpreted the information and outlined the main points; that the trees were removed because they were distracting to the batters, especially when they swayed in the wind. The author also said where the trees were taken and what will happen to them. By making these choices, the author informed the reader about what was newsworthy in this press release.

Beijing Places Bigger Restrictions on Foreign Journalists

In a move to prevent "Middle-East style" protest movements, Beijing has placed tighter controls over foreign journalists, NPR reported.

Journalists must obtain government permission before gathering any news or reports in the city, said Li Honghai, vice director of the city's Foreign Affairs Office in Beijing.

The restrictions are in response to calls for protest spreading via Internet, text messages, and social networking sites. Chinese officials are apparently unnerved by the uprisings in the Middle East, and have reportedly warned journalists they could face the loss of their visas, credentials and could face expulsion, the NY Times said.

Authorities in many Chinese cities have suddenly canceled public events, such as the St. Patrick's Day parade in Shanghai. "We've noticed that a somewhat larger number of our cultural and educational programs around China are being postponed or canceled, but we haven't been notified by Chinese authorities of any specific reason," said an anonymous Western diplomat.

Woman Arrested After Throwing Baby In Snowbank

A woman is in police custody after a witness saw her throw her 18-day-old baby girl into a snowbank in Minneapolis, KARE 11 reported.

The baby was wearing only a t-shirt and blanket and was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where its injuries were considered life-threatening.

The 21-year-old mother, Ashley Renee Couch, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, and the infant's father, Deontae Thurmond, was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault, the Pioneer Press reported.

Drunk Driver Tried to Flee Fatal Accident Scene

Witnesses had to restrain the drunk driver who tried to flee the scene of a car accident in Brooklyn Center Saturday night which killed two people, KARE 11 reported.

According to court documents, Jessica Vallis, 21, of Minneapolis and George N. Kaffey, 22, of Bloomington, were killed when another vehicle ran a red light exiting the highway, T-boning their car.

21-year-old Yeng Vue, the driver, and 29-year-old Choua Yang, the passenger, were restrained by witnesses when they tried to flee the scene. According to the Star Tribune, police detected the smell of alcohol on them. Both men were in custody Sunday.

U.S. Senators Urge Libya No-Flight Zone

Three U.S. senators have urged a no-fly zone over Libya, the New York Times said, despite a resistant attitude from the Obama administration and other officials.

Since the overthrow of governments in Egypt and Tunisia, the most violent and recent uprisings have been in Libya, where protesters are gaining more military support and control. If the U.S. decided to create a no-fly zone, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi wouldn't be able to attack rebel forces that have been developing.

Despite calls from several prominent bipartisan U.S. senators like John Kerry, John McCain, and Mitch McConnell, Obama has kept his options open, according to the Star Tribune.

"Let's just call a spade a spade," Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said last week. "A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses. That's the way you do a no-fly zone. And then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down. But that's the way it starts."

U.S. adds 192,000 jobs in February

The U.S. added 192,000 jobs in February, up from the 63,000 added in January, according to the New York Times. Unemployment fell to 8.9 percent, the lowest number in two years.

Economists have estimated that the U.S. needs 130,000 new jobs in order to keep up with population growth, according to the Washington Post. The job losses from last month have been attributed by the numerous snowstorms that have plagued the country, shutting down offices.

"With firms already extremely lean in terms of staffing, they will have no choice but to hire en masse if, as I expect, economic activity continues to pick up," Stephen Stanley, the chief economist for Pierpoint Securities, said.

Experts said that unemployment may actually rise slightly as discouraged workers come back to the labor force.

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