March 2012 Archives

U Football Player Dismissed

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A player was dismissed from the University of Minnesota Football team Thursday amid charges that he had stolen and used a credit card, the Pioneer Press reports.

Ge'Shun Harris, a Gophers wide receiver, was dismissed from the team after being accused of making over $800 dollars worth of purchases with an American Express card taken from a bag at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in January.

"We had no idea about this situation until today," Gophers head coach Jerry Kill said in a statement. "Based on our team policies and the way we run our program, Ge'Shun Harris was immediately dismissed from our football program. Every member of our team is well-aware of our expectations of them and how we enforce our team policies."

According to the Star Tribune, Harris told police that he had taken the wrong bag from a carousel at upon returning to Minneapolis, but did not bring it back right away for fear of being accused of stealing. He claimed to have gone through the bag in order to return it himself.

Harris later admitted that he had made the purchases with the card, and has been charged with felony financial transaction card fraud. He is set to appear in court on April 4.

Super Tuesday Results

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The Daily Mail reports that six of the ten states voting in caucuses and primaries on "Super Tuesday" went to Mitt Romney, although his status as the republican nominee is far from crystalized.

Romney declared "I'm going to win this nomination" in a victory speech Tuesday night, and although victories in Virginia, Ohio, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming and his home state of Massachusetts give him roughly twice the delegates of second place hopeful Rick Santorum, but he's still far away from the 1144 required to win the Republican nomination.

Santorum's underdog campaign continued its momentum Tuesday with four wins in Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Wins in these deeply conservative states continued to cement the Pennsylvania congressman as a "true conservative" alternative to Romney.

"We keep coming back," Santorum told supporters in Ohio, according to the Washington Post. "We are in this thing. We are in this thing not because I so badly want to be the most powerful man in this country. It's because I want so badly to return the power to you in this country."

Newt Gingrich enjoyed one win in his native Georgia, providing a small boost to his fledgling campaign. The former Speaker of the House made clear his intentions to carry on his campaign through the summer and littered his speech to supporters with digs at "elites," with implicit criticism aimed at Romney

The Bloomberg article about Obama's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is an example of a good speech article because it remains grounded in the speech itself while peppering in background details and subtle analysis.

The article's lead doesn't simply state that Obama gave a speech but gets to the main point: that Obama reinforced his commitment to prevent Iran, an enemy of Israel, from becoming a nuclear power.

The first section takes direct quotations from Obama's speech while giving added context surrounding it, such as the support Obama enjoyed from Jewish voters in 2008, and his visit from Benjamin Netanyahu.

Subsequent sections discuss GOP criticism of Obama's approach to Israel and Iran as well as how Obama responded to that criticism in his speech. In all, the article almost perfectly follows the "point-quote-support" model we learned in class.

Red Cross Barred From Entering Syria

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The Red Cross has been blocked from sending aid to those recovering from government bombings in Syria today, the BBC reports.

The Red Cross said that their convoy, carrying 15 tons of food, medicine and blankets, was given permission to enter the rebel stronghold of Baba Amr. However, they were stopped in Homs with no explanation from the government

Baba Amr and Homs have been site to government-sanctioned bombing since the anti-government protest started last April. Though the government claims it is targeting gangs, civilians have been suffering the most in the systematic bombing.

The Associated Press quoted Paul Conroy, one of the few journalists successfully smuggled in and out of the country.

"It's not a war. It's a massacre -- indiscriminate massacre of men, women and children," he said. "It's snowing there now and these people can't make fires."

Stadium Deal Announced

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State and Vikings officials have announced a plan for a new stadium at the Metrodome site in Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune.

The proposed plan would build a new stadium on the footprint of the 30-year-old stadium, expanding into property owned by the Star Tribune for a large plaza and tailgate area, and land already owned by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf for additional parking.

Bloomberg reports that the Vikings organization would pay $427 million under the proposed agreement. The state would chip in $398 million from pull-tabs and the city of Minneapolis would divert the remaining $150 million from existing convention center and hospitality taxes. The Vikings and the city will split the cost of yearly upkeep, paying $13 million and $7.5 million respectively.

Governor Mark Dayton said that the construction of a new stadium would add 8,000 construction jobs and employ about 5,000 suppliers with out taking any additional money from the state.

According to the Star Tribune breakdown the agreement, the stadium complex would be completed in 2016 and cost roughly $975 million. No design has been decided on but the proposed stadium would have 65,000 seats and have a fixed roof, unless the Vikings decided to kick in additional money for a retractable one.

The stadium is still a long way from becoming a reality: the plans still have to be approved by the Minneapolis city council and the state legislature. However, an agreement between public officials and the Vikings organization represents an important step in the year long battle for a new stadium.

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