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    News Round-Up: Monday, February 24th, 2014

    Monday, February 24th, 2014

    The Department of Defense proposes some extreme military cuts; Deval Patrick may be considering running for president; and a strange polio-like disease strikes five kids. Meanwhile, view the top 15 moments at the Sochi Olympics; Alec Baldwin has harsh words for some celebrities; and Pharrell’s “Smoky the Bear” Grammy’s hat is up for auction.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WWII size:http://rtvote.com/1pjsT6W
    The Department of Defense will present a new defense budget Monday that will decrease defense spending. The budget outlines a plan intent on reducing the Army to the size it was before World War Two (between 440,000 and 450,000 troops) and plans on removing a class of Air Force attack jets. The bill, supported by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, protects funding for cyberwarfare and security as well as special operations programs. Congressional leaders with large military populations in the area they represent may provide a strong opposition to the budget.

    Mass. Gov Patrick: ‘Maybe’ I’ll run for president:http://rtvote.com/1k4j7lg
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told Politico that he might consider a run for president in the future. He originally dismissed rumors of a 2016 presidential bid because he was afraid of the impact the election would have on his family. Patrick said that he and his wife would have to agree on running if he ever considered it. Patrick is not running for a third gubernatorial term this year.

    Longest-serving Congressman to retire:http://rtvote.com/1cHUd9x
    Michigan Representative John Dingell, 87, will retire from the House of Representatives when his 29th term ends later this year. A champion of healthcare reform, environmental protection, gun control, worker’s rights, and gun rights, Dingell has an impressive congressional accomplishments sheet. Serving in Congress has taken a toll on his physical health, and he continually expressed frustration with the increasingly partisan Congressional gridlock. Dingell’s retirement is now one of many, as more congressmen and senators call for retirement. Although his Michigan district is considered a safety district for Democrats, the Congressman or woman who takes his place will have a tough act to follow.

    Polio-like illness found in five California children:http://rtvote.com/1epOTnD
    Between August 2012 and July 2013, five California children have become paralyzed in one or more of their limbs. Doctors ruled out polio because all of the affected children had been vaccinated against the disease, despite their ailment having polio-like qualities. Instead, two of the five children have been diagnosed with enterovirus 68, an incredibly rare disease that is from the same family as polio. Since 2000, there have been 47 cases of enterovirus 68 in the United States. Health officials are not concerned about the possibility of an outbreak, stressing the rarity of the illness.

    Students, say goodbye to snow days:http://rtvote.com/OtTD74
    Teachers are beginning to utilize technology to teach at home. Because this winter has been difficult for many areas of the country, some schools have run out of snow days. Teachers in some school districts have begun to teach online during snow days, requiring students to log in to a program online to keep track of attendance and grades. This prevents students from missing too many school days, which would require school officials to take days away from spring break.

    CULTURAL

    See the most memorable moments from the Sochi Olympics:http://rtvote.com/1fnoTj4

    Brooke-Burke Charvet ousted from her DWTS hosting job:http://rtvote.com/1eb5gt5

    Alec Baldwin’s harsh New York essay:http://rtvote.com/1gwSMKa

    You can buy Pharrell’s infamous Grammy hat:http://rtvote.com/1mD9Ju3

    Liam Neeson discusses Natasha Richardson’s death:http://rtvote.com/1pjQ9ll

    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, November 27, 2013

    Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

    In today’s news, the U.S. blatantly defies China’s authority over their new air zone; Healthcare.gov is making clear progress (but it’ll still crash if everyone goes on at once…hey, they’re working on it); and three girls are rescued from being imprisoned in their own home for the past two years. Meanwhile, Zac Efron and Seth Rogen make a “Bound 4” video (LOL), and Frankie Muniz suffers another “mini stroke” at age 27 (our hearts go out to you, Frankie).

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    China says it monitored U.S. B-52s that flew through its new air zone,http://rtvote.com/IsOZSE
    After China declared a new air defense zone over a large part of the East China Sea, tensions have been running high between Japan and China. And now the U.S. too. To test how assertive China’s new foreign policy is, the U.S. flew two unarmed B-52 bombers through the air zone and ignored China’s demands to identify themselves and submit flight plans to the Chinese authorities. If we were going forsubtle defiance, well then…that didn’t happen.

    A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Sitehttp://rtvote.com/18HsOmA
    Healthcare.gov is back and better than ever (which actually doesn’t say much). Officials say the website is now able to handle 50,000 users at a time, and they’re continuing to improve the system. The White House is confident users will have a different experience by the end of the month, but they don’t want everyone to rush to the still-fragile site all at once.

    Three girls say they were imprisoned in Tucson home,http://rtvote.com/1hixgwA
    Three sisters, aged 12, 13, and 17, were imprisoned in their home for up to two years by their mother and stepfather. The couple was charged with three counts each of child abuse/emotional abuse; three counts each of child abuse/physical abuse; and three counts each of kidnapping. The stepfather is also being held on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child under 15 years of age. The two youngest girls, who eventually escaped and called for help, had not seen the third sister for almost two years. They were malnourished and living in extremely filthy conditions when police found them.

    Police: Nurse fatally stabbed while protecting patients,http://rtvote.com/1aVgfEA
    Nurse Gail Sandidge, 57, died Tuesday after being stabbed by a man who was at the hospital to visit his mother. A hospital employee and three hospital visitors were also injured in the attack by Kyron Rayshawn Templeton, 22. Templeton has been arrested and claimed that “they” were trying to kill his mother. Templeton’s mother was scheduled for a procedure that morning.

    Wind could ground Macy’s parade balloons in NYChttp://rtvote.com/1aVlQuz
    You know it’s the holiday season when the Macy’s parade is on! However, the storm that’s causing holiday mayhem and flight delays on the East Coast might cause some setbacks for the parade’s floats. If sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, the gigantic balloons won’t be taking off Thursday morning (nooooo!).
    CULTURAL 

    Alec Baldwin Blames “Fundamentalist Wing of Gay Advocacy” (and Himself, a Bit) For Killing His Talk Show, http://rtvote.com/1c8TdKT

    Shirtless Zac Efron Joins “Bound 2” Parody Fun: He and Seth Rogen Costar in “Bound 4”!, http://rtvote.com/1c8TjlB

    Lorde Backtracks After Dissing Drake and Nicki Minaj, http://rtvote.com/1cvNSvo

    Frankie Muniz Suffers Second “Mini Stroke” at the Age of 27, Tweets That He’s “Miserable”, http://rtvote.com/1er8ndV

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 18, 2013

    Monday, November 18th, 2013

    Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin awaits his execution; the Cheney sisters bicker over Facebook; and a father stands trial for leaving his gun loaded and unsecured, which led to his 4-year-old killing their next-door-neighbor. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence talks about her social anxiety, and a VS Angel takes back her slam on Taylor Swift.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Top Syrian rebel commander Abdul Qadir al-Saleh dieshttp://rtvote.com/17Eh9AV
    A top Syrian rebel commander has died of wounds sustained in an air strike on a rebel-held air base in Aleppo province on Thursday. Abdul Qadir al-Saleh was the leader of Liwa al-Tawhid, one of the main rebel forces in Aleppo. BBC Reporter James Reynolds says this is a “big symbolic victory” for Mr. Assad’s forces.

    Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin prepares to diehttp://rtvote.com/HVf39c
    Joseph Paul Franklin, the man who murdered 22 people between 1977 to 1980, is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday in Missouri. His victims included Jewish people, African-Americans, and interracial couples. His mission was “to get a race war started.”

    D.C. insurance commissioner fired a day after questioning Obamacare fixhttp://rtvote.com/I1kJ2b
    A day after he questioned President Obama’s decision to dismantle a major part of the Affordable Care Act, D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White was fired. White had expressed his opposition to President Obama’s Thursday announcement that those whose plans would be canceled could keep their policies for another year.

    Dispute Over Gay Marriage Erupts in Cheney Familyhttp://rtvote.com/1amp9ea
    Mary and Liz Cheney are no longer the adorably close sisters who tagged along on their father’s campaigns. A feud has erupted between them, and they’ve taken it to social media. Things started yesterday when Liz appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and said she opposed same-sex marriage. Her sister, who is homosexual, fired back at her on Facebook.

    Father of boy, 4, who killed playmate rejects plea dealhttp://rtvote.com/1aBJn2w
    Anthony Senatore’s 4-year-old son got a hold of his father’s loaded rifle on April 8th and shot and killed his 6-year-old neighbor. The gun was unsecured in Senatore’s bedroom, and he now faces five charges of child endangerment. The parents of the six-year-old victim, Brandon Holt, are also filing a lawsuit against Robert and Melissa Senatore, seeking more than $1 million in damages.

     

    CULTURAL

    Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Make First Red Carpet Appearance in Six Months, http://rtvote.com/17hemAH

    Ireland Baldwin Defends Alec Baldwin on Twitter: “Let My Dad Be,” http://rtvote.com/HVpUjy

    Jennifer Lawrence Reveals She Suffered From Social Anxiety, Used Acting to Cope, http://rtvote.com/1gYFkCx

    Victoria’s Secret Angel Jessica Hart Backtracks After Taylor Swift Criticism, http://rtvote.com/1amBHCh

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 14, 2013

    Thursday, November 14th, 2013

    President Obama is addressing the nation (AGAIN) on Obamacare; Snapchat (a start-up run by millennials!) turns down billions from Facebook; a notorious Boston mobster gets more than 2 life terms for his crimes; and survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan struggle to find necessary resources. Meanwhile, Adam Levine gives a standing-O at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and Alec Baldwin’s crazy stalker is getting jail time.
    -Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL

    Source: President Obama’s fix will continue current plans, http://rtvote.com/I0VWu5 Aiming to calm the rippling waters among both the Democratic and Republican parties, the president will announce and administrative fix to Obamacare this morning. This will be an attempt to fix the Affordable Care Act to allow Americans to keep their current plans into next year if they want to. This will be in contrast to some Democratic House leaders who have proposed legislative solutions to the problem. Keep your eyes pealed for more details on this story as it develops!

    Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger gets 2 life terms plus 5 years, http://rtvote.com/17VI695 The notorious mobster from Boston, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, was sentenced to two life terms plus 5 years for his crimes during a reign of terror in South Boston in the 1970s and ‘80s. The convictions included murder, money laundering, racketeering, extortion, narcotics distribution, and obstruction of justice. The 84-year-old mobster had been on the run for 16 years before being arrested by the FBI in 2011.

    How it happened: Tracing Typhoon Haiyan’s havoc in the Philippines, http://rtvote.com/1bH78Wb Just a few days ago a bustling city, now, the city of Tacloban is a place of tragedy and despair as thousands try to restore their lives after Super Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation on Friday morning. To give context, the storm was 3.5 times more ferocious than Hurricane Katrina and big enough to stretch from Spain to Sweden. The current number of deaths is measured close to 1800, but the final death toll remains unknown. Survivors are now facing life-threating barriers such as access to clean water, food and medical services.

    Snapchat turned down more than $3B from Facebook, http://rtvote.com/HVJixn

    There are no limits when it comes to new technology, and Snapchat seems to know what their worth! The company reportedly turned down a $3 billion dollar deal with Facebook recently (up from their previous offer of $1 billion last year), because they are being courted by a series of other investors. Facebook’s bid for the company comes from their acknowledgement that teens are spending less time on the social media platform and more time using photographs to communicate with their peers. Snapchat is only 2 years old and was founded by 23-year old CEO Evan Spiegel.  Yay Millennials!

    CULTURAL

    Alec Baldwin stalker found guilty: Genevieve Sabourin sentenced to 210 days in jail,  http://rtvote.com/1aVJJnu

    Jennifer Lawrence leaves red carpet to comfort fan in wheelchair, http://rtvote.com/1bH78Wa

    Angelina Jolie shows evil side in ‘Maleficent’ poster, http://rtvote.com/1gO9E2B

    Mark Wahlberg lashes out at actors who compare their jobs to being a soldier, http://rtvote.com/18wp3wm
    Adam Levine Gives Behati Prinsloo a Standing Ovation at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, http://rtvote.com/1e5VtSY

    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 13, 2013

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

    A popular Washington Post columnist and India’s top policeman find themselves in boiling hot water after making some controversial remarks (on separate topics); Haiyan’s survivors are struggling to get food and water, despite international aid; and Healthcare.gov will probably not reach its November 30th deadline. Meanwhile, Zac Efron broke his jaw (ouch), and a Beyonce fan dishes on trying out one of Queen Bey’s scary-intense diets.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    India’s Top Policeman Draws Fire With Rape Remarkhttp://rtvote.com/HTOr97
    Someone please nominate this man for the Stupidest Comment of the Year award. At a conference about illegal sports betting and gambling, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha said that if the state could not stop gambling, then it could at least make some revenue by legalizing it. He then proceeded to say, ‘If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.” Activists are outraged, seeing as this man is in charge of several rape investigations and that protests in India have grown rapidly since the fatal gang rape of a student this past year.

    Controversy over Richard Cohen’s comments on the de Blasio family,http://rtvote.com/HY7r5z
    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, 72, has been under intense scrutiny for his Tuesday column, which sounds a lot like Cohen has something against interracial marriages and homosexuals. Cohen insists that he was not expressing his personal views, but those of Tea Party conservatives. As news outlets continue to condemn him, Cohen’s boss at the Post defends one of his most popular columnists.

    Lawlessness, damage leave Filipinos strugglinghttp://rtvote.com/19kpb1l
    Food and water are still struggling to reach the typhoon’s survivors as roads and ports are destroyed, and trucks have no fuel to run on. Mobs of people have begun looting warehouses for food. Even though massive amounts of supplies have arrived on nearby islands and parts of Leyte, they cannot be moved into the city in large amounts. Most Filipinos have been left homeless, and the city of Tacloban will be without power for three months.

    Troubled HeathCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November,http://rtvote.com/1buISII
    It doesn’t look like HeathCare.gov will be ready by the end of November, like the Obama administration has promised. Software problems seem to be more difficult to resolve than expected. Government workers and technical contractors have advised people to use other means to enroll in healthcare plans so the website is not overburdened.

    Ryan Ferguson Update: Mo. man jailed for nearly 10 years released,http://rtvote.com/HRksyj
    Ryan Ferguson, 29, was released from custody after being jailed for almost ten years for a crime he claims he did not commit. Originally convicted in 2005 for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, an appeals court threw out the conviction last week because Boone County prosecutors violated federal law by failing to share several pieces of evidence that pointed to Ferguson’s innocence in 2005.

     

    CULTURAL

    Zac Efron’s Broken Jaw: “He’s Going to Be OK,” Says Pal Michael B. Jordan,http://rtvote.com/1hG0t5U

    Demi Lovato: People Would Be “Shocked” to Hear My Drug and Alcohol Abuse Stories, http://rtvote.com/1dqhDhQ

    Beyonce Fan Tries Singer’s Diet, Loses 10 Pounds in 10 Days,http://rtvote.com/1bDQAP0

    Alec Baldwin’s Alleged Stalker Genevieve Sabourin Gets 30 Days in Jail for Courtroom Interruptions, http://rtvote.com/1aTEYe2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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