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    NEWS ROUND-UP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012



    Photos of U.S. troops posing with dead insurgents increases tensions further with Afghanistan; ALEC is backing off “non-economic” issues; top U.S. colleges will offer free online classes; millionaire Warren Buffet copes with prostrate cancer; and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg negotiated with Instagram without consulting his board of directors. Meanwhile, Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline will star in a reading of  ’Romeo and Juliet;’ True Blood’s Anna Paquin is expecting a baby; and ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ is being sued for racial discrimination.

    Kelly H. + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    ALEC backs down in wake of backlash over voter ID, “stand your ground” laws, http://cbsn.ws/J8ybu5
    Indiana State Rep. David Frizzell, the 2012 National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), announced in a statement that ALEC will eliminate its Public Safety and Elections task force. After public outcry over controversial measures that ALEC supported such as Florida’s “stand your ground” law and voter ID legislation, Frizzell made the announcement that ALEC will now only focus on economic issues.

    U.S. troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers, http://lat.ms/HPj5yc
    U.S. paratroopers who were given assignments to identify the remains of insurgent suicide bombers are now in the midst of an Army criminal investigation after photos have surfaced of them posing with bombers’ bodies. In one series, the 82nd Airborne Division soldiers took photos next to Afghan police while others squatted beside a corpse. A few months later, the same platoon was asked to investigate the remains of three other insurgents, and they again took pictures next to the bodies. One of the photos depicts a solider holding a dead man’s hand with the middle finger raised. The pictures have surfaced during tense relations with Afghanistan. The soldier who provided the photos to The L.A. Times wishes to remain anonymous.

    Top U.S. colleges to offer free classes online, http://reut.rs/HY0Mnc
    Classes designed and taught by professors at Stanford, Princeton, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan will now be offered for free online through an education platform called Coursera. Coursera, founded by two computer science professors at Stanford University, has stated that the interactive site will offer more than three dozen college courses in the coming year. Subjects range from Greek mythology to calculus to American poetry. Students will not get college credit, but Coursera may offer “certificates of completion” or transcripts for a fee.

    Warren Buffett has prostate cancer, sees no danger, http://reut.rs/HY0j4h
    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Warren Buffett has stage 1 prostrate cancer. Buffett has commented that his condition “is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.” Buffett will soon begin a two-month treatment composed of daily radiation sessions. The news of Buffet’s diagnosis comes after Senate Republicans blocked the “Buffett rule,” a law proposing higher taxes on millionaires.

    Mark Zuckerberg Bought Instagram Without Really Asking the Facebook Board, http://bit.ly/JcNYbt
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apparently made the company’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram without consulting his board of directors. Zuckerberg bought the photo app from the privacy of his home, only negotiating with Instagram founder Kevin Systrom via phone. The Wall Street Journal reports that the board “was told, not consulted.” Zuckerberg holds 57 percent of Facebook’s voting rights, so he can make majority decisions on his own. But tech and business experts are surprised at the bravado of the CEO’s solo decision, especially with Facebook’s$100 billion public offering only weeks away.

    CULTURAL:

    Demi Moore Steps Out for First Time Since Treatment, http://bit.ly/JfXj4Z

    Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline to star in one-night-only reading of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ http://bit.ly/JAOrnf

    Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer announce pregnancy, http://usat.ly/J9TWyv

    ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ to Be Sued for Racial Discrimination, http://bit.ly/JzwOEt

    Who’s NOT a pretty boy, then? Nelson, the baby parrot, who could be the ugliest bird in the world, http://bit.ly/Iiyu7t

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    Kelly Holleran
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

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