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    News Round-Up: December 2, 2013

    Monday, December 2nd, 2013

    Amazon leads the way in the ultimate futuristic shopping experience; friends, family, and fans mourn the tragic deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas; and a train flies off the tracks in the Bronx. Meanwhile, Tom Daley and Maria Bello both proudly come out about their homosexuality.

    -Sandy + Maura



    Amazon testing delivery by drone, CEO Bezos sayshttp://rtvote.com/1htdgaD
    Awesome, futuristic tech AND the perfect online shopping experience? If Amazon can pull this off, then “bravo!”. The commerce company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, said they are testing the delivery of packages using drones. The idea is to have small, unmanned aircrafts, dubbed octocopters, pick up packages at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and then deliver them to customers 30 minutes or less after they hit the “Buy” button. The service will be called Prime Air, and Bezos estimates it will take off in as little as three or four years.

    LA coroner can’t ID Paul Walker’s bodyhttp://rtvote.com/1fZuVXa
    Rest in peace, Paul and Roger. Our hearts and condolences go out to their friends and family. Paul Walker, 40, and Roger Rodas, 38, passed away Saturday in a tragic car accident. The friends took a Porsche out for a test-run after Rodas’s employees said there was something wrong with the stalling vehicle. While troubleshooting the car, it crashed and was so badly engulfed in flames that the coroner cannot ID Paul’s body without his dental records.

    New York train derails; “gravel came flying up,” survivor says,http://rtvote.com/IoLRIi
    A train derailed in the Bronx Sunday morning, killing four and injuring at least 67. About 150 people were on board, and many are traumatized from the violent incident. The train came off the tracks, twisted, and turned rubble and smoke into the passenger cars.

    Walmart’s Black Friday Going About As Badly As You’d Expect,http://rtvote.com/1fZDeC4
    People need to chill. It’s always sad to hear about people assaulting one another… but when they’re doing so over a discounted television, that’s when you know there’s something wrong. The Instagram videos in this article display some of the aggression that played out in Walmart stores during BlackFriday. And, believe it or not, they weren’t limited to just one Walmart!

    Obama’s solution helps bring peace to military conflict,http://rtvote.com/18VcyhK
    A new White House policy, which went into effect on November 15, allows the undocumented spouses, children, and parents of military personnel to be “paroled” into the United States. Once paroled, these relatives will be able to apply for green cards without having to first return to their home countries. Military officials approve the policy because they say it lessens the stress that combat personnel may experience when trying to balance serving their country and helping their relatives navigate the immigration system.



    Paul Walker’s Daughter Meadow “Still in Shock” Over Actor’s Death: How the 15-Year-Old Is Coping, http://rtvote.com/IFXwTj

    Tom Daley Comes Out in Video Revealing He Is in Gay Relationship,http://rtvote.com/1k2fKtq

    Maria Bello is Gay: Actress Reveals Longtime Relationship With a Woman, Writes That She Considers Herself a “Whatever,” http://rtvote.com/1c79SuD

    Zac Efron Skateboards in L.A. – See the First Pic Since Actor Broke His Jaw,http://rtvote.com/1jcztsO


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

    News Round-Up: November 25, 2013

    Monday, November 25th, 2013

    A nasty storm is headed East, just in time for Thanksgiving; the US deal with Iran still remains in a delicate balance; and Amazon is under fire for their working conditions. Meanwhile, Miley mocks Gaga, and Catching Fire is actually on fire at the box office!

    -Sandy + Maura



    Nasty winter storm could snarl holiday traffic in East,http://rtvote.com/17MOsov
    A strong blast of Arctic air, blamed for eight deaths in the West, will reach the East coast in time for Thanksgiving. The storm has already closed hundreds of flights out of Dallas, and it is expected to reach the mid-Atlantic and New England regions by Tuesday. Heavy rain is to be expected, and snow is likely in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

    Most of Amtrak train jumps tracks in S.C.http://rtvote.com/1c4PLkl
    Seven cars of a nine-car Amtrak train derailed near Spartanburg County, South Carolina, early this morning. 207 passengers and 11 crew members were on board the train going from New Orleans to New York; no serious injuries were reported, although two people were hospitalized. The seven derailed cars remained upright, and heat and light were quickly restored.

    Pitfall of working for Amazon: Mental illness?http://rtvote.com/17U5oM7
    Who doesn’t love Amazon?! Apparently, some of their workers. BBC launched an investigation into Amazon employees’ working conditions, wherein one of their undercover reporters worked the night shift in a U.K. Amazon warehouse. The reporter said he walked 11 miles in one shift, and an expert claims that such working conditions increase the risk of mental illness.

    After Iran nuclear deal, tough challenges aheadhttp://rtvote.com/182tY8g
    A historic nuclear agreement with Iran has been signed, but don’t celebrate just yet! The situation is still as fragile as ever, as evidenced by the parties’ clash on Sunday over a key element of the deal and congressional skeptics’ threat to strike down the deal. The accord’s conditions include a six-month freeze on Iran’s nuclear program, daily monitoring by international inspectors, and a promise to not finish construction of a heavy-water reactor that could provide Iran with a source of plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

    Rajesh and Nupur Talwar guilty of Aarushi and Hemraj murders,http://rtvote.com/18jsLPD
    In 2008, Aarushi Talwar, 14, and Hemraj, a domestic servant for the Talwar family, were found dead. Aarushi’s throat was slit, and she had also suffered a fatal head injury; Hemraj’s dead body was found on the roof of the Talwar house. After a five-and-a-half-year investigation, the parents of Aarushi have been convicted of the murders. Although Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are still denying guilt, prosecutors claimed the parents killed their child when they found her in a “compromising situation” with Hemraj.



    Miley Cyrus Mocks Lady Gaga’s White Horse Entrance at American Music Awards, http://rtvote.com/1c4YLpA

    2013 American Music Awards: 5 Things You Didn’t See on TV,http://rtvote.com/1i8Zrzn

    Macklemore References Trayvon Martin, Racial Profiling in American Music Awards Acceptance Speech, http://rtvote.com/18jzrxs

    Catching Fire Box Office: Hunger Games Sequel Opens to Hot $25.3 Million,http://rtvote.com/19WwFb8


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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

    George W. Bush recovers from surgery; tensions increase as people are told to evacuate Yemen; and the Washington Post gets sold to Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. Meanwhile, ‘Glee’ begins Season 5 production; Lohan appears on Chelsea Lately; and Rihanna may soon top a Madonna record.

    -Ally + Maura


    George W. Bush has heart surgeryhttp://rtvote.com/16rSuzs
    Former President George W. Bush is recovering from surgery Tuesday morning, after doctors found blockage in an artery on Monday. A stent has been placed to ease the blockage. The event came as a shock since the President was physically active and often seen biking or golfing regularly.

    U.S. and Britain Withdraw Personnel from Yemen, http://rtvote.com/19KYFDW
    Amidst a security and travel threat around the Middle East, many government personnel have been removed from Yemen, where Al Qaeda leaders are allegedly planning an attack. Travelers have also been advised to leave the country and reschedule travel plans to the area.

    Turkish Court Gives 19 Life Sentenceshttp://rtvote.com/16rSGif
    In a ruling decided Monday, 19 Turks were sentenced to life in prison for plotting to overthrow the government. All 19 have pleaded innocence. The case represents a broader conflict between “the Islamist-rooted government and the secularist-dominated opposition.”

    Washington Post Staffers ‘Stunned’ By Sale To Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Hopeful About Futurehttp://rtvote.com/16rSKys
    Staff and the public alike were shocked by the news on Monday that the Washington Post would be sold to Jeff Bezons, the owner of Amazon.com. The transition will be sentimental, as the Graham family has operated the Post for the past 80 years. However, Bezos’ $25 million net worth keeps staffers hopeful that he will maintain the paper’s integrity rather than “tinker the editorial product.”

    U.S., other envoys meet with detained Muslim Brotherhood official in Egypthttp://rtvote.com/16rSP5g
    U.S. government officials attempted, on Monday, to ease tensions between the interim Egyptian government and the ousted Muslim Brotherhood. While the U.S. aims to improve relations between the two groups, they also made clear that they would like to be distanced from Morsi. Meanwhile, Egyptians express anger over the lack of U.S. support during the crisis.


    Lindsay Lohan, Spectacular of ‘Chelsea Lately,’ Is Alive Again, http://rtvote.com/19KZtJ0

    Brawl outside Hamptons nightclub with Justin Bieber’s bodyguards stirs police probe, http://rtvote.com/19KZwV6

    Glee Starts Production on Season 5, http://rtvote.com/19KZBrP

    Kim Kardashian Makes First Post-Baby Appearance on Kris Jenner’s Talk Show, http://rtvote.com/16rTxzo

    Rihanna’s ‘Right Now’ Gives Her A Shot At Breaking Madonna’s Dance Chart Record, http://rtvote.com/19KZFYH

    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, May 3rd, 2012

    Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

    Four are killed in an attack on a Syrian university; Senator Jay Rockefeller wants to know if Rupert Murdoch broke any American laws; Chen Guangcheng asks Hillary to take him to the U.S.; arrests are made in the Florida A&M hazing case; Michele Bachmann will endorse Romney; and Rock the Vote announces its 2012 campaign. Meanwhile, ‘The Scream’ sets the record for most expensive piece of art sold at auction; Ashton Kutcher’s Popchip ad is pulled after being called racist; and Bruce Springsteen honors Levon Helm.



    University protest in Syria ‘turns deadly’, http://aje.me/IYxsMw
    Four people were killed after pro-government Syrian officials raided a university in Aleppo. Students were protesting Bashar al-Assad’s presidency which prompted security officials to fire tear gas and ammunition. Officials then ransacked the school’s dormitories. The attack came hours before the Syrian government was scheduled to meet with Kofi Annan to try and negotiate a cease-fire.

    Senator Jay Rockefeller: Investigate Rupert Murdoch, http://bit.ly/JFeAW2
    Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, who is chairman of the powerful Senate committee on commerce, science, and transportation, has asked the British parliament members investigating Rupert Murdoch to see if he has broken any American laws. The British committee has already declared Murdoch “unfit” to run his British entities. If it is found that Murdoch has broken American laws, then there could be implications for his U.S. companies, such as Fox News. In response to the British parliament findings, News Corp’s board stated that it still has confidence in Murdoch.

    Activist Chen Guangcheng: Let Me Leave China on Hillary Clinton’s Plane, http://bit.ly/IYAssm
    Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng said yesterday that he wants to leave China with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is currently visiting China on unrelated matters. Chinese officials and Chen had previously agreed that he would remain in China and teach at a university; however, he is now claiming that he only agreed to these terms after his wife and family were threatened. Chen is still at a medical facility in Beijing.

    Third person arrested in FAMU hazing death investigation, http://bit.ly/Ixcp75
    A 23-year-old man has turned himself in in connection with the hazing death of a drum major at Florida A&M University. The man is one of 13 people charged with beating the student to death on a bus after the Florida Classic in Orlando. Two others were also arrested on Wednesday. The beating has shed light on Florida A&M’s hazing problem, which the school has said it is implementing policies to change.

    Rock the vote Launches Largest Non-partisan Voter Registration Drive Of 2012 General Election, http://bit.ly/IWdKTd
    Yesterday Rock the Vote, the country’s largest non-partisan voter registration organization, launched a multi-tiered campaign featuring new registration technologies, research, and education initiatives to encourage millions of young Americans to vote in the 2012 elections. At a time when new state voting restrictions threaten the ability of young and first-time voters to cast a ballot this November, Rock the Vote will partner with national and community organizations, technology companies, college campuses and artists to register 1.5 million voters and strive to fuel increased youth turnout for the third presidential election in a row.

    Bachmann to endorse Romney, http://cbsn.ws/Iuj7vP
    Former presidential Republican candidate Michele Bachmann will endorse Mitt Romney today. The two will appear in Virginia, a state that went to President Obama in 2008. Bachmann heavily criticized Romney’s Massachusetts health-care plan while on the campaign-trail, calling it “socialized medicine.” Yesterday, Romney had an “off-the-record” meeting with conservative media outlets.

    Target, Unhappy With Being an Amazon Showroom, Will Stop Selling Kindles, http://nyti.ms/IMeIyV
    Target will stop selling Amazon kindles, marking a new development in the ongoing feud between the two giants. Target became upset with Amazon after they offered a promotion where customers could receive 5% off products scanned at Target but bought on Amazon. Target has said that selling Kindles in their stores is like “Starbucks offering Dunkin’ Donuts gift certificates.”


    Last Look at Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as Painting Is Auctioned for $119M, http://bit.ly/IIOXCR

    Ashton Kutcher’s Popchip ads pulled after called racist, http://cbsn.ws/IHYoo3

    Bruce Springsteen Sings ‘The Weight’ in Levon Helm’s Honor, http://bit.ly/IxfMLi

    Junior Seau Death: His Mother Grieves ‘Take Me,’ http://bit.ly/IHYE6A

    Actor J.R. Martinez welcomes a daughter, http://cbsn.ws/IxfW5l

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

    What To Do On Earth Day!

    Friday, April 20th, 2012

    Four days out from Earth Day, and I’m wondering how to celebrate it in 2012. Scan Pinterest for all the cute Earth Day icons? Like some Facebook status that expresses appreciation for the environment? It seems so removed. I don’t go out and plant vegetation. I don’t volunteer to clean up my local community. I recycle and try to reuse materials as much as I can, but I never go out of my way to celebrate our planet more than that. This year, I want treat Earth Day differently. I must remind myself that watching ‘Planet Earth,’ while enjoyable, does not count as significant environmental activism. Rather than sit behind a screen idly, I’ve found a few Earth Dayevents and environmental organizations to get me excited (and even outside) on Earth Day. Hopefully, these events will also inspire you to take action as well as have a voice about the health of our planet.

    Loving their edgy website which explains that 350.org is a “global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.” Focusing on climate safety, 350.org is campaigning for the scientific recommendation that we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm. 350.org has organized over 5200 rallies in demonstrations in 181 countries. Focusing on youth and students, it allows site users to create their own event and get like-minded activists together. Check them out for their upcoming “Climate Impacts” day: http://www.350.org/en

    Earth Day Product Specials and Releases
    Retailers are dishing out energy-efficient style for Earth Day. GrouponAmazonSprint and many others are doing their part in offering deals and new products which are eco-friendly. Groupon is slashing prices on reusable goods; Sprint has gone green with the LG Optimus Elite; Amazon is making Kindle Book ‘A Course in Happiness’ available for free on Earth Day; Phillips Electronics is offering 60-watt replacement bulb that has an impressive lifespan of 20 years; and The Huffington Post has the low-down on Earth Day giveaways from Target, Origins Skin Care and Whole Foods.

    Youth March on the National Mall
    The iMatter Movement is organizing an Earth Day March in Washington, D.C. The event description certainly got my attention: “Youth under 24 represent nearly 40% of the global population, and will suffer the most from inaction. As major stakeholders in the climate crisis, we have the moral authority to demand action.” Interested participants should know the event is on April 22 at 11:30 a.m. at 12th St. and Madison Dr. NW on the National Mall at the iMatter Tent. To learn more: http://bit.ly/HTiadf 

    Environmental Protection Agency Events
    As confessed earlier, I used to think that watching sad polar bears on dwindling ice rafts was enough for recognizing Earth Day. Second excuse? I used to claim that no Earth Day activities were happening near me. Not anymore! The EPA is savvy enough to have a site where I can just type in my zip code and see what green events are going on around me. First hit in Maryland? Helping out the dragonflies in a local park. Who doesn’t want to hang out with these beautiful winged creatures and help the planet at the same time? Check out what majestic, earth-boosting events are going on around you: http://1.usa.gov/bIl7Ig

    It IS So Easy to Act Green
    The Earth Day Network is approaching almost 1 billion acts of green; whether it’s pledging a volunteer event or a donation, even something as specific as “I pledge to eat locally this year.” You can sign-up via Facebook to show your friends what you’re doing in your community. The site also allows you see to see online and state-wide events, as well as connect with other local activists on their leader board:  http://act.earthday.org/

    Student Environmental Action Coalition
    The SEAC provides a network that allows students across the world to build a network of diverse grassroots communities “by sharing stories, skills, knowledge and radical analysis to dismantle destructive systems, and replace them with sustainable communities of resistance.” SEAC connects members with local environmental organizations and projects to improve change. Find out if a chapter is near you: http://www.seac.org/

    Kelly Holleran

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