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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

    CRUCIAL

    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.

    CULTURAL

    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: Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Searchers have yet to find the debris captured on a satellite image that could reveal Flight 370’s fate; Obama announces new sanctions against Russia as they move into Crimea; Police find over 100 illegal immigrants in a one-story house in Houston; and the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church has died. Meanwhile, Emilia Clarke talks about an embarrassing audition and Kim Kardashian gets a unique makeover.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    No sign of mystery objects as Australia suspends search for the day: http://rtvote.com/1nGw8XV
    A satellite captured images of what people believed to be debris in the Indian Ocean, prompting a search Thursday by Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Norway. The satellite captured objects 14 miles apart in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, about 1,500 miles from Australia. Unfortunately, no one was able to find the debris before nightfall. Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s interim Transportation Secretary said “[The debris] gives us hope. As long as there’s hope, we will continue.” Searches will resume Friday.

    Russian parliament moves to ratify Crimea takeover; Obama announces new sanctions: http://rtvote.com/1jbHywh
    President Obama said Thursday that the United States would be imposing more sanctions against Russia to respond to, in his words, “Crimea’s ‘illegal’ secession referendum and Russia’s ‘illegitimate move’ to annex Crimea.” Obama said that top Russian officials, other individuals, and a bank with ties to Russia will be sanctioned. Despite this, Ukraine’s power in Crimea is waning, with upcoming Ukrainian troop withdrawal, the closure of Ukrainian banks in the region, and the takeover of Ukrainian military bases. The Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta began printing in the Crimea region and issued passports to Crimea residents.

    Disgraced Army general, Jeffrey A. Sinclair, gets $20,000 fine, no jail time: http://rtvote.com/1dfYnbo
    General Jeffery Sinclair, who admitted to having inappropriate relations with three women (including an affair with one, a military crime), was fined $20,000 by a military judge and will not serve jail time. Sinclair had been charged with sexually assaulting and threatening the woman he had an affair with. The Army ended up dropping the sexual assault charge and agreed to a plea bargain. The monetary outcome could become worse for Sinclair; he will drop down to a lower rank when it comes time for him to retire, which would lower his benefits.

    NJ teen arrested after reaching top of World Trade Center: http://rtvote.com/1eq5rjO
    Weehawken, NJ teen Justin Casquejo managed to bypass security at the World Trade Center in New York City and get all the way to the top. The 16-year-old climbed through a hole in a fence at around 4:10am, climbed the scaffolding, and got into the building. He also managed to steer clear of a guard on the 104th floor, who has been fired. He was arrested inside the WTC at 6am and his cell phone and camera were seized and searched.

    Police find more than 100 immigrants in stash house: http://rtvote.com/1d40sab
    Houston Police found over 100 illegal immigrants living in a one-story stash house in horrendous conditions.  The house had only one toilet (that only half-worked), no hot water, and deadbolts on the doors, preventing the immigrants from leaving until the person responsible for getting them across the boarder was paid more money. The immigrants were made up of 94 adult men, 14 women (including one pregnant woman), and two elementary school-aged children. Police turned the immigrants over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and arrested 5 smugglers.

    Fred Phelps, fierce campaigner against homosexuality, dies: http://rtvote.com/1g4Yupt
    The leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, has died at the age of 84. Phelps and his church followers gained notoriety for picketing military funerals and protesting against gays and Jews, prompting both President Obama and President Bush to sign laws creating a buffer zone for funerals. Phelps also occasionally ran for political office; in 1992, he ran for the US Senate in Kansas but lost in the primary round.

    CULTURAL

    Emilia Clarke talks about her embarrassing audition for her best-known role: http://rtvote.com/1jbZEOR

    Watch the latest Maleficent trailer! http://rtvote.com/1jc03AU

    Kim Kardashian gets a make…under? http://rtvote.com/1pfmKpm

    Leighton Meester takes a turn at Broadway: http://rtvote.com/1r0cgOs

    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: October 14, 2013

    Monday, October 14th, 2013

    Protestors rallied against the shutdown and Obama yesterday; two popular sports supplements are strung with meth-like chemicals; and a U.S. citizen is found dead in an Egyptian prison. Meanwhile, Lauren Conrad is engaged, and Macaulay Culkin makes a rare public appearance, looking like a new man.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Spending Dispute Leaves a Senate Deal Elusivehttp://rtvote.com/192gSdv
    With just three days to go until we hit the debt deadline, there is still no deal to end the shutdown. Senate went into talks yesterday, and although Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell described the meeting as “cordial”, there was still no agreement between the two parties. The main issues center on spending and how long a stopgap measure that would reopen the government should last. Democrats want sequestration to last only through mid-November, while Republicans want them for as long as possible. Negotiations continue, as the rest of the world cringes in fear at the possibility of a disastrous debt default.

    D.C. protestors wave Confederate flag, tell Obama to “put the Quran down”http://rtvote.com/1gePVd2
    Approximately 200 people gathered Sunday morning at D.C.’s World War II memorial to protest a number of grievances, ranging from the closing of the memorial to veterans, an extreme impeachment of President Obama, and the plight of the truckers. The protestors, amongst them Senator Ted Cruz, former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, and Republican Senator Mike Lee, participated in rally speeches, the waving of a Confederate flag, calling Obama a Muslim, and encouraging a peaceful uprising against the administration.

    Popular sports supplements contain meth-like compoundhttp://rtvote.com/1geRU1b
    Scientific tests in the U.S. and South Korea reveal that two popular sports supplements, Craze and Detonate, contain a methamphetamine-like compound that could cause health risks. Craze is a pre-workout powder made by Driven Sports. The company has issued repeated statements, protesting this accusation, but a top Driven Sports official, Matt Cahill, is a convicted felon with a long history of selling risky dietary supplements. Detonate, an “all-natural” weight loss supplement, is sold by Gaspari Nutrition.

    As Police Chased Leads About ‘Baby Hope,’ Those Who Knew Her Kept Quiethttp://rtvote.com/1elJpgg
    After 22 years, Baby Hope’s cold case seems to be coming to a close. The young girl’s real name is Anjelica Castillo, and the NYPD have arrested her cousin, Conrado Juarez, for sexually abusing and murdering Anjelica. At the time of the incident, she was living in a Queens apartment with seven other family members – none of whom ever spoke up about what had happened. Mr. Juarez’s lawyer, Michael J. Croce, said his client denied the charges and disputed his previous confession. Police are looking further into other sexual abuse allegations made against Juarez.

    Egypt: U.S. citizen found dead in prisonhttp://rtvote.com/1geXEb9
    American citizen James Lunn was arrested in August by Egyptian authorities for violating curfew. Lunn was in northern Sinai at the time, which has become a dangerous area since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in a July 3rd military coup. Military and security forces have been fighting Islamist militants in this area on a daily basis, and Lunn was arrested on August 27th after a car bomb had gone off near a police station. Authorities suspected him because he had a “computer and maps of vital installations” with him. Lunn was found hanging from a prison door yesterday. There have been allegations from other foreigners of inhuman conditions in Egyptian jails, but the U.S. Embassy in Cairo stated Lunn seemed in good condition when they visited him. The Embassy has ruled it an apparent suicide.

    PUNDITS

    Andrew Hammond discusses the catastrophic consequences that could result if the U.S. defaults on its debt in three days in “U.S. be warned: Default would cause global crisis,” http://rtvote.com/192uS74

    USA Today readers weigh in on the Army’s development of a program that aims to identify soldiers who are at risk of suicide in “New tactic to stop Army suicides: Your Say,” http://rtvote.com/192wKgj

    CULTURAL

    Lauren Conrad Is Engaged to William Tell, http://rtvote.com/1fxsrhX

    Macaulay Culkin Looks Happy and Healthy During Rare Public Appearance at New York Comic Con,http://rtvote.com/1fxsCdm

    Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh Are Married, http://rtvote.com/1gf3SaT

    Buckingham Palace Arrest: Man Carrying Knife Nabbed Outside Gates, http://rtvote.com/1gf4n50

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

    President Obama appears with Bush at Tanzania terrorist attack memorial ceremony; Edward Snowden allegedly seeks asylum from 21 countries; Egyptian President Morsi says he was not told of army’s 48-hour ultimatum; 19 firefighters die fighting Yarnell Hill fire; FW de Klerk will undergo surgery to install a pacemaker today; study shows that refined carbohydrates can have similar cravings as drugs; 19 die in a helicopter crash in Siberia; and Prop. 8 supporters ask Supreme Court to stop gay marriages. Meanwhile, Kristen Stewart makes her first appearance since breaking up with Robert Pattinson, and Pierce Brosnan’s daughter dies of cancer.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Obama Appears With Bush at Site of Tanzania Terror Blast, http://rtvote.com/11XfDun
    Seeing two presidents of opposing parties standing together is a rare sight, but President Bush and President Obama stood side by sideTuesday morning at a ceremony in Tanzania to commemorate those who were killed in a terrorist attack 15 years ago. President Bush was in Tanzania accompanying his wife, Laura, who is holding a summit for African first ladies, and Presdient Obama was in Tanzania for the last leg of his trip to Africa.

    Edward Snowden ‘broadens asylum requests’ – Wikileaks, http://rtvote.com/11XgtqN
    According to Wikileaks, Edward Snowden has sent requests for asylum to 21 countries. These countries include China, France, Ireland, and Venezuela. Eight European countries have stated that the requests were invalid.

    Egypt President Morsi warns of army ultimatum ‘confusion’, http://rtvote.com/14KWmL3
    Due to rioting and protests, the Egyptian army declared that it would give people 48-hours to calm down before its troops intervened. According to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, the army did not consult with him before declaring this ultimatum. He vows to stick to his “national reconciliation” plan despite accusations that he is putting the Muslim Brotherhood’s interests before the nation’s as a whole.

    Yarnell Hill Fire: Seeking answers in wake of tragedy, http://rtvote.com/11XiDXv
    Nineteen Prescott hotshot firefighters were killed Sunday in Arizona while tyring to protect homes from the Yarnell Hill Fire. As of Monday morning, the fire was not at all contained and spanned 8,400 acres. Around 500 firefighters have been fighting the blaze, and even more are expected to be called to help out today. This is the worst firefighter tragedy to ever occur in Arizona and one of the deadliest the nation has ever seen.

    South Africa’s De Klerk in hospital for heart procedure, http://rtvote.com/11XkMm0
    FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, will undergo surgery today to install a pacemaker. The 77-year-old was a joint receiver of the Nobel Peace Prize with successor Nelson Mandela in 1993 for overseeing South Africa’s transition away from white-minority apartheid rule.

    Refined carbohydrates can trigger food cravings, study says, http://rtvote.com/11XlIXB
    Scientists have discovered through research that refined carbohydrates cause cravings not dissimilar from cravings drug addicts experience. The spike and crash that follows eating highly processed carbs activates reward and addiction centers of the brain similar to after taking drugs.

    Russia: 19 die in helicopter crash in Siberia, http://rtvote.com/14L0U48
    Russian authorities claim that 19 people have died in a helicopter crash Tuesday  in a remote region of Yakutia in Siberia. The helicopter was carrying 28 people, 11 of them children. The cause of the crash has not yet been disclosed.

    Proposition 8 Proponents Ask Supreme Court To Halt California Gay Marriages, http://rtvote.com/18tcZAt
    Not even 24 hours after California started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, lawyers against same-sex marriage filed an emergency motion Saturday requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court shut down all weddings in the San Francisco area.

    CULTURAL:

    Pierce Brosnan’s Daughter Dies of Cancer at 41, http://rtvote.com/14L4uex

    Kristen Stewart Makes First Public Appearance Since Split With Robert Pattinson at Paris Chanel Show, http://rtvote.com/18tfrHa

    Breaking Amish’s Kate Stoltzfus Gets Sexy Makeover for Maxim: See Her Skin-Baring Pics!, http://rtvote.com/14L4MC8

    Ruth Wilson On ‘The Lone Ranger’ & Why She Owes Director Gore Verbinski Part Of Her Career, http://rtvote.com/14L538l

    ‘The Lone Ranger’: The Oddest Movie Of The Year?, http://rtvote.com/14L55NB

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    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



    News Round-Up: Monday, June 17, 2013

    Monday, June 17th, 2013

    The DNI denies claim that NSA analysts were able to listen to domestic phone calls without warrants; Turkey threatens to send army out to stop protesters; IRS supervisor in D.C. admits to targeting conservatives; many residents have returned home after being evacuated due to fires in Colorado; a Chinese dissident claims that China pressured NYU to ask him to leave; Miss Connecticut was crowned Miss USA; and the Supreme Court decision regarding DOMA could greatly impact immigration reform. Meanwhile, Jeff Garlin is arrested for beating in a car window, and Rihanna’s song ‘Stay’ enters AC Top 10.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    DNI denies NSA analysts can tap calls without a warrant, http://bit.ly/14EJPL5
    The U.S. intelligence community shot down claims that NSA analysts were able to listen to domestic phone conversations without warrants. According to a statement released by the office of the Director of National Intelligence, “Members have been briefed on the implementation of Section 702, that it targets foreigners located overseas for a valid foreign intelligence purpose, and that it cannot be used to target Americans anywhere in the world.”

    Turkey threatens to deploy army to end unrest, http://aje.me/18Q0hN0
    The Turkish deputy prime minister has informed the public that the army may be asked to intervene to stop ongoing protests if the police fail to restore order. The threat arose in response to a one-day strike held by two union federations over the forced evictions of protesters – a group of about 800,000 workers.

    AP: IRS official in D.C. reviewed tea party applications, http://cbsn.ws/12CEQvc
    An IRS supervisor admits to being personally involved in the agency’s targeting of tea party groups. She says that some of the requests for tax-exempt statuses were held for more than a year without action. Holly Paz, a supervisor in Washington, D.C., contradicts the original claims by the agency that only small groups of agents working out of Cincinnati were responsible for the so-called “targeting” of applications based on party affiliation. Paz has given no evidence, however, to support the suspicion that senior IRS officials ordered agents to target these groups.

    Residents return home after destructive Colorado blaze, http://usat.ly/11RoEEu
    While the cause of the fire is still unkown, Colorado officials stated Sunday that the fire has burned about 21,000 acres of the state, and firefighters are working hard to contain the fire that is now approaching Colorado Springs. The fire is currently 65 percent contained. Many residents were able to return to their homes Sunday. Two people have been found dead, but all people have been accounted for.

    China pressured U.S. university to make him leave, dissident says, http://reut.rs/10oSfqK
    A Chinese dissident who fled China to become a visiting scholar at NYU accused the institution Sunday of pressuring him to leave. He attributes the school’s interest in asking him to leave to “unrelenting pressure” from China. NYU has denied the claim, and has explained that Chen Guangcheng’s fellowship was only meant to last a year and was expected to end this summer.

    Miss USA Crown Goes to Connecticut Contestant, http://abcn.ws/17gh9Mc
    Miss Connecticut has been crowned Miss USA. Erin Brady will leave her job as an accountant behind as she pursues the duties associated with her new title. One of Brady’s goals moving forward is to dispel negative attitudes some hold about pageants.

    Supreme Court DOMA Ruling Looms Over Immigration Overhaul, http://abcn.ws/ZXzM22
    While a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill would address same-sex couples, the Supreme Court just might beat them to it. The Supreme Court is currently ruling on the DOMA case. If DOMA is struck down, the question of whether the immigration law can apply to same-sex couples will no longer be a question. If DOMA is upheld on the other hand, legal uncertainty will continue for gay couples.

    CULTURAL:

    Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ Enters Adult Contemporary Top 10, A First For The Singer, http://huff.to/14dmqhQ

    ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Trailer: Martin Scorsese Likes ‘Yeezus’ Too? (Or At Least Paramount’s Marketing Team Does), http://huff.to/19Jc5zV

    No Loki In ‘Avengers 2′? Joss Whedon Says Tom Hiddleston Won’t Return For Sequel, http://huff.to/10qq5LT

    Girl Meets World Officially Picked Up by Disney Channel: Find Out What Cory and Topanga Are Up To!, http://eonli.ne/1640WFh

    ‘Curb’ Star Jeff Garlin Arrested For Alleged Window Rage, http://tmz.me/ZTYsbK

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    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