This news blog is an education excercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

February 2013 Archives

The Onion has issued an apology Monday after they called the 9-year-old star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" a crude name on Twitter, NPR said.

The satirical newspaper referred to Quvenzhane Wallis as an offensive term for female genitalia Sunday, leading to an internet backlash, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

"Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry." The Onion CEO Steve Hannah said over Facebook, according to NPR.

Outraged readers have requested the writer of the tweet be identified, but no name has been released, NPR said.

St. Paul teen stabbed to death

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A 16-year-old North St. Paul girl was found stabbed to death Saturday in Maplewood city park, the Star Tribune said.

Maplewood police discovered Anna Hurd five blocks from her home after a neighbor called 911, the Star Tribune said.

No arrests have been made, Maplewood Police Chief Dave Kvam said, after police stopped searching for a man suspected of being at the crime scene, according to the Pioneer Press.

Hurd was expelled from North High School in January due to a fight with another girl that resulted in her accidentally hitting a female teacher, but was set to return next fall, the victim's father said, according to Star Tribune.

Pistorius granted bail

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PRETORIA, South Africa - Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail Friday after becoming suspect of murdering his girlfriend, the New York Times said.

Pistorius, 26, said he believed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was a burglar in the shooting that took place on Feb. 14, according to the New York Times.

"I come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail," Magistrate Desmond Nair said, after the prosecutors could not convincingly argue that Pistorius was a flight risk, CNN said.

Bail was set at one million rand, or roughly $112,000, the New York Times said. Pistorius also had to hand in his guns and passport.

Mother finds out about son's death through Facebook

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Clayton County, Ga. - A mother discovered her son, who had been missing since Jan. 25, was dead Monday after a police officer messaged her on Facebook, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said.

Anna Lamb-Creasey and her daughter, who remained unnamed, both received a Facebook message from an unfamiliar name, "Misty Hancock," and ignored it because it had a profile picture of the rapper TI, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said.

On Feb. 14, her daughter called Misty Hancock's listed number, where an officer delivered the bad news, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said.

"Society has accepted social media as a major form of communication, and so have I," a Clayton County Police Department detective, who was not named, said, according to TODAY.

A statement by the Clayton County Police Department claimed that the detective attempted to contact the family multiple times before resorting to Facebook, TODAY said.

Abducted baby reunited with mother

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An eight-month-old Minneapolis boy was reunited with his mother Wednesday, roughly four hours after he was abducted from his home, the Star Tribune said.

The suspect in custody is a recent friend of the mother, Vicky Orozco, who police said was paying excessive amounts of attention to the boy in prior weeks leading up to his abduction, the Star Tribune said.

The motive is currently unclear, Minneapolis Police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said, according to the Pioneer Press.

Police found the child after an anonymous tip said he was at a home near the Powderhorn Park neighborhood, Pioneer Press said.

After paramedics checked him out, the child is reported to be doing fine, the Star Tribune said.

Robbery hits Brussels Airport

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Eight men dressed as police officers stole $50 million worth of Antwerp brand diamonds Monday from a Zurich-bound plane, the New York Times said.

Without shooting a single bullet, the men held up the Helvetic Airways ground staff workers and the pilot as they unloaded up to 120 packets of diamonds from the cargo hold, the New York Times said.

"They were professionals," Brussels Prosecutor's Spokeswoman Anya Bijnens said, according to BBC News, regarding the robbers, who used police marked vehicles and quality arms to execute their job.

Brussels Airport has fallen victim to three other robberies, all of the same kind, since the mid-1990s, the New York Times said.

"It was incredible how easy it all went," Antwerp Representative Caroline De Wolf said. "This is worrying in terms of competitiveness, since other diamond centres are ready to pounce and take over our position,'' BBC News said.

There are no further comments from the airline's spokesman, the New York Times said.

In CBS News' article, "Makers Mark to stop watering down whiskey after customer outcry," the author ordered the information in an almost-perfect way.

The author began the article with explaining Makers Mark's situation, then explained how it came about, and followed up with how they fixed it.

At the end of the article, the author gave a brief but thorough description of the company and their sale history. This was important to include after the story was described, because it educated the readers as to why the change from 45 to 42 percent alcohol volume was such a big deal to consumers and their reputation.

Makers Mark to continue with original alcohol content

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LOUISVILLE, KY. - Due to negative reactions from customers, Makers Mark has decided against watering down their whiskey, CBS News said Sunday.

After a supply shortage last week, Makers Mark announced that it was lowering their alcohol volume to 42 percent opposed to their original, as well as historic, 45 percent, ABC News said.

"We've been tremendously humbled over the last week or so," Rob Samuels, chief operating officer and grandson of the brand's founder, said, according to ABC News, after customers gave feedback ranging from angry to celebratory on both Twitter and Facebook regarding the change in decision.

This will have been the first time the brand, which is over 50 years old, has changed its alcohol volume, CBS News said.

Joaquin Guzman named Chicago's No. 1 public enemy

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The Chicago Crime Commisson named Mexican Drug Lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Chicago's newest Public Enemy No. 1 on Thursday, CNN said.

Guzman does not live in the U.S., however his Sinaloa cartel is a major narcotics supplier to Chicago, making "tens of millions in drug money," J.R. Davis, commission president, said in a news release, according to CNN.

This money is then shipped off to Mexico, making Guzman worth an estimated $1 billion, BBC News said.

The title of Public Enemy No. 1 has not belonged to anyone since Al Capone. "If I was to put those two guys in a ring, El Chapo would eat Capone alive," Chicago DEA Agent Jack Riley said, according to BBC News.

The U.S. has put out a $5 million reward for Guzman's capture, BBC News said.

Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage

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The Illinois Senate passed legislation Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, the Chicago Tribune said.

The fight is not over, however. The bill is set to receive more opposition as it goes through the House, despite its Democrat majority, ABC News said.

This will be the first time legislators have gotten approval from either chamber with their plan to lift the gay-marriage ban, ABC News said.

"As soon as we can send this bill to the governor and it becomes the law of the land I will be very happy person and so will tens of thousands of families across Illinois," Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago said, according to ABC News. "The prospects are very good."

U.S. shark attacks reach 53 in last year

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53 shark attacks occurred in the U.S., according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File report released Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune said.

With the highest record since 2000, George Burgess, shark attack file curator, attributed it mostly to population growth, the Los Angeles Times said.

Despite the rarity of shark attacks, Burgess recommended steering clear of beaches with shark seasons, stating, "it's just a matter of common sense," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Pope resigns unexpectedly

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Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he will be resigning on Feb. 28 due to his age, the New York Times said.

Benedict had said years ago that he would consider stepping down if his health became an issue, CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen said, according to CNN, however many were shocked to see the time come so soon.

Benedict is the first pope in centuries to resign, New York Time said, and Vatican officials said they hoped to find a successor by Easter.

Benedict is expected to retire to a monastery, devoting the rest of his life to his faith, Vatican Spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said, according to CNN.

Analysis: Minneapolis to be possible Olympics bid

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In Minnesota Daily's article, "Minneapolis to explore Olympic bid," the author used seven sources. Those that the author named were important personnel within the bid project or locals who had opinions on the matter.

The author spreads the sources throughout the article, linking most of them with direct quotes or plans directed by a specific person.

The attributions within this article are simple but crucial, because it makes the possibility of Minneapolis hosting the Olympics more of a reality to the readers. The author properly attributed without letting it rule the article, making the legibility very successful.

Stabbing kills one man, injures another

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Two men were involved in a stabbing in north Minneapolis Saturday, leaving one man injured and the other dead, the Star Tribune said.

Minneapolis police told KMSP-TV that one victim was pronounced dead at the scene while the surviver received medical attention at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Police have not arrested any suspects, but Sgt. Steve McCarty said that there aren't any other safety concerns because "all parties present knew each other," according to Star Tribune.

A Moreno Valley, Calif. school board member has been found guilty on charges of pimping and pandering Friday after he was discovered to be running a prostitution ring out of his home, Los Angeles Times said.

Mike Rios was convicted for rape, pimping, insurance fraud, and pandering after six victims came forward, two of them minors, NBC News said.

According to one woman, Rios used his school board membership as a way to lure her in, telling her that he had job opportunities, Riverside county's distract attorney's office said, according to NBC News. She later went on to help him find other girls to recruit.

Rios initially faced 35 charges, however 9 of them were dropped, NBC News said.

This case was prompted during an investigation regarding a Feb. 2012 shooting outside of Rios' home, NBC News said.

Minneapolis to be possible Olympics bid

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Minneapolis is thinking about bidding to host the summer Olympics in 2024, KARE 11 said.

With a thumbs up from Mayor R.T. Rybak, Meet Minneapolis, a city organization, has started their planning process. "Minneapolis' bid is still no more than an idea," John Stiles, spokesman for Rybak, said, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Meet Minneapolis CEO Melvin Tennant has already started talking to the US Olympic Committee about what this city needs to do to qualify for a bid, KARE 11 said.

With Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport nearby, an always-evolving light rail system, and multiple new stadiums, Minneapolis proves to be a contender, KARE 11 said. However, the city would need to upgrade on both substructure and space for guests.

This big move could put Minneapolis on the global map, KARE 11 said.

Former Navy SEAL shot and killed at gun range

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Chris Kyle, author of "American Sniper" and former Navy SEAL, died Saturday after being shot at a Texas gun range for unknown reasons, Los Angeles Times said.

Kyle, who the New York Times said was one of the deadliest military snipers in America, had become an author of the best-selling memoir American Sniper as well as a mentor to veterans after returning home from war.

Kyle had taken 25-year-old veteran Eddie Ray Routh to a gun range for therapy when Routh shot and killed both Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, officials said, according to the New York Times, though the reason is still uncertain.

Routh will be charged with two accounts of capital murder after officials found him near his Lancaster, Tex. home, New York Times said.

Routh had an arrest record revealing two recent trips to a mental institution where he had complained to the police about post-traumatic stress disorder, although there is no sign that he was diagnosed before allegedly killing Kyle, NPR said.

Gang rapes 6 tourists at Mexican resort

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A gang of armed, masked men raped six Spanish tourists in the Mexican resort of Acapulco on Monday, Star Tribune said.

Six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman were renting a house just outside of the city when the attackers made their way in by forcing two Spaniards who had been outside to open the doors, Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton announced, according to Star Tribune.

The six men were tied up while the Spanish women were raped, however the Mexican woman was spared due to her nationality, Geurrero state Attorney General Martha Garzon said, including that there was good enough evidence to help lead the police to those responsible for the attacks, Washington Post said.

Acapulco, once an ideal destination, has been battling a rise of cartel crime since 2006, but until now it has not affected tourists. Walton did not believe a drug gang was behind the attack but said, "that will have to be investigated, we don't know," according to Star Tribune.

The Foreign Ministry of Spain had flagged the resort as a "risk zone" on its website previous to the recent attacks, Star Tribune said.

Analysis: Brazil night club fire

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The author of Chicago Tribune's article, "Nightclub fire kills 233 in Brazil," portrays clear use of the "what," "when," "where" and "how" elements by immediately drawing the reader in with suspense and drama.

The author built up the lead by getting straight to the point about the tragedy, but left out enough details to keep the reader interested. The "what" aspect of the lead was detailed and captivating, but by leaving the "how" and "where" elements more general, it left the reader curious.

This lead was straightforward because the topic was heavy enough to require facts, statements, and imagery. The quotes from witnesses, parents, and firefighters added an interesting layer onto the story, which then lead the readers to get emotionally invested. The lead needed to allude to the depth of the story without giving everything away, and it was successful.

Brazil night club owner attempts suicide

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An owner of the Brazilian night club responsible for the deaths of 235 people has attempted suicide, police said Wednesday, according to CNN.

Elissandro Spohr was admitted to a Cruz Alta hospital for smoke inhalation under police custody, the Santa Maria police chief said, according to CNN.

Spohr attempted to kill himself with a shower hose, but police stopped him before he could cause any harm, CNN said.

Since the fire, Spohr has been heavily critiqued by friends and family of the victims, which has left him emotionally damaged, Mail Online reported.

The co-owner of Kiss nightclub and two band members were also arrested in the investigation of the Jan. 27 fire, Mail Online said.

A man police believed to be connected to an Austin, Minn. homicide died Friday in a rollover crash following a chase, authorities said according to CBS Minnesota.

An Austin resident notified police of someone shouting for help from a nearby home around 3 a.m., claiming to see a body in the front yard with a tall man leaving the area soon after, CBS Minnesota said.

Police who responded to the call witnessed a red Saab rushing away from the grounds. The Minnesota State Patrol, along with deputies from Mower, Freeborn, and Waseca County continued to pursue the man for over 50 miles, KMSP-TV reported.

Police set up stop sticks on Highway 13 around 4 a.m., causing the 46-year-old driver to fatally lose control of his car and roll into a field, CBS Minnesota said.

Up to six squads were involved with the chase and are working together on the investigation. The identities of both the Austin, Minn. victim and driver will not come out until after the autopsies have occurred, according to KMSP-TV.

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