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    News Roundup: Friday, February 28th, 2014

    Friday, February 28th, 2014
    Masked gunmen wearing Russian uniforms seize a Ukrainian airport; the daughter of Sen. Robert Kennedy is acquitted after driving under the influence of drugs on a New York highway; Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy after hackers steal half a billion dollars worth of stock; and the Egyptian military claims to have the cure for–not one–but TWO deadly global diseases. Meanwhile Seth Rogen manages to make a CSPAN video go viral; and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are apparently engaged?!

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Gunmen in Russian Uniforms Sieze Airport in Ukraine http://rtvote.com/1eG8ksC
    Days after violence settled in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev, masked gunmen in Russian military attire have seized an airport in the Eastern Crimean region of Ukraine. The gunmen refused to respond when questioned about their authority and military status. It is yet unclear if there is any organized force behind the occupation. Though Kiev recently outed pro-Russian President Yanukovich, the Eastern Crimean region has historically been sympathetic to Russian interests.

    Kerry Kennedy Acquitted of Drugged Driving http://rtvote.com/1mKFK3i
    The 54-year old daughter of Senator Robert Kennedy was acquitted after a July 2012 incident in which she mistakenly took a fast-acting sleeping pill before driving along interstate 684. The pill, which she mistook for her thyroid medicine, caused her to speed, swerve dangerously, and hit a tractor trailer. Kennedy’s acquittal means she joins 21 other people (.2% of all cases) who were acquitted of misdemeanor charges in 2012.

    Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Files for Bankruptcy http://rtvote.com/1fwgk5q
    After a concerning period of silence, Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox announced it is filing for bankruptcy after hackers stole $480 million worth of its stock. Bitcoin is a newly developed currency available exclusively online. While part of Bitcoin’s appeal is that the currency is not regulated by a central bank, this also leaves the currency vulnerable. Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy has shaken the nascent industry, but users still think there is a future for Bitcoin.

    Day After Governor’s Veto, Arizona Moves Forward with Legislation Targeting Abortion Clinics
    http://bitly.com/1fYNLIM
    Just a day after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill said to permit discriminatory policies against gay Americans, the Arizona legislature has taken up a new bill to regulate abortion clinics in the state. The bill would permit unannounced inspections which, under current law, require a warrant. In the past, Gov Brewer has both supported and opposed conservative policies from the Republican arm of the state legislature; it is unclear whether or not she would support such a bill.

    Egyptian Military Claims to Have Cure for HIV http://rtvote.com/1lpiYw7
    In a surprise announcement yesterday, the Egyptian military claimed to have developed a cure for HIV and Hepatitis C after 22 years of “secret research.” If true, this could be very good news for Egypt, which has the highest global prevalence of Hepatitis C and a 1% infection rate for HIV. However, the international community is highly skeptical that Egypt could have the cure for two deadly epidemics when decades of research across the globe has failed to do so.

    CULTURAL

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are Engaged: A Timeline of the That’s 70′s Show Romance, http://rtvote.com/1dJf35s

    Justin Timberlake Gets His Butt Grabbed During a Philadelphia Concert, http://rtvote.com/1cfLkGD

    Kerry Washington Dresses Baby Bump in Chic Blue Sheath at Essence Lunch, http://rtvote.com/MBxHF9

    Seth Rogen Gives Heartfelt, Yet Hilarious, Speech Before Senate About Alzheimer’s Research, His Mother-in-Law, http://rtvote.com/1dJgoJB

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    NEWS ROUND-UP: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014

    Friday, February 21st, 2014
    A new deal is presented to end bloodshed in Ukraine; the Dalai Lama’s visit to The White House causes reaction from China; and evidence of climate change continues as the Earth experiences its fourth-warmest January on record (despite the snow and chilly temps!). Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera makes a major announcement; U.S. women’s figure skaters talk about returning for 2018 Olympic games; and Kanye West is listed as a headline for Bonaroo for a second time.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    New deal is signed in Ukraine to end bloodshed http://rtvote.com/1bsPNVM
    After yesterday’s short-lived truce, it seems that violence in Ukraine might finally be settling down. Opposition leaders have signed a deal with government officials that calls for early elections and reductions of presidential power. The deal is thought to be promising because of involvement from high-level European and Russian mediators. Since anti-government protests escalated earlier this week, hundreds of Ukrainian protesters and security officers have been killed.

    China calls Dalai Lama “political exile;” criticizes White House meeting http://rtvote.com/1fFf22L
    The Dalai Lama is known around the world as a spiritual leader. But it turns out he isn’t exactly revered by all. China today posted a statement (on its website of all places!) criticizing the U.S. for meeting with the Dalai Lama. China has considered the Tibetan monk a “political exile” since 1959 because of his advocacy for autonomous rule in Tibet.

    New York reconsiders solitary confinement http://rtvote.com/1dae3XH
    Corrections officials in New York this week indicated a move to reconsider solitary confinement policies. New York has been one of the worst offenders for overusing solitary confinement, a form of punishment that isolates prisoners for as much as 23 hours a day. What’s worse, the average length of stay in solitary confinement for New York prisons is five months. Clearly, the state is in need of reform and this is widely seen as a progressive move towards more humane treatment of prison populations. Kudos to New York.

    Earth has fourth-warmest January on record http://rtvote.com/1l5p2tu
    It’s been pretty cold on the East Coast this year, but this is by no means an indication of global averages. The Earth as a whole experienced its fourth-warmest January on record, marking the 38th straight year that January temperatures have been higher than 20th century averages. This definitely makes you think twice about the existence of climate change!

    German athlete tests positive for doping at Sochi games http://rtvote.com/1jQP28z
    For shame! Germany’s Olympic committee announced that one of Germany’s Olympic athletes has tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, although they declined to release the athlete’s name. USA Today reports that this is the first positive test of the Sochi games. Germany has won 16 Olympic medals in Sochi so far, including 8 gold.

    CULTURAL

    Lena Dunham: Jezebel’s $10,000 Vogue Retouching Expose “Was Messed Up”, “Felt Gross”, http://rtvote.com/1h5sCQG

    Grace Gold , Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds Talk About Figure Skating Results, Eyeing Return for 2018 Olympic Games, http://rtvote.com/1fhw5Ny

    Christina Aguilera Is Pregnant! Newly-Engaged Expecting Second Child, http://rtvote.com/MIEEVz

    Kanye West Headlines Bonaroo, take 2. How’s this going to play out?, http://rtvote.com/1fhwDmw

    SPOILER ALERT: Kate Mara’s Done Lying about House of Cards and That Huge Twist, http://rtvote.com/1jV7PD1

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 

    CULTURAL

    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB

     

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

    Another massive snowstorm hammers the East; a package bomb kills a former lawyer; Tom Brokaw reveals some shocking news; and a sinkhole opens up at a museum. Meanwhile, Eva Mendes talks Ryan Gosling; Taylor Swift goes through some major hair changes; Shia LaBeouf makes headlines; and a special dinner was held at the White House last night: see the pics! 

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ice hits South, Northeast is next: http://rtvote.com/1bMy1ro
    Thousands of people are without power as a massive ice and snow storm moves up the East Coast. States including Georgia and Alabama have been pelted by ice. The storm is supposed to drop 4 to 8 inches of snow on Washington, DC and 6 to 10 inches expected in New York City. Transportation has been greatly affected; Amtrak suspended some rail services on Wednesday and more than 2,600 flights have been cancelled. Five people have reportedly been killed due to weather-related accidents.

    Package bomb kills lawyer: http://rtvote.com/1ntYVcO
    John Setzer of Lebanon, Tennessee was killed on Monday after a package exploded in his face. His wife was seriously injured. Setzer was a retired lawyer and pastor, according to his law partner. Neighbors were shocked and are now terrified to look in their mailboxes, even though police officers checked everyone’s during the investigation of the Setzer case. An $8,000 reward will be given to anyone with information about this attack.

    Tom Brokaw says he has cancer: http://rtvote.com/1cwdd7x
    Tom Brokhaw, the former NBC Nightly News anchor is being treated for cancer. Brokhaw, 74, has been diagnosed with “multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow” back in August. Doctors are optimistic due to the progress he is making, even though the cancer is serious.

    November trial date set in Boston bombing: http://rtvote.com/1cwf3oO
    The trial date for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only living suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has been set for November 3rd. Prosecutors have proposed that Tsarnaev face the death penalty if he is found guilty. The trial is expected to last twelve weeks, and is being done a year earlier than what defense lawyers wanted. Tsarnaev, 20, has been accused (along with his now-deceased older brother) of setting up the bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 260 others.

    Sinkhole swallows 8 cars at museum: http://rtvote.com/1eQe4pt
    The National Corvette Museum in Kentucky lost eight of its vintage cars to a sinkhole Wednesday morning. When the police arrived, they found a sinkhole measuring 40 feet wide and 25-30 feet deep. Employees are trying to document which cars fell into the hole to assess the cost of damage. The museum will be open Wednesday, but the Sky Dome (the site of the sinkhole) will be off-limits to visitors.

    CULTURAL

    Sorry everyone: Ryan Gosling is still off the market: http://rtvote.com/ML8Zm2

    Taylor Swift chops off her hair: http://rtvote.com/1kBXDiE

    Julia Roberts’ half-sister found dead: http://rtvote.com/1nu42JK

    What is up with Shia LaBeouf? http://rtvote.com/1eU9STU 

    See the best pics from last night’s State Dinner: http://rtvote.com/1bMGeeU

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 10, 2014

    Monday, February 10th, 2014

    Iranian warships head towards the United States; a top NFL prospect comes out; a Danish zoo kills a healthy giraffe and sparks internet outrage; Julia Mancuso wins another medal; and a young girl is rescued from Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, Anna Kendrick talks about Pitch Perfect 2; Kristen Stewart defends her past; Matt Damon starts a conga line; and…wait…are these stars actually related?

    - Veronica + Maura 

    NEWS 

    Iranian warships headed close to US borders: http://rtvote.com/1bFgPUz
    Iran is sending warships to US maritime borders in response to the ongoing American presence near Iranian borders. The vessels are equipped with navy cadets and a regular crew and include a destroyer and supply ship carrying helicopters. They are intent upon carrying out a three-month mission following a push from the Iranian government to “project its power”.

    Top NFL prospect says he’s gay: http://rtvote.com/1fZ7cVf
    Former college football star Michael Sam, one of the top NFL draft picks this year, came out to ESPN’s Chris Connelly Sunday night. Sam will be the first openly gay draft pick and, subsequently, since most high draft picks enter the NFL, the first openly gay football player in NFL history. The 2014 NFL Draft will be a test to see if the NFL is truly open to players of differing sexualities.

    Danish zoo kills healthy giraffe, feeds body to lions: http://rtvote.com/1h4c3Yn
    The online petition, dubbed “Save Marius”, garnered 27,000 signatures but made no difference. The Copenhagen Zoo euthanized a 2-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, to prevent inbreeding. After the giraffe’s death, an autopsy was performed outside in front of a crowd of people (including children). Marius’s body was then fed to the zoo’s lions, tigers, and leopards. Other zoos and the online petition encouraged the Copenhagen Zoo to find Marius a different hope, but to no avail.

    Mancuso wins her fourth Olympic medal: http://rtvote.com/1dCfTQq
    Julia Mancuso won her fourth Olympic medal on Monday in the super combined event, becoming the record-holder for most Olympic medals won by an American female skier. Only four other women skiers in history have won more Olympic medals than Mancuso. The super combined event begins with a downhill run and concludes with a slalom run. Despite not training for slaloms as heavily, Mancuso still managed to walk away with the bronze. 

    Firefighters rescue autistic girl from Lake Michigan ice: http://rtvote.com/1h4hRRQ
    A 13-year-old girl was rescued from Lake Michigan after jumping over a fence and walking onto the ice. She was not wearing shoes, and tried to fight off firefighters during her rescue. She was suffering from hypothermia at the time of her rescue and was transported to Saint Joseph Hospital in stable condition.
     

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Anna Kendrick talks Pitch Perfect 2: http://rtvote.com/1aO3u1a

    Kristen Stewart has no regrets: http://rtvote.com/1bO5Wmu

    Are these celebrities really related to each other? You be the judge! http://rtvote.com/1f9RRgX

    Celebrity conga line starring Matt Damon: http://rtvote.com/1eNUZmj

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

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