Analysis: Elephants are dying out in America's zoos

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In the Seattle Times article, "Elephants are dying out in America's zoos," the writer has done an in-depth investigation on Zoos' efforts to preserve and propagate elephants, both in Seattle and nationally.
The article gives the reader clear and comprehensive data on elephants that live in zoos'. This data includes population, infant-mortality rate, and also the expenses surrounding an elephant's life.
The reporter needed to know basic calculations of dividing and averaging in his article to tell the story of the endangerment of zoo elephants.
This story used two different interactive graphics to enhance the story. First, there was a web graph that showed the family tree of zoo elephants in chronological order. This helped the readers visualize the connectedness of all the elephants, and also the increase of scarcity in the number of elephants.
The next graph looks at the amount of births and deaths in zoo elephants, showing the reader that there is a significant difference in the amount of deaths over births in the last twenty years.
Article found here.

The Twins have traded their two starting center fielders Denard Span and Ben Revere, making Aaron Hicks open to take the top spot in Twin's center field, news sources report.

Hicks 2012 season saw an improvement from the left side of the plate. General manager Terry Ryan said "the Twins had started to talk about making him solely a right-handed hitter during the 2011 season, but Hicks developed a more compact left-handed swing and learned how to handle the changeups he'd frequently see from right-handed pitchers," Star Tribune reported.

While there is favor for Hicks, there is open competition for their center field job between Hicks, Joe Benson and Darin Mastroianni, Pioneer Press reported.

The Twins will also continue to work for more starting pitchers, but better start moving as Friday saw one of the needed pitchers, Brandon McCarthy, sign with Arizona, Pioneer Press reported.

Nelson Mandela admitted to hospital for tests

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South African President Jacob Zuma says that former President Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital in Pretoria for tests, President Jacob Zuma said Saturday, new sources report.

"Mandela is doing well and there is no cause for alarm," Zuma said. "The medical team is assured of our support as they look after and ensure the comfort of our beloved founding president of a free and democratic South Africa," CNN reprted.

Mandela, 94, is delicate health and has not made public appearances for a few years. He was moved from his home to South Africa's administrative capital in Pretoria, FOX news reports.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid before becoming the nation's president in 1994., four years after he was freed from prison, CNN reports.

He was the country's first fully democratic elected president, FOX news reports.

The Minnesota Orchestra announced an operating deficit of $6 million for fiscal year 2012 after a $2.9 million loss for fiscal year 2011, news sources reported.

This is the organization's largest operating loss in its 110-year history. This loss is coming at a time when the orchestra's musicians are locked out in the midst of contract negotiations, Pioneer Press reported.

The news was presented at a closed meeting of the board of directors Thursday. The board did not hold a celebratory annual meeting, due to the labor dispute. For now, all concerts for the fall and holiday seasons have been canceled, Star Tribune reported.

"At the most fundamental level, our expenses continue to grow and our revenues cannot keep pace," board chair Jon R. Campbell said outlining the serious financial challenges facing the orchestra." This gap will continue to widen annually until we eliminate our structural deficit once and for all," Pioneer Press reported.

Currently there are no negotiations scheduled between the board and musicians. The negotiating is being handled under the auspices of the federal mediation office, Star Tribune reported.

Controversy increases over photo of NY subway death

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A front-page photo of a subway rider pushed onto the tracks drew criticism after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post, new sources reported.
A day after Ki-Suck Han was hit by an oncoming train, criticism arose over the photograph of the helpless man in the way of an oncoming train at the Times Square station, Associated Press reported.
"But the New York Post had every right to run the picture. This is what tabloids do -- milk tragedy for every ounce of emotional impact. No New York straphanger should have been surprised to see the photo," CNN reported.
The photo was shot for the Post by freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi. Abbasi said he got the shot while running to the scene and firing off his camera. He hoped the flash would attract the attention of the train conductor, the Post reported (AP).
"No one would dispute that the story is newsworthy. It is, in fact, every New Yorker's nightmare," CNN reported.

In Minnesota Public Radio's article "Enviro officials hear from SE Minn. Residents," the writer chose to focus on the personal, community aspect of the citizen forum held by the Environmental Quality Board.

The writer tried to make it very personable by using an informal source in her article. The majority of the short article reflected on one crowd member's question and response. I believe the writer chose to focus on a crowd member's question because it was a public meeting, focused on the community's concerns.

The writer tried to describe the event by having the one personal question in the article. This makes it easy to understand what the event was about, and to show the readers what type of questions were asked at this meeting. The end of the article shows a list of similar upcoming meetings, and those who read the article are more aware of what is typically asked.

Lastly, she included what the objective of the forum was: "the comments would be the focus of a one-day summit in March." I personally would have put this earlier in the article or mentioned it. Again, her choice was to focus on people at the meeting and not the objective or goal of the meeting.

Article found here

Minn loses to Packers, Peterson prevails

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Faith remains intact for quarterback Christian Ponder has upsetting game against the Green Bay Packers, news sources report.

Vikings lost 23-14 to the Packers after upsetting second half. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he did not consider replacing his quarterback at any time against the Green Bay Packers and will not consider changing quarterbacks for the upcoming game against the Chicago Bears, Pioneer Press report.

The game turned out well for Vikings star Adrian Peterson which registered his third career 200-yard rushing day. He also had the longest run of his career, an "impressive" 82-yarder, Star Tribune reports.

While Peterson's day ended with a new career records, Ponder's two interceptions in the game ultimately led to their defeat, Star Tribune reported.

"Christian is our quarterback we are going to do all we can to help him have a good game against Chicago and to help our team go out and get a win," Frazier said, emphasizing his commitment to starting and keeping Ponder.

Minn. man charged with murder of two teens after burglary

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A Minnesota man is charged with two counts of murder after shooting two teenagers who broke into his home on Thanksgiving weekend, news sources report.

Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin, Haile Kifer, 18, were killed in the Little Falls home of Byron Smith, a highly trained U.S. Foreign Service retiree. Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said Smith told the police he shot the teens multiple times after they broke into his house, Star Tribune reported.

Smith grew up in Little Falls and volunteered in Order of the Arrow, a camping fellowship program within the Boy Scout program. He was apart of the community, even hired high school kids to help around his property, St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.

According to Smith, in the past three years his house and garage was burglarized. Sheriff's records show that Smith had reported only one burglary, on Oct. 27, when $10,000 worth of sentimental items was reported taken, Star Tribune reported.

Police discovered the bodies of Brady and Kifer after Byron Smith called a neighbor, asking about a lawyer and letting the neighbor know that he should call authorities, Star Tribune reported.

Mexican drug queen killed in shootout

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A Mexican beauty queen was killed during a weekend shootout in northern Mexico where it's known for drug-fueled violence, authorities said Monday, new sources report.

Maria Susana Flores Gamez, 20, was the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa. She was killed Saturday in a gun battle between soldiers and the gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with, CNN reports.

Flores Gamez was "traveling in one of the vehicles that engaged the soldiers in an hours-long chase and shootout on Saturday," Prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera said, FOX news reports.

This isn't the first time in Mexico a beauty queen was involved in a criminal act. In 2008, Laura Zuniga, who was then the reigning Our Sinaloa Beauty, was detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations along with seven other men. She was later released, CNN reports.

Powerball jackpot rose to $550 million Wednesday, tempting many people to purchase a ticket for the second-largest payout in U.S. history, news sources report.

The chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 and yet tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide and continue to grow. The increase in tickets sales means the jackpot could climb even higher before the Wednesday night drawing, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, CNN reports.

The jackpot hasn't had a winner the last 16 consecutive times but Powerball officials say they believe there is a 75 percent chance the winning combination will be drawn this in this round, FOX news reports.

According to some experts, if one ticket hits the right numbers then chances are good that multiple ones will be, FOX News reports.