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    ‘Afghanistan’



    News Round-Up: Friday, April 4th, 2014

    Friday, April 4th, 2014

    Two journalists are killed after an Afghan police officer opens fire; David Letterman announces his retirement after 22 years on the Late Show; the March jobs report shows 192K new jobs were added last month; Mozilla’s CEO resigns over same-sex marriage controversy; and scientists say there might be water on one of Saturn’s moons! Meanwhile, Kristen Bell proves her awesomeness and sings all of Anna’s voices from Frozen live (see the magic!); Emily Blunt talks about how amazing motherhood is; and James Franco admits to flirting with a 17 year-old.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Foreign Journalists Killed in Afghanistan http://rtvote.com/1q09VQk
    Photographer Anja Niedringhaus (48) and reporter Kathy Gannon (60) were in eastern Afghanistan on assignment to cover preparations for the country’s upcoming elections. Both knew the country well and had spent several years reporting from in-country. Earlier this morning, the two journalists were traveling with a convoy of elections administrators when an Afghan police officer, who was part of the convoy, pointed his AK-47 into their vehicle and opened fire. This is believed to be the first time an Afghan police officer has intentionally killed a foreign journalist. The police officer in question is being held in custody.

    David Letterman Announces his Retirement After a 22 Year Run http://rtvote.com/1hIW8No
    On the Late Show last night, David Letterman announced that he will be retiring soon from the CBS network show that he has hosted since 1993. In a statement to his audience, he said “I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God.” The announcement came as a surprise to CBS. As Letterman announced on last night’s show, he phoned Leslie Moonves, the network chief executive, just before stepping out on stage.

    March Jobs Report Shows 192K New Jobs http://rtvote.com/1k7wqW4
    It’s the first Friday of the month, which means… *drum roll*… the BLS Jobs numbers are out! The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 192K jobs were added in March, which, though less than had been hoped for, still comes in 37K jobs higher than expected. The unemployment rate remains at 6.7%, mostly due to an increase of half-a-million people in the labor force (which is a good sign– more people looking for more jobs means more growth. Learned that one in Econ 101).

    Mozilla Co-Founder Resigns Over Gay-Rights Controversy http://rtvote.com/1dXXHrb
    Mozilla is learning a tough lesson this week: don’t poke the internet because it fights back. After news broke of CEO Brendan Eich’s opposition to same-sex marriage (the techie had donated $1000 to a campaign in support of California’s Prop 8), the tech world rose up in protest. The popular dating website OK Cupid banned users from accessing its website through the Mozilla Firefox web browser, urging “that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.” Eich has since resigned from his position, and Mozilla released a statement yesterday saying “we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”

    Scientists Find Water on Saturn’s Moon http://rtvote.com/QLakfr
    All eyes are on Saturn’s moon Enceladus this week as scientists report the likelihood of a massive underwater ocean the size of Lake Superior. Enceladus is only 300 miles wide, which makes its diameter approximately the same width as the state of Arizona. So does this mean life could exist there? The jury is still out, but scientists say that life could “happen quickly” if conditions are right.

    CULTURAL

    Kristen Bell Sings “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” Live, Proves How Awesome She Really Is, http://rtvote.com/1hcpBQZ

    Snookie Reveals She’s Pregnant, Expecting Second Baby With Fiance Jionni LaValle, http://rtvote.com/1i7Benp

    James Franco Admits to Flirting With 17-Year-Old: “I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson”, http://rtvote.com/OhG21r

    Emma Stone Reveals She Still Gets Starstruck , Shares a Hidden Talent Inspired by the Spice Girls, http://rtvote.com/1jaBrtl

    Emily Blunt: Motherhood “Is Really the Coolest Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me”, http://rtvote.com/1mPLGHb

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

    Arizona’s governor has yet to make a decision on the latest controversial bill; secession fears emerge in Ukraine; and a California couple finds $10 million worth of Gold Rush-era coins. Meanwhile, another celebrity couple splits; more controversy emerges for Justin Bieber; and Kanye West talks music.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Arizona governor takes time on anti-gay bill: http://rtvote.com/1mHkU4T
    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has been pressured for days to take a stance on bill SB1062, that would allow businesses and restaurants to refuse to serve gays based on religious beliefs. People from all professions and belief systems have called on Brewer to veto the bill including: the LGBT community, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, religious leaders, business giants like Apple, and Arizona’s two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake. The NFL is also watching the bill’s progress; if it passes, the 2015 Super Bowl’s Arizona location might be challenged. Brewer has until Saturday at 11:59pm to make her decision, but her inaction so far has drawn criticism.

    Tensions rise in Ukraine’s pro-Russian Crimea amid secession fears: http://rtvote.com/1fHdjOg
    Pro-Russian protesters faced off with pro-Ukrainian protesters in Simferopol, a city within Ukraine’s Crimea region. Some fear that Crimea, due to its extreme loyalty to Russia, will secede from Ukraine, although parliament speaker Volodimir Konstantinov has denied that there are secession plans in the works. Currently, eastern and southern Ukraine has a heavier Russian influence, while Western Ukraine favors the majority of Europe. Currently, Ukraine is trying to create a new government in the midst of the continuing political instability throughout the country.

    No bluff: US planning possible withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan: http://rtvote.com/1gCjscp
    If no security agreement is signed, the Obama administration told Afghanistan that they would withdrawal all of the United States troops that remain by the end of the year. This comes after Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, refused to sign the security agreement, which would keep American troops in Afghanistan after combat operations end this year. A Pakistani official believes that if the United States leaves Afghanistan completely, a civil war will ensue. Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would sign the deal if elected.

    UAE Islamic affairs authority warns Muslims against a mission to Mars: http://rtvote.com/1ewcRhg
    The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) has issued a ruling telling Muslims not to travel to Mars, despite supporting space travel in general. The GAIAE is against travel to Mars because they believe people won’t come back: that they’ll die in space. This, they say, is similar to committing suicide because the traveler willingly went to Mars knowing he or she may not return. Suicide is strictly against Islamic principles. Mars One, the Dutch nonprofit planning the first tourist mission to outer space (through Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic) this year, issued a statement saying that human lives would not be at risk for tourism-based space travel and that the GAIAE should revoke the ruling.

    California couple unearths Gold Rush coins worth $10 million: http://rtvote.com/1jAakb3
    Two Californians stumbled upon 1,427 gold coins buried by a tree on their property while walking their dog. The discovery is believed to be “one of the greatest buried treasures ever unearthed in the United States” says the trade journal Coin Update. The coins worth $5, $10, and $20 were in mint condition and had never been circulated, though they have been dated from 1897 to 1894. Most of the coins are $20 coins minted between 1855 and 1894. Some experts say some coins could be auctioned for $1 million. No one has any idea who might have buried them. The couple plans to sell the majority of the coins on Amazon and plan on using the proceeds to help their community.

    CULTURAL

    Katy Perry and John Mayer hit splitsville: http://rtvote.com/1pthPUZ

    Justin Bieber’s security guard and driver arrested: http://rtvote.com/1llFOoy

    Kanye West to make “kid-friendly” music? http://rtvote.com/1khb5pg

    Miley Cyrus debunks some rumors: http://rtvote.com/N3mGgH

    Paul Rudd vs. Jimmy Fallon…at lip syncing: http://rtvote.com/1bM4aEN

    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: November 21, 2013

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013

    Partisan gridlock continues as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a ‘nuclear option’; Congressman Radel (R-Fla) is busted for cocaine purchase but doesn’t resign; and a volcanic eruption has led to the arrival of a tiny new island in Japan. Meanwhile, Miley is at it again! as she bleaches her eyebrows & posts to Instagram; an O.C. cast member and former Gossip Girl star are set to get hitched; and Jennifer Lawrence gets teased by her Catching Fire co-stars.
    - Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL 

    Harry Reid may go ‘nuclear’ Thursday, http://rtvote.com/1h50yii
    Tension and dysfunction in Washington, D.C. continues and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is poised to do something about it. After a slew of executive nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was thwarted by Republicans, Senator Reid may move toward a historic change to the Senate rules that would eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday. If a second round of votes to choose from the nominees fails, the Senator may move to make a change of rules the Senate based on a majority vote.  Stay tuned for more as this develops.

    Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to take leave of absence after guilty plea to cocaine charge, http://rtvote.com/1ek5Anu
    On Wednesday, the 37-year-old lawmaker and freshman Congressman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug-possession charge in D.C.  Superior Court.  He was arrested last month outside of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. after purchasing cocaine from an undercover officer. In a late night press conference Wednesday, the Congressman apologized to his constituents in Florida, but will not resign from his post.

    Karzai Says Security Pack With U.S. Should Be Signed Next Year, http://rtvote.com/1dkJWT1
    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signaled that a security deal with the U.S. may not be finalized until next year, even if it is ratified by a grand council of Afghan leaders this week. He asked the council to place the agreement on hold until after his successor is elected, but was unclear on what that timeline looks like. This would put a final agreement on hold and could keep American and NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

    Volcano spawns new Japanese island, http://rtvote.com/1dkMlx3
    Japan is fired up! A recent undersea volcanic eruption has given Japan a tiny new patch of territory that currently measures about 660 feet in diameter and is located just off the coast of Nishinoshima. However, the country will put naming its newest addition on hold until they are sure that the sea will not engulf it.

    LRA leader Joseph Kony ‘in surrender talks’ with CAR, http://rtvote.com/1ixTmtZ
    A spokesperson of the Central African Republic (CAR) has said that it is in talks with Joseph Kony, the infamous Ugandan warlard. His rebellion in northern Uganda began more than 20 years ago and his fighters became known for abducting children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and the United States government has offered up $5million for any leads that result in his arrest.

    CULTURAL
    ‘Catching Fire’ stars joke about Jennifer Lawrence’s ego: ‘You can hardly talk to her’, http://rtvote.com/19KDrkq

    Lullaby time: Kelly Clarkson is expecting first baby, http://rtvote.com/1bUmY1U

    Miley Cyrus Bleaches Her Eyebrows, Parties With Miranda Kerr and Lily Allen—See the Pics!, http://rtvote.com/1aTKCab

    Leighton Meester, Adam Brody Are Engaged! Former Gossip Girl Star and O.C. Stud to Wed, http://rtvote.com/19KFepp

    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: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

    Forest fires sweep Yosemite; Obama administration considers military action against Syria’s chemical weapon attack; 12 workers killed by the Afghan Taliban; and Zimmerman to claim state funding on legal bills. Meanwhile, the VMAs are still the talk of the town, with ‘NSync and Miley Cyrus performances as big talking points.

    -Maura + Ally

    CRUCIAL

    Crews get first break against Rim firehttp://rtvote.com/1aM6SIo
    Forest fires in Yosemite National Park reach their tenth day, charring nearly 161,000 acres. On top of the already tremendous damage, the fires are threatening groves of giant sequoias and historical structures in the park. Firefighters state that this is the hottest and fastest burning fire in Sierra Nevada history.

    After Syria chemical allegations, Obama considering limited military strike, http://rtvote.com/1aM75eN
    As a punishment for the use of chemical weapons, and as a deterrent, President Obama considers a short-term military strike against Syria, lasting only a few days. This response would keep United States from deep involvement in the Syrian Civil War.

    Afghan Taliban kill 12 ‘government’ workershttp://rtvote.com/17jzJPa
    The Taliban executed 12 Afghan workers who were seen “cooperating with the government.” These workers were engineers and trainers working on a World Bank-funded program to improve local project management. Negotiations were scheduled, but they were killed before the negotiations could begin.

    George Zimmerman will ask state to cover $200K-$300K of his legal bills, http://rtvote.com/17jAcAU
    Since George Zimmerman was acquitted in his trial for the death of Trayvon Martin, he is allowed by state law to request state coverage of thousands of dollars in legal bills. His motion asking the payments to be authorized “is in the works.”

    At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice, http://rtvote.com/17jDSmn
    As a new generation of teachers enters the classroom, we are finding that they stay for shorter time periods. This is especially true in charter schools. Education professionals have mixed opinions on this trend. While turnover means more passionate, less burnt out teachers, longtime teachers are also better able to build ties to communities, which is equally important.

    CULTURAL

    Madonna Tops Forbes 2013 List Of The Top-Earning Celebrities, http://rtvote.com/17jA3NO

    ‘N Sync Reunion Tour? “I’m Not Gonna Say It’s Never Gonna Happen,” Says Chris Kirkpatrick, http://rtvote.com/1aM9w15

    Paula Patton, Robin Thicke’s Wife, Was Fine With Miley Cyrus’ Twerking, But His Mom Wasn’t, http://rtvote.com/1aMc2UV

    Glee’s Cory Monteith Tribute Brings Back Some Original Cast Member, http://rtvote.com/1aMroZJ

    Ally.f@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, July 18, 2013

    Thursday, July 18th, 2013

    Indian police search for principal after 22 children die; dispute between U.S. military and Afghanistan halts custom procedures; Nelson Mandela’s health improves; Tom Perez is the new Labor Secretary. Meanwhile, the 2013 Emmy Award Nominations are announced; Neil Patrick Harris agrees to host the Emmys; Jane Lynch has emotional talk with Ellen; and Adam Levine gets engaged.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Tom Perez Confirmed as Labor Secretary, http://rtvote.com/12L8eyt
    The Senate confirmed Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez as the next secretary of labor Thursday with a vote of 54-46, making him the only Latino in President Obama’s cabinet.

    Police can’t find Indian principal after school lunches deaths, http://rtvote.com/19548VK
    At an Indian school where 22 children were poisoned to death after eating school lunches and police now say the headmistress of the school is nowhere to be found. Authorities say the students were between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and began vomiting Tuesday soon after their first bite of rice. The Bihar state Education Minister P.K. Shahi said the children were poisoned by an insecticide that was in the food.

    Flow of the U.S. military gear across Afghan borders halts amid dispute, http://rtvote.com/1954Nqb
    An escalating dispute between the Afghan government and the United States over customs procedures has halted the flow of U.S. military equipment across Afghanistan’s borders.

    Mandela ‘steadily improving’ on 95th birthday, http://rtvote.com/15pqWKz
    South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on Thursday, a milestone capped by news that the former president’s health was improving. Zindzi, one of Mandela’s daughters, remarked that he is making “remarkable progress.”

    Senators reach deal on student loan interest rates, http://rtvote.com/1953szN
    A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal Wednesday evening to offer college students better rates on loans this fall but higher rates in future years. The Senate deal would offer students lower interest rates through the 2015 academic year.  In the debate Democrats won a protection for students that rates would never climb higher than 8.2% for undergraduate students.
    CULTURAL

    2013 Emmy Nominations: 6 Biggest Surprises and Snubs, http://rtvote.com/1951lfm

    Jane Lynch Talks Cory Monteith Death: “We’ve Lost a Really Great Guy”, http://rtvote.com/1951NdA

    Adam Levine’s Fiancée Behati Prinsloo: 5 Things to Know About the Victoria’s Secret Angel, http://rtvote.com/15pkYJK

    Queen Elizabeth II Hopes Royal Baby Arrives Soon, http://rtvote.com/1952l2Y

    Neil Patrick Harris steps in to host for Emmy noms, http://rtvote.com/1bLpszh

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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