January 2012 Archives

St. Paul students eat their fruits and veggies

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Nine St. Paul schools are participating in a pilot program to encourage elementary school students to eat more fruits and vegetables.

According to KSTP.com, students use fruit and veggie trackers to record the number of servings they eat each day during the four week challenge. Schools with high participation can win grants of $300 to $500 for nutrition services.

Donna Zimmerman of HealthPartners told MPR News kids eat about half of their daily calories during the school day

"We know that over time we can change behavior and that tracking your actual intake of foods will actually help you to understand and increase the fruits and veggies to the recommended five a day," she said.

Missing people search halted

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The search for missing people in the submerged part of the Costa Concordia cruise ship was called off Tuesday because of the potential danger to rescue workers.

The Star Tribune reported that Italy's Civil Protection agency said technical studies indicated the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search within it.

Francesca Maffini, a spokeswoman for Civil Protection said the search for the missing would continue wherever possible, including on the part of the ship above the water, in the waters surrounding the ship and along the nearby coastline.

The ship ran aground off the coast of Italy Jan. 13 when the captain changed his planned route and struck a reef, creating a gash that sunk the ship. Three people were reported dead, 30 injured and 70 remain unaccounted for.

Passengers told the Walls Street Journal the crew failed to give instructions on how to evacuate and once the emergency became clear, delayed lowering the lifeboats until the ship was listing too heavily for many of them to be released.

Lead analysis

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It's interesting to note how different reporters write different leads for the same story.

In my blog post about the Oscar nominations the Huffington Post lead their story with, "The 2012 Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday morning, and while the front runners all got their nods, there a number of surprises and snubs, as well." But the New York Daily News reported, "The movie awards season is almost over, but save your strength for one more big event, on Feb. 26 -- the Oscars, after all, are like Santa and his reindeer in this whole parade." The Post decided to focus more on the movies that were "snubbed," the Daily News concentrated more on the event itself.
The Post's lead is also more of a straightforward approach and the Daily News took a more editorial feel. If I had to guess why I would say because the Oscars are more of an A&E story and less of a hard-news piece. They chose to use a more entertaining attitude because that's how they go about it for the rest of the article. Most young people might like the Daily News approach better because that's how we receive most of our news but it's still nice to have a more formal approach if someone is looking for just the facts.

Twitter censors tweets

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Twitter announced Thursday plans to start censoring tweets on a country-by-country basis.

On the company's blog Twitter said it will now withhold offending content within the specific country governments object to them, while leaving it unchanged for the rest of the world.

The added restriction is likely to raise fears that Twitter's claim to free speech may be lessened because of the company's desire to expands into new countries to make more money.

But the countries around the world don't have the First Amendment right that people do in the U.S. Twitter pointed out that France and Germany ban pro-Nazi comments as hate speech.

If Twitter defies a law in a country where it has employees, those people could be arrested, the Wall Street Journal Reports. That's one reason Twitter is unlikely to try to enter China, where its service is currently blocked.

In its Thursday blog post, Twitter said it hadn't used its ability to wipe out tweets in an individual country yet.

Senate internship program cuts funding

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Budget cuts in the Minnesota State Senate are causing legislative interns to go unpaid.

Many legislative interns are students at the university, but will now find themselves without a paycheck because after the Senate budget was finalized Tuesday, there wasn't money for the Senate internship program.

Steve Sviggum, communications chief for the Senate Republican caucus, said cuts came from a 5 percent cut that was mandated the previous session.

The Minnesota Daily reported Wednesday that interns costs the Senate about $120,000 a biennium, or $60,000 each session.

"I've repeatedly over the fall expressed concerns about the Senate budget," Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk told MPR News Jan 9. "I continue to have those concerns, that's why I expressed it in the letter to Senator Senjem. Twice in the letter I asked for an opportunity to meet with him and discuss it. I have some ideas of where we can make some reductions."

Buildings collapse in Rio de Janeiro

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Two high rise buildings collapsed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Wednesday killing two and leaving up to 11 people trapped.

The collapse left wreckage and debris covering the streets and covering cars. City Mayor Eduardo Paes said that they were focusing on rescue efforts before looking into the incident's cause.

emergency workers are at the scene cut off electricity to the street and police have cordoned off the area.

The cause of the collapse remains unclear, but witnesses spoke of an explosion and a strong smell of gas.

"It was like an earthquake. First some pieces of the buildings started to fall down. People started to run. And then it all fell down at once," a witness who identified himself as Gilbert told Reuters.

Dayton introduces tax credit

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On Wednesday, Jan 11, Governor Mark Dayton proposed a tax credit for businesses that hire recent college graduates, veterans or the unemployed.

The $35 million plan, would reward Minnesota businesses with a $3,000 tax credit per person hired in 2012 and a $1,500 tax credit per hire from January to June in 2013.

Dayton spoke at a Capitol news conference with Democratic House and Senate leaders in which he told listeners about the projected 175,000 Minnesotans who are unemployed today.

"This program is targeted at putting them back to work," he said.

But Republican legislative leaders criticized the Dayton proposal.

"The purpose and scope of the biennial bonding bill is to repair and build infrastructure, not to serve as stimulus or short-term jobs program," Dave Senjem, Senate Majority Leader, said. "We must be prudent about placing debt burden upon our children and grandchildren."

2012 Oscar Nominations

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The nominees for the 2012 Oscar were announced on Tuesday morning with only a few surprises.

Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" shocked many with a Best Picture nomination. The film created varied opinions from critics and audiences, and was even shut out of the Golden Globes.

Fans of "The Help" were happy to see Viola Davis nominated for Best Actress and both Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Melissa McCarthy was also a surprise with her nomination for Best Supporting Actress in "Bridesmaids."

But some surprises were not so welcome. Both Michael Fassbender and Leonardo DiCaprio were both snubbed for a Best Actor nomination. Even "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" was absent from the Best Picture category which angered many devoted fans.

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

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