BEST OF THE WEB: Wednesday’s Highlights from Newspaper Web Sites

By: Kathryn Blaze Carlson

From the Birdman of SoMa to Olympic BMX bikers, there’s much to enjoy in Wednesday’s round-up of highlights from newspaper Web sites.

Stronger Than Ever
The New York Times
By Jeffrey Gettleman, Courtenay Morris, and Emily B. Hager

The New York Times brings you Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the president of Sudan who stands accused of orchestrating genocide in Darfur. Surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly) this video does not feature al-Bashir in the role of the villain, but rather as a leader who has found support among his former enemies. Still-frame photos, footage of rallies across the country, and interviews with Parliamentarians and former dissidents work together to capture the intricacy of the situation: not only is it a “dream” that al-Bashir will soon be ousted, but his former enemies have come to fear what would happen to the “system” if he is removed from power.

Olympic Profile: Kyle Bennet
Houston Chronicle
Video Profile
By Smiley N. Pool and Juan Elizondo

For Kyle Bennet, there’s more to life than the daily grind of the rat race — there’s the adrenaline rush of BMX racing. BMX racing debuts as a medal sport at the upcoming Beijing Olympics, and this three-time world champion says he’s proud to be the first American selected for the event in the big games. Head to the Armadillo BMX track and watch as the athlete shows his moves and talks shop in this Houston Chronicle video profile. Some daring camera angles invite you along for the ride.

Dinner with the Bears
Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News
By Bill Roth

I’m not sure what compelled the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News to post this video, and I’m equally unsure as to what compelled me to highlight it. However, I assure you that there is indeed something strangely cute about watching bears munch on moose. Check out the video of bears doing just that in front of an audience at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.

The City Exposed: The Birdman of SoMa
San Francisco Chronicle
Online Feature
By Mike Kepka

Cliff McBride has been raising two dependants for the past 20 years, but his babies won’t be leaving the nest for college anytime soon. Indeed, McBride is the birdman — a proud father-figure to two white Umbrella cockatoos. Nikko, 28, is the male, and Trixie, 22, is the female. But don’t expect the two lovebirds to get frisky anytime soon, as it appears Trixie is more interested in spending time with McBride. This San Francisco Chronicle online feature follows the Birdman and Trixie as they hit an ATM, Walgreens, and a pet store. Check out the feature for some pics, an audio soundbite, and a brief synopsis of McBride’s bird-loving ways.

Interstate 10 Wreck
Sun Herald (South Mississippi)
Article and Photo Gallery
Article by Margaret Baker, gallery by William Colgin

Talk about an unfortunate chain of events. According to a story by Margaret Baker at the Sun Herald, “An 18-wheeler dangled over the side of the Interstate 10 long bridge over the Pascagoula River most of Tuesday morning, with the driver trapped inside part of the time after a chain reaction accident involving three tractor trailers and one car.” Highway patrols and witnesses said they were stunned that there were no fatalities and, after checking out this photo gallery depicting scenes from accident, it’s easy to understand their reaction.

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