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    News Round-Up: November 22, 2013

    Friday, November 22nd, 2013

    We honor President JFK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination; 3 San Jose State students engage in an appalling hate crime; and the Swedish embassy in North Korea is working to get an 85-year-old American war vet out of North Korean detention. Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman gets a spot of skin cancer removed (feel better, Hugh!), and, in a rare appearance, Adele is spotted with her baby boy.

    -Sandy + Maura



    3 San Jose State students charged with hate crime against black roommate,http://rtvote.com/1bIxWnq
    Three San Jose State University students – Logan Beaschler, 18; Joseph Bomgardner, 19; Colin Warren, 18 – have been suspended and charged with misdemeanor hate crime and battery. They racially bullied their black roommate by nicknaming him “Three-fifths” (a reference to a constitutional provision that counted slaves as 3/5 of a person) and clamping a bicycle lock on his neck. They also decorated their shared apartment suite with Nazi symbols, a Confederate flag, and photos of Adolf Hitler. The 17-year-old victim suffered minor injuries when fighting off the bike lock from his neck.

    ‘Solemn’ event to honor JFK at Dallas’ Dealey Plaza,http://rtvote.com/1h7c9gL
    In honor of President John F. Kennedy, a commemoration ceremony will be held today in Dealey Plaza – the site of JFK’s assassination. JFK was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald exactly 50 years ago from today. You will never be forgotten, Mr. President. Thank you for all you have done for our country.

    U.S. to Consider Cellphone Use on Planeshttp://rtvote.com/1ca5A7t
    The Federal Communications Commission will soon propose allowing customers to use their cellphones on airplanes. Cellphone use would still be restricted during takeoff and landing, but passengers would be allowed to resume use after reaching 10,000 feet. The FAA said recently that cellphones pose no safety threat to aircrafts. It would ultimately be up to the airlines to allow this policy or not, and it looks like many customers may object.

    3 men, including 2 ex-cops, charged in 1994 slayings of Kentucky prostitutes,http://rtvote.com/1doyNR8
    In Kentucky, the murders of two prostitutes, Candace Belt, 22, and Gloria Ross, 18, remained unsolved since 1994. In 1997, the brothel’s madam accused two former cops of participating in the killings, but investigations had been thwarted by tampered evidence. A seven-year state police investigation has finally charged the two former cops, Leslie Duncan, 50, and Edward T. Carter, 43, and a third man, Frank J. Black, Jr., 39. The case remains opened, and Kentucky State Police believe this may “just be the tip of the iceberg.”

    Kerry: N Korea’s detention of veteran a “dangerous step”,http://rtvote.com/I8ZhYU
    Korean War veteran Merrill Newman, 85, was removed from his flight home and detained last month after visiting North Korea on a tourist visa. Newman is a grandfather from Palo Alto, California, and his family wants him home. The U.S. and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations, so the Embassy of Sweden in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, is representing the interests of U.S. citizens and is working to resolve the issue.



    Hugh Jackman Has Skin Cancer Removed, Reminds Us to Wear Sunscreen,http://rtvote.com/1aVO8AF

    Jennifer Lawrence Explains ER Trip: “You Can Only S–t Your Pants So Many Times” Before Admitting You Need a Hospital, http://rtvote.com/1aMyY4n

    Liam Hemsworth “Much Happier” After Miley Cyrus Breakup: “I’m More Centered and Grounded,” http://rtvote.com/I93k7I

    The Girls Season 3 Trailer Is Here: See the 10 Most Relatable & Incredible Quotes, http://rtvote.com/1iBu5zg

    Adele Steps Out with Son Angelo, 13 months, Goes Without Makeup, http://rtvote.com/1g2IYZ1


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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Obama will announce the withdrawal of 34K troops from Afghanistan in his State of the Union address; North Korea conducts its most powerful nuclear test yet; a new report reveals that Pope Benedict XVI had secret heart surgery; a blast on Turkey and Syria’s border kills 14; ex-LAPD cop Steve Dorner may have had an accomplice; the Philippines hope for Asia’s first pope; and Twitter and Amex allow customers to buy items via hashtags. Meanwhile, wrestling will no longer be an Olympic sport; Adele’s Grammy crasher is arrested; and Rihanna takes a sad bath in her new music video.



    According to the Associated Press, President Obama will announce the withdrawal of 34,000 troops from Afghanistan one year from today. He is set to reveal these plans during tonight’s State of the Union address. Yesterday, Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha, who fought to save his fellow soliders during an insurgent attack orchestrated by al Qaeda. During the State of the Union, President Obama will most likely address the economy, the middle class, and his presidency. The address begins at 9:00 PM E.T.

    North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test, http://rtvote.com/XGxbGa
    North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet last night, defying U.N resolutions. The test has caused strong condemnation from other countries, including China which is the country’s only major ally. President Obama called the detonation “highly provocative” and said that it “undermines regional stability.”  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the test as a “clear and grave violation” of the U.N.’s resolutions. North Korea is working to enhance its nuclear systems, yet it is a long time away from miniaturizing devices for missiles.

    Pope Benedict Had Heart Surgery Three Months Ago, Il Sole Says, http://rtvote.com/XGE6Pw
    The newspaper Il Sole is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his retirement yesterday, had heart surgery and a new pacemaker put in three months ago. The Vatican confirmed that the pope has been using a pacemaker for a long time, but that he is in good health. The surgery, which was kept secret, had no complications but made the pope reconsider whether he is well enough for the post.

    Deadly bus blast hits Turkey’s Syria border, http://rtvote.com/159elNc
    At least 14 were killed and 26 wounded after a minibus exploded near Turkey and Syria’s border Tuesday. The explosion took place at a popular crossing for Syrian refugees. A spokesman for the Turkish government said that Syrian forces were behind the “powerful explosion.”  He went on to add that, “The information that we have for now is that a minibus with Syrian number plates coming from the other side exploded.”

    Dorner may have had help in trying to flee to Mexico, http://rtvote.com/XGySn2
    Authorities are considering the possibility that Steve Dorner, the ex-LAPD cop who is wanted for the murder of three, may have had an accomplice that helped him escape to Mexico. A report detailing Dorner’s path after the murders was released in court records Monday. It highlights Dorner’s efforts to steal a boat and subdue its captain in San Diego. There is a $1 million reward for Dorner’s capture. Murder and attempted-murder charges have already been filed against him.

    Busted toilets, hot rooms, headaches after fire strands cruise ship in Gulf, http://rtvote.com/159az6t
    A Carnival cruise ship is currently stranded off of the Gulf of Mexico with 3,143 passengers on board. An engine fire caused the ship to become immobile on Sunday. Passengers are facing a shortage of running water, electricity, and food. One passenger reported “sewage running down the walls and floors” and that those on board were being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers. Lines for food surpass 3.5 hours, and many passengers are sleeping outside due to the lack of air conditioning.

    Philippines Catholics hope, pray for Asia’s first pope, http://rtvote.com/11E1eog
    The Philippines’ Catholics, the largest Christian community in Asia, are hoping that their own Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will replace Pope Benedict XVI when he resigns on February 28th. “The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell,” said Tagle regarding the pope’s retirement. While his election is far from certain, Tagle has a reputation as a lively Vatican insider and former adviser to the pope.

    Twitter and Amex to let you pay with a hashtag, http://rtvote.com/11DYuY5
    Twitter and American Express have teamed up to allow customers to purchase items via a hashtag. Users who sign up to buy items will be able to tweet an Amex related hashtag when ready to purchase. The customers will know their purchase has gone through once they’ve received a confirmation hashtag from Amex. The new initiative will begin Wednesday morning.


    IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics, http://rtvote.com/11DYpne

    Adele’s Grammy Speech Crasher Arrested After Getting Stink-Eye From Jennifer Lopez, http://rtvote.com/Ya2MQh

    Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ Video, Featuring Mikky Echo: The Saddest Bath In The World, http://rtvote.com/11E3Ja7

    ABC, Univision unveil joint venture’s name: Fusion, http://rtvote.com/XGJdiN

    Justin Timberlake Calls New Album ‘The Best Stuff I’ve Ever Done’, http://rtvote.com/XGJhiy

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

    President Obama will reveal a corporate tax reform plan; two more journalists have died in Syria; Iran relations sour over nuclear negotiation talks; and Romney and Santorum duke it out in various national voting polls. Meanwhile, Google plans to sell “Terminator” glasses to augment the smartphone; President Obama continues his singing career; and Adele joins M.I.A. in flipping the bird on television.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Obama to offer corporate tax reform plan, http://bit.ly/z5cZfo
    President Obama’s corporate tax reform plan will be unveiled by the Treasury Department today. The plan aims to reduce the rate paid by corporations, which would lower the overall tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. A senior administration official says that the lower rate would be funded by eliminating tax loopholes, subsidies, and expanding business taxes. The tax plan proposes more manufacturing research, development, and production of clean energy. It will also cut taxes and simplify the tax code for small U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs. The current corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world, with critics complaining that it discourages foreign investment and prohibits U.S. companies from competing internationally.

    2 Western journalists killed in Syria, opposition activists say, http://bit.ly/y74OJo
    Amid heavy shelling in the Syrian city of Homs, it’s reported that two Western journalists have been killed. The Sunday Times of London confirmed that British newspaper journalist Marie Colvin, who stayed in Syria a day later than originally planned in order to work on a story, has died. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has also confirmed that journalist Remi Ochlik was killed in a bombing. The deaths follow The New York Times’ loss of reporter Anthony Shadid, who was working in eastern Syria when he suffered a fatal asthma attack. In addition, twenty-seven Syrians were killed on Wednesday. The dead include 20 from the Bab Amr neighborhood of Homs, where Colvin and Ochlik were stationed.

    UN nuclear agency reports failed Iran talks, http://bit.ly/zU7sqn
    After a trip to Iran to investigate the country’s nuclear weapon strides, the U.N. nuclear agency is reporting failure, with an official citing not being able to “find a way forward” to talk with Iran about suspected arms. In addition to this, Tehran is resisting demands to discuss any nuclear activity even with international sanctions against Iran growing. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency had hoped to talk to Iranian scientists about their weapons program and inspect documents related to nuclear work. Officials are reporting that they will try to remain in constructive spirits with Iran. It is now up to the 35-nation IAEA board to decide on its next response.

    NBC Poll: Romney, Santorum deadlocked in Michigan; Romney leads in Arizona, http://on.msnbc.com/wmr1HZ
    A week out before the Republican presidential primary in Michigan, a new poll shows Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a tie in Michigan, while Romney holds a cushioned lead in Arizona. Romney holds 37 percent of support in Michigan while Santorum holds 35 percent. Ron Paul is reported to have 13 percent and Newt Gingrich is coming in last with 8 percent.

    Santorum Up 9 Points Among Republican Voters, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Obama Edges Santorum, But Romney Is Too Close To Call, http://bit.ly/zHKdKO 
    In a national poll, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum now leads the Republican presidential race by 35 percent. Mitt Romney has scored 26 percent among nationwide Republican and Independent voters. In a November match-up, Obama shows to edge out Santorum, 47 to 44 percent, but still contends a close race with Romney, 46 percent to 44 percent. Newt Gingrich weighs in with 14 percent of support while Ron Paul holds 11 percent.

    Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End, http://nyti.ms/z4QYPU
    Doing away with the hassle of rummaging in pockets to find a smartphone, Google is creating a pair of glasses that will be able to stream information in front of the wearer’s eyeballs in real time. The glasses will go on sale publicly by the end of the year and are expected to cost around $250 to $600. The glasses will be Android-based, with a small screen sitting a few inches from the wearer’s eye. They will have a small camera built in which will monitor the wearer’s world and relay information about surrounding locations, buildings, and friends nearby. The product is reported to resemble a pair of Oakley Thumps.


    President Obama sings ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ with B.B. King and Buddy Guy, http://wapo.st/yHYtkI

    Adele flips off producers at Brit Awards, http://bit.ly/AkcI30

    Kourtney Kardashian Reveals Sex of Baby, http://eonli.ne/A7Vap4

    ‘Amazing Race’ producer Jeff Rice found dead in Africa of suspected poisoning, http://thedc.com/xlfF3B

    Massive Pink Diamond Discovered in Australia, Worth Over $10 Million, http://huff.to/zcnjeY

    Kelly Holleran

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

    Iran announces key nuclear achievements to the public; Vice President Biden chides China VP Xi Jinpig; a prison fire in Honduras kills at least 350 inmates; a fake cancer drug is circulating US marketings; and Pew releases research about the US’s outdated voter registration system. Meanwhile, Malachy the Pekingnese wins Westminster’s Best in Show, and Adele will take a five-year hiatus from making music.



    Iran Leader to Announce Atomic Steps, http://nyti.ms/xUyo0r
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will announce “key nuclear achievements” today. Iranian news outlets are reporting that Ahmadinejad will probably speak about Fordo, a uranium enrichment plant located inside of a mountain, that is now “fully operational.” Meanwhile, Iran’s largest banks have been sanctioned by the EU and the US; however, the EU is going one step further by stopping Iran from using SWIFT, a financial clearinghouse that it has been using for wire transfers to facilitate oil sales.

    With Edge, U.S. Greets China’s Heir Apparent, http://nyti.ms/wxkUXW
    Vice President Biden apparently lectured Xi Jinping, China’s vice president and likely future president, during his visit to the US. “As Americans, we welcome competition,” Biden said during a State Department lunch. “But cooperation, as you and I have spoken about, can only be mutually beneficial if the game is fair.” He also lectured Xi on China’s artificially deflated currency, the jailing of Chinese dissidents, and the country’s opposition to a UN intervention in Syria. President Obama made similar points in his meeting with Xi; however, he apparently spoke more diplomatically. Xi meets with Congress today.

    Honduras prison fire kills more than 350 inmates, http://reut.rs/yVCaWt
    At least 357 prisoners have been killed in a fire in Honduras. Some prisoners escaped by breaking off the roof and leaping off the building; however, most died from suffocation in their cells when a guard with keys was nowhere to be found. The fire took more than an hour to put out. The prison held 800 inmates, which is much more than its allowed capacity.

    Fake Cancer Drug Found in U.S., http://on.wsj.com/zdLBN1
    The pharmaceutical company Roche has warned hospitals that a counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin has been distributed in the United States. These fake versions contain no active ingredients to help fight cancer. The FDA is investigating whether or not any patients have been given counterfeit Avastin and how much of it has been distributed in US markets. The packaging of the fake version has French text and the numbers are off. Once confined to developing countries, counterfeit drugs have become a growing trend in the US.

    (via New York Times) Voter Rolls Are Rife With Inaccuracies, Report Finds: The nation’s voter registration rolls are in disarray, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Center on the States. The problems have the potential to affect the outcomes of local, state and federal elections. One in eight active registrations is invalid or inaccurate. At the same time, one in four people who are eligible to vote — at least 51 million potential voters — are not registered. The report found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. And 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that mailings based on them will reach voters,http://nyti.ms/wDepDC

    Why Mitt Romney needs to own Michigan, http://politi.co/yT6HAH
    Mitt Romney is working overtime to win his home state of Michigan after Santorum has shown a surge in the polls. Yesterday, Romney’s campaign purchased $1.3 million in airtime in the state, while Super PAC Restore our Future is planning on funding an anti-Santorum ad. Romney has also written an op-ed in The Detroit Newsthat defends his opposition to the auto bailout. Romney has said he doesn’t expect the outcome in Michigan “to be a landslide,” while a Santorum adviser has said they are “under no illusions” that their candidate will win the state.

    Swiss craft janitor satellites to grab space junk, http://apne.ws/Aoo0s4
    Switzerland has announced that it will launch a “janitor satellite,” called CleanSpace One, that will clean up outer space’s debris or “space junk” left over from Earth’s satellites. NASA has reported that 500,000 pieces of debris are orbiting earth and traveling at 17,500 mph.


    Pekingese Becomes America’s Top Dog at Westminster, http://abcn.ws/yZJrL4

    Fighting Whitney’s Family To See Bobbi Kristina, http://bit.ly/xo06Hu

    Whitney Houston Sells 1 Million Albums, Singles Since Death, http://on.mtv.com/wdIWRB

    Singer Adele announces shocking five-year hiatus from music industry, http://fxn.ws/wROONy

    Playmate Claire Sinclair Describes Scene of Alleged Domestic Dispute With Marston Hefner,http://eonli.ne/zaGfTH

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


    Monday, February 13th, 2012

    Two Israeli ambassadors have been subject to car bombs abroad; Obama has proposed a 2013 budget; China’s next president will revisit the United States; and Rick Santorum has taken a decisive lead over Mitt Romney in some polls. Elsewhere, Whitney Houston’s death has been ruled a drug overdose and Lil’ Wayne freestyles a critique of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaboration.

    Aaron + Caitlin


    Admiral Seeks Freer Hand in Deployment of Elite Forces http://nyti.ms/yabgbd
    Admiral William H. McRaven is asking for permission to use his Special Operations command with a freer hand across the globe. As the Pentagon budget shrinks and the United States movse away from an active occupying role internationally, these flexible and movable troops are considered incredibly important for maintaining stability abroad.  Some critics fear that these troops could hurt internationals relations with local nations considering the split with ties to Pakistan after the bin Laden raid.

    Rejecting Arab League Pressure, Syria Resumes Shelling, Reports Say http://nyti.ms/ztY76U
    Syrian officials rejected the Arab League request for a United Nations peacekeeping mission. Not only did the nation led by Bashar al-Assad reject a peacekeeping deal, the government continued to shell the city of Homs. Opposition forces claim that al-Assad’s forces killed up to 23 people on Sunday alone. Both Russia and China are defending al-Assad’s regime.

    Israel Blames Iran for Attacks in India and Georgia http://nyti.ms/AAhVEx
    On Monday two different vehicles used by Israeli ambassadors were targeted with car bombs abroad. In New Delhi, a bomb was flung into a car used by the Israeli embassy and successfully exploded the vehicle, injuring two. In Tbilisi, a bomb was found in a car used by an Israeli ambassador and diffused by local police. No one has formally taken credit for the attacks but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanytahu has alleged that the act was committed by Iran. Israeli has been working to systematically end Iran’s nuclear program by assassinating Iranian physicists and attacking their nuclear capabilities.

    China’s president-in-waiting heads to Washington for a visit crucial to both nations http://wapo.st/yM89Bg
    China’s next president, Xi Jinping, is visiting the United States in preparation for his future role. Jinping is known for his comfort speaking off a script, a skill current president Hu Jintao lacks. Included in Jinping’s itinerary is a visit with the middle-class Iowa family who housed him in the 1980s, a trip to the White House, and a rumored appearance at a Los Angeles Lakers game. This entire trip is well choreographed to maintain an image of a strong leader.

    Obama’s budget headed to Congress, http://buswk.co/x2DYye
    President Obama has sent a proposed budget to Congress that includes $4 trillion in deficit reduction. The budget would increase spending in education and transportation and would attempt to keep government spending at levels necessary to stabilize the economy. For the next year the nation would still have a deficit over $1 trillion but would shrink the deficit to just above $500 billion by 2018. Republicans are criticizing the plan as not doing enough to address the deficit.

    Schiphol airport reopens after bomb threat http://buswk.co/yhYWxM
    The Schiphol airport in Amsterdam was temporarily paralyzed by a man in a bathroom stall who claimed to have explosives. Two terminals were evacuated and many flights were delayed as professional negotiators got a handle on the situation. Dutch officials say the man is no longer a danger to the public but will disclose neither his name nor whether or not he was armed. This was taken quite seriously because the Schiphol airport is the hub in which the “Underwear Bomber” left en route for Detroit.

    GE to hire 5,000 veterans over next 5 years http://usat.ly/wC8jUn
    General Electric has announced intentions to hire over 5,000 former members of the armed services through the next half decade. They also announced plans to spend over half a billion dollars to expand their aviation program. Additionally they will open 3 new plants and create over 400 new jobs.


    Whitney Houston died from drug overdose, not drowning: report, http://nyp.st/x3rJPV

    Adele Is 6 for 6 at the Grammy Awards, http://nyti.ms/zWxexL

    Jolie pens script about Afghanistan http://bit.ly/yBi2Pk

    Lil’ Wayne Disses The Throne! http://bit.ly/xxrOuc

    Willie Nelson sings Coldplay better than Coldplay? http://on.msnbc.com/wlauOj

    Aaron Ghitelman

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