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    The Taliban attacks eastern Afghanistan and announces its “spring offensive;” Chen Guangcheng safely retreats to a medical facility in China; April’s U.S. job growth does not meet expectations; vandals violently disrupt May Day protests in Seattle; and Newt Gingrich will announce the end of his campaign at 3 pm today; Meanwhile, Tyler Perry’s studio catches fire in Atlanta;  Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus Rumored For ‘X Factor’ Judge Spot; and Jessica Simpson welcomes a new baby girl.

    Kelly H. + Caitlin


    Violence mars May Day protests in Seattle, http://bit.ly/IuX6tX
    Violence erupted during Seattle May Day social-justice rallies that were supposed to be peaceful. 75 vandals created havoc by shattering glass, attacking police and vandalizing financial institutions in the area. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn issued an emergency order that gave police the power to seize anything that could be used as a  weapon. So far eight people have been arrested, with at least one dozen businesses and government buildings damaged. Most of the vandals, who wielded long black poles, have disappeared.

    Blind Chinese Dissident Leaves U.S. Embassy for Medical Treatment, http://nyti.ms/Imee4c
    Chen Guangcheng has left the American Embassy in Beijing after confirmation from the Chinese government that he would be safe. He left the embassy to seek treatment at a medical facility. According to American officials, negotiations will allow Guangcheng the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Guangcheng suffered an injury to his foot while escaping from his house last week. He was able to reunite with his wife and family at the hospital.

    ADP: U.S. Added Only 119,000 New Jobs In April; Stocks Double Early Losses, http://onforb.es/IT5IJp
    The labor market is rumored to weaken for a second straight month after companies hired far less people than anticipated. Employment only increased by 119,000 after a 183,000 gain was expected. Small and medium-sized businesses contributed to the majority of new jobs, whereas large companies had only a 3.3% increase. Analysts theorize that job growth from March will lead to cut-backs later this year.

    Eleven killed in Egypt clashes over army rule, http://reut.rs/JMTpPx
    Eleven were killed and more than 160 wounded in Egypt after armed men assaulted protesters demanding an end to army rule. The protesters included ultraconservative Salafi Islamists who gathered near Egypt’s Defense Ministry. The demonstrators were angry at the exclusion of their candidate from the upcoming vote. Two Islamist candidates have also now suspended their presidential election campaigns. The election set for May 23 and 24 is causing high tensions and is evidence of a fragile transition to democracy in Egypt.

    Taliban announces start of annual Afghan offensive, http://usat.ly/ITBshk
    The Taliban announced today that it will begin its annual “spring offensive” in Afghanistan this week, calling it “Al-Farouk,” which is the name of the second Muslim caliph. The offensive is targeting “all those people who work against the Mujahedeen, toil to pave ground for the occupation of Afghanistan and become the cause for the strength of the invaders.” The announcement came after a car bomb attack in a private compound in eastern Afghanistan that killed seven and injured seventeen; the attack took place hours after President Obama’s surprise visit to the country. During his visit, Obama and President Hamid Karzai signed a strategic partnership agreement that will serve for future relations between the two nations.

    (via NBC Montana) Justice Department Unveils New Details In Missoula Civil Rights Investigation: The US Department of Justice has unveiled new details about its civil rights investigation into Missoula police, prosecutors and the University of Montana. The two-prong investigation is focused on allegations of a pattern of gender discrimination in relation to reported sex assaults. NBC Montana reporters attended a news conference with top-level US Attorneys from the department’s civil rights department, Montana’s US Attorney, Missoula’s Mayor, Police Chief and the President of the University of Montana. The Justice Department reports over 80 alleged rapes in Missoula over the last three years, with at least 11 in an 18 month period involving University of Montana students. Officials say the federal investigation will look at sexual assaults alleged by all women in Missoula, not just students. The Justice Department also says its Civil Rights team has uncovered patterns of gender discrimination in the New Orleans Police Department as well as two others, http://bit.ly/IpND7h

    PA Voter ID Law Would Keep 93-Year-Old Who Marched With Martin Luther King From Voting, http://bit.ly/JoUATa
    Pennsylvania’s Viviette Applewhite is one of the star plaintiffs in a new lawsuit that opposes PA’s voter ID law. Applewhite has voted in almost every election since 1960 and is an activist who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement. Under PAs voter ID law, Applewhite will not be able to vote because she does not have an identification card that would be required at the polls. She does not drive and her purse containing her identification card was stolen; she is also unable to register for a card because the 93-year-old cannot locate her birth certificate. Applewhite is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Advancement Project, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) and the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP. The suit is seeking injunction to stop the law’s enforcement before the November election.

    Gingrich poised to embrace bitter rival Romney, http://cbsn.ws/ImGnYN
    Newt Gingrich is planning to suspend his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination later today. In an interview with USA Today, he said he will endorse Romney’s candidacy. Gingrich’s campaign, despite winning two primary contests, has become saddled in massive debt. The announcement is set for 3 p.m. EST in Arlington, Virginia. Neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Santorum is scheduled to be there. Santorum has not yet decided if he will endorse a candidate.


    Tyler Perry’s studio catches fire in Atlanta, http://cbsn.ws/Jp3Kio

    ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Bridesmaids’ top MTV Movie Awards, http://bit.ly/JNvlvG

    Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus Rumored For ‘X Factor’ Judge Spot, http://on.mtv.com/IA7mVc

    Jessica Simpson’s Dad Joe Says New Granddaughter Is a ‘Miracle,’ http://bit.ly/IAERa1

    Rosario Dawson On Election 2012, The Latino Vote And Endorsing Presidential Candidates, http://huff.to/ITENwR

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    Kelly Holleran

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

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