News Day: Burnsville honkers / Broadband bust / MN science / War Reports

I spent a lot of time taking a longer look at health care, on the day before President Obama is expected to spend major press conference time on the issue. Take a look – and call your Senators and Congressmembers.

Burnsville cops don’t like peace protest Burnsville police have been watching a weekly anti-war vigil closely – and ticketing passing drivers who honk in support of the protesters, reports Jon Tevlin in the Strib. They have continued despite dismissal of the first anti-honking case and the existence of federal cases saying that honking is protected political speech. Police claim the protest causes traffic problems:

Police linked an accident in which a pedestrian was hit by a car to the commotion caused by the weekly protest. But it’s probably not wise to wing it when up against a former FBI agent. Rowley got the police report, which said the accident happened a block away, and an hour before protesters arrived at their corner.

Broadband access money – inaccessible Rural Minnesota communities that lack speedy internet service are getting hit by a double whammy. The stimulus funding intended to help spread broadband has a set of application requirements so onerous that they can’t get in the door, according to the Star Tribune:

Applicants must prove that all the areas they propose to serve would meet a narrow federal definition of being underserved — that 50 percent or more households in the area lack broadband access, or that fewer than 40 percent of the households already subscribe to broadband. That puts the burden on cities and counties to undertake expensive and time-consuming door-to-door surveys, because telephone and cable companies don’t reveal which areas they serve.

All the students are above average Standardized test scores come from so many directions that it’s hard to sort out what they mean. That’s beautifully illustrated by the headlines reporting the same science test scores for Minnesota students this morning:

In the Strib: Minnesota students’ science test scores take big jump

and in the Pioneer Press: Minnesota students fall short in science, test scores show

Both headlines are accurate.

War Reports

United States U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the army will add 22,000 troops, increasing its size from 547,000 to 569,000, reports the New York Times. Gates attributed the need for more active duty soldiers to the pressures of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are approximately 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 60,000 in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Four U.S. soldiers werekilled by a roadside bomb in eastern Afganistan, reports BBC. The July death toll for allied troops was the highest since the war began in 2001.

Somalia Al-Shabab has banned the U.N. from the southern towns of Baidoa and Wajid, which it controls, according to the BBC:

Members of al-Shabab also raided the offices of the UN Political Office for Somalia, the Development Programme and the Department of Safety and Security.

Al-Shabab accused the agencies of being enemies of Islam and Somali Muslims.

Iraq Ten people were killed in Iraq on July 20, reports the New York Times Eight of those killed were shot down in seven separate attacks in Mosul and two were killed by a bomb in Ramadi. The attacks targeted police, but some civilians were among the dead.

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