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    ‘Barack Obama’



    News Round-Up: September 30, 2013

    Monday, September 30th, 2013

    A government shutdown is looming; the U.N. votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons; and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is greeted by angry protests, following his positive meeting with President Obama. Meanwhile, Rihanna has a new reality show, and Heather Morris gives birth to a baby boy.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    House GOP votes to delay Obamacare for one yearhttp://rtvote.com/1dS3N8u House Republicans voted on a stopgap spending measure to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year. The bill will be sent back to the Senate, but it faces certain defeat, as the Senate and President Obama have both stated that they will not accept any bill that will delay or defund Obamacare. If Congress cannot overcome this impasse, a government shutdown will be announced tomorrow.

    NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizenshttp://rtvote.com/18klFXE In November 2010, the National Security Agency (NSA) lifted restrictions on examining Americans’ social network activity for foreign intelligence purposes. NSA policy had previously prohibited this practice because of concerns about American citizens’ privacy. The spy agency can now collect information ranging from a citizen’s record of phone calls and emails to his or her Facebook profile, bank codes, and GPS locations.

    House GOP moves to protect military pay in a shutdownhttp://rtvote.com/18koGad In the event of a government shutdown, many federal workers will be staying at home without pay. On Saturday, however, House Republicans proposed a bill that would ensure military service members continued to be paid if Congress is unable to avoid a government shutdown come end of business today. Although the House passed the bill on military pay unanimously, Democrats complained that this overlooked the value of many other federal workers, who would be forced to go without pay during this time.

    UN votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weaponshttp://rtvote.com/1eU7WvF The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. All 15 council members signed on as co-sponsors to the resolution. This marks the first breakthrough decision that the council has agreed upon since the Syrian civil war began. It also sends a zero-tolerance message to all countries on the use of chemical weapons.

    Hassan Rouhani’s return to Iran marked by ‘death to America’ chantshttp://rtvote.com/1fCVhOW After what seemed like a constructive visit to the U.N. general assembly to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, many American politicians and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani left in high spirits. Obama and Rouhani even had a 15-minute telephone call afterwards, marking the first interaction between an American and Iranian president in more than three decades. However, Rouhani’s return to Iran was greeted with angry protests, as hardliners opposed the president’s pro-American meeting.

    PUNDITS

    Julian Zelizer discusses the implications of a looming government shutdown in “Government shutdown threat is getting very old, very fast”, http://rtvote.com/1dSbdsn

    Peter Bergen talks about social media and terrorism in “Are mass murderers using Twitter as a tool?”, http://rtvote.com/1dSbwU 

    CULTURAL

    Rihanna’s New Reality Show: First Look Trailer for Styled to Rockhttp://rtvote.com/18kvxAs

    Khloe Kardashian Odom and Lamar Odom “Are Staying Strong,” LaLa Anthony Says, http://rtvote.com/1dSa97U

    Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf Has “Mixed Emotions” About Sextortion Photos Scandal, http://rtvote.com/1dSaojo

    Heather Morris Gives Birth to Baby Boy Elijah, http://rtvote.com/18kxgWx

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, May 3rd, 2013

    Friday, May 3rd, 2013

    A massive fire causes hundreds to evacuate Southern California; unemployment drops to a 4-year low; Rhode Island legalizes same-sex marriage; the Tsarnaev brothers originally planned an attack on Fourth of July; the death toll from the Bangladesh factory collapse surpasses 500; and a rare snowstorm pounds Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. Meanwhile, 33 students are suspending after “twerking;” Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies; and Reese Witherspoon pleads no contest.

    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Fleeing the flames in Southern California, http://rtvote.com/11HcDPk
    A massive fire on the Pacific Coast near Malibu has forced hundreds of residents to evacuate their Southern California homes.  ”I opened the door, and the whole mountain was on fire,” said Ventura County resident Paul Doebler, 80.  The brush fire has already burned 8,000 acres and damaged 15 homes.  Only 10% of it has been contained.

    Unemployment Drops to 4-Year Low, http://rtvote.com/Hjsai8
    The economy added 165,000 jobs in April, and unemployment has dropped to a 4-year low of 7.5%. The number of jobs added in March has also been revised up, totaling 138,000 for the month.  Economists say that, despite the good numbers, the economy is still slow.  400,00 jobs were added in the first two months of the year and since then, the growth has declined.

    Official: July Fourth celebration Boston bombers’ original target, http://rtvote.com/11HdsHS
    Dzokhar Tsarnaev told investigators Thursday that he and his brother, Tamerlan, had originally planned their bombings for Fourth of July.  However, they finished making their bombs early and as a result, chose to attack on New England’s Patriots’ Day.  Tamerlan’s body was returned to his family Thursday, causing outrage that it arrived at a funeral home 30 miles south of Boston.  His body will not be sent to Russia as Dagestan has refused to conduct his funeral.

    Prosecutor in Bhutto Killing and Mumbai Attacks Is Assassinated in Pakistan, http://rtvote.com/104PxWf
    Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali, the prosecutor for the murder of ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has been assassinated.  He was driving to work in an Islamabad suburb when assailants on motorcycles ambushed his car.  No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.  Former military chief Pervez Musharraf is being charged with Bhutto’s death.

    Death toll from Bangladesh building collapse rises above 500, http://rtvote.com/11Hewf6
    The death toll in the Bangladeshi factory collapse has surpassed 500.  On Thursday, Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Abud Maal Abdul Muhith said the event was “not really serious.” He added, “These are individual cases of … accidents…. It happens everywhere.”  Muhith insisted that the collapse would not adversely affect the country’s garment industry.  However, last month, Disney stopped manufacturing its apparel in Bangladesh, causing some to speculate that other companies could follow.

    Rare May snowstorm pounds Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, http://rtvote.com/107Bcme
    A rare May snowstorm hit Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa on Thursday.  Areas of Wisconsin received 18 inches of snow, while some parts of Minnesota received 15.  Both states have had snow in May before; however, this particular snowstorm hit the usually unaffected southern part of the states.  Three cities in Iowa broke their records for May snowfall, with 11 inches received in Algona and 10.5 inches received in two other towns.

    Attack on Syria village leaves ‘dozens dead,’ http://rtvote.com/11HgTyk
    Between 50 and 100 Syrians are estimated to be dead after Syrian government forces invaded the al-Baida village.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the number of casualties may have exceeded 100, and that many of the dead were executed by shooting or stabbed.  In what looks like bad news for diplomacy efforts, the United Nations–Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has chosen to resign his post.  On Thursday, President Obama said he is “looking at all options” regarding U.S. action in Syria.

    Rhode Island House passes bill legalizing same-sex marriage, 56 to 15, http://rtvote.com/18hUSeJ
    Rhode Island has become the tenth state to legalize gay marriage.  The House passed the measure with 56 votes in favor of the bill and afterwards, legislators broke into a rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”  The bill, which Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed, will allow same-sex marriages to begin August 1st.  Couples in civil unions will also be able to change their status to married. “At long last, you are free to marry the person you love,” Chafee said.
    CULTURAL:
    33 students from Scripps Ranch High School suspended over ‘twerking’ video, http://rtvote.com/107CWvQ

    Founding Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies, http://rtvote.com/11HgRXp

    REESE WITHERSPOON PLEADS NO CONTEST …Hubby Pleads Guilty to DUI, http://rtvote.com/107DG4f

    Summer movie guide 2013, http://rtvote.com/18i1xWm

    Rolling Stones Charging $600 Per Seat, Tour Not Sold Out, http://rtvote.com/1050V4n

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



    The Time for Immigration Reform is NOW

    Monday, April 8th, 2013

    Americans everywhere believe that now is the time for action on an essential issue: immigration reform.

    And it seems that perhaps that time has come. Those who support immigration reform have finally gained the attention of both Democrats and Republicans and have pressured them to work together on comprehensive immigration reform, including creating a clear pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants..

    Immigration reform is a top priority for President Obama during his second-term, and the “Gang of Eight” group of Senators, led by Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York, is working toward a bipartisan agreement on a comprehensive immigration bill that could propose this path to citizenship.

    Although  the “Gang of Eight” hopes to finish their negotiations by the end of this week, it is highly unlikely that their bill will sail through Congress unopposed. Instead, their legislation is sure to meet heated debate,, staunch opposition, and backlash from interest groups.

    It is critical that we continue fighting for immigration reform. The Latino vote has proved itself one of the most powerful political contingents. In the 2012 election, Latinos made up ten percent of nationwide turnout, tipping the 2012 elections and in turn, proving that they comprise a growing and engaged group in our country.

    For young voters in particular, immigration reform is a decisive issue. 68 percent of young people support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and with good reason; one in five Americans ages 18 to 24 was either born in another country or has at least one parent who is foreign-born.  

    This Wednesday, tens of thousands are expected to rally outside the Capitol, pressuring Congress to enact legislation. Now is the time to join the ranks of passionate immigration reform advocates and make your voice heard.  In the past, immigration reform has collapsed against strong public backlash. It is critical that with a plan finally in sight, we keep up this momentum and make sure immigration reform gets done.

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

    Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

    Another day of voting continues for the papal conclave; Venezuelan officials claim Hugo Chavez was poisoned; the Steubenville High School students stand trial; and Google admits that its Street View data violates user’s privacy. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth split; Anna Wintour adds Artistic Director to her resume; and tons of Taylor Swift’s fan mail is found in a Nashville dumpster.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Black Smoke Emerges From Sistine Chapel as Cardinals Fail to Elect New Pope,http://rtvote.com/16rUF7W
    Wednesday marked day two of the conclave voting on a new pope; however, many were disappointed to see black smoke emitted from the chapel’s smoke shaft. The smoke indicated that the 115 voting cardinals did not come to the 77 votes needed to elect a new pope. Earlier on Wednesday, feminists from the Ukraine took over St. Peter’s Square protesting the election by writing “Pope no more” on their bare chests. Many cardinals, including New York’s Cardinal Dolan, have said a new pope will most likely be elected on Thursday.

    Venezuela to probe Chavez cancer poisoning accusation, http://rtvote.com/12Prug5
    On Tuesday night, it was revealed that many close to Hugo Chavez believed him to have been poisoned. The announcement has since launched an investigation into Chavez’s cause of death. Newly appointed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed that he also believed the conspiracy saying, “We have the intuition that our commander Chávez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way.”

    GOP sends mixed signals on Obama’s outreach effort, http://rtvote.com/12Ppqo5
    For the first time since 2011, President Obama will meet with the House Republican conference. The meeting is another example of the president’s efforts to create bipartisanship between parties and ultimately, work together for a deficit-reduction bargain by this summer. In today’s meeting, Obama will most likely reveal his complete second-term agenda, which includes stricter gun laws and immigration reform.

    Case Already Tried in Social Media Heads to Court, http://rtvote.com/16rWO3n
    Two former high school football players will stand trial today for raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. The alleged crime gained national attention after the hacking group Anonymous, who believed the case was intentionally being covered up by Steubenville officials, brought the sexual assault to light and caused it to go viral on the Internet. As a result, defendants Trenton Mays and Ma’lik Richmond have already been condemned on social media.

    Google Concedes That Drive-by Prying Violated Privacy, http://rtvote.com/16rTfu3
    On Wednesday, Google admitted that their methods of collecting data for Street View “violated people’s privacy.” Thirty-eight states had brought a court case against the search-engine claiming that its data collection was unethical. Google decided to settle the case today, agreeing to pay a $7 million fine and promise to “police its own employees on privacy issues” through a privacy program that must be created within six months. Richard Blumenthal, one of the attorneys on the case, said the most monumental part of the settlement is Google’s admission that they violated privacy rights.

    CULTURAL:

    Condé Nast Adds to Job of Longtime Vogue Editor, http://rtvote.com/12Pssc9

    Mitch Seavey becomes oldest-ever winner of the Iditarod, http://rtvote.com/15MBwMD

    It’s over for Liam and Miley, http://rtvote.com/ZIiyTf

    SXSW 2013: ‘Short Term 12′ wins feature prize, http://rtvote.com/ZIiByy

    Taylor Swift’s Fan Mail Discovered In Dumpster, http://rtvote.com/15MDwo5

    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: Tuesday, March 7th, 2013

    Thursday, March 7th, 2013

    A top Venezuelan general reveals Hugo Chavez died of a heart attack; the UN Security Council issues new sanctions on North Korea; Rand Paul ends his filibuster at 13 hours; President Obama takes GOP Senators out to dinner; a new study shows processed meats contribute to early deaths; and a Dunkin’ Donuts employee thwarts a robber with a hot cup of coffee to the face. Meanwhile, Jessica Simpson lets it slip that she’s having a boy; Valerie Harper has terminal cancer; and LeBron James is set to marry his longtime love.

    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Hugo Chavez died of massive heart attack: top general, http://rtvote.com/XVahx8
    On the second of seven days of mourning Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, one of the country’s top Generals, Jose Ornella, revealed that Chavez died of a massive heart attack. “He couldn’t speak, but he said it with his lips … ‘I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die,’ because he loved his country, he sacrificed himself for his country,” said Ornella. Chavez had been hospitalized with a respiratory infection after his fourth cancer surgery.

    UN SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES NEW SANCTIONS TO PUNISH NORTH KOREA FOR ITS LATEST NUCLEAR TEST, http://rtvote.com/XV5oTQ
    The United Nations Security Council has overwhelmingly voted to implement new sanctions on North Korea in response to its testing of nuclear weapons. The vote came only a few hours after North Korea threatened the United States with nuclear weapons, promising to “engulf Washington in a sea of fire.” An anonymous spokesman for Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said that North Korea said it would carry out “preemptive nuclear strikes on the headquarters of the aggressors,” intimating that the country believes the United States is proactively waging nuclear war.

    Paul’s filibuster seizes the day, http://rtvote.com/XVeDnM
    Rand Paul’s filibuster ended yesterday after about 13 hours. Paul’s filibuster was meant to block John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA Director. The Republican from Kentucky spoke for the first three hours, denouncing the Obama’s administration use of drones. Paul was then followed by Utah Republican Mike Lee, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and four others. At the end of his filibustering, Paul was met with a round of applause.

    G.O.P. Senators Give Obama Dinner Thumbs Up, http://rtvote.com/16bBE9F
    In a continued attempt to mend relations between Democrats and Republicans, President Obama took Senate Republicans out to dinner last night and picked up the bill. After the long meal at the Jefferson Hotel, John McCain and Tom Coburn gave reporters a thumbs up. President Obama has been reaching out to Republicans in an effort to create bipartisanship for easier negotiations around things like the sequester.

    Worker mauled to death at California sanctuary by her favorite lion, http://rtvote.com/ZtWXxQ
    A 26-year-old intern at an exotic-cat sanctuary in California was killed by her favorite lion, to whom she was tending when she was attacked. Before authorities arrived on the scene, other employees attempted to distract the 350-pound lion, but the woman died soon after a sheriff’s deputy killed the feline named Cous Cous. “They are wild animals, end of story,” animal expert Jack Hanna said. “No matter what anyone says, they are wild animals.”

    Dunkin’ Donuts Employee Stops Robbery With Coffee, http://rtvote.com/16bvHtn
    A Dunkin’ Donuts employee in West Haven, Connecticut stopped a robbery Saturday night by throwing a cup of hot coffee in the potential robber’s face. The man attempted to climb through the drive-through window before the employee, only known as Angelica, threw the coffee, causing the man to retract into his vehicle and drive away. Apparently, Angelica celebrated her victory by yelling “Go run on Dunkin’.”

    Processed meat ‘early death’ link, http://rtvote.com/16bAxGU
    A study from medical journal BMC Medicine followed 10 Europeans over 13 years, finding that diets heavy in processed meats, such as bacon, ham, and sausage, caused early deaths specifically linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Although people who eat a lot of processed meats usually tend to be smokers, the researchers insist that these meats pose their own health risks.
    CULTURAL:
    Jessica Simpson Having a Boy: Pregnant Star Accidentally Confirms Baby-to-Be’s Gender,http://rtvote.com/XVgnwz
    Valerie Harper reveals she has terminal cancer, http://rtvote.com/XVgAQj

    Kim Kardashian health scare: Doctor orders rest, http://rtvote.com/Zu4vRg

    LeBron James & Savannah Brinson set wedding date, http://rtvote.com/16bGQue

    Taylor Swift Sells Home Near Conor Kennedy for $1M Profit, http://rtvote.com/XVj0iN

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