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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    The race for the marriage equality in Virginia continues; Web companies release secret government data requests; a new winter storm is looming; and a restaurant’s customer leaves a $15,000 tip. Meanwhile, Olivia Newton John will be headlining a Vegas show; and Taylor Swift talks love.

    -Gianna + Maura


    Race on same-sex marriage cases runs through Virginia,http://rtvote.com/1ev4K8A
    The race for marriage equality is beginning to take a sharp turn in the commonwealth of Virginia. As lawsuits are filed on both sides on the issue, many are beginning to wonder if the Virginia fight for equal rights will land in the hands of the Supreme Court. Virginia’s new Attorney General, Mark R. Herring said recently that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage, which was voted on and approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional and cannot be defended. Although, many marriage equality cases in Virginia are moving quickly, none of the cases will reach a federal court during the current term and the cases have yet to reach an appellate court.

    Web companies give first look at secret government data requests,http://rtvote.com/1jbG7RW
    As of Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have all released reports publishing details of government requested data. Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said on Monday that the information requested by the government is not as vast as many citizens have feared. “We have not received the type of bulk data requests that are commonly discussed publicly regarding telephone records,” Smith said. Smith goes on to cite media reports in regards to Snowden’s leaked documents and finishes his remarks by saying, “Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies; We believe the Constitution requires that our government seek information from American companies within the rule of law.”

    Restaurant customer leaves $15K for three waitresses, http://rtvote.com/1ipw60F
    Three waitresses were discussing student loans and dreams of completing school when one of their customers walked over and asked for their names. The customer was a God send: she gave each young woman $5,000 dollars. The unnamed customer told the waitresses,“I want you girls to take these to help with school and everything else in life.You put that in your pocket. God sent me here to help you.” What an amazing story and act of kindness!

    Bundle Up: Another Blast of Snow, Nasty Weather Moves In,  http://rtvote.com/1ipOmHd
    Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog was not kidding: there really will be more winter! Another storm is heading in this week after cold weather already caused a few issues on Monday. More than 100 million people in 24 states could be impacted by this week’s looming winter storm. The forecast is said to stretch from the Great Plains to southern New England blanketing parts of the Midwest with up to a foot of snow on Wednesday. Stay warm everyone! 



    Olivia Newton-John headlining Vegas show, http://rtvote.com/1aZlPbM

    William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke Dead: Lead Singer Of Third World Dies At Age 65, http://rtvote.com/1jbTr8V

    Barbara Walters Defends Woody Allen, Fights With Sherri Shepherd on The View, http://rtvote.com/MXpYlR

    Taylor Swift Talks Love: “Never Give Anyone An Excuse to Say You’re Crazy, http://rtvote.com/1bnwwQ0

    Outkast, Soundgarden to play Sasquatch! Music Festival,http://rtvote.com/1jbVfPh

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

    Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

    Russia detains a C.I.A. agent; a suspect is named in the New Orleans Mother’s Day shooting; nearly 200 are killed in a boat accident off the coast of Myanmar; phone records are seized from the Associated Press; Pakistan’s prime minister sends the US mixed messages; and Minnesota legalizes gay marriage. Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie discusses her double mastectomy ,and the mother on “How I Met Your Mother” is revealed.

    Caitlin + Alexis
    Russia Detains American, Saying He Is C.I.A. Agent, http://nyti.ms/19nstBR
    Russia’s Federal Security Service publicly announced today that it has detained a CIA officer in an attempt to recruit a Russian agent. The officer has been identified as Ryan Christopher Fogle. He was arrested on charges of carrying written instructions for a Russian recruit. U.S. Ambassador Michael A. McFaul has been asked to respond to the accusation on Wednesday.

    Mother’s Day second-line shooting suspect is named, sought, http://bit.ly/17pAOIs
    The New Orleans Police Department has identified one suspect in the Mother’s Day second-line shooting. Nineteen people, including two ten-year-olds, were injured in the shooting this past Sunday. Akein Scott, 19 is the current suspect at large sought after by the NOPD.

    Nearly 200 killed in Myanmar boat accident, http://aje.me/10n0n8K
    Around 200 Rohingya Muslims, who were trying to evacuate a storm by boat, capsized off of the coast of Western Myanmar. According to Barbara Manzi, head of the Myanmar office at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the boat sank late on Monday.

    AP: Justice Department seizure of phone records an unprecedented intrusion, http://bit.ly/14iB9bs
    The Obama administration is accused of seizing phone records from the Associated Press in an attempt to uncover the source of a Yemen terrorist plot story. It was disclosed on Monday that the justice department had in fact obtained these two months’ worth of phone records of calls without informing the Obama administration.

    Marriage equality in Minnesota: A gay-rights victory in the Midwest, http://on.msnbc.com/13tOrmD
    On Monday the Minnesota Senate voted to approve same-sex marriage. Cheers filled the Capital as the bill was passed by a vote of 37-30 in the state Senate. Twelve states as well as the District of Columbia now deem same-sex marriage as lawful.
    TV Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers Dies At 85, http://n.pr/10TzYv9

    HIMYM’ unveils the mother! The creators answer your burning questions — EXCLUSIVE, http://bit.ly/127um2F

    In Barbara Walters’s Highlight Reel, TV’s Rise and Fade, http://nyti.ms/19mY72a

    Bill Hader to Leave ‘Saterday Night Live,’ http://nyti.ms/14kolBy

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

    News Round-Up: Monday, January 28, 2013

    Monday, January 28th, 2013

    Senators reach a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform; a nightclub fire in Brazil takes the lives of over 230 people; and Obama praises Hillary Clinton in a “60 Minutes” interview marking her departure as Secretary of State. Meanwhile, SAG Awards winners celebrate; Jennifer Lawrence gets over a major wardrobe malfunction; and Barbara Walters comes down with chicken pox.

    Caitlin + Liza


    Senators reach agreement on immigration reform, http://bit.ly/UwahSS
    A bipartisan group of senators has reached an agreement on the structure for an overhaul of America’s immigration system. The deal includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the nation and also addresses border security, non-citizen “guest” workers, and employee verification. The plan may have trouble receiving backing from the Republican-controlled House, but nonetheless marks the start of the the largest effort in years to seriously reform America’s immigration system. President Obama will offer his own vision for immigration reform in a speech on Tuesday, which officials expect to overlap significantly with the Senate plan. “What’s changed, honestly, is that there is a new appreciation on both sides of the aisle- including maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle- that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill,” said Senator John McCain, who played a central role in shaping the agreement.

    Missteps hiked Brazil night club blaze death toll, http://cbsn.ws/VhQF21
    Over 230 Brazilians were killed on Sunday in a Santa Maria nightclub fire that officials believe started when a band’s pyrotechnic show ignited soundproofing in the ceiling. Many young victims were among the dead, including 101 students of the Federal University of Santa Maria. Bouncers initially assumed partygoers were skipping on paying their bar tabs and tried to prevent them from leaving. There was also only one exit through which people could leave. Police have arrested the nightclub owner, a band member, and a person in charge of stage safety in connection with the fire so far.

    Egypt’s leader declares emergency after clashes, http://reut.rs/X1hrgg
    Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi issued a 30-day state of emergency and curfew for three Suez Canal provinces where violent protests have killed 49 since Thursday. Hundreds more were injured in Port Said on Sunday during the funerals for 33 Egyptian protesters killed when locals lashed out in response to an unpopular court decision. Anti-government protestors claim that Morsi has failed to defend the revolution that toppled Mubarek and is not representing all Egyptians. Morsi warned of further punishment if protests continue.

    Obama praises Hillary Clinton in joint interview on ’60 minutes’, http://lat.ms/X5qpZQ
    In a ’60 Minutes’ interview to mark Hillary Clinton’s departure as Secretary of State, Clinton and the president recounted their joint foreign policy accomplishments and expressed gratitude for being able to transform their 2008 political rivalry into friendship. “You know, if the roles had been reversed, I would have desperately have wanted him to be in my cabinet,” said Clinton, who was initially reluctant to accept the high-ranking post offered to her by the president. “By the time Hillary joined the administration, I felt very confident in our working relationship. What did evolve was a friendship,” Obama added. In the interview, the two cited winding down the war in Afghanistan, ousting Qaddafi in Libya, and getting rid of core Al Qaeda leaders as a few of their greatest successes.

    Gun control advocates march as nation reels from school shootings, http://bit.ly/TMIpMh
    Thousands demonstrated in Washington on Saturday as part of a “March on Washington for Gun Control,” calling for tougher gun laws. The marchers rallied for a reinstatement of the federal ban on the sale of military-style semi-automatic rifles, like that used in the Newtown shooting, as well as universal background checks and a ban on sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. Many demonstrators held up the names of victims killed at Newtown and in other school shootings as they took part in the first major demonstration since the Newtown shooting in December. “Only an outraged public can end the gun violence that has enveloped our country,” said U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia). “We the people who did not act before, we the people this time will step forward.”

    Iranian state TV says country has successfully sent monkey into space, http://bit.ly/X3oWSk
    Iran announced today that it successfully launched a monkey into space, bringing the nation one step closer toward its ultimate goal of sending an astronaut into space. According to Iran state TV, the monkey was sent on a rocket 72 miles into space and returned safely. Iran has long hoped to send a man into space as part of its ambitious aerospace program, which also includes plans for a new space center. The U.S. remains skeptical of Iran’s intentions, worrying that space program technology could also be used to develop long-range missiles armed with nuclear warheads.


    SAG Awards 2013: Complete List of Winners, http://bit.ly/WjmIlg

    Jennifer Lawrence dress rips at SAG Awards 2013, http://bit.ly/110frpq

    Best Dressed at the SAG Awards, http://bit.ly/111ySUH

    Barbara Walters- I’ve Got CHICKEN POX!, http://tmz.me/WsGRWc

    Hugh Hefner’s Long-time Secretary Mary O’Connor Dies, http://bit.ly/T0stV1


    Liza Dee

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


    Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

    In today’s news, more unions are joining the Occupy Wall Street protesters; ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr.’s Monday night football intro after his controversial comments; Chris Christie has officially announced that he is not running for president; and Apple is set to release the iPhone 5 today. In entertainment news, Zach Baron retraces Hunter S. Thompson’s footsteps 40 years after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Florence and the Machine release their new music video.

    Coral + Caitlin


    Protesters Drawing Labor Support, http://on.wsj.com/qrUW1b
    The Occupy Wall Street protesters are receiving support from local labor unions. On Monday, health-care workers union 1199SEIU agreed to help the protesters, saying it would help feed those camped out in the park, send nurses to train those providing first aid and set up a task force to figure out more plans of action. The union represents 200,000 health-care workers in New York and Long Island and 100,000 more employees located on the East Coast.

    Truck Bomb Kills Dozens in Somalia’s Capital,
    Tuesday morning, a truck bomb exploded on a busy street in central Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, killing more than 70 people. The event may signal the comeback of the Shabab militant group, who had lost territory in recent months. The bomb also killed students who were registering for scholarships to study in Turkey, which has become a major aid donor to Somalia. Local health officials said 70 were killed and many more were injured. Witnesses reported that the bomber was driving a large truck piled high with scrap metal, apparently to conceal the explosives. The target was a building used by Somalia’s transitional government.

    ESPN pulls intro after Williams’ Obama comments, http://onforb.es/qg3om4
    In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Hank Williams Jr., unprompted, said of Obama joining a golf outing with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.” When asked to clarify he said, “They’re the enemy,” meaning President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. These comments prompted ESPN to pull Williams’ intro song for Monday night football and the line “Are you ready for some football?”

    Contraceptive Used in Africa May Double Risk of H.I.V.,
    According to a study published on Monday, a hormone shot given every three months mostly in Africa may double the risk of contracting HIV. In many countries where the rate of pregnancy is highest, the percentage of those infected with HIV is also high. For this reason, doctors find it troubling that the injectable contraceptive has biological properties that may make women and men more vulnerable to HIV infection.

    2 Severed Heads Found in Mexico City With Message, http://fxn.ws/nUCjby
    On Monday, police in Mexico City found two severed heads outside of a major military base. This is a popular tactic used by warring drug gangs. Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Mancera was quoted by local news media as saying that the heads were accompanied by a note referring to the “Mano con Ojos” or “Hand with Eyes” drug gang. The organization has been active in the State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City, and in some southern districts of the capital.

    Foreign Aid Set to Take a Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis, http://nyti.ms/ngTpZW
    The American budget crisis may cause foreign aid to take a hit which some say is a sign of America’s diminishing world influence. Lawmakers are scrambling to lower the national debt, and the House and Senate have both proposed cutting finances in the State Department and its related agencies. The proposals would make deep cuts in food and medicine for Africa, in relief for disaster-affected places like Pakistan and Japan, in political and economic assistance for the new democracies of the Middle East, and even for the Peace Corps.

    Rick Perry slips, Herman Cain rises in bid for GOP nomination, poll finds, http://wapo.st/pdljCy
    After a few uneven performances during the GOP debates, Rick Perry has lost half of his support over the past month. Perry’s slide has allowed Mitt Romney to claim the top spot in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. However, the biggest change in popularity goes to Herman Cain who is now tied with Perry for second place.

    More aides leave Bachmann presidential campaign, http://onforb.es/rdC5L8
    Pollster Ed Goeas and senior adviser Andy Parrish have left the Bachmann campaign which raises questions about her chances of getting into the White House. Parrish is returning to the Minnesota congresswoman’s office where he was chief of staff. He moved to Iowa this summer to build support before the state’s leadoff caucuses.

    (via National Journal) Christie Is Not Running for President, http://bit.ly/qWazDz: At 1pm New Jersey governor Chris Christie is set to make a public announcement of his decision to run for the presidency. However, according to the National Review Online, Christie has already made his decision, and he is not entering the race.

    Apple May Unveil Voice Technology With IPhone, http://bloom.bg/p10YyV
    Apple Inc. is set to unveil its new phone today, and the new rumor is voice recognition. New voice commands will let users make appointments in their calendars, send text messages or e-mails, and surf the Web on Apple’s new phone. The current iPhone has basic voice command abilities. The trick will be to get people to use the new product, and venture capitalist Larry Marcus said Apple can, “make it exciting and make people think about it in different ways. Voice controls are a very fundamental way to interact with your device.”

    Studies of Universe’s Expansion Win Physics Nobel, http://nyti.ms/oEfFwi
    On Tuesday, three American physicists won the Nobel prize for discovering that the universe is apparently being blown apart by a mysterious force that cosmologists now call dark energy. Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess discovered in the 1990s that the light from 50 supernovas was weaker than expected which showed signs of the universe expanding at an accelerated rate.


    Mike McCurry wants to “Improve civics education” http://politi.co/psKM5h

    The New Yorks Times shows us, “Alabama’s Shame” http://nyti.ms/qnOlmA

    Fear and Loathing 40 Years Later, http://bit.ly/pWdxOl

    Beyoncé & Jay-Z Raise $1 Million for Charity, http://bit.ly/qK51CY

    Sherri Shepherd Blasts Barbara Walters over N-Word Use on The View, http://bit.ly/ozlYpk

    Florence and the Machine: “Shake It Out”, http://p4k.in/mSX1YX

    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

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