Thursday, June 4, 2009


Please write leads for the following information. Type them in a Word document, then turn them in to Ms. Merrill, who will staple them to your test. Thanks! :)

1. President Obama talked about tensions between the United States and Muslims. He said that "the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam."

Obama went on to say more about this issue. "Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile," said Obama, delivering what the White House billed as a major speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt.

He also said the American people would prefer to get the troops out of Afghanistan. "Make no mistake: We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict.
"We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan."

2. Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are reporters for California-based Current TV, a media venture of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. They were reporting on the plight of North Korean defectors living along the China-North Korea border when they were taken into custody on March 17.

According to its country's state media, North Korea has charged the reporters with illegal entry into the country and hostile acts, and the two will go to trial today. If convicted, they could face years in labor camps.

The trial was set to start at 3 p.m., which is 2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time in the States.

3. Dallas ISD is losing a lot of its teachers at multiple magnet schools and learning centers.

District officials released a list yesterday detailing the cuts at the schools. The net loss was 235 positions, ranging from 24.5 at Spence Middle School to 2.5 positions each at Lanier and Starks elementary schools. Two schools gained positions. The affected employees will be reassigned to other DISD campuses in a controversial effort to balance staffing levels across schools, and also comply with federal funding rules. The staffing changes, approved by a divided school board last week, have upset many parents, students and teachers at the affected campuses.

"I would rather see all the kids at all the schools have more," one teacher said. "It obviously works – we're going to be an exemplary-rated campus this year."

4. Police arrested Mesquite High School's former title-winning football coach Steve Halpin, 53, on Sunday at his Mesquite home, more than a week after a grand jury in Dallas County indicted him on a second-degree felony charge of abuse of official capacity. The indictment alleges that Halpin "intentionally or knowingly misuse[d] government property" when he pawned district-owned items valued between $100,000 and $200,000.

If convicted, he faces up to a $10,000 fine and a 20-year sentence in state jail.

In a statement released Wednesday, Mesquite ISD officials said they were "surprised by the severity of the charge."

5. The average price of a gallon of regular gas in the Dallas area rose from $1.95 on May 1 to $2.45 yesterday – a 50-cent spike in one month. It happens every summer as demand rises.

With tourism in season and family trips on the way for many people, there is somewhat of a sense of panic in the air.

Dan Ronan, a spokesman for AAA Texas, said several factors, in addition to increased demand, have driven up gas prices: higher production costs for summer fuel blends that pollute less in warm weather, increased cost of a barrel of oil and OPEC nations cutting their collective production.

"But $20 here and $20 there adds up," Dwaine King of DeSoto said, "and it all hurts."

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