March 25, 2009

May 29, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The Kansas City Star:

Kavya Shivashankar wins National Spelling Bee


At last.

Kavya Shivashankar, a 13-year-old word wizard from Olathe, finally captured the Scripps National Spelling Bee championship Thursday.

After six years of inhaling dictionaries word by word, memorizing their meanings, studying their roots and perfecting their pronunciations, she bested 292 competitors and aced 40 words to capture a prize that has eluded her in three previous final appearances.

“It’s been my dream for so long, I just can’t believe it’s actually happened,” Kavya said afterward.

May 27, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The New York Times:

Obama Hails Judge as ‘Inspiring’


WASHINGTON — President Obama announced Tuesday that he would nominate Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appeals judge in New York, to the Supreme Court, choosing a daughter of Puerto Rican parents who was raised in a Bronx public housing project to become the nation’s first Hispanic justice.

In making his first pick for the court, Mr. Obama emphasized Judge Sotomayor’s “extraordinary journey” from modest beginnings to the Ivy League and now the pinnacle of the judicial system. Casting her as the embodiment of the American dream, he touched off a confirmation battle that he hopes to wage over biography more than ideology.

Judge Sotomayor’s past comments about how her sex and ethnicity shaped her decisions, and the role of appeals courts in making policy, generated instant conservative complaints that she is a judicial activist. Senate Republicans vowed to scrutinize her record. But with Democrats in reach of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, the White House appeared eager to dare Republicans to stand against a history-making nomination at a time when both parties are courting the growing Hispanic vote.

May 26, 2009: The Seoul, South Korea newspaper, The Dong-a llbo, reports on North Korea’s nuclear test. Here is an updated story from the BBC News Web site:

North Korea ‘fires more missiles’

North Korea has fired two more missiles, hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned its nuclear test, South Korean reports say.

The communist state fired two short-range missiles off an east coast base, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing an official.

The move came as UN diplomats began work on a resolution to punish North Korea for its underground nuclear test.

Diplomats said they were seeking “tough measures”, including further sanctions.

At least three missile tests accompanied Monday’s nuclear test. Those on Tuesday involved one ground-to-ship missile and one ground-to-air missile, Yonhap said.

May 22, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Akron Beacon Journal:

Democrats aren’t backing Obama on Guantanamo
Congress isn’t ready to fund prison shutdown, detention of suspects in U.S.


WASHINGTON: Democrats in Congress said Thursday that they weren’t yet ready to endorse President Barack Obama’s plan to bring some suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the United States to stand trial, and to hold others in prison without trial indefinitely.

In a major national-security speech Thursday, Obama tried to convince Americans that he’ll be tough on terrorists, but he failed to persuade lawmakers to give him the money to close the Guantanamo prison, and he deeply disappointed human rights groups, who heard a different message from the one candidate Obama gave last year.

May 21, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Southeast Missourian:

Survivors recall deadly 1949 tornado that struck Cape Girardeau


….A total of 202 homes were destroyed, 231 other houses damaged, 19 businesses leveled and 14 other businesses damaged. The monetary loss was estimated at between $3 million and $4 million.

Today, much of the affected area has been rebuilt, but small pieces of debris can be found in certain areas where the storm hit.

“When I travel over there I can still find stuff around today,” said Toni McLain, whose family hosted one of the families left homeless from the storm. “For a lot of people it never leaves our minds.

“When you see the sky as a funny color you think back,” McLain said. “You can replace what’s lost in a storm, but you can’t replace life.”

(See also: The 1949 Tornado in words, images)

May 20, 2009: An excerpt from a story in AM New York:

Fossil could be crucial link in human evolution


She may be the mother of us all.

Or at least the aunt.

Scientists yesterday unveiled a 47-million-year-old fossil they say could be the elusive missing link, the smoking gun of human evolution.

“This is the first link to all humans . . . truly a fossil that links world heritage,” said Jorn Hurum, of the University of Oslo Natural History Museum, one of the scientists reporting the find.

The fossil, found in Germany in 1983 and unveiled Tuesday with great fanfare at the American Museum of Natural History, is a common ancestor of the two branches of primate: The one that eventually produced humans, and the line that led to lemurs.

Nicknamed “Ida,” after Hurum’s 6-year-old daughter, the specimen is about 95 percent complete and includes gut contents, showing that it ate fruit and leaves.

Jens Franzen, another scientist on the research team, called Ida — whose technical name is Darwinius masillae — “the eighth wonder of the world,” according to published reports.

May 18, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the South Bend Tribune:

Obama urges grads: Find ‘common ground’
Despite hecklers, president gets warm reception from crowd.


SOUTH BEND — The first shout of dissent came from a seat near the top of the Joyce Center right after President Barack Obama took to the lectern and thanked the University of Notre Dame’s president for his “commitment to honest, thoughtful dialogue.”

“You owe an apology to the Mother of God!” yelled a man from the top of Section 119, before being escorted from the arena.

Two more outbursts followed, including one man who shouted “Abortion is murder!” which prompted the crowd inside the university’s 164th Commencement Exercises to boo the heckler and begin chanting “We are ND!”

Each outburst came as Obama was talking about working through conflicts in a polite and respectful way.

May 13, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The Buffalo News:

Experts say pilots’ reaction doomed Flight 3407
Upward Move Prevented Stall Recovery


WASHINGTON — Capt. Marvin D. Renslow could have prevented the fatal plunge of Continental Connection Flight 3407 on Feb. 12 had he lowered the nose of the aircraft, increased power and leveled the turboprop’s wings, experts testified on the first day of National Transportation Safety Board hearings into the Clarence Center crash.

Instead, Renslow, 47, a pilot who came to flying as a second career, appeared to act surprised when the aircraft’s stall warning came on and did the exact opposite of a proper stall recovery. He jerked the plane upward and caused it to spin out of control.

Both the chief test pilot for Bombardier’s Dash 8 Q400, who had performed more than 1,000 stall recoveries in the aircraft’s testing phase, and Colgan Air’s chief simulation supervisor testified that Renslow could have saved the aircraft.

May 12, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Fargo, North Dakota newspaper, The Forum:

American journalist Saberi freed from jail with suspended sentence

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI (Associated Press)  

TEHRAN, Iran — An American journalist with ties to Fargo, imprisoned on espionage charges in Iran for four months, was freed Monday and reunited with her smiling, tearful parents — a move that clears a major obstacle to President Barack Obama’s attempts at dialogue with a top U.S. adversary in the Middle East.

The United States had said the charges against Roxana Saberi, a 32-year-old dual Iranian-American citizen, were baseless and repeatedly demanded her release.

Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could also win some domestic political points a month before he faces a re-election challenge from reformers who seek to ease Iran’s bitter rivalry with the United States.

May 8, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Los Angeles Times:

Manny Ramirez’s ‘I’m back’ is now ‘I’m gone’


There is no joy in Mannywood. For that matter, there is no Mannywood.

The most talented and most popular player among all the Dodgers essentially vanished Thursday, banned from baseball for 50 games after flunking a drug test. Manny Ramirez, whose effervescent attitude and lethal bat had made him the face of this storied franchise, had been labeled a cheater before a largely adoring fan base at Dodger Stadium.

“They embraced Manny here,” Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said. “I’d like to believe it could happen again. But there’s got to be a period of healing.”

(See also: Page One Today / Mitchell Report on Steroids, Dec. 2007)


May 7, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The Boston Globe:

Globe union faces cuts, furloughs


Members of the Boston’s Globe largest union tonight will hear the details of a proposal that would impose deep wage cuts, freeze pensions for many employees, and essentially eliminate the lifetime job guarantees held by veteran employees to provide the $10 million in savings demanded by the paper’s owner, the New York Times Co.

The proposal, described as the company’s final offer to the Boston Newspaper Guild, includes two measures that roughly amount to a 10 percent reduction in wages: an 8.3 percent wage cut and five days of unpaid furlough, according to several people briefed on the negotiations who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

May 6, 2009: Page One from the Guangzhow, China newspaper, 21st Century Business Herald. Here is an excerpt from a story on the BBC News Web site:

Mexico Starts China Flu Airlift

Dozens of Mexicans quarantined in China because of fears they may be infected with swine flu are being flown home on a specially-chartered Mexican plane.

About 70 Mexicans were confined despite just one confirmed case of the virus.

The issue sparked a diplomatic row, with Mexico accusing China of targeting its citizens unfairly, and Beijing saying it was a “purely medical” issue.

May 4, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The Boston Globe:

Globe negotiations continue
Pressmen’s union, Boston Newspaper Guild still seeking an agreement


WEYMOUTH — Boston Globe management was continuing to negotiate concessions with its major unions well past a midnight deadline, but said it was prepared to file a plant closing notice with the state today if they failed to reach agreement. That would allow the paper’s owner, the New York Times Co., to follow through on its threat to shutter the 137-year-old newspaper.

Shortly before 4:30 a.m. this morning, the Teamsters Local 1 president Mary White, representing 245 mailers at the Globe, said the union had reached a tentative agreement that included $5 million in concessions and changes in the lifetime job guarantee protecting 145 of its members.

May 3, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Louisville, Kentucky newspaper, The Courier-Journal:

‘You got a hole, you got a shot’
Mine That Bird got both under Borel


From last to first, 50-1 shot Mine That Bird flew into Kentucky Derby lore yesterday with a stunning 6�-length triumph over Pioneer of the Nile on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.

Using the same derring-do that led him to his first Derby victory aboard Street Sense two years ago, jockey Calvin Borel sent an accelerating Mine That Bird through the slimmest of openings inside front-running Join in the Dance in upper stretch. The bay gelding never broke stride with the rail-skimming performance, pulling away before a crowd of 153,563.

“You’re in it to win it,” Borel said. “You got a hole, you got a shot.”

Derby 135 was full of Cinderella stories, but it didn’t figure to end with this one.

May 1, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Detroit Free Press:

Bankruptcy slams Michigan
Metro area already sees shutdowns


President Barack Obama described Chrysler LLC’s historic bankruptcy Thursday as necessary to build a viable future, but the short-term pain rained down on metro Detroit almost immediately.

Three metro Detroit plants — Sterling Heights, Detroit Axle and Conner Assembly — are to close by December 2010, along with three other U.S. plants. While Obama billed it as a “surgical” bankruptcy, stamping plants in Sterling Heights and Warren shut down Thursday afternoon because suppliers stopped shipping parts out of fear they won’t be paid.

“Suppliers have decided not to ship product,” said Tom LaSorda, a Chrysler vice chairman and former chief executive officer who announced Thursday that he would retire. “It’s not in every facility. It was going to happen on Monday anyway.”

Beginning Monday, Chrysler will close all its U.S. plants for the next 60 days, when a new Chrysler is expected to emerge from court.

May 1, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The Detroit News:

Day 1 for new Chrysler is anything but ordinary


The Obama administration says the bankruptcy of Chrysler LLC should not affect “ordinary” operations of Detroit’s No. 3 automaker.

But Day One of Chrysler’s Chapter 11 era was anything but ordinary — two top Chrysler executives said they will leave, nervous suppliers refused to ship parts and Chrysler said it will shutter most plants during bankruptcy and disclosed plans to close six U.S. factories as part of its restructuring, including three in Metro Detroit by 2010.

“Once you pull the bankruptcy trigger, there’s no such thing as business as usual,” said Aaron Bragman, a Troy-based auto analyst with IHS Global Insight.

April 29, 2009: An excerpt from an updated story in the Findlay, Ohio newspaper, The Courier:

US reports swine flu death, WHO mulls alert level

By PATRICK McGROARTY (Associated Press)

Germany and Austria confirmed cases of swine flu Wednesday, becoming the third and fourth European countries hit by the disease. As the United States reported the first swine flu death outside of Mexico, the World Health Organization called an emergency meeting to consider its pandemic alert level.

Germany confirmed three swine flu cases and Austria one, while the number of confirmed cases rose to four in Spain and five in Britain.

Swine flu is suspected of killing more than 150 people in Mexico and sickening over 2,400 there. WHO has confirmed at least 105 cases in seven countries. Over half of those – 66 – are in the United States and U.S. health officials reported Wednesday that 23-month-old child in Texas has died from the disease.

(See also:
First U.S. Swine Flu Death Reported, Coverage Resources
By Julie Moos, Poynter Online, April 29, 2009)


April 27, 2009: Page One from the Ciudad Victoria, Mexico newspaper, Expreso. Here is an excerpt from a BBC News story:

Warnings as swine virus spreads

A top European Union official has warned against travel to areas hit by a outbreak of swine flu, amid growing concern over the spread of the virus.

Experts suspect it has killed more than 100 people in Mexico. Cases have also been found in Canada, the US and on Monday in Spain.

At least five other nations are testing patients for possible swine flu.

World Health Organization experts are meeting later to discuss the global threat posed by the virus.

The UN has warned that the virus has the potential to become a pandemic. But it says the world is better prepared than ever to deal with the threat.

April 26, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The Orange County Register:

The president has tackled simultaneous challenges during a time of globalization and crisis.

President Barack Obama has crammed more into his first 100 days than most presidents, partly by design but mostly by necessity.

The economic crisis overshadowed much of his campaign agenda. His team structured and executed bailouts of banks and automakers, and worked with Congress to decide how hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent on roads, schools and other projects meant to create short-term jobs while yielding long-term benefit.

The president has taken early action on matters including the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, the Iraq war, U.S. relations with Muslim nations, abortion, stem cell research and auto emissions.

Obama hasn’t grappled with any one challenge as severe as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Great Depression. But he is juggling more at once, historians say.

(See also:
Page One Today: A Front-Page Look at Obama’s First 100 Days)

April 22, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Durham, North Carolina newspaper, The Herald-Sun:

40th Earth Day
What Are We Leaving Behind?
Many Ways Exist to Reduce Carbon Footprints


DURHAM — You don’t have to walk to work in flip-flops reconstituted from old truck tires. You don’t have to eat only free-range organic kibble grown within a 10-mile radius.

There are lots of other — and easier — ways to reduce your carbon footprint. And doing so has become even more urgent.

Today, 39 years after Earth Day began, despite annual marches, events, carnivals and more, the earth’s environment remains in peril.

April 21, 2009: Excerpts from two stories in the St. Petersburg Times:

St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact, Lane DeGregory win 2009 Pulitzer Prizes


For the first time in its 125-year history, the St. Petersburg Times has won two Pulitzer Prizes in a single year.

Staff writer Lane DeGregory, 42, captured the feature writing category for “The Girl in the Window,” a moving account of a Plant City child whose mother kept her locked in a filthy room, and the adoptive family who worked to overcome her feral beginnings.

The Times staff won the national reporting prize for PolitiFact, a Web site, database and “Truth-O-Meter” that tests the validity of political statements.

That award reflected the growing influence of online media in public affairs. PolitiFact was designed for the Web at, though its content also appears regularly in the Times’ print edition.

A list of the Pulitzer Prize winners

By the Associated Press

Pulitzer winners

Public Service: Las Vegas Sun. The St. Petersburg Times was a finalist in this category for PolitiFact.
Breaking News Reporting: New York Times
Investigative Reporting: David Barstow, New York Times
Explanatory Reporting: Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Local Reporting: Detroit Free Press, notably Jim Schaefer and M.L. Elrick; and Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz.
National Reporting: St. Petersburg Times for PolitiFact
International Reporting: New York Times
Feature Writing: Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times for coverage of a neglected girl and her adoption. John Barry of the St. Petersburg Times was a finalist for his coverage of a crippled dolphin.
Commentary: Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
Criticism: Holland Cotter, New York Times
Editorial Writing: Mark Mahoney, Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.
Editorial Cartooning: Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune
Breaking News Photography: Patrick Farrell, Miami Herald
Feature Photography: Damon Winter, New York Times

April 20, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Toronto, Canada newspaper, the National Post:
Ahmadinejad intervenes in U.S. journalist’s ‘spy’ case


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on the judiciary to ensure that an Iranian-American journalist jailed for espionage enjoys her legal right to defend herself, the official news agency IRNA said yesterday.

Roxana Saberi’s lawyer welcomed Mr. Ahmadinejad’s intervention in a letter to Tehran’s prosecutor, published a day after the U.S.-born freelance reporter was sentenced to eight years in jail on charges of spying for the United States.

(See also: Saberi Sentenced to 8 Years in Iranian Prison for Spying for U.S.
By Julie Moos, Poynter, April 18, 2009)

April 17, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Oakland Tribune:

Poole: Madden’s shoes impossible to fill

His face was perfect for the role, massive and gently angled, with easily identifiable characteristics and not a hint of pretense, a Mount Rushmore in and of itself.

His body was ideal, too, insofar as it possessed precisely the same caricature-friendly characteristics.

And then there’s the name: Madden. Madden!

John Madden looked like football, smelled like football, sounded like football and felt like football, which made him uniquely qualified to talk about our national passion. No wonder he was such an astonishing, enduring success as an American sports icon.

Madden on Thursday announced his retirement from football broadcasting, 30 years after he moved into America’s living rooms, dens, bars and bloodstreams. He’s 73 years old, secure in his legend, with more money than he could ever count and ready to spend more time with his family in the East Bay.

April 16, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the New London, Connecticut newspaper, The Day:

Tax Day erupts in protest 
Government’s fiscal policies target of wrath around the nation 

Hartford — Tim Stewart of New Milford was standing in the sunshine and the wind Wednesday morning on the north side of the state Capitol, occasionally blown back a step or two as the gusts slapped against the large white sign he held above his head on a wooden stake: “This administration is unconstitutional.”

Stewart was not the loudest of the roughly 3,000 demonstrators who showed up for Wednesday’s “tea party” in Hartford, one of many similar events held around the state and country to protest the fiscal policies of the Obama administration and Congress on Tax Day.

April 15, 2009: Page One from the Brussels, Belgium newspaper, De Standaard.


April 14, 2009: Page One from the Miami, Florida newspaper, El Nuevo Herald. Here is an excerpt from a story in the Miami Herald:

South Florida Cubans conflicted over U.S. Cuba policy shift
Specter of more visits to Cuba an emotional issue for Miami’s Cubans


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s overture Monday toward Cuba — the most significant in decades — lifted all travel and gift restrictions for Cuban Americans and sent charter companies scrambling for more and bigger jets to meet the expected demand.

The formal announcement, expected for months as part of a presidential campaign promise, came at what apparently was the first-ever bilingual White House briefing, with spokesman Robert Gibbs saying Obama was “taking some concrete steps today to bring about some much-needed change that will benefit the people of Cuba, to increase the freedom that they have….”

April 13, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Vermont newspaper, The Burlington Free Press:

Phillips safe after rescue at sea

By TODD PITMAN and LARA JAKES (The Associated Press) 

Navy snipers on the fantail of a destroyer cut down three Somali pirates in a lifeboat and rescued an American sea captain in a surprise nighttime assault in choppy seas Easter Sunday, ending a five-day standoff between a team of rogue gunmen and the world’s most powerful military.

It was a stunning ending to an Indian Ocean odyssey that began when 53-year-old freighter Capt. Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vt., was taken hostage Wednesday by pirates who tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama. The Vermont native was held on a tiny lifeboat that began drifting precariously toward Somalia’s anarchic, gun-plagued shores.

April 13, 2009: Page One from the Bueno Aires, Argentina newspaper, Clarin. Here is a story excerpt from Sports Illustrated and writer Damon Hack:

The Masters has its mojo back, and Angel Cabrera has another major championship

AUGUSTA, Ga. — They played deep into the shadows of a warm spring evening, a middle-aged man with a hiccup in his swing and an Argentine with a going draw. Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera comprised the final act of a wild Masters Sunday, a day of high drama and loud roars that recalled the old-time magic of this beloved tournament.

When the 39-year-old Cabrera saved par from the trees to the right of the first playoff hole � where the third man in the sudden death shootout, Chad Campbell, succumbed with a bogey � he earned a reprieve to keep battling Perry, and an already special Masters became just a little more intense. From the middle of the 10th fairway, the second playoff hole, Perry pulled his approach shot wide left of the green and missed his 20-footer for par. Cabrera hit his approach just below the hole and safely two-putted.

At dusk, the former caddie became a Masters champion.

April 10, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Los Angeles Daily News:

Mourning a fallen Angel

By Ramona Shelburne

Fifteen hours had passed, and still there was glass on the ground. No angels, no answers. Just shards of glass.

Shattered in a million jagged pieces, like the three bright young lives that came to a tragic end on an intersection in Fullerton just after midnight Wednesday.

Four hours earlier, Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart had thrown six scoreless innings in his season debut. It was the game he’d been dreaming of all his life, the game in which he took the baseball, stepped confidently onto the mound and pitched like a big-leaguer.

He had no fear and no regrets.

Less than 24 hours later, that’s all that was left.

Shortly after midnight, Adenhart and two friends were killed when the Mitsubishi they were riding in was struck by a red minivan, whose driver allegedly ran a red light, fled the scene and was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

April 10, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Louisville, Kentucky newspaper, The Courier-Journal:

Turkish artist transforms Courier-Journal’s front page


The front page of today’s Courier-Journal, you likely will have noticed by now, is a work of art — a hand-drawn replica of the printed cover you expected to see.

Don’t panic: You can turn to Page A3 for the traditional printed version of today’s front page.

The artistic rendering represents a public art partnership among the newspaper, a new local organization called artwithoutwalls and Turkish conceptual artist Serkan Ozkaya.

Ozkaya, 36, has done similar hand-copying projects at four other newspapers around the world, including The New York Times, though The Courier-Journal’s collaboration is the first involving an American paper’s front page.

Why does he do this? Why did we let him?

Ozkaya said his art is intended to make people “look at your experience in a new way.”

April 9, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Boston Herald:

Hijacked ship’s captain remains a hostage


As the families of two New England natives wait and pray this morning for the safe return of the brave seamen involved in high seas piracy drama, a crew from a U.S. Navy warship has the pirates in its sight, according to reports this morning.

The ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, 55, of Vermont is being held hostage by Somali pirates, although a spokesman for the vessel, the Maersk Alabama, said this morning there’s no indication he’s been harmed.

“The captain of a hijacked ship, who is being held by Somali pirates on a lifeboat, remains hostage but is unharmed,” spokesman Kevin Speers said this morning, according to CNN. “The safe return of the captain is our foremost priority.”

April 8, 2009: An excerpt from a story in the Hartford Courant:

Charles Leads UConn (39-0) To Sixth National Title


ST. LOUIS — Seldom in sports do things work out this way, perfectly as planned, from blueprint to the victory stand.

But it does happen, sometimes three times.

Things click, chemistry blends with talent, determination meets destiny, and magical seasons supersede ambitious goals.

The 2008-09 UConn women, driven by three players as gifted as any they’ve ever had, won it all Tuesday — every game, almost every minute and, ultimately, the national championship.

“Now we can breathe,” Renee Montgomery said.

Challenged briefly in the first half, the Huskies ultimately rolled, defeating Louisville 76-54 at the Scottstrade Center to win their sixth national championship in 15 years.

April 7, 2009: Page One from Rome, Italy’s newspaper, La Repubblica. Here is an excerpt from a story on the CNN Web site:

Italian quake death toll rises to 207

L’AQUILA, Italy (CNN) — A day after a powerful earthquake ripped through Italy’s mountainous Abruzzo region, authorities were still unsure Tuesday how many people remained trapped in the wreckage.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that the death toll had risen to 207, as rescuers pulled more bodies from the rubble in the medieval city of L’Aquila, about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Rome.

Fifteen people remain missing, Berlusconi said. Rescuers continue to pull bodies from the rubble.

Doctors tended to an estimated 1,500 injured residents at two field hospitals, after the main hospital had been hit by the 6.3-magnitude quake.  

April 7, 2009: An excerpt from a story in The News & Observer:

Not even close: UNC rolls to title


DETROIT — As he went down the bench, alternately pumping a fist and hugging his teammates with a minute left Monday night, you could see it all in North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough’s expression:

The elation. The relief. The redemption.

No matter the outcome of Monday’s game, Hansbrough — one of the most decorated players in school history — would have left UNC a winner. But by helping shellac Michigan State 89-72 at Ford Field, he finished his career with the ultimate emotion: the pride of being a national champion.

“Sounds like I made a pretty good decision,” Hansbrough, freshly cut net around his neck, said of forgoing the NBA last summer and returning for his senior season. “Nothing beats this feeling right here.”

April 6, 2009: The Seoul, South Korea newspaper, The Chosun llbo, reports on North Korea’s rocket launch. Here is an excerpt from a BBC News story:

No accord at UN talks on N Korea

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss North Korea’s rocket launch has ended without agreement.

As divisions emerged, diplomats said the council would continue talks. It may take days for a deal, analysts say.

Washington and Tokyo are seeking a strong response, but Beijing and Moscow have called for restraint.

Pyongyang says it launched a satellite early on Sunday but its neighbours say it was testing missile technology.

April 2, 2009: An excerpt from a story in Newsday:

Obama’s first day in London: Meetings, parties and iPods

The Associated Press

LONDON — He talked nuclear threats with Russia’s president and gave an iPod to the queen.

And that was only the beginning. It was an eventful first day on the world stage for President Barack Obama, launching new arms control talks, placing China ties on fresh footing and calming fears about the ailing U.S. economy — seemingly everywhere, relaxed and smiling all the while.

While wife Michelle attracted breathless attention with every stop, fashionable outfit and sip of tea.

The new U.S. president, in London for Thursday’s high-stakes global summit on the financial meltdown, seemed to be everywhere on Wednesday.

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