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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 15, 2012



    Blagjoveich begins day 1 of his 14-year prison stint; the Taliban suspends peace talks with the U.S.; schools will be able to choose whether or not to serve “pink slime;” Goldman Sachs loses $2.2 billion due to ex-employee Greg Smith’s op-ed; and Congress continues to make female legislators angry after it divides over a domestic abuse bill. Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan may be clean, but she’s still a bad driver; Bobbi Kristina Houston is in a relationship with her ‘adopted’ brother; and Charlize Theron adopts a baby boy.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Blagojevich says goodbye before prison, http://bit.ly/w2l6Sm
    Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich gave a farewell speech yesterday before beginning his 14-year jail sentence in Colorado. Speaking to a crowd that sometimes chanted “Free our governor,” Blagojevich said that “he’s going to follow the law” and “This, as bad as it is, is part of a long and hard journey that will only get worse before it gets better.” The former governor has been found guilty of 17 charges of corruption including allegations that he tried to sell President Obama’s Senate seat.

    Karzai demands U.S. troops leave village outposts; Taliban suspends peace talks with U.S., http://wapo.st/ykPWnO
    The Afghan Taliban announced yesterday that it will suspend peace talks due to the U.S.’s “alternating and ever changing position.” The statement did not indicate whether the suspension has anything to do with a U.S. soldier’s killing of 16 civilians or the Quran burning incidents. Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked that U.S. troops leave Afghan villages and stay on their bases, essentially ending combat in the country.

    ‘Pink Slime’ Will Be a Choice for Schools, http://yhoo.it/ynfRab
    But is anyone going to opt for “pink slime?” The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that starting this fall, schools will be able to choose whether or not to buy hamburger meat with “pink slime,” or a gelatin-like material made by beef byproducts that is used as filler in 70% of supermarket meat. “Pink slime” was originally only sold to dog food and cooking oil companies; however, the USDA decided that it could be used for human consumption if sprayed with ammonia. Supermarket meat that is not labeled “organic” most likely contains “pink slime.”

    One year later, Syrian unrest still boiling, http://bit.ly/x093am
    Bashar al-Assad is marking the one year anniversary of a terrorist “conspiracy” against his regime by sending Assad supporters into the streets of Damascus. Tanks were also sent into Daraa, where the protests against the Assad regime first began. Meanwhile, several civilians were shot and killed in Idlib yesterday after Syrian troops seized a rebel stronghold there. The opposition claims 82 people died yesterday. The UN estimates that 8,000 people have died since Assad’s crackdown began.

    Goldman Roiled by Op-Ed Loses $2.2B for Shareholders, http://bloom.bg/xrHatY
    Greg Smith, a 12-year Goldman Sachs employee, resigned yesterday in a tell-all scathing New York Times op-ed about the company’s culture of greed. The op-ed caused Goldman Sachs’ market value to decrease by $2.15 billion and its share price to go down by 3.4%. The company sent a memo to employees denying Smith’s allegations. Despite it all, Goldman Sachs’ shares are still up 33% this year.

    Women Figure Anew in Senate’s Latest Battle, http://nyti.ms/yXYRth
    The latest battle in Congress over women’s issues is surprisingly not about contraception. Democrats and Republicans are divided over the Violence Against Women Act, which would offer grant programs to law enforcement and shelters for abused women and also extend free legal assistance to domestic violence victims. Republicans are against the legislation’s allowance of temporary visas for abused illegal immigrants and that the programs would be extended to same-sex couples. Democratic women will march on the Senate floor today and demand that the bill be passed. “I am furious,” said Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, speaking about the Republican Party’s opposition to contraception and the Violence Against Women Act. “We’re mad, and we’re tired of it.”

    (via The Philadelphia Inquirer) Pa. House passes voter ID bill, http://bit.ly/zKPQa0
    Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives has approved the so-called Voter ID bill, setting the stage for Pennsylvania to become the 16th state to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The House on Wednesday voted 104-to-88 – and almost strictly along partisan lines — to pass the measure, which would be in effect in time for the fall presidential election. Gov. Corbett has said he will sign it “right away.” Democrats, civil liberties groups, labor unions, the NAACP and others have complained that the bill will disproportionately hurt the elderly, the poor and the disabled, who make up the lion’s share of voters who typically do not have photo IDs. Those groups also tend to vote Democratic.

    CULTURAL:

    HBO Axes Michael Mann/David Milch Drama ‘Luck’, http://bit.ly/zVy9MG

    Jermaine Jones—and Five Other Disqualified American Idol Contestants, http://eonli.ne/A6Icjw

    Cissy Houston Livid over Bobbi Kristina PDA with Whitney’s ‘Adopted’ Son, http://bit.ly/xD7KLz

    Lindsay Lohan finishes community service as witness refutes hit-and-run allegation, http://nyp.st/yJhNRM

    Source: Charlize Theron Wanted to Adopt for a Long Time, http://bit.ly/xm0Q63

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    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

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