Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Loose with the facts and a verdict is reached

Press TV compiles a number of statistics about US veterans including the unemployment rate of 15.2%. They wrongly state that is "post 9/11 veterans" -- they've read summaries in the press, they haven't paid attention to the actual study. The 15.2% rate is of young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. I'm not disputing the high unemployment, we've noted and we noted the study and we got it right about what the study said. If you're a news organization, you should probably what a study is when you make it your lead statistic. In their four statistics they also declare that "300,000 of the U.S. military veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD." Oh really? What? PTSD vanished? Though not credited by Press TV, that PTSD figure comes from a RAND study released in April of 2008 which found that approximately 320,000 veterans had PTSD. For that figure to still be accurate, something amazing would have had to have taken place: No one leaving the US military in the last years would have developed PTSD. In other words, for that number to have remained static, someone would have had to come up with a cure for PTSD and, no, that didn't happen.

The other two statistics they give are sourced so we won't bother with those but it adds up to sloppy reporting. Taking a very bad unemployment figure and making it worse and taking a three year old study and pretending it's current numbers -- it's sloppy. (The study released in April 2008 was concluded in January 2008.) And for this to be a major article -- news article, not column -- from a news agency is really sloppy. Press TV calls it "quick facts" -- they got the "quick" right, at least.

In the US, a verdict has been rendered in the case of a man who killed his daughter. Dropping back to the November 3, 2009 snapshot:

In the US, Noor Faleh Almaleki has died. The 20-year-old Iraqi woman was intentionally run over October 20th (see the October 21st snapshot) while she and Amal Edan Khalaf were running errands (the latter is the mother of Noor's boyfriend and she was left injured in the assault). Police suspected Noor's father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, of the assault and stated the probable motive was that he felt Noor had become "too westernized." As noted in the October 30th snapshot, Faleh Hassan Almaleki was finally arrested after going on the lamb -- first to Mexico, then flying to London where British authorities refused him entry and he was sent back to the US and arrested in Atlanta. Karan Olson and CNN note that the judge has set the man's bail at $5 million. Philippe Naughton (Times of London) adds, "Noor died yesterday, having failed to recover consciousness after the attack. The other woman, Amal Khalaf, was also seriously injured but is expected to survive. "

This year the trial finally commenced. Bill Chappel (The Two-Way, NPR) reports, "A Phoenix jury has convicted an Iraqi immigrant of second-degree murder [yesterday] in the death of his daughter in what prosecutors say was an 'honor killing'." Carlin DeGuerin Miller (CBS News) adds, "Almaleki was also convicted of aggravated assault for the injuries suffered by the older woman. Peoria, Ariz. detective Christopher Boughey testified that Faleh Almaleki confessed to him during a lengthy interrogation that he did in fact intend to cause his daughter's death. Prosecutor Laura Reckart played a recording in which Boughey and another detective confronted Almaleki with their suspicions that he ran over Noor Almaleki because she had become too westernized and brought disrespect to the family." Lisa Halverstadt and Michel Kiefer (Arizona Republic -- link has text and video) report that sentencing takes place this afternoon, "At sentencing, he faces 10 to 22 years in prison for second-degree murder, 5 to 15 years for aggravated assault, and 2 to 8 ¾ years for leaving the scene of the accident. All of those sentences would be stacked on top of each other, meaning Al-Maleki can face 17 to 45 ¾ years in prison."

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends