Poland’s Sorrow, Immigrant Bill in Play, Ship or Fly Luggage?

Poland Laments

While on its way to the grounds on which 70 years earlier Soviets decimated 20,000 Polish officers in World War II, a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski, and 97 other high-profile or government persons, crashed after being disoriented due to a thick fog, reported the New York Times in its online article, “Polish President Dies in Jet Crash in Russia.” The piece also notes that the crash comes at the most untimely cross-section in history, when Russia and Poland were beginning to deal with tensions caused by their acrimonious past relations. Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Alyoshin, the first deputy chief of the Russian Air Force Staff, claimed the airplane was told not to land, but “Nevertheless, the crew continued the descent. Unfortunately, the result was tragic.” The report also highlights how thousands of Poles gathered at the Presidential Palace to mourn their country’s loss, liking it to when Poles lamented over the death of Polish pope, John Paul II, just five years ago.

Although I hate hearing about, and dealing with, tragedies, the public ought to not be kept from such hard truths like we would keep them from children. It’s news, both current and important. When any government official dies, especially a commander-in-chief, that’s most certainly report-worthy. With three reporters and one writer all diligently working in tandem, the article is clearly well-researched, as well as well-written. Including the Poles’ reaction to their country’s bad fortune is as important as the crash itself. It’d be disheartening if someone died without a funeral. Their turnout at the Presidential Palace tells another piece of news, also: Poles favored their now deceased President enough to unite in lamentations.

Find it HERE.

Does AZ Bill Promote Racial Profiling?

“Arizona Clears Strict Immigration Bill” on WSJ.com covers exactly that, detailing the contents of the bill, where it is legislatively and what this means for both law enforcement officers and illegal immigrants. The bill, passed on Tuesday, April 13, by Arizona’s lower house, following the state Senate’s passage of the bill, still faces a veto by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, whose spokesmen refused to comment. If made a law, police will be able to screen any individuals who they think might be illegal. Foreigners will be required to carry documents proving their legal status. Immigration advocacy groups are vehemently protesting the bill, since, as Chris Newman, general counsel for the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, explains, “The bill constitutes a complete disregard for the rights of nonwhites in Arizona. It effectively mandates racial profiling.” Connecting it to federal issues, the article then says the bill is relatable to President Obama’s program, 287g, which trained selected local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws by checking for immigration statuses. President Obama has chosen to “scale back that program,” the article points out.

Of the few hot-button issues Americans often dispute over, illegal immigration, and immigration in general, ranks near the top of the list. Liberal-leaning persons feel they must advocate in favor of the immigrant community, because they are human beings, even if they are illegal. They’ll argue against the right, often accusing its members of discrimination. Right-leaning persons assert that, although we’re all people in the family of humanity, illegal immigrants break the law, as well as steal our jobs and ruin our economy. The debate can go on perpetually. This bill moving through Arizona’s branches of government, although a state issue, will affect the nationwide conversations and daily talks of the public. If Arizona is moving ahead, will others? Have other states tried? The public will want answers to these questions, whether they lean left or right. The reporter’s task is to investigate a story like this meticulously and present both sides objectively, as the above reporter obviously did.

Find it HERE.

Bring Down that Luggage!

In CNN.com’s “Is shipping cheaper than airline bag fees?” the answer is quickly given: usually no, unless an airline passenger ships overweight or oversized luggage days in advance. The reporter then compares how much airlines charge for overweight luggage to how much UPS would charge, saying, “The large airlines charge from $50 to $125 each way for bags that weigh more than 50 pounds. Bags that weigh more than 70 pounds cost $100 or more on many airlines.” A 74-pound package sent from NYC to LA through UPS Ground would take four days to travel and cost less than $90 one way. It’s no wonder, the article asserts, a number of airline passengers have begun using non-airline services to deliver their luggage, optimally shipping them days in advance. UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg reports that luggage shipments have gone up since airlines chose to charge more for weighty luggage in the summer of 2008. Spirit Airlines will begin charging for carry-ons stored in compartments over passenger’s heads. Shipping luggage may appeal more to travelers if  more airlines do likewise.

What better way to engage the public and provide information than to straightforwardly address one of its monetary concerns. Not only is the story light-hearted, it’s entertaining and informative. One issue I have with it is that it has no comments from any major airline officials. A spokesman or woman might have explained why heavy luggage cost more. Perhaps the cost of fuel has gone up. Or perhaps to keep its full staff, for example, Spirit Airlines must increase revenue in an uncertain economy. Not that I enjoy paying more when traveling (and, of course, my opinion doesn’t matter in a new story), but its important to fulfill the journalistic responsibility of thorough and fair reporting.

Find it HERE.

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