November 2010 Archives

Analysis: Diversity

I talked with Ali, a friend and student at the U of M, about the Daily's story about the Somalian sex-ring scandal. Ali worked closely with on a project with a local organization focusing on out reach to the Somali community. Ali spent a lot of time interviewing members of this Twin Cities group.

Ali and I found some problems with the article. While the article seems to be sensitive to the community, there are some voices left out. The story includes one spokesperson, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, but other Somali voices are left out. We felt that if the article would include some other Somali voices, rather than just an official, it would add depth to its claims about the group.

Yet, Ali said a lot of what the reporter says in the story falls in line with what she has found out about the community (many in the community traveling over with one parent, many young men becoming involved in crime). She also says it would be hard for a reporter to get a lot of Somali sources. In her experience, the community is extremely cautious with the "mainstream" media.

Still, I would not categorize the article in any way racist. It is missing the voice of everyday people, the people that inhabit the community.

4 found dead in suburban Florida home

One adult and three children were found dead in a suburban home in a typically peaceful neighborhood near Tallahassee, Florida, according to CNN.

Medical professionals are working to determine the causes of death, and a homicide investigation is under way.

"There's obvious violence in the home," David McCrane, a police spokesman, said, according to the Associated Press. "How that violence transpired, we're not sure."

The children were 6 and 3-years-old.

FDA forces removal of Darvon painkiller

The maker of the painkiller Darvon is ending sales of the drug in the U.S. under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, which says the drug causes deadly heart rhythms, according to the Pioneer Press.

About 10 million U.S. Americans have been prescribed some form of the drug since 2009, according to CNN.

An official from the FDA said they urged doctors to stop prescribing the drug, and patients currently taking the drug should contact health professionals, according to CNN.

"The drug's effectiveness in reducing pain is no longer enough to outweigh the drug's serious potential heart risks," the FDA said, after a study was conducted examining the drug's impact on heart rhythms, according to CNN.

Device at Nambian airport was a testing device

A case carrying bomb components that delayed a flight to Germany at a Nambian airport was an American-made device designed to test airport security, according to the New York Times.

The laptop case, which was about to be loaded onto an airplane bound for Munich, was from a U.S. company that sells products designed to test security, according to CNN. Still, Nambian officials said that their country, the U.S., or Germany were authorized to be conducting a security test.

An investigation as to who is responsible for the luggage is under way.

The discover of the case delayed a flight to Munich, Germany, on Wednesday and put the raised security concerns at the airline Air Berlin, according to CNN.

Dayton takes aim at Republicans on recount

Democrat Mark Dayton said Republicans are grasping at straws on the road to an automatic recount in the gubernatorial race, according to the Star Tribune.

Dayton's 8,755 vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer is on the road to an automatic recount. Yet, Dayton said in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio that Republicans are "desperate" in their efforts to claim a victory, according to the Pioneer Press.

Emmer and GOP have gone to court demanding to see numbers concerning the election and have asked for reform on recount rules, according to the Pioneer Press.

"I think basically they're desperate," Dayton said, according to the Star Tribune. "It's not just throwing 'Hail Marys' it's throwing spitballs at the wall to see which ones will stick."

Two arrested in hotel homicide

Two men have been arrested in connection with the violent death of a woman whose body was found at the Lakeland Inn in St. Louis Park Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

An employee at the hotel found the body of a woman who had been stabbed and killed, according to authorities. The woman was in her mid-30's, according to the Pioneer Press.

Police said they believe the victim knew her attackers. Originally, three men were arrested, but one was later released, according to the Pioneer Press.

Analysis: Numbers

The New York Times' story of banks lending money to assist in lawsuits with hopes of potential earnings uses numbers in a clear, easy way.

First, the story is not about the numbers, rather, it uses the numbers to assist the point that's being made. The story also clarifies the numbers it uses (for example, an interest rate is explained by given the amount of money per month that it garners).

The story does not follow the rule of limiting naming number amounts to two per paragraph, yet the numbers don't bog down the story. The money amounts are always put in a context, i.e. what the bank loaned and what their profit was.

The numbers also serve to tell a larger point about the story, which is that this new trend in lending has led to abuses. The story tells the reader, with numbers, what the importance of the situation is.

7 killed in Mexican resort explosion

Seven people died Sunday in an explosion at a resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, according to the New York Times.

The explosion was likely caused by a natural gas buildup, according to CNN.

Twelve other people, including two Americans, were injured in the explosion. Investigation into whether the hotel was properly constructed is under way, according to The New York Times.

Shelby prepares to sign off WCCO

Iconic WCCO-TV anchorman Don Shelby, who is just days away from his final news broadcast, said he's worried about life out of the television spotlight, according to the Star Tribune.

"At this point, I can walk into Best Buy headquarters and everyone will say, 'Don Shelby's here!' They walk you right into the CEO's office, and he'll listen to whatever I have to say. A year from now, they're going to ask to see some ID. I'll say, 'I'm Don Shelby, dude,' and they'll say, 'Doesn't ring a bell,'" Shelby said, according to the Star Tribune.

Shelby, 63, has been working at WCCO since 1978, garnering accolades like Emmys and the position of top anchor, according to the Pioneer Press.

Among Shelby's accomplishments are his high-profile story on Romanian orphanages and his 30 year sobriety mark from Alcoholics Annonymous, according to the Pioneer Press. He is known as a mentor, clown, and powerful force in the WCCO newsroom.

West St. Paul man who died after fall is identified

A man who jumped to his death off of a downtown overpass after a foot chase with Minneapolis police has been identified as Jason Yang, 29, of St. Paul, according to the Pioneer Press.

Yang died after police were called to Epic nightclub early Saturday because a fight had broken out. Yang, who police believed started the fight, ran away from the police, leaping over a concrete barrier on Interstate 394 off-ramp and falling several stories to a parking lot, according to the Star Tribune.

Police believe Yang was trying to escape the police, but misjudged the distance to the parking lot, according to the Star Tribune.

Myanmar dissident asks crowd to join in fight for change

Aung San Suu Kyi told supporters to not give up hope and join in her push to bring change to Myanmar Sunday, one day after the democracy activist was released from house arrest, according to The New York Times.

"I'm not going to be able to do it alone. You've got to do it with me. One person alone can't do anything as important as bringing change and democracy to a country," Suu Kyi said, according to CNN

Myanmar's ruling generals have placed Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years. Her return to her political activism came just one day after her release, according to The New York Times.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke to an excited crowd about the need for a national reconciliation, gaining waves of support.

Nazis given "safe haven" in U.S. after WWII

Nazis and their collaborators were given a "safe haven" in the U.S., a secret U.S. Justice Department report said, according to The New York Times.

The 600 page report, obtained by the New York Times, was commissioned in 1999, and edited in 2006. The Justice Department tried to keep the documents secret, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The report focuses on the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, foremd in 1979 to deport Nazis. The report says that known Nazis were allowed into the U.S. for postwar intelligence purposes.

"America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became -- in some small measure -- a safe haven for persecutors as well," the report said, according to The New York TImes.

Analysis: Obituaries

The New York Times obituary of actress Jill Clayburgh is an example of the death of a notable figure in the community becoming a focused news story with a classic structure.

The Times uses its own archives as a source to chronicle Clayburgh's life and career- drawing on interviews the paper did with Clayburgh herself as well as reviews of the actress' films.

The article begins with the standard Times obituary lead, then into the cause of death, then the claim to fame section, then the chronology of the life, and lastly the survivors.

The Times focuses heavily on Clayburgh's portrayals of modern women, citing her performance in "An Unmarried Women" as an example near the top. The article focuses mostly on her work as an actress, the role she is known in the community for. Yet, the article does not read as a resume listing the actress' work but rather an examination of how she accomplished her craft and what critics and audiences felt about her work.

Man dies in Maplewood rollover

A man died in a rollover crash Sunday morning on Interstate 494 in Maplewood, according to the Pioneer Press.

The 24-year-old man veered off the road while traveling south on I-494 and rolled near Carver Avenue, according to the Star Tribune.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, according to the Pioneer Press.

Teen dies at water park

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A teenager died after an apparent drowning at an indoor water park Saturday night in Brooklyn Park, according to WCCO.

Authorities responded to a report of a possible drowning at the Grand Rios Ramada Hotel and Indoor Water Park at 5 p.m. Saturday, according to the Star Tribune.

A 17-year-old boy was pulled from the bottom of a water slide. CPR was performed on the boy, and he died at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, according to the Star Tribune.

Pawlenty: repealing Obamacare major in presidential bid

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In a television interview, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Sunday repealing President Obama's health care plan would be central in his platform if he runs for president in 2012, according to the Pioneer Press.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley, Pawlenty called Obama's health care plan "one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in the modern history of the country," according to the Star Tribune.

In the interview, Pawlenty spoke on his skepticism in the federal government running health care programs for the country, and said repealing "Obamacare" would gain top billing in his campaign if he decided to run for president in 2012, according to the Star Tribune.

African runners race to victory in NYC marathon

A woman from Kenya and a man from Ethiopia were the first female and male finishers in the New York City marathon Sunday, according to CNN.

Edna Kipligat of Kenya won the women's title, winning the 26.2 mile race with a time of 2 hours and 28 minutes. Gebre Gebremarian of Ethiopia won the men's race with 2 hours and 8 minutes, according to CNN.

Gebremarian's victory came after the world record holder, Haile Gebrselassie, dropped out of the race halfway through, according to The New York Times.

Obama talks Pakistan in India

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Addressing a group of college students in Mumbai Sunday, President Barack Obama fielded tough questions and said India has high stakes in Pakistan's success, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Obama took questions from students at a Jesuit institution, where he gave answers on topics like jihad, Pakistan, and the mid-term elections, according to The New York Times.

Obama was careful in his discussions on jihad, when he mentioned the complexity of the issue, being careful to clairfy that those engaging in terrorism over a holy war are a part of a small group of Muslims, according to The New York Times.

Obama also told his audience that he would look for "mid-course corrections and adjustments" in the wake of the mid-term elections that saw Republicans make major strides, according to The New York Times.

Obama also spoke on India's apprehensive road to cordial relations with Pakistan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"It may be surprising for some of you to hear this, but the country that has the biggest stake in Pakistan's success is India," Obama said. "If Pakistan is unstable, that's bad for India."

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