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February 2013 Archives

A former intelligence analyst pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 charges in the event of leaking classified material, USA Today said.

Bradley Manning, 25, admitted to sending hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, State Department diplomatic cables, other classified records and two battlefield video clips to WikiLeaks in 2009 and 2010, USA Today reported.

Manning's court martial is set to be June 3, The New York Times said.

Manning said Thursday at a hearing that he was disturbed by the conduct of the wars in the Middle East and the way the American troops treated the populace, USA Today reported.

According to the Obama administrations, the release of the documents "threatened valuable valuable military and diplomatic sources and strained America's relations with other governments," said USA Today. This is the biggest leak of classified material in the U.S., USA Today said.

Manning could face a life sentence if convicted of the most serious charges, which include "aiding the enemy," The New York Times said.

Egyptian hot air balloon crash kills nineteen

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NIneteen people were killed when a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed durning a sightseeing tour in Luxor, Egypt on Tuesday, The Huffington Post said.

The balloon was in the process of landing when a fuel line broke and sparked a fire, Fox News said. The balloon surged up and the fire eventually spread to the balloon itself, causing it to burst and fall 300 meters into a sugarcane field, Fox News said.

Passenger Michael Rennie and the balloon's pilot, Momin Murad, survived the event by jumping from the balloon before the fire caused it to surge back upward some 1,000 feet, Fox News said.

Murad suffered heavy burns, while Rennie escaped the disaster with only scratches and bruises, The Huffington Post said.

"The pilot should have shut off a valve when the fuel line broke, which would have prevented the fire from spreading," investigators said according to the Fox News.

Eqyptian investigators are currently collecting data and documenting the scenen, The Huffington Post said. A seperate criminal investigation will take place to rule out foul play, The Huffington Post said.

Witnesses took a video of the crash.

The lead of the article, "Body of missing Canadian woman, 21, found in water tank on Los Angeles hotel roof,"published by New York Daily News, focused primarily on when and where the body of the missing Canadian woman, Elisa Lam, was found.

The lead of the article, "Elisa Lam Autopsy Yet To Determine Cause Of Death," published one day later by the Huffington Post, proceeded to focus primarily on the why and how of the situation. Starting with the fact that the autopsy of the woman's body did not reveal the cause of death.

The fact that the body was found in the water cistern of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles was secondary news. The main news was summarized in a very short sentence, assuming the reader has already read the backstory of this particular event.

The second story advances the news by building off the information in the first article. The Huffington Post reiterates the situation only once, and then proceeds to add the new information and update the reader on the most current advances in the situation.

Preforming an inappropriate rendition of the new dance craze, the "harlem shake," durning the lunch hour at Mound Westonka High School on Friday, resulted in the suspension of all students involved, StarTribune said.

Of the students suspended, five were seniors on the High School's hockey team, Fox News reported. Due to the suspension, Jack Brandsetter, Kyle Luehmann, Charlie Curti, Jeremy Schulz, Blake Brady and Andy Seats were not permitted to play in their section playoff game, which proved to be their last of the season, Fox News said.

Outrage and frustration sprung from the students and their parents after, what was thought to be unjust suspensions of the students, caused the boys to miss out on this game, Fox news said.

After review, the suspensions are expected to be lifted, Fox News said; however this cannot give the boys their final game back.

Coach Doug Runke organized a scrimmage on Wednesday to get the boys back on the ice one last time, Fox news reported.

The school apologized to the boys durning Monday nights meeting at the high school, Fox News Said. The boys said the apology was a step in the right direction, but said "We were cheated and things need to change."

Firefighters responded to a 911 call Saturday after the monorail at the Dallas Zoo left passengers stuck when it stopped operating on the tracks, ABC news said.

Due to an unspecified malfunction, the monorail stopped running around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, leaving 100 people stuck 20 feet off the ground, the Dallas Morning News said.

No one was injured in this event and all passengers were removed from the train using five extension ladders, the Dallas Morning News said. The 30-minute rescue went smoothy because the train did not stop over any animal habitats, making the passengers easily accessible in the rescuing process, Dallas Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

The Dallas Zoo's monorail is the only one in the U.S. that is ''engineered to climb and turn, taking guests on a one-mile tour through bush, desert, forest, woodland, river, and mountain environments," the zoo's website says, according to ABC news.

Las Vegas strip shootings

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Three people are dead and at least six are injured after gunfire lead to a multiple car crash on the Las Vegas strip on Thursday, the Huffington Post reported.

A black Range Rover fired shots at a Maserati around 4:20 a.m., the Huffington Post said.

Kenny Cherry was driving the Maserati at the time of the accident, NBC news reported. He was killed by the gun shots and his passenger was injured, causing the vehicle to spin out of control, NBC news said.

The Maserati ran a red light at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road and hit a taxi, which subsequently burst into flames, the Huffington Post said.

The taxi driver Michael Boldon, 62, and passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, were both killed due to "multiple blunt forced injuries," NBC news said.

All three deaths were classified as homicides, NBC news reported. The driver of the Range Rover fled the scene, the Huffington Post said. The California Highway Patrol alerted officers in at least three surrounding countries to be on the lookout of the SUV, the Huffington Post said.

The body of a missing Canadian women was found Tuesday at the bottom of a water cistern on the roof of the Cecil Hotel, New York Daily News said.

Elisa Lam, 21, had been missing for two weeks prior to the discovery of her body in the California Hotel's water cistern, Fox news reported.

Ultimately headed for Santa Cruz, Lam arrived in California on Jan. 27 and was last seen at the Cecil Hotel on Jan. 31, CBS news reported. Lam was a University of British Columbia student and was traveling alone, New York Daily News said.

Guests complaints about low water prompted a hotel maintenance worker to check the water cisterns, finding Lam's body around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Fox news said.

The cause of death is still under investigation, New York Daily News said.

Analysis: Meteor explosion in Russia

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The progression of information in the NBC news article, "Nuclear-like in its intensity, Russian meteor blast is the largest since 1908," appears to roughly follow the inverted pyramid format.

The story begins with the lead, which addresses the what, where, and when pertaining to the incident. The authors then progresses to the next paragraph where they reiterate what happened in more detail and throw in quotes from witnesses. They also provide links to videos of the meteor explosion above Chelyabinsk, Russia. After multiple quotes of residents reacting to the incident and describing the general hysteria that took place afterwards, the stories details get narrower in the following paragraph as the authors describe the dimensions of the meteor itself, and other qualitative facts about the situation. Including when it exploded, how close to the ground it was, its velocity, its weight, and so forth. The article then got into the after mass of the meteor explosion. Touching on the injuries sustained, the buildings damaged, and noting that there were no serious consequences so far. The authors ended the article including more reaction quotes and a fact about NASA discussing strategies for developing an asteroid early warning systems. I think the format of this article made the shish kabob example for modeling stories more clear. It spaced out the facts of the incident between reaction quotes and background information; similar to the order meat and vegetables are interspersed on a kabob. Sources were never clumped to one part of the story and it was well attributed.

The order of information is done effectively in this article. It started with what initially drew the reader in to click on the headline: what happened and where. The details get more specific and less relevant as the story progresses, which is expected in a well-written report.

Stranger slaps 2-year-old on flight to Atlanta

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A 2-year-old was slapped and called a racial slur during a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta on Feb. 8, CBS news said.

The boy was crying as the plane was landing, StarTribune said. It was then that, Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, who was sitting next to the boy and his mother, slapped the 2-year-old in the face, StarTribune said. He proceeded to tell Jessica Bennett, the boy's mother, to "shut that (N-word) baby up," FBI special agent Daron Cheney said.

The slap left a scratch under the infant's right eye, StarTribune said. Since then, the boy has become "apprehensive to stranger," Bennett said in a statement on Saturday.

Hundley has been charged with simple assault and plans to plead not guilty, CBS news said. He has been suspended from his job as president of Unitech Composites and Structures, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

A shock wave from the explosion of a 50-foot-wide meteor near Chelyabinsk, Russia on friday blew out windows and caused injuries to thousands of residents, NBC news said.

Around 9:20 a.m. the meteor's "flaring arc" stretched hundreds of miles across the sky, NBC news said. Followed by the sight, an atomic-bomb sized shock wave shattered glass and injured more than 900 people, the Washington Post said. Most of the injured were cut by glass from the windows shattered from the shock wave, NBC news said. No deaths have been reported, NBC said.

About 3,000 buildings in the Chelyabinsk region were also damaged, city officials told AP. Although noted as the largest reported fireball since the Tunguska event in 1908, "No serious consequences have been so far recorded," Vladimir Stepanov of the Emergency Situation Ministry said, according to NBC news.

Flu claims nine more lives in Minnesota

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Nine more minnesotans have died in the second week of February due to flu-related causes, StarTribune said.

This puts the total number of deaths from the influenza virus at 136, KARE 11 said, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In the first week of January more than 600 people were hospitalized with flu-related complications, StarTribune said. This number has since decreased, according to the weekly update from the Department of Health. Last week only 72 were hospitalized, KARE 11 said.

Outbreaks have been reported at nursing homes and school, StarTribune said. Although the number of outbreaks is decreasing doctor's still advise people get the vaccine, saying it is a person's best defense against the illness, KARE 11 said.

SARS-like virus may be spreading from person to person

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A SARS-like virus originating from the Middle East has infected eleven individuals, five of which have died, ABC news said. Ten of the eleven affected individuals traveled Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Pakistan, ABC news reported. Because the newest patient has not traveled to the Middle East, doctors believe the patient contracted it from a family member, NRP said. Health officials emphasize that the risk remains low to the general public, NPR said. No doctors or nurses who have dealt with those infected have caught the disease, suggesting that the virus is extremely poor from contracting from person to person, NPR said. "If (the) novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases," head of the respiratory diseases department at the U.K.'s Health Protection Agency said in a statement to ABC news. At it's worst this virus can cause acute pneumonia and kidney failure, ABC news said. Although the outbreak of SARS almost a decade ago lead to multiple medical advancements in the tracking and response to emerging diseases, "we have to keep watching this," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University.

Startling water loss in Middle East

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As of Tuesday, the freshwater in the Middle East has reduced by an amount that is comparable to the size of the Dead Sea, NASA study sad. The water loss is due to poor management, increased demands for groundwater and the effects of a 2007 drought, Fox News said. The study examined data using a pair of gravity-measuring satellites over the period of seven years from 2003, San Francisco Chronicle said. This NASA study is the most recent evidence of the worsening water crisis in the Middle East, San Francisco Chronicle reported. "This rate of water loss is among the largest liquid freshwater losses on the continents," an author of the NASA study said. The study will be published Friday in Water Resources Research, Fox News reported. Researchers found that freshwater reserves in parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran had lost 117 million acre feet of it's total stored freshwater, Fox News said. As demands from growing populations, war and the worsening effects of climate change are raising the prospect that some countries could face sever water shortages in the decades to come, San Francisco Chronicle said, "they and everyone else in the world's arid regions need to manage their available water resources as best they can."

Analysis: France action in Mali

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In the BBC news article, "France action in Mali is real war, says Le Drian," there are three main sources that the author draws information from. There are a few direct quotes and other facts or events are paraphrased, both followed by an attribution. Two sources were directly named: Le Drian, who is a french politician who is in Gao, Mali and Mamadou Moussa Ba, who is a BBC producer also in Gao. They, as sources, were named because they are prominent, important individuals who served to provide first-hand, eyewitness reports of the conditions in the war zone. The sources that are unnamed, such as the government spokeswomen, provided more supporting facts and the information was often paraphrased as opposed to a direct quote.
The sources were not clustered together, as not to overwhelm the reader and cloud the facts with attributions. Although all the information was properly attributed it was in a well spaced, organized fashion. The reporter uses the word said to attribute most of the information, it effectively and concisely acknowledges who each bit of information came from.

Falling cruise ship lifeboat kills five and injuries three

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During a safety drill on a cruise ship in Spain's Canary Islands on Sunday a lifeboat containing eight passengers fell upside down into the sea port, StarTribune said. Five people were killed and three were injured when the lifeboat fell between 20 and 30 meters and capsized, The Guardian said.
Rescuers were called to the scene at 7:05 a.m., StarTribune said. About 1,400 other passengers were on the ship at the time of the incident, but they were not involved, The Guardian said. The dead and injured were all men in their thirties, the injured were taken by ambulance to La Palma hospital, StarTribune reported. Investigators are currently trying to figure out what caused the lifeboat to drop, StarTribune said.

Six tourists raped near Acapulco, Mexico

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A group of gunmen broke into a beach bungalow on Monday around 2 a.m. near Acapulco, Mexico and raped six women tourists, CNN said. The gunmen tied up the women with their bikini straps and telephone cords, they also tied up their partners so they could not intervene in the attack, Daily Mail reported. The victims were all spanish nationals ranging from 20 to 34 in age, CNN said. One women was spared from rape because she identified herself as Mexican, and the attackers did not touch her, Daily Mail reports. The attack motive was robbery as the gunmen fled after the attack with their victims' cash, credit cards and cell phones, Daily Mail said. The victims were all from Mexico City and were escorted out of Acapulco with police protection on Wednesday, Daily Mail said. Acapulco's mayor condemned the crime and promised to find those responsible, investigations are still underway, Daily Mail reported. Military checkpoints have been set up to try and apprehend five men that authorities believe are responsible for the attack, CNN said. The women are currently in a safe place and undergoing counseling, CNN repots.

CBS lost much of its ability to broadcast the Super Bowl last Sunday when power to the Superdome went out early in the third quarter due to a suspected malfunction in a device called a relay, the New York Times said. A project that was focused on upgrading the electrical system of the Superdome allowed for the installment of the relay, StarTribune said. The relay was supposed to guard against malfunctions that could occur in the cable that links the power grid with lines that go into the stadium, StarTribune said. The Superdome was using only about two-thirds of its power capacity durning the game, the New York Times said. The relay, being the root cause of the blackout, has since been removed and replaced and according to the officials, "all systems are working now," the New York Times said.

Three-year-old Devin Drake was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids on August 30 for injuries inflicted by his mother's boyfriend, StarTribune said. Hennepin country medical center staff said this was one of the worst abuse cases they have seen, Pioneer Press reports. Drake's mother's boyfriend was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison last August after pleading guilty on accounts of second-degree murder, StarTribune said. Drake died at Hennepin county medical center on Sept. 3 after suffering from a right cerebral hemorrhage, two collapsed lungs and retinal hemorrhaging, StarTribune reports. Drake's mother, 41-year-old Elizabeth Ann Moorman, neglected to take her son to the hospital until the following evening after the injuries her boyfriend inflicted on Drake because she had warrants out for her arrest, Pioneer Press said. Both Moorman and her boyfriend struggled with struggled with addictions to pain medication, Pioneer Press said. Moorman pleaded guilty on accounts of second-degree manslaughter and neglect of a child and was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison, StarTribune said.

Due to the "complexity of the issue" the Boy Scouts of America delayed the decision about whether to ease its policy of excluding gays until May, the Washington Post said. It is a very delicate issue, and leaning toward either side will alienate the another and inevitably anger those on the outside, ABC news said.
Gay-rights supports argue that no Scout should be discriminated against or dismissed because of their sexual orientation, ABC news said. On the other hand, conservatives such as religious churches are large sponsors for troops, and they warned that if the policy were even "partially eased" they would withdraw a great deal from the troops, ABC news said. Even with the support of President Barack Obama and the mayor of New York City to lift the ban, this serious deliberation will involve a broad spectrum of folks and thus needs the extra time, ABC news reports. Rallies in support of both sides have taken place outside of the BSA's headquarters, the Washington Post said. This issue has attracted national attention and will undoubtedly continue to do so as the final decision nears, ABC news reports.

Analysis: controversial beating in Egypt

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In the Los Angeles Times article, "Victim sides with police after video shows naked beating in Egypt," the author makes a deliberate choice to craft the lead in an informative, yet simple style.
The lead included the who, what and where of the story while not being too specific on any which area. It addressed that a man (unnamed) who was stripped of his clothes and beaten in Egypt raised controversy when he appeared on television and accused protesters, not the security forces, of assaulting him.
This lead was more detailed oriented on the victims' response after the attack, rather than when the attack occurred. The reporter chose this approach because the angle of this story was not about the fact that the attack occurred, but rather how the victim responded to it. There is suspicion that the Ministry of Interior intimidated the man into exonerating police when he appeared on TV. In order to make this the clear purpose of the story, the author eliminates minor details like when the attack occurred to take the focus away from the act itself and directing attention towards this suspicion.

A 911 call at 2:25 p.m. on Saturday alerted authorities that a man in his mid-thirities drove onto Lake Minnetonka and had fallen through the ice, leaving him and his elderly passenger trapped inside the sinking vehicle, KSTP said. Two teams of divers reached the scene within six minutes from the time of the 911 call, StarTribune said. The vehicle had sunk completely to the bottom of the 10-foot channel between Gray Bay and Wayzata Bay below the Hwy. 101 bridge and its passengers were unconscious and not breathing, StarTribune said. The man was rescued first and flown by helicopter to Hennepin County Medical Center, the women was rescued shortly after and taken by ambulance to HCMC, StarTribune reports. This morning it was reported that both passengers, whose names have yet to be released, have died, KTSP said.

The hostage standoff in Midland City, Alabama continues onto its sixth day, ABC news said. Bus driver Charles Poland was taking kids home from school on Tuesday when he stopped to let kids off and Jimmy Dykes boarded the bus around 3:40 p.m, CNN said. When Dykes demanded two children Poland stood in front of the aisle and told Dykes, 'Just please get off the bus,' ABC new reported. At least 21 kids were able to escape out the emergency exit at the back of the bus durning the time Poland was confronting Dykes, said police. Dykes then pulled out a gun and shot Poland four times, killing him, and then abducted 5-year-old Ethan, CNN reported. Police said there is no connection between Dykes and Ethan, or if Dykes was looking to take a specific child upon boarding the bus. After abducting Ethan, Dykes took him to a nearby bunker four-feet underground where they have been held up for the past six days, ABC news said. Ethan has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit disorder, making it necessary that he receive his prescription medication, CNN reports. Dykes has been in constant communication with negotiators through a 60-foot-long plastic ventilation pipe, which is also being used as a means of transporting Ethan's medication, coloring books, crayons and potato chips, CNN reports. Authorities are not releasing any information in regards to what Dykes is asking for from negotiators or as to what police are planning to do to rescue Ethan and end this standoff, ABC reports. Ethan is physically unharmed, but has been crying for his parents, Police said. For now, negotiations continue with the sole purpose of getting Ethan out unharmed, CNN repots.

Stephon Shannon and 15-year old Julian Kijuan acted out of retaliation when they blindly shot at the house in north Minneapolis where 5-year-old Nizzel George was sleeping on the morning of June 26, said MPR news. On the night of June 26 someone fired shots at the home where Shannon lived, said MPR news. Shannon believed someone at the house where Nizzel George lived was responsible, MRP news reported. George was sleeping on a couch with three other children when one of the eight bullets fired at his home pierced through the wall and struck and killed him, said MPR news. Shannon pled guilty on Friday on charges of second-degree intentional murder for the benefit of a gang, said StarTribune. It is unknown whether the bullet that killed George was fired by Shannon or his accomplice Kijuan, StarTribune said. Shannon's sentencing will take place Tuesday, he is facing 28 years in prison, said StarTribune.

The Obama administration proposed Friday that churches and nonprofit religious organizations that object, on religious grounds, to providing birth control coverage, would not have to pay for it, the New York Times said. Previously, the health care plan stated that businesses were required to provide health coverage that included contraceptive benefits to all employees, LA Times said. This raised a lot of controversy from religiously affiliated organizations such as churches, universities and hospitals who would, under the pre-revised health care plan, have to provide contraceptive coverage directly to their employees, the New York Times said. The new revisions purposed on Friday allow employees to receive contraceptive coverage at no cost, but through a separate, private insurance policy, LA Times said. The insurance companies, not the businesses, would bear the cost of providing this separate, private coverage, the New York Times said. They would regain money lost though providing this coverage by lower health care expenses resulting partially from fewer births, said the New York Times. The Obama administration hoped this would defuse the moral objections from the religiously affiliated organizations; however many are still dissatisfied. "Today's proposed rule does nothing to protect the religious freedom of millions of Americans," stated general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Kyle Duncan, according to the New York Times. These displeased parties want still a broader, more explicit exemption for religious organizations .

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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