November 2012 Archives

Obama and Romney's lunch date

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The New York Times reported that Former Gov. Mitt Romney visited the White House for lunch Thursday, his first encounter with President Obama since the election.

The Washington Post reported that no press were allowed at the lunch, nor did either man talk to the media after the event.

The New York Times said that no aides were at the lunch, either. It was a one-on-one meal.

"Each man wanted to have a private conversation," said White House press secretary Jay Carney to the Washington Post. "They did not want to turn it into a press event."

The Washington Post reported that the lunch is a tradition that President Obama felt was important to continue. Carney said it was a symbolic gesture illustrating a history of peaceful transfers of power.

Little Falls teens linked to other break-in

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The Star Tribune reported that the two Little Falls teenagers who were murdered on Thanksgiving after breaking into the home of Byron Smith were connected to at least one other burglary in the area, authorities said Wednesday.

Morrison County police found prescription drugs inside the car that Nicholas Brady, 17, and Haile Kiefer, 18, were driving the day they broke into Smith's home, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Pioneer Press also said that police confronted Brady Nov. 21, the night before he was killed, after receiving reports of a car suspiciously parked. Brady said that he and Kiefer had been driving around and ran out of gas.

The car was parked near the house of Richard Johnson, a retired English teacher, whose home was also burglarized, the Star Tribune reported. Prescription pills were among the stolen items.

Little Falls man charged with two counts of murder

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The 64-year-old man who shot and killed two teenagers in Little Falls was charged with two counts of second-degree murder Monday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Byron David Smith allegedly shot Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin, Halie Kifer, 18, after he found them in his basement on Thursday, according to the Star Tribune. Smith shot the teenagers multiple times to wound them, and told authorities he "finished" them with shots to the head, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Star Tribune reported that Smith waited a whole day to contact authorities, leaving the teenagers in his basement, so as not to "trouble [them] on a holiday."

It is legal to use deadly force to prevent a crime from happening in their homes. Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said that Smith did not use "reasonable force" to stop the teenagers from entering his home, the Pioneer Press reported.

Egyptian president backtracks his overreaching decree

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Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi is working to calm his nation following violent unrest due to a decree that would extend his powers, the BBC reported.

The New York Times reported that a spokesman for Mursi went back on the attempt to assert authority even beyond the courts, seemingly denying any such implications.

Mursi's allies in the Muslim Brotherhood also cancelled plans to rally for his support in an effort to quell the angered nation, the New York Times said.

The BBC reported that the presidential spokesman reassured the Supreme Judicial Council that the president's decree of power would only apply to "sovereign matters." The opposition still plans to rally Tuesday. Mona Amer, a spokesman for the opposition, told Reuters that they asked for a cancellation of the decree, not a compromise.

Energy drinks under scrutiny after FDA released findings

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The Food and Drug Administration released fatality and injury findings on Thursday related to the use of popular energy drinks, the New York Times reported.

The filings included references to Rockstar Energy, 5-Hour Energy and Monster Energy drinks, according to the New York Times.

The Washington Post said that the FDA has received 92 reports over the course of four years that included hospitalizations and even death after consumption of the 5-Hour Energy drink. Monster Energy may have also played a part in five deaths and one heart attack.

The New York Times reported that a filing with the FDA does not confirm that the product caused the illness or death, however.

The Washington Post reported that the FDA does not individually regulate caffeinated beverages.

Minnetonka High School bans leggings and spandex

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Minnetonka High School's principal sent a message to the parents of students Monday asking them to encourage their daughters to avoid wearing tight leggings as pants, the Star Tribune reported.

Dave Adney says that the leggings have become a distraction for other students, the Pioneer Press reported.

The message has spurred a debate. Some say that the leggings are no worse than the tightly fitting jeans that are still tolerated in schools, the Pioneer Press said.

"Cover your butts up," Adney said to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune said that the issue of dress code comes up just about every year in most high schools.

A 39-year-old Minnesota woman confessed Tuesday to shooting and killing her ex-husband in his apartment in central Minnesota. She still faces accusations that she fatally shot her boyfriend a few days later, according to the Star Tribune.

Angelina O'Mara pleaded guilty after three days of trial, the Pioneer Press reported. The shootings happened in the fall of last year, according to the Pioneer Press.

O'Mara (spelled Omara in the Star Tribune) was arrested in Sioux Falls on Nov. 3, 2011 shortly after the body of her boyfriend, Michael Pies, 36, was found, the Star Tribune reported.

China blames the Dalai Lama for a wave of self-immolations among Tibetans, accusing him of glorifying the problem, the Washington Post reported today.

The BBC reported that he spoke in Japan and was quoted as saying that China was not looking at the causes of the protests seriously enough.

According to the BBC, the Tibetan activists say they are protesting against Beijing's rule. More than 70 protesters have set themselves on fire since 2011.

The Washington Post reported that China also accuses the Dalai Lama of siding with the Japanese over the territorial island dispute, because they say he called the island by the Japanese name instead of the Chinese name.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus told the Associated Press Monday that he was shocked to learn of the harassing emails his mistress sent that spurred an FBI investigation, according to the Star Tribune.

Petraeus stepped down from his position Friday, according to the Star Tribune. His resignation followed an FBI investigation into a supposed extramarital affair he was having, the Star Tribune says.

The New York times said that the FBI was prompted to begin an investigation after Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus, reported receiving anonymous harassing emails ordering her to stay away from Petraeus.

The emails were traced back to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer, according to the New York Times.

Numbers analysis

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The Duluth $500,000 grant story uses numbers throughout to explain the current situation. First, the reporter used numbers to tell readers just how much grant money Duluth was getting. Then, the reporter used percentages to discuss the number of people who had insurance to cover the losses in the flash floods (5 to 10 percent out of 1,700). Finally, the story included numbers for other flood relief that has gone to the area ($167.5 million so far).

The numbers are not overwhelming. They are used simply to add background information to the story. The reporter did not use unnecessary numbers that would complicate the story and confuse readers, but used just enough to keep them informed. The reporter used math to find the number of people who had insurance when the floods hit. The foundation that is donating the $500,000, the Cargill Foundation, is the source of the first number. The reporter did not attribute the second number. I am assuming that he crunched these himself or got them from another story. He should have attributed these numbers to make his story more credible. The last number came from a meeting that state legislators held.

University of Iowa official faces harassment accusations

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An Associated Press story in the Star Tribune reported that a University of Iowa athletic department official has been accused of trading football tickets and money for sexual favors.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen obtained a copy of the findings of an investigation stating that Peter Gray had a history of inappropriate behavior in the athletic department, the story said.

Gray resigned from his position in the athletic department Monday. Neither the AP nor the Press-Citizen could find Gray's number, and the UI athletics department spokesman Steve Roe told the AP they would not comment, as it is a "personnel issue".

Gray's duties this semester included one-on-one counseling with athletes from both men's and women's teams at UI, the said.

Large grant will help Duluth recover from flash floods

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The Star Tribune reported that Duluth community leaders announced Sunday that a $500,000 grant will be in place to help victims of the floods last June.

The Star Tribune reported that 1,700 homes were damaged from the flash floods, and that this grant is the largest donation to help recovery efforts so far.

The money will be provided by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Eden Prairie, according to the Duluth News Tribune, and will be distributed to three areas: supporting Lutheran Social Service's disaster case managers, addressing unmet financial needs and assisting nonprofits in the area that were affected by the floods.

The Duluth News Tribune said that a Habitat for Humanity group from Concordia College in Moorhead was responsible for much of the recent clean-up and aid in the area, something that the new grant will allow to continue.

Marriage amendment defeated in Minnesota

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The proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman failed to pass after elections Tuesday, the Star Tribune reported.

In a very close vote, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, supporters of the amendment reached only 48 percent, the Star Tribune reported.

The Pioneer Press reported that this historic defeat makes Minnesota the second state to defeat this amendment.

"Tonight Minnesota proved that love is bigger than government," said Minnesotans United for All Families campaign manager Richard Carlbom to the Pioneer Press.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference issued a statement Wednesday morning, according to the Star Tribune.

"Despite this setback, our efforts to promote and defend the cornerstone social institution of marriage will continue."

President Obama wins second term

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President Barack Obama faces an immediate challenge to avoid a financial crisis while dealing with an unchanged balance of power in the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Star Tribune reported.

"You made your voice heard," Obama said in his acceptance speech, according to the Star Tribune.

The New York Times reported that Obama presented himself as "ready for compromise" with Republicans on the issue of the impending spending cuts and tax increases.

With Obama winning only 50 percent of the popular vote, the New York Times says, it is clear that the country is still divided on the president's leadership.

Dengue fever in India causes alarm

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India is facing an epidemic as dengue fever threatens millions of people in the region, the New York Times reported.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that the New York Times calls an endemic in half of the globe.

However, the Indian Express reported that doctors in India have it under control. "...Certainly it is not life threatening and we have saved six patients in the ICU and several others are being treated for dengue in the ward," said Dr. Rajesh Gadia, consulting physician at KEM Hospital.

Gadia also told the Indian Express that patients with dengue fever do not need to be admitted to the hospital; the illness can be treated at home.

Good luck for Obama in last few days of campaign

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President Obama has had some good luck in the last few days of the presidential race, including a very important announcement by the Labor Department that 171,000 job positions were added in October, according to the New York Times.

"Generally, the report shows that things are better than we'd expected and certainly better than we'd thought a few months ago," said senior United States economist for Capital Economics Paul Dales to the New York Times.

The Washington Post reported that Obama has also had good luck in some other areas. The most recent Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows that 79 percent of Americans thought that the president did either a "good" or "excellent" job in his handling of Hurricane Sandy.

Finally, according to the Washington Post, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was so moved by the hurricane that he announced he endorses Obama for the presidential race.

Paul Ryan to campaign in Minneapolis on Sunday

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Paul Ryan will be at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport Sunday afternoon to campaign in the last few days of the presidential race, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The Republican vice presidential nominee campaigned in Hudson, WI on Tuesday and campaigning in Minnesota has increased recently due to the tightening race, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Ryan was seen at O'Gara's Bar and Grill Tuesday evening, the Pioneer Press reported. Former president Bill Clinton made stops in Duluth and Minneapolis last week to campaign for President Obama.

The event begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Sun Country Airlines hangar, according to the Pioneer Press.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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