Subway Bombing, Sexy Truffles, Christie’s Wager

Subway Bombing in Moscow

“Suicide Bombings Kill Dozens on Moscow Subway” covers a bombing initiated by Caucasus Islāmic women, which killed 37 train passengers and wounded 102 more. The article notes that this comes on the sixth anniversary of another deadly blast the separatists carried out. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin boldly said that “terrorists will be destroyed.” The second and last explosion happened 45 minutes after the first one. A 19-year-old spectator lamented, “”I saw a dead person for the first time in my life.” In February, Chechen (a region in Russia) rebel leader Doku Umarov warned, “the zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia … the war is coming to their cities.” After reporting that NYC subway security was increased, the article ends describing the atmosphere where the bombing took place: “The Moscow blasts practically paralyzed movement in the city center as emergency vehicles sped to the stations.”

In a world of conflicts, fear of terrorism is near the top of the list, among economic uncertainty, health woes, etc. Since 9/11, when terrorists drove passenger-filled jets into NYC’s The World Trade Center, America has kept terrorism as its cynosure, considering the possible aftereffects of foreign attacks. The event not only reveals the reality of terroism; it also comes as a timely reminder (with the health law that recently passed) that the health issue isn’t our only issue, and that the government must also work arduously to protect US soil, taking whatever precautions necessary. The AP reporter does excellent work in using a fact-per-graph outline. The reader will feel fully informed after finishing this story.

Find it HERE.

Titillating Truffles

Under the science section of the New York Times website lies the article “Unearthing the Sex Secrets of the Périgord Black Truffle,” in which a new study reveals that the black truffle has both male and female mating types. The new information will allow truffle-growers to inject the roots of trees (where the truffle’s fungi grow) with the right balance of the sexes so as to foster more diversity and quicker growth. Truffle harvests will continue to be scarce, however, since farmers oppose in-lab production of the dining delight. After listing several other scientific findings, the article ends with the hope that truffles will one day be regionally categorized, like fine wines.

The title of the article is eye-catching, especially in a sex-crazed culture. It gives the impression that the truffle is a aphrodisiac, enticing the reader with an all-natural alternative to Viagra. Not being a traditional news story, the writer takes the liberty to write in a feature-esque style at the start of his piece. The central idea of the story doesn’t emerge until graph three; for the first two graphs, the writer plays with language to create a compelling opening remark: “truffle-lovers be advised — some of the new discoveries may reveal more than you really wanted to know.” The second graph defines the truffle, of which many readers may not have known.

Find it HERE.

Christie’s Wager

“Gov. Chris Christie offers more state aid to N.J. schools that freeze teacher pay” covers exactly that. Going into the battle with the teachers’ union is one of Christie’s highlights. The article points out that the NJ governor wants teachers to sacrifice along with the rest of the country. One way he has thought of doing so is by giving more money to schools whose teachers do so for the 2011 fiscal year. Districts that freeze pay will actually have more money to fund programs or hire extra teachers, Christie reasoned. The piece ends with a quote by NJEA President Barbara, in which she criticizes the wager as pure trickery on Christie’s part.

With several New Jersey schools having already protesting against Trenton because of tuition hikes, the piece proves to be prompt and relevant. The ongoing dialogue about the price of education as it relates to Christie’s budget cuts will continue to incite debate. People, especially students and teachers, want to know how and where their money will be spent. Using the tools of the web, the story closes with a video of Cliffside Park, NJ, students protesting tuition hikes. It’s a home video, so its quality is rather poor. It’s also in poor taste. Hearing students’ laughter extenuates what their fighting for. I would’ve kept it out or included a picture instead.

Find it HERE.

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