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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura


    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.


    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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, July 23, 2013

    Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

    Six people die in ongoing protests in Egypt; the Royal Baby is born; US military officer suggests against intervention in Syria; and crash landing in New York leads to injuries. Meanwhile, Beyonce’s hair gets caught in a fan; Amanda Bynes is accused of trespassing; and J.J. Abrams talks about Star Wars 7 movie.
    -Ally + Maura

    6 Die in Egypt as Morsi Supporters Continue Protests
    Six people were killed Tuesday near a sit-in in Cairo, bringing the 24-hour death toll to 9 and making this the most fatal period since July 8, 2013. The current event was marked by street violence, indicating a shift from July 8 when most civilians were killed by soldiers and police officers.

    Southwest’s LaGuardia Airport Landing Gear Collapse Results in Injuries, http://rtvote.com/15F9kdZ
    The malfunctioned front landing gear of a Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville to New York led to a crash Monday evening. There were no fatalities, but at least 22 passengers and crew were given medical attention on the scene or at the hospital. The event was given heightened attention following the Asiana crash-landing in San Francisco about 2 weeks ago.

    World awaits first glimpse of Kate and William’s royal baby boy, http://rtvote.com/15Fc4b6
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William have welcomed a baby boy as the new royal heir, who will be third in line for the British throne. The prince was born at 4:24 PM on Monday, weighing 8 pounds and 6 ounces. A name has not yet been announced.

    US military intervention in Syria would create ‘unintended consequences,’ http://rtvote.com/131Vd3M
    General Martin Dempsey, a top U.S. military officer, suggested that involving US troops in Syria would likely lead to deeper involvement and “unintended consequences.” He also suggests that without viable opposition to the Syrian regime, we could “inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seeks to control.”

    Due to Global Warming, End Is Virtually Certain for NYC, Boston, Miami, Holland, http://rtvote.com/19fLz1o
    Carbon emission reports predict a rise in sea levels anywhere from 8 inches to 7 feet in the next 100 years. By the end of the century, reports say there will be at least a 4-degree Fahrenheit temperature rise on Earth.

    Beyonce: My Hair is Stuck in the Fan!, http://rtvote.com/15FjmM1

    Amanda Bynes: Accused of Trespassing, Cops Called to Old Folks Home, http://rtvote.com/19fL9YE

    Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles Talks Human Castiel, Fatherhood and Playing Batman: “It Would Be a Dream Come True,”http://rtvote.com/15Fl8gc

    Miley Cyrus Calls Justin Bieber ‘Stupid,’ Suggests He Take a Break, http://rtvote.com/15Fv3Cs

    J.J. Abrams NOT Leaving Star Wars 7, Says Lucasfilm, http://rtvote.com/15Fvf4D

    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

    News Round-up: Tuesday, July 9 2013

    Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

    The U.S. considers speeding up the removal of Afghan forces; victims stuck in limbo after Asiana Airlines crash-landing on Saturday; Egypt’s interim president names a new prime minister and vice president; confusion over Edward Snowden’s asylum offers increase after a tweet; Ohio kidnapping victims speak out for the first time; New Yorkers ponder forgiveness for Eliot Spitzer; and the ACLU challenges PA same-sex marriage ban. Meanwhile, Amanda Bynes wears a blue wig in court; Elton John gets appendicitis; leaked Selena Gomez track includes Bieber voicemail; and Pink receives a twitter threat.

    - Maura

    U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistanhttp://rtvote.com/150hU6z
    President Obama is considering speeding up the removal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan after becoming increasingly frustrated in his dealings with President Hamid Karzai.  The Obama Administration has been negotiating with Afghan officials about leaving a “residual force” behind. The relationship between the Administration and Karzai began to unravel last month after an effort by the U.S. to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

    Stuck in Limbo After San Francisco Crashhttp://rtvote.com/150j3Ln
    Tao Liu was one of 5 Chinese teachers who accompanied 29 students from Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province of China, on the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crash-landed on July 6. Two of her students were killed in the crash.  Many of the surviving students are in limbo having lost their passports and other important belongings in the crash.

    Egypt’s interim president names new prime minister, vice president,http://rtvote.com/12jlpGX
    One day after security forces gunned down more than 50 of ousted president Mhamed Morsi’s supporters, the interim President Adly Mansour has named a new prime minister and vice president of Egypt. On Tuesday, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, chief of Egypt’s armed forces, told the nation that the new president’s constitutional declaration & road map for elections and a new charter provided “more than enough assurance” that the country was moving in the right direction.

    Confusion over Edward Snowden acceptance of Venezuela offer,http://rtvote.com/150suKQ
    Rumors and uncertainties over NSA leaker Edward Snowden increased on Tuesday when a Russian lawmaker tweeted that Snowden accepted an offer to Venezuela for asylum.  The tweet was removed and then replaced with a message that said the claim was based on a report from the state all-news television channel Vesti.

    ‘Thank you:’ Cleveland kidnapping victims speak out for the first time,http://rtvote.com/150uxyz
    For the first time since their rescue two months ago, the three women rescued from Cleveland, Ohio talk about being held captive for over a decade.  Amanda Berry (abducted in 2003 and now has 6 year old daughter who was born during her captivity), Gina DeJesus (kidnapped in 2004), and Michelle Knight  (abducted in 2002) released a YouTube video thanking everyone who has supported them since they were freed.

    Spitzer again makes New Yorkers ponder forgivenesshttp://rtvote.com/150vCGE
    Eliot Spitzer who resigned from New York’s top job in 2008 after it was revealed he patronized prostitutes, announced Sunday he would run for comptroller (the city’s top financial officer). This announcement is only two months after Anthony Weiner, a former NY Congressman who resigned after texting lewd photos of himself to women, joined the race for mayor.  Spitzer said Monday that the public will have to ask itself “Can we forgive him?…I hope the public says yes.”

    Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Faces ACLU Challengehttp://rtvote.com/150xteC 
    Two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that a federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is bringing that decision to the state level.  The group is filing a lawsuit against PA’s same-sex marriage ban. Twenty-three plaintiffs will be part of the lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. 

    Amanda Bynes Criminal Case For Bong Incident Delayed To Later Date,http://rtvote.com/150yUd5

    Selena Gomez’s ‘Love Will Remember’ Track Leaks With Supposed Justin Bieber Voicemail, http://rtvote.com/150yS4X

    Elton John Postpones Tour Due to Appendicitis, http://rtvote.com/150zhV2

    Pink Bomb Scare: Australian Teen Arrested After Tweeting Alleged Threat at Singer’s Melbourne Concert, http://rtvote.com/18KXVhI

    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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

    The journalist who exposed the NSA claims there is still more news to come; Plan B is on its way to becoming an over-the-counter drug; a French prosecutor encourages dropping charges on Strauss-Kahn; the White House postpones its annual picnic; the Patriots sign Tim Tebow; a violent background provides some explanation for the Santa Monica gunman’s violent actions; and the full Senate will vote today on a bipartisan immigration bill;. Meanwhile, Amanda Bynes might be pursuing a rap career, and ‘Man of Steel’ is coined “best Superman movie.”

    Maura + Alexis


    Journalist who wrote of NSA spying: More stories to comehttp://cbsn.ws/18r5Ukn
    The journalist who exposed the NSA surveillance programs, Glenn Greenwald, said Tuesday that there are still more “significant revelations” to come. The Associated Press will make the ultimate decision on when to release the next story.

    U.S. Drops Bid to Limit Sales of Morning-After Pillhttp://nyti.ms/14uuRHn
    The Obama administration has backed down in its efforts to block over-the-counter availability of the morning-after pill. Soon any woman will be able to buy the bill, Plan B One-Step, from a drugstore without a prescription. The FDA will certify the drug for nonprescription use before the drug is made available over-the-counter.

    French prosecutor urges dropping Strauss-Kahn sex chargehttp://reut.rs/1a06q7a
    Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is at risk for being charged of “aggravated pimping.” It is up to judges investigating the case to decide whether or not the prosecution is dropped. Strauss-Kahn was placed under formal investigation in March with regard to the “Carlton affair.” An original charge of gang rape was dropped, but his involvement in sex parties attended by prostitutes is still being construed as “pimping.”

    White House postpones annual congressional picnichttp://bit.ly/1bqkDIA
    Every June the White House holds a picnic for Senate and House members and their families. This year, however, the picnic has been cancelled. It is unsure whether or not the White House will host the event in September. The cancellation of the event is said to be “schedule-related”, not “sequester-related.”

    Patriots sign Tim Tebowhttp://es.pn/16XWoF1
    Terms of the contract have not been officially disclosed, but ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter got the news Tuesday, that the New England Patriots have signed Tim Tebow. Allegedly, Tim Tebow signed to be a quarterback and is expected to participate Tuesday in the Patriots’ minicamp.

    Santa Monica shooter’s background steeped in trauma, violencehttp://lat.ms/19juhzW
    John Zawahri, 23 identified as the gunman in Friday’s shooting at Santa Monica College, apparently has a history of violence. Zawahri attended Olympic High, Santa Monica’s alternative school for students who struggle in traditional programs. Monday, his high school English teacher recalled catching him searching the Internet for assault weapons back in high school. At that point the teacher knew there was something wrong. It wasn’t until seven years later, however, that this piece of information became evidence.

    First Thoughts: Full Senate holds its first immigration votehttp://nbcnews.to/13xCIRP
    This afternoon, the full U.S. Senate will hold its first vote on bipartisan immigration legislation. This legislation seeks to strengthen border security as well as establish a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. For the motion to proceed, 60 votes are necessary, although even more are expected. This is just the first full Senate vote. The vote for final passage will likely take place around July 4.


    Kanye’s Listening Party Features ‘Yeezus’ Tracks, Lots Of Laughs & Some Very Famous Friends, http://huff.to/18qNDnk

    ‘Dumb And Dumber 2′ In Trouble After Farrelly Brothers’ Film Gets Dropped By Warner Bros., http://huff.to/11wFEww

    J. Cole On ‘Born Sinner’ And Having ‘Done A Lot For Hip-Hop’, http://huff.to/17EOkbu

    Amanda Bynes Offered Rap Deal With Chinga Chang Records, http://huff.to/14T3AeD

    ‘Man of Steel’: Is This The Best Superman Movie? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions),http://huff.to/115UhdP

    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

    News Round-Up: Friday, May 24, 20013

    Friday, May 24th, 2013

    A bridge collapses in Washington; North Korea expresses its desire for peace; the C.I.A. shifts focus back to spying; an earthquake shakes eastern Russia; IRS director Lois Lerner placed on administrative leave; a photograph of the skyline of Pittsburgh was posted on Anthony Weiner’s campaign site; four tourists were rescued from an iceberg in Iceland, and the Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay members. Meanwhile, A&E series ‘Intervention’ is cancelled, and Amanda Bynes is arrested.

    Maura + Alexis


    Wash. I-5 Bridge Collapse Caused by Oversize Load, http://apne.ws/1afkcQS
    At 7 p.m. on Thursday a bridge between Seattle and Canada unexpectedly collapsed. The blame was placed on a tractor-trailer carrying a tall load that must have hit a section of the top of the bridge sending it crashing down into the Skagit River. Two vehicles were sent into the water as a result of the collapse, but the three occupants incurred only minor injuries.

    North Korea says will take ‘positive steps’ for peace, http://reut.rs/18mTmXK
    A North Korean envoy told China’s president on Friday that his country desired to ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. The United States has intervened, insisting that North Korea begin denuclearization before the dialogue between North Korea and China continues. China also encourages North Korea to return to the six party talks process, which is aimed at denuclearization.

    C.I.A. to Focus More on Spying, a Difficult Shift, http://nyti.ms/10pjkYY
    President Obama spoke at the National Defense University in Washington Thursday discussing changes in the nation’s counterterrorism strategy. Obama outlined a new plan to take back some of the power the C.I.A. used to have in deciding whom to go after and ultimately whom to kill via drone strikes. While some drone activity will continue, director of the C.I.A, John O. Brennan, is now trying to shift the C.I.A.’s focus back to traditional spying and strategic analysis.

    Powerful earthquake strikes eastern Russia, http://usat.ly/12RzY37
    An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 shook the ground in Russia’s Far East and even so far as Moscow in Russia Friday. The earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey as having a magnitude of 8.2. A tsunami warning was issued for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands but was lifted after a short period. The epicenter of the earthquake was traced back to the Sea of Okhotsk, just north of Japan.

    IRS Source: Lerner Placed On Administrative Leave, http://bit.ly/16Wu7ye
    The Internal Revenue Service’s Director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, has been placed on administrative leave. Lerner used her Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer questions at a House oversight-committee hearing Thursday stating only that she “did nothing wrong.”

    Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign website contains Pittsburgh skyline, http://nydn.us/1223hDf
    Just after announcing he will be running for mayor of New York, a photograph of Pittsburgh was posted on his campaign site, anthonyweiner.com. While some people missed the message, a host of Pittsburgh natives did not. After several bloggers and tweeters pointed out the mistake, the backdrop was quickly changed to a skyline including the empire state building.

    Tourists Rescued after Dining Out on Iceberg, http://bit.ly/YUANau
    Four tourists had to be rescued from an Iceberg in East Iceland Thursday afternoon after the piece of ice they were dining on broke away from the larger ice sheet and began to float away. One of the tourists managed to jump to shore before the iceberg drifted too far away and called 112, the emergency help number to send rescue teams for the others.

    Boy Scouts vote to allow gay members, http://usat.ly/197bsyu
    The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to allow gay members. More than 1,400 members of the organization’s national council voted on the issue. With 61% in favor of allowing homosexual members into the organization, the vote has revoked a 22-year-old ban on openly gay boy scouts.


    ‘Intervention’ Canceled: A And E Series Ending After 243 Episodes, http://huff.to/12AZUhD

    Nicola Benedetti, The Violin Prodigy Who Outsold Bieber, Tells Us Why Popularity Matters, http://huff.to/14Z5xIl

    Summer Festival Guide: Outside Lands, Warped Tour, EDC And More, http://huff.to/13NQn6o

    Rolling Stone Gathers Library Fines, http://nyti.ms/10t2epK

    Amanda Bynes: The Troubling Events Leading Up to Her NYC Arrest, http://eonli.ne/19a5tss

    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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