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    News Round-Up: Friday, September 30, 2011

    Friday, September 30th, 2011

    Top al Qaeda leader Anwar al Awlaki has been killed; the Occupy Wall Street protests gain crucial support; Mexico City considers pre-determined marriage contracts; Senator Dick Durbin slams Bank of America’s new debit card fee; Maine’s Secretary of State sends a threatening letter to college students; and Ohio’s voting laws will now be on the 2012 ballot. Meanwhile, Disney may release more classics in 3D; and will we be Keeping Up with the Mandelas?

    Coral + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Officials Thought They Might Kill Awlaki on 9/11 Anniversary, http://abcn.ws/o4Rmvm
    Anwar al Awlaki, a top al Qaeda leader from Yemen, has been killed by the US. The US had been tracking him for months and had the chance to kill him on the anniversary of 9/11; however, officials waited for a moment when he was away from civilians. Awlaki was “very operational” and heavily involved in plotting terrorist attacks. He was killed in Yemen in a deliberate airstrike on his compound.

    Occupy Wall Street Protests Poised to Grow Rapidly With Union Support, http://bit.ly/pEN6t8
    Over the past few weeks, the Occupy Wall Street protests have consisted of a few hundred people; however, it is poised to grow larger as a number of major unions are planning to join the demonstrations. On Tuesday, over 700 uniformed pilots marched for better pay and on Wednesday, the New York Transit Workers Union executive board unanimously voted to support the protests. The union even took to its Twitter to ask its 38,000 followers to join a march on October 5.

    ‘Til 2013 do us part? Mexico mulls 2-year marriage, http://reut.rs/p3JUjM
    Leftists in Mexico City are proposing reformation of the civil code so that couples can decide on the length of their marriages before tying the knot. The minimum contract would be for two years and include provisions on children and property in case of a split. Half of marriages in Mexico City end in divorce, and leftists claim these contracts would take the pain out of the process. The church, which is already angry with Mexico City’s legalization of gay marriage, calls the contract “absurd.”

    Durbin Slams Bailed-Out Bank of America Over New Debit Card Fee, http://fxn.ws/nknqQS
    Democratic Senator Dick Durbin is calling out Bank of America after it announced that it will charge a $5 monthly fee to all customers who make purchases on their debit cards. “It seems that old habits die hard for Bank of America. After years of raking in excess profits off an unfair and anti-competitive interchange system, Bank of America is trying to find new ways to pad their profits by sticking it to its customers,” Durbin said in a statement.

    Board of Governors passes tuition for illegal immigrants, http://bit.ly/qPBaRq
    On Monday, a Rhode Island state higher education board passed a law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition fees to attend Rhode Island public colleges and universities. Under the new policy, the students must have graduated from a Rhode Island high school and attended it for at least three years. They will also have to seek legal status as soon as they are eligible.

    Maine Elections Chief Uses GOP List To Intimidate Student Voters And Encourage Them To Re-Register In Another State, http://bit.ly/q0cz7t
    Last week, Republican Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers sent a threatening letter to out-of-state college students who are legally registered to vote in Maine. The letter noted that they could possibly be violating election law and should re-register in another state. The letter said that Summers “was presented with a list of 206 University of Maine students with out-of-state home addresses and asked to investigate allegations of election law violations.” In encouraging them to re-register elsewhere, he stated, “you are no longer claiming to be a Maine resident, I ask that you complete the enclosed form to cancel your voter registration in Maine.”

    New Ohio elections law put on hold after groups deliver petitions to put issue on ballot, http://bit.ly/rgpO5d
    A coalition of liberal organizations, voting activists, and labor groups submitted over 300,000 signatures to have an Ohio law that restricts early voting be put on the ballot in 2012. This means that Ohio voters will decide on the measure and the law will not be in effect for the the 2012 elections.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) Florida’s presidential preference commission has set the state’s primary for Jan. 31, a move certain to push the four states authorized to hold early-nominating contests into early January. Friday’s 7-2 vote came after 25 minutes of discussion regarding Jan. 3, Jan. 31 and March 6 as possible dates.

    Republicans in Congress beat Democrats on tweets, http://wapo.st/obF317
    With most Millennials living online and one-third of them using the internet to connect with government officials, it’s become increasingly important that politicians interact and engage with young people on Twitter. According to the Washington Post, young people see politicians who do not tweet as “almost insignificant.” Currently, 86% of House Republicans tweet compared to 75% of House Democrats. In the Senate, 47 Republicans use Twitter along with 41 of the 51 Democrats and 2 independents. It’s important that these politicians use Twitter as a source of interaction instead of a talking points platform. Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote, touted having “a real conversation. Talk about the issues and engage [young people] in authentic ways….Be yourself, use the technology and people will write back.”

    CULTURAL:

    “Mother of Hip-Hop” Sylvia Robinson Dead at 75, http://bit.ly/nGQom2

    “Lion King” spawns more 3D classic re-releases, http://bit.ly/qhculT

    Nelson Mandela’s granddaughters to star in upcoming reality series, http://bit.ly/qVTjpy

    Milestones in Literature: Courtney Love Is Penning a Memoir, http://ti.me/nFVTGP

    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: Friday, September 2, 2011

    Friday, September 2nd, 2011

    In today’s news, zero jobs were added in August; the U.S. will start suing big banks as early as today; hurricane warnings are in effect for the gulf coast; and Netflix loses Starz, its biggest distributor. Meanwhile, Gene Simmons sets a wedding date with his girlfriend of 28 years and Mel B gives birth to a baby girl.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Job Growth Grinds to a Halt in August, http://reut.rs/nKDC8r
    The US added zero nonfarm payroll jobs in the month of August, which means unemployment will remain at 9.1%. The US must add 150,000 jobs per month to match working-age population growth. The non-creation of jobs can be attributed to the consumer confidence index, which is at its lowest since 2009. The Verizon strike could have also decreased the payroll report by 45,000 jobs.

    U.S. Said to Be Ready to Sue Banks Over Mortgages, http://nyti.ms/ojHYaK
    The federal agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will file lawsuits against more than a dozen big banks as early as today. Some of the banks include Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is “accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost at least $30 billion in unpaid mortgages.

    20 Inches of Rain, Flood Warnings for US Gulf Coast, http://on.msnbc.com/p12o8r
    The gulf coast is preparing for yet another hurricane. Storm warnings are in effect for Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana, which has declared a state of emergency. The storm could dump 20 inches of rain and has an 80% chance of escalating to a tropical cyclone.

    Netflix to Lose Starz, Its Most Valuable Source of New Movies, http://lat.ms/peL5LC
    Just when Netflix has changed over to its new more expensive plans, Starz has decided to end its contract with it. This means that Netflix will not have access to Disney or Sony films after February 28, 2012. Starz provides more movies to Netflix than any other distributor.

    Rift Over Oil Emerges Among Libyan Allies, http://on.wsj.com/qtstPx
    63 Libyan rebel allies met in Paris yesterday to discuss the future of Libya’s government. A debate broke out over which countries would have access to Libya’s oil. Countries such as France argued that they should have first access to it, since they were the first to acknowledge the rebels. Russia, which did not acknowledge the rebels, argued that the United Nations should oversee Libya’s re-construction.

    (via POLITICO Playbook) FOX NEWS AND GOOGLE TO HOST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE IN FLORIDA: “FOX News and Google announced … that they will present a presidential debate on September 22nd from 9:00-11:00 PM/ET in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the Republican Party of Florida. In making the joint announcement, Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News Editorial, FOX News, said, ‘For access to news and information, it’s hard to imagine two more powerful brands than FOX News and Google, which is why we are proud to partner with a leader in global technology. The strength and reach of both should ensure a thorough and engaging debate that anyone can participate in.’

    CULTURAL:

    KISS Frontman Gene Simmons Sets Wedding Date with Girlfriend of 28 Years, http://fxn.ws/pkbHE3

    Melanie Brown Continues Spice Girl Baby Boom, Delivers a Daughter, http://eonli.ne/oo74v7

    T.I. Back in Federal Custody After One Day Out of Prison, http://bit.ly/mShHcy

    David Lynch Opens a Nightclub Based on Muholland Drive, http://bit.ly/rfeUYG

    Kal Penn Will Have a New Show Set in the U.N., http://bit.ly/naLz99

    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: Friday, August 19, 2011

    Friday, August 19th, 2011

    Bank of America plans big layoffs; first ever shark attacks have been reported in Russia; killings continue in Syria despite President Assad’s pledge to end the violence; terror attacks occur in Israel and Afghanistan; scientists have increased the longevity of obese mice; Kat Von D and Jesse James are engaged again; and this is sort of perfect: Josh Groban will play Ed Helms’ brother on ‘The Office.’

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Bank of America Plans Big Layoffs to Cut Costs, http://nyti.ms/oi6JkX
    According to The New York Times, Bank of America plans to cut 3,500 jobs over the next few months. At the end of next month, it will conduct a reorganization that could layoff almost 10,000 people.

    Pacific Russia Sees Unprecedented Shark Attacks, http://bit.ly/qs97xR
    Russia is experiencing shark attacks for the first time in history. A 25-year-old man has lost both his arms, and a 16-year-old has been severely injured due to shark attacks in the Sea of Japan. Scientists believe that the attacks are due to one great white that was attracted to the waters due to its abnormally warm temperatures this season. There has been a ban on swimming in the affected region, but people continue to do so anyway. The Emergency Situations Ministry has advised that if a swimmer is attacked, “not to panic and to punch the shark in the eyes and gills.”

    Attack on British Council Compound in Kabul Kills Nine, http://bbc.in/nfXKVW
    Suicide attackers from the Taliban detonated a car bomb, allowing attackers to enter the British Council office in Kabul. At least nine were killed in the attack. Earlier, a bomb went off in a town square. The Taliban said the attacks were meant to commemorate the anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain in 1919.

    Rockets, Airstrikes Follow Attack on Israel, http://yhoo.it/qS9cUI
    Following the deadly attacks in Israel yesterday, Gaza militants fired rockets injuring at least six more people. Israel responded with air strikes which killed the leader of the group responsible for the attacks.

    Syrian Forces Kill Six Despite Assad Pledge, http://reut.rs/obB7GX
    Syrian forces killed six yesterday, despite President Assad’s promise to end the violence against protestors. Yesterday, President Obama and the European Union demanded that President Assad resign.

    Coffman Wants to Modify Voting Rights Act to Provide Ballots in English Only, http://bit.ly/pgB5kz
    Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman wants to repeal the section of the 1973 Voting Rights Act that states ballots be printed in English and Spanish. Coffman has noted that it is too much of an expense to also print ballots in Spanish, reasoning that you have to know English to pass the US citizenship test. Immigrant rights activists says that Coffman’s repeal is meant to disenfranchise Democratic voters.

    Longer Lives for Obese Mice, With Hope for Humans of All Sizes, http://nyti.ms/qa97Ar
    Scientists have found that they can increase the life span of obese mice with a drug that “mimic[s] resveratrol — the trace ingredient of red wine that is thought to activate protective proteins called sirtuins.” Mice that were given the drug lived 44% longer than mice that were not. The research is hopeful for humans facing obesity.

    CULTURAL:

    Kat Von D and Jesse James Are Engaged Again, http://bit.ly/nhU53T

    Josh Groban to Play Ed Helms’ Brother on ‘The Office,’ http://bit.ly/r9HlsH

    Gerard Depardieu Apologizes for Public Peeing, http://bit.ly/q5RcWj

    Ridley Scott to Direct New ‘Blade Runner’ Movie, http://ti.me/p1iOKr

    Five Things We’ve Learned About Daniel Radcliffe’s New Girlfriend, http://eonli.ne/oPmAnb

    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: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

    Greece passes the austerity vote, Bank of America will pay $14 billion in a mortgage deal, and at least ten are dead after the Taliban attacks a Kabul hotel. Also, a missing woman’s body is found in a restaurant’s ventilation system, fly fishing shops are running out of feathers due to a hair extension trend, Tom Petty asks Bachmann not to use “American Girl,” and Google starts a Facebook competitor.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    Greece passes key austerity vote, http://bbc.in/knwQyB

    The Greek Parliament has voted in favor of the austerity plan, meant to save Greece from running out of money within weeks. The plan’s tax hikes and spending cuts have been extremely unpopular with the public, spurring protests that are likely to continue. The measures passed by 155 votes to 138. Greece’s total debt is 340 billion euros, which amounts to 31,000 euros per person.

    Bank of America to Set Aside $14 Billion in Mortgage Deal, http://nyti.ms/lxHMm5

    Bank of America will pay $8.5 billion to investors who lost money on mortgages that soured during the housing collapse. This payment is the largest settlement since the financial crisis in 2008.

    8 militants, 10 others dead after attack on Kabul hotel, http://bit.ly/jYFRS5

    The Taliban is claiming responsibility for a siege and suicide bombing that killed at least ten at a five-star Kabul hotel. The US sent a drone to take photos during the attack. The pictures helped Afghan forces to counter-strike and finally end the siege at 7 a.m. the next morning.

    Obama to hold news conference; Afghanistan, debt talks, jobs likely subjects,
    http://lat.ms/mbcZyL

    This morning, President Obama will hold his first news conference since March 11. He has spoken with the press during appearances with other international leaders; however, this morning he’ll face more specific questions regarding Afghanistan, Libya, and debt-limit talks by himself.

    Missing woman’s body found in ventilation system, police say, http://bit.ly/kh0EgM

    Jamie Minor, the 26-year-old Texas woman who went missing more than a month ago, has been found dead in a ventilation duct above a steakhouse in Austin, Texas.  Police say she was trying to enter the steakhouse through the vent system when she found herself trapped. Minor’s mother said her daughter had been struggling with mental illness, including bipolar disorder, since her early 20s.

    When Fashion Meets Fishing, the Feathers Fly, http://nyti.ms/m679aM

    With the new fashion of wearing long, colorful feathers as hair accessories, the demand for fly fishing feathers is through the roof. In fact, many fly fishing shops have found themselves in a feather shortage. Some of these shops find the fashion statement to be “sacrilegious” and will only sell the feathers to fishermen; other shops see the high demand as good business.

    Tom Petty reportedly issuing cease and desist letter to Bachmann, http://bit.ly/jOhx2P

    Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has been playing Tom Petty’s famous hit, “American Girl” at her campaign events. Petty is worried that people might think he supports Bachmann’s campaign and has sent her a cease and desist letter as a result. He sent a similar letter to George Bush in 2000 when he played Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

    Google Takes On Facebook With Social Service,
    http://bloom.bg/jl2Wrh

    Google is giving social networking another try despite the failure of its first attempt, Google Buzz. Called Google+, the new service will make it easy for users to share photos, videos, messages and other information with selected circles of friends.

    CULTURAL:

    Tracy Morgan … From Gays to ‘Retards,’ http://bit.ly/iH4gI2

    Shia LaBeouf: Hollywood’s Last Bad Boy, http://bit.ly/mgbDod

    The Bachelor’s Emily Maynard and Brad Womack Split, http://bit.ly/jBvmPj

    Emma Watson Gushes About Her Harry Potter Co-Star Crush, http://huff.to/kO5JV7

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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



    New Credit Card Law, Daily Show Style

    Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

    Jon Stewart and The Daily Show give us all an education about the new Credit Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act. Credit CARD Act for short. Get it? Enjoy.

    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
    Make it Rain – Bank of America
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political Humor Health Care Crisis
    Thomas Bates
    Bio: Thomas is Rock the Vote's Vice President of Civic Engagement.
    @BatesThomas
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com