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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.

    CULTURAL 

    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    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: Friday, May 10th, 2013

    Friday, May 10th, 2013
    Prosecutors may seek the death penalty for Ariel Castro; the death toll reaches 1,034 in the Bangladesh factory collapse; British police deny aiding Jimmy Savile; North Korea explains Kenneth Bae’s crimes; a British Olympic sailor dies in a capsize in the San Francisco Bay; and cyberthieves stole 45 million from ATMs in February.  Meanwhile, Randy Jackson is leaving ‘American Idol,’ and Kiefer Sutherland may return to ’24.’
    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Prosecutor may seek death penalty for Cleveland kidnap, rape suspect Ariel Castro, http://rtvote.com/18yGOO7
    Ohio prosecutors said Friday that they may seek the death penalty for Ariel Castro, who has been accused of raping and holding three women captive for over a decade.  “The horrific brutality that the victims endured is beyond comprehension,” said prosecutor Timothy McGinty. “The law of Ohio calls for the death penalty for those most depraved criminals who commit aggravated murder during the course of a kidnapping,” he continued.  Castro currently faces four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.  A police report revealing that he forced miscarriages in one of the victims may lead to more charges.

    Bangladesh factory collapse death toll hits 1,034, http://rtvote.com/11pY08s
    A woman has been rescued alive from the rubble caused by a collapsed garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  The factory collapsed two weeks ago, killing 1,034 factory workers.  It’s currently the worst disaster the garment industry has ever seen.  There was a fire at another factory in Dhaka this week, further underscoring the factories’ dangerous conditions.

    British Police Force Denies Protecting Savile From Abuse Allegations, http://rtvote.com/11YfRhy
    British police deny covering up sexual abuse claims made against former TV personality Jimmy Savile.  However, an internal report shows that Savile had a close relationship with the West Yorkshire police and promoted crime-prevention campaigns on air for them.  “It seems to me that West Yorkshire Police over the years failed to join up the dots,” said lawyer Alan Collins, who represents 40 of the 500 who have stepped forward with sexual abuse allegations since Savile’s death in 2011.   “There seems to be a collective myopia,” Collins said. “Savile was able to run rings around the police for decades. He used police officers. He was ingrained with them, dovetailed with them.”

    North Korea Lays Out Case Against Jailed American, http://rtvote.com/11YgiZc
    North Korea claims that Korean-American Kenneth Bae has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor due to past missionary work in China and an anti-regime mission he planned to spread in Rason City, North Korea.  North Korea has considered missionary work a threat in the past and has insisted that Bae’s arrest is not a bargaining chip in talks with the U.S.

    British Olympic sailor killed in capsize in San Francisco Bay, http://rtvote.com/11pZUpq
    British Olympic sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson was killed after his sailboat capsized when training for the America’s Cup with Swedish Artemis Racing team.  All 10 of Simpson’s crew members survived the capsize in the San Francisco Bay, but attempts to revive him did not work.   “The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” Artemis’s chief executive said. “Our prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates. It’s a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well being.”

    In Hours, Thieves Took $45 Million in A.T.M. Scheme, http://rtvote.com/11YhYSG
    According to an indictment made public on Thursday, cyberthieves made off with $45 million from thousands of ATMs in a matter of hours in February.  The thieves’ suspected leader, Alberto Lajud-Peña, was found dead in the Dominican Republic on April 27th.  Seven other people, who are all American citizens, have been charged with conspiracy to commit  “access device fraud.”

    CULTURAL:

    Palestinians chose a new president — on reality TV, http://rtvote.com/18yGJtQ

    8 Obnoxious Trends on Instagram, http://rtvote.com/14acHcf

    Randy Jackson confirms exit: I’ve decided to leave ‘American Idol’ after 12 years, http://rtvote.com/14aiYEZ

    McCain proposes ‘a la carte’ cable bill, http://rtvote.com/14aj4MN

    Kiefer Sutherland mulling return to ‘24’ after cancellation of ‘Touch’: reports, http://rtvote.com/11q4Avx

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, October 4th, 2012

    Thursday, October 4th, 2012

    Pundits and voters are abuzz as Romney is named the victor of last night’s debate; Turkish parliament launches an attack on Syria; sensitive documents may have been left behind in Benghazi; 18 schoolchildren are buried by a landslide in China; two suspects are arrested in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent; and Facebook registers its one billionth user. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown; Chris Brown and Rihanna are spotted together at the Jay-Z concert; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reveals its latest nominees.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Turkish Parliament authorizes military operations in Syria, http://wapo.st/QJ94pc
    Turkey’s parliament has approved an emergency bill that allows the country to attack Syria for what is now the second day in a row. The military action is in response to a shell fired in Syria that toppled a house in a Turkish village, causing the death of two women and three children. Turkey immediately responded after the attack, firing artillery deep into Syria. The country’s retaliation is not an official declaration of war; however, the Turkish parliament has shown no sign of withdrawing their offense. NATO has since condemned Syria’s attack calling it a “flagrant violation of international law.”

    Sensitive documents left behind at U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, http://wapo.st/QK8m8e
    U.S. personnel fled Benghazi, leaving behind what seems to be some sensitive documents after the September 11th attacks that killed four Americans. A Washington Post reporter has since found the documents that detail the consulate’s security plans amongst the rubble at the bombing site. The U.S. consulate building was locked up a few days after the attack; however, during the days prior, anyone was able to access the site. As a result, it seems some of the sensitive documents have gone missing.

    Bodies found after landslide buries 18 schoolchildren in China, http://bit.ly/OEE3o1
    18 schoolchildren, who were attending a make-up class on a public holiday, have been buried in a landslide brought on by recent earthquakes in China. One villager was also killed in the disaster while a family of three managed to escape. Four bodies have since been recovered. The earthquakes struck the area on September 7th, killing 80 people.

    Mexican troops arrest two in killing of U.S. border agent: officials, http://reut.rs/QH46cK
    A Mexican Army officer says that two suspects in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent have been arrested and are now in a Mexican military facility. Three Border Patrol agents responded to an alert from a ground sensor when they were believed the be ambushed, leaving one dead, one injured, and the other to have escaped.

    Poll: Uncommitted voters say Romney wins debate, http://cbsn.ws/SyXsFW
    According to a CBS flash poll, 46% of 500 uncommitted voters surveyed immediately after last night’s presidential debate said that Romney was the winner; 32% said that the two candidates tied while 22% said that President Obama won. 56% of those polled said that the debate caused them to have a more favorable view of Romney while 11% claimed to have a less favorable opinion; 32% said their impression of the former governor remains unchanged.

    Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy, http://wapo.st/QJ94pc
    During last night’s debate, President Obama and Mitt Romney went head-to-head over the economy. Romney called Obama’s economic plan from the past four years “trickle-down government” while Obama said Romney had “top-down economic policies.” Romney has widely been named as the winner of the debate, speaking clearly and aggressively about Obama’s economic plans. Obama, instead, looked down at his lectern seemingly taking notes and responded with hesitancy at some points during the discussion.

    Facebook’s ‘Next Billion’: A Q&A With Mark Zuckerberg, http://buswk.co/SH855O
    In an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, published today, the Facebook founder said that the social media platform registered its one billionth user on September 14th. The news was not immediately made public as it took some time to pinpoint this milestone user.  “It’s really humbling to get a billion people to do anything,” Zuckerberg told Businessweek, going on to say that the Facebook team watched the countdown together in their office. He also noted that Facebook has only 1,000 engineers, meaning each engineer is responsible for one million users.

    CULTURAL:

    Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown, http://es.pn/Re1row

    Chris Brown and Rihanna Hit Up Jay-Z Concert Together a Day After Club Hookup, http://eonli.ne/Uhg0h1

    ‘American Idol’ Feud: Keith Urban Weighs in on Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s Fight, http://bit.ly/QTpzQ4

    Julianne Moore, Victim in Jewelry Heist?, http://tmz.me/PcwRPI

    N.W.A, Rush, Donna Summer among new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, http://bit.ly/PAjHqv

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, May 31st, 2012

    Thursday, May 31st, 2012

    Syrian rebels issue a ceasefire deadline after U.N. talks stall; Ireland votes on the EU fiscal treaty; Mayor Bloomberg proposes a ban on soft drinks; and a new investigation shows many current political candidates have been fraudulent with their finances. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber will star in an NBC special, and American Idol’s Phil Phillips has success with his new single.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Syrian rebels urge Annan to declare end of ceasefire, http://bit.ly/KApiON
    The Syrian government released 500 political prisoners yesterday. On the same day, more shelling was reported in Houla where, days earlier, more than 100 people were killed. Since Kofi Annan’s talks with Syria’s President Assad have not progressed, rebels have demanded that a ceasefire take place by tomorrow. This week, U.N observers reported finding 13 people killed execution style after foreign countries expelled their Syrian diplomats. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said that if the Security Council cannot put a stop to the violence in Syria then some member nations will take action without the U.N.’s help.

    Ireland votes on EU fiscal pact, http://bbc.in/KAsBpc
    Irish citizens will vote on the EU’s fiscal pact today. Of the 25 pro-pact nations, Ireland is the only country to allow its people to approve the treaty. In order to be ratified, the pact has to be approved by 12 of 17 Euro Zone nations, meaning today’s vote in Ireland could be null. If Ireland rejects the pact then it may not receive emergency EU funding when its bailout package expires in 2013.

    New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks, http://nyti.ms/JZn9aO
    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sodas and other sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from being served by New York City movie theaters, restaurants, and street carts. The plan does not include diet sodas, juices, and dairy products. Sodas and sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces would still be sold in convenience stores and supermarkets. The ban will most likely be approved by the New York City health department since its members were appointed by Bloomberg. A spokesman for the soda industry said the plan is unfair in its targeting of soft drinks.

    Skeletons Haunt Senate Hopefuls, http://bit.ly/N0Z21q
    A Washington Guardian investigation has found that thirteen people currently running for office have filed for bankruptcies, incurred liens for overdue taxes, or been convicted of crimes. Three of the thirteen are Democrats, two are Independents, and eight are Republicans. One of the candidates, Brenda Lenard, who is running in Tennessee with the Tea Party, was convicted of deposit amount fraud in 1993 and was accused of abusing bankruptcy 12 years later.

    (via Reuters) U.S. tourists freed unharmed in Sinai: security sourcehttp://reut.rs/KAvmXz
    Two U.S. tourists were released unharmed by Bedouin kidnappers in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, security sources said, a day after they had been abducted by tribesmen seeking the release of one of their kinsmen held by the Egyptian authorities.”The tourists are with Egyptian security now,” a security source told Reuters. “They were released after successful negotiations with the army, with the mediation of Bedouin sheikhs.” Several other tourists have been held briefly by tribesmen in recent months and have been released unharmed.

    Canada police launch manhunt for porn actor in severed body parts case, http://tgr.ph/LNzWSj
    Montreal police have released a photo of Luka Rocco Magnotta, a bisexual porn star and male model, who is suspected in a murder case that includes dismembered body parts. The investigation started when a foot was mailed to Canada’s Conservative party headquarters. Later, a torso was found in a Montreal garbage pile and a hand was intercepted in the mail.

    Heather Smith talks the power of the youth vote and Rock the Vote’s 2012 plans in “Youth voters growing in power,”http://bit.ly/M0MDIO

    CULTURAL:

    Crouching tiger ‘hidden vice girl’: Star accused of sleeping with politician linked to the murder of Old Harrovian,http://bit.ly/M0HJLR

    Matthew Fox accused of beating women by former ‘Lost’ co-star Dominic Monaghan, http://fxn.ws/LiXqfe

    Justin Bieber starring in NBC special, http://trib.in/L17VDp

    ‘American Idol’ Phillip Phillips’ ‘Home’ Scores Huge Debut, http://on.mtv.com/JwCZdl

    Michael Jackson’s Eerie Letter Yanked From Auction, http://bit.ly/JPCXmU

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Thursday, March 15th, 2012

    Blagjoveich begins day 1 of his 14-year prison stint; the Taliban suspends peace talks with the U.S.; schools will be able to choose whether or not to serve “pink slime;” Goldman Sachs loses $2.2 billion due to ex-employee Greg Smith’s op-ed; and Congress continues to make female legislators angry after it divides over a domestic abuse bill. Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan may be clean, but she’s still a bad driver; Bobbi Kristina Houston is in a relationship with her ‘adopted’ brother; and Charlize Theron adopts a baby boy.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Blagojevich says goodbye before prison, http://bit.ly/w2l6Sm
    Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich gave a farewell speech yesterday before beginning his 14-year jail sentence in Colorado. Speaking to a crowd that sometimes chanted “Free our governor,” Blagojevich said that “he’s going to follow the law” and “This, as bad as it is, is part of a long and hard journey that will only get worse before it gets better.” The former governor has been found guilty of 17 charges of corruption including allegations that he tried to sell President Obama’s Senate seat.

    Karzai demands U.S. troops leave village outposts; Taliban suspends peace talks with U.S., http://wapo.st/ykPWnO
    The Afghan Taliban announced yesterday that it will suspend peace talks due to the U.S.’s “alternating and ever changing position.” The statement did not indicate whether the suspension has anything to do with a U.S. soldier’s killing of 16 civilians or the Quran burning incidents. Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked that U.S. troops leave Afghan villages and stay on their bases, essentially ending combat in the country.

    ‘Pink Slime’ Will Be a Choice for Schools, http://yhoo.it/ynfRab
    But is anyone going to opt for “pink slime?” The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that starting this fall, schools will be able to choose whether or not to buy hamburger meat with “pink slime,” or a gelatin-like material made by beef byproducts that is used as filler in 70% of supermarket meat. “Pink slime” was originally only sold to dog food and cooking oil companies; however, the USDA decided that it could be used for human consumption if sprayed with ammonia. Supermarket meat that is not labeled “organic” most likely contains “pink slime.”

    One year later, Syrian unrest still boiling, http://bit.ly/x093am
    Bashar al-Assad is marking the one year anniversary of a terrorist “conspiracy” against his regime by sending Assad supporters into the streets of Damascus. Tanks were also sent into Daraa, where the protests against the Assad regime first began. Meanwhile, several civilians were shot and killed in Idlib yesterday after Syrian troops seized a rebel stronghold there. The opposition claims 82 people died yesterday. The UN estimates that 8,000 people have died since Assad’s crackdown began.

    Goldman Roiled by Op-Ed Loses $2.2B for Shareholders, http://bloom.bg/xrHatY
    Greg Smith, a 12-year Goldman Sachs employee, resigned yesterday in a tell-all scathing New York Times op-ed about the company’s culture of greed. The op-ed caused Goldman Sachs’ market value to decrease by $2.15 billion and its share price to go down by 3.4%. The company sent a memo to employees denying Smith’s allegations. Despite it all, Goldman Sachs’ shares are still up 33% this year.

    Women Figure Anew in Senate’s Latest Battle, http://nyti.ms/yXYRth
    The latest battle in Congress over women’s issues is surprisingly not about contraception. Democrats and Republicans are divided over the Violence Against Women Act, which would offer grant programs to law enforcement and shelters for abused women and also extend free legal assistance to domestic violence victims. Republicans are against the legislation’s allowance of temporary visas for abused illegal immigrants and that the programs would be extended to same-sex couples. Democratic women will march on the Senate floor today and demand that the bill be passed. “I am furious,” said Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, speaking about the Republican Party’s opposition to contraception and the Violence Against Women Act. “We’re mad, and we’re tired of it.”

    (via The Philadelphia Inquirer) Pa. House passes voter ID bill, http://bit.ly/zKPQa0
    Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives has approved the so-called Voter ID bill, setting the stage for Pennsylvania to become the 16th state to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The House on Wednesday voted 104-to-88 – and almost strictly along partisan lines — to pass the measure, which would be in effect in time for the fall presidential election. Gov. Corbett has said he will sign it “right away.” Democrats, civil liberties groups, labor unions, the NAACP and others have complained that the bill will disproportionately hurt the elderly, the poor and the disabled, who make up the lion’s share of voters who typically do not have photo IDs. Those groups also tend to vote Democratic.

    CULTURAL:

    HBO Axes Michael Mann/David Milch Drama ‘Luck’, http://bit.ly/zVy9MG

    Jermaine Jones—and Five Other Disqualified American Idol Contestants, http://eonli.ne/A6Icjw

    Cissy Houston Livid over Bobbi Kristina PDA with Whitney’s ‘Adopted’ Son, http://bit.ly/xD7KLz

    Lindsay Lohan finishes community service as witness refutes hit-and-run allegation, http://nyp.st/yJhNRM

    Source: Charlize Theron Wanted to Adopt for a Long Time, http://bit.ly/xm0Q63

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