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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Thursday, March 6th, 2014

    Crimean lawmakers have voted to join Russia; a news anchor quits on her live show; Staples plans to close nearly 10 percent of its stores in and around the United States; and parents commit fraud for football. Meanwhile, kids recreate the 2014 Oscar’s best fashion looks; Katy Perry tries her hand at meteorology in Australia; Aaron Carter reveals lingering feelings for a Hollywood star; and see what Oscar winning actors actually do with the statue!

    - Veronica + Maura


    Breaking News: Crimea lawmakers vote to join Russia: http://rtvote.com/1dvBwGw
    Crimean lawmakers voted to leave Ukraine for Russia earlier, forcing citizens to choose if they want to remain in Ukraine or join Russia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, however, says that the referendum proposed by the Crimean lawmakers who voted for the separation has “no legal grounds at all” and is an “illegitimate decision.” Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko says that the referendum is indeed invalid because in Ukraine, referendums can only be passed by the national government. However, Crimea’s government is staunchly pro-Russia, and they do not recognize the interim, pro-West national government in Kiev.

    Anchor quits: I can’t be part of network ‘that whitewashes’ Putin’s actions: http://rtvote.com/1f1C2gy
    Russia Today news anchor Liz Wahl quit her job on-air at the end of her show on Wednesday. She said that due to her past (being a member of a family who fled Hungary to escape the Soviet Union in the 1950s), she “cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.” The network responded, calling Wahl’s actions a “self-promotional stunt.” This action follows the similar outburst from Russia Today personality Abby Martin, who split from the pro-Russian repertoire and denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

    Parents, students cheat to attend Atlanta school: http://rtvote.com/1f1GmMQ
    An Atlanta school is under fire from new cheating allegations coming to light. Parents of football players at Grady High School faked their children’s addresses solely so their children could play football at that school. Out of the 58 players on Grady High School’s football team, fourteen have faked papers. Currently, some students connected with the fraud have withdrawn from the school, and others had tuition bills sent to them. The school’s superintendent, Erroll Davis, is debating whether to press criminal or civil charges on the parents accused of fraud.

    Barbie, remove that Girl Scout tie, ad group says: http://rtvote.com/1cF9PHO
    A new ad featuring Barbie tied in with Girl Scouts has sparked controversy from consumer advocacy groups. The “Be Anything, Do Anything” patch allows Girl Scouts in kindergarten through third grade to look at different careers in a booklet with a Barbie theme. The groups believe that using Barbie as a role model for Girl Scouts “undermines the Girl Scouts vital mission.” Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, is bringing the issue to light now because the Girl Scouts of America did not agree to remove the partnership in private talks. Kelly Parisi, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts, says that using Barbie enables them to tell girls that “they can do anything.”

    Staples to close 225 stores as sales move online: http://rtvote.com/1idGUOj
    Staples plans on closing 10 percent of its North American stores by the end of 2015. The store chain says nearly 50 percent of its sales are online, and that it wants to be more monetarily efficient. A majority of their 1,846 stores are in the United States, and Staples has yet to comment on how many jobs are being cut due to store closures. However, Staples CEO Ron Sargent says that the chain will not give up on actual stores due to the service customers can receive there, and the overall convenience of stores.


    What celebrities do with their Oscars: http://rtvote.com/NXNWgP

    Kids recreating Oscar looks: http://rtvote.com/1gUZOc3

    Here’s the host of the 2014 MTV Movie Awards! http://rtvote.com/1dvUsVM

    Katy Perry’s new day job: meteorologist? http://rtvote.com/1oulQ8d

    Aaron Carter can’t get over a romance that happened over 10 years ago! http://rtvote.com/1qbNqe3

    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: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura


    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 


    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB


    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


    Monday, April 9th, 2012

    The world braces for North Korea’s upcoming missile test; two shooting suspects in Tulsa have been arraigned; the U.S. Navy will deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf; and President Obama is doing well amongst swing-state Independent voters; meanwhile, Jessica Biel goes wedding dress shopping; Clint Eastwood sues a furniture company; and Mattel develops a ‘Hunger Games’ Barbie.

    Kelly H. + Caitlin


    Tulsa Shooting Suspects Set For Arraignment, http://n.pr/Hvwad1
    Two men were arrested Sunday in connection with a Tulsa shooting spree that killed three black residents and wounded two others. The two men, who are also roommates, are expected to be arraigned this morning. They face possible charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and firearms possession. Speculation is increasing whether or not the shooting was racially-motivated, with investigations into the suspects’ Facebook accounts being conducted.

    U.S. Navy deploys second aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran, http://bit.ly/IijmIh
    The U.S. navy has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region. After failed negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program in January and amid proposed talks with world leaders from the United Nations, the deployment is the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has operated two aircraft carriers in that region. The USS Enterprise, which is nuclear powered, will help support military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts off of Somali’s coast. U.S. Navy commanders commented that the deployment does not signify a response to any threat.

    South Korea says North preparing for nuclear test, http://bit.ly/HtUgGD
    Satellite images have revealed a new underground tunnel in North Korea, which appears to be for nuclear testing. The excavation in northeast North Korea, where nuclear tests were previously conducted in 2006 and 2009, looks almost complete. The possibility of further nuclear testing and exploration is now being taken into account as North Korea has also announced its plans to launch a long-range rocket over South Korea and Japan. Major world powers and neighboring countries have urged North Korea to cancel its launch plans, observing that the new evidence of testing indicates possible plans to fire missiles on other countries.

    President Obama leads among ‘swing independents,’ http://politi.co/HsOMOL
    In a poll conducted amongst 1,000 “swing independents,”  who voted in the 2008 presidential election, and who do not list Obama nor Romney as strongly favorable or unfavorable, Obama outranks Romney 57 percent to 41 percent. Overall, the independents polled in about a dozen battleground states prefer Obama but identify ideologically closer to Romney. About 15 percent of the electorate, roughly 40 percent of independents, authentically swing between parties. The independent pollers were also asked what issues they were angriest about. They listed in order that they were most frustrated with congressional gridlock, the national debt and the Wall Street bailouts.


    Jessica Biel Power Shops in Paris, http://bit.ly/HrQ1gJ

    ‘Hunger Games’ Barbie: Mattel Debuts Katniss Everdeen Doll, http://bit.ly/Huma5s

    Clint Eastwood sues furniture company, http://thedc.com/HXb8Ef

    Whitney Houston funeral cost NJ taxpayers $187k, http://thedc.com/Iv2DRK

    Photos: Bubba Watson Wins The Masters 2012, http://bit.ly/HuucwW

    The Titanic sinks again, on TV and movie screens, http://bit.ly/HBvzXW

    Kelly Holleran

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


    Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

    Yahoo will layoff 14 percent of the company; Romney sweeps yesterday’s primaries; 30 people are pepper-sprayed at a Santa Monica College protest; a string of tornadoes hits Texas; a blast at a theater in Somalia kills several Somali sports officials; and the violence in Syria continues despite upcoming cease-fire demands. Meanwhile, Dumb and Dumber 2 is set to film with the original leading cast; Baylor wins the NCAA Women’s National Championship; and Ryan Gosling saves a woman from a potential taxi accident.

    Kelly H. + Caitlin


    30 people pepper-sprayed at Santa Monica College course fees protest, http://on.msnbc.com/HgyIvs
    Police pepper-sprayed 30 people as students tried to overtake a Santa Monica College trustee board meeting in protest over proposed course fee increases. So far only minor injuries have been reported, with five people seeking further treatment from the spraying. Amid chants of “let us in, let us in,” and “no cuts, no fee, education should be free,” police were said to have released the spray within arm’s length of their targets. The board meeting was scheduled to discuss a highly contested tiered payment program. Students and faculty complain that the program would make basic courses during in-demand summer terms almost four times as expensive.

    Tornado-Wrecked Dallas Begins Assessing Damage, http://n.pr/HTN0ng
    Videos of violently soaring tractor trailers 100 feet in the air are now flooding local weather channels, but residents of Dallas, Texas are relieved that there have been no reported deaths after devastating tornadoes made their way to Fort Worth yesterday. The National Weather Service reports that almost a dozen twisters touched down in the area. Though there is no death toll, and only a few reports of injury, thousands have been left without power and about 650 homes have been seriously damaged. The Weather Channel has issued warnings for most of the Southeast, highlighting parts of Texas, northern Florida, Kansas, and Virginia.

    Somalia sports officials killed in theatre bombing, http://bbc.in/HZ7Mym
    A blast struck a newly re-opened national theatre in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing seven members of Somalia’s Olympic committee and football heads. The militant al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was also subject to the blast, but he has not reported injuries. The president of the Somali Olympic Committee and Somali Football Federation chief were both killed. The group had gathered at the theatre to celebrate the first anniversary of Somalia’s national television station.

    Violence as Syrian gov’t claims troop pullout, http://cbsn.ws/HTmmMm
    Even though the Syrian government announced it would withdraw troops from some cities in accordance with an international demand for cease-fire, explosions still continued across Homs as more clashes were reported. Syrian troops have been spotted carrying out raids and arrests in the suburbs of the Damascus capital. A Syrian government official stated Tuesday evening that Syrian troops had started pulling out from “calm” cities and were headed back to their bases. The announcement of the pull-out started a week ahead of a deadline given by the U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Annan’s plan requires regime forces to withdraw from towns and cities and observe a cease-fire by April 10, with rebel fighters immediately following the same action.

    Romney Adds 3 Victories and Clashes With Obama, http://nyti.ms/HmvXWI
    Mitt Romney swept the primary contest yesterday, winning Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. However, news experts were more intrigued by the words exchanged between Romney’s campaign and President Obama. At a meeting in Washington, President Obama mocked Romney for using the word “marvelous” to describe a proposed budget, and Romney ripped into Obama, saying “President Obama thinks he’s doing a good job — I’m not kidding.” Among Romney’s wins, Wisconsin seemed the most notable since Romney was able to garner the more conservative voters that align with candidate Rick Santorum, namely evangelical Christians. Santorum said he would continue campaigning in the upcoming primaries, looking ahead to his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24.

    (via Yahoo News) Santorum says GOP contest only at halftime: Republican Rick Santorum said Tuesday night his presidential campaign would continue despite triple losses to rival Mitt Romney in primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.”There are no marching bands. We’re hitting the field. The clock starts tonight,” Santorum told a sparsely attended election night party outside Pittsburgh. Santorum said the GOP contest had only reached halftime, with half of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination having been selected. However, The Associated Press count of delegates showed Romney leading the race for delegates with at least 646 delegates. Santorum had just 272. Santorum’s defiance did little to mask his poor showing Tuesday, particularly in Wisconsin, where he campaigned heavily for several days and where an allied independent group spent nearly $900,000 on television ads. Exit polls taken for the AP and the television networks found Romney winning blue-collar and very conservative voters in Wisconsin, http://yhoo.it/HnFYCs

    Yahoo Announces Layoffs: 2,000 Jobs Cut, http://huff.to/Hq1LcS
    As new CEO Scott Thompson settles in, Yahoo is laying off 2,000 employees, which is about 14 percent of the company. The layoff is the sixth of its kind in the past four years. The last largest Yahoo layoff was only comprised of 1,500 workers in 2008. This layoff is projected to save Yahoo $375 million per year. Before coming to Yahoo, CEO Thompson ran online payment service PayPal.


    ‘Dumb and Dumber 2′: Director says sequel filming this year, with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, http://bit.ly/HbEzFl

    Olbermann: ‘I Screwed Up,’ But Current TV Had Problems, http://n.pr/HpWjXl

    Baylor Wins NCAA Women’s National Championship: Notre Dame Comes Up Short Again, http://huff.to/HLLnc3

    Brittney Griner taunts upset Baylor coach, http://bit.ly/Hg8cX1

    Mattel to Create Bald Barbie for Kids Dealing with Hair Loss, http://bit.ly/HXRLbN

    Breaking: Ryan Gosling Saves British Woman From Taxi Collision on 6th Ave, http://bit.ly/Hf1b4M

    Ryan Seacrest to Join NBC for Summer Olympics Coverage, http://eonli.ne/Hg2AHV

    Kutcher offends country stars at ACMA’s, http://thedc.com/HUrNaz

    Kelly Holleran

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

    News Round-Up: Friday, January 20, 2012

    Friday, January 20th, 2012

    France threatens to remove troops from Afghanistan; Iran shuts down toy stores for selling Barbie dolls; Gingrich releases his tax returns; and time to start paying for Showtime and HBO, the U.S. government has shut down Megaupload. Meanwhile, President Obama makes our “entertainment” section again this week – this time for singing Al Green at a fundraiser.



    France threatens to pull its troops out of Afghanistan early, http://usat.ly/x55oyw
    France has threatened to pull its troops out of Afghanistan after an Afghan troop killed four French NATO personnel. The deaths bring the number of French casualties in Afghanistan to 82. “The French army is not in Afghanistan so that Afghan soldiers can shoot at them,” President Sarkozy said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai will meet with Sarkozy in Paris next week. Six NATO soldiers were killed in a separate helicopter crash early this morning. Early signs indicate that they were Americans.

    Iran shuts down shops selling Barbie dolls, http://apne.ws/wct2rX
    Iran has confiscated Barbie dolls and shut down dozens of toy stores for selling them. An unnamed Iranian police official said that this marks a “new phase” in the country’s crackdown against “manifestations of Western culture.” Iran has banned the sale of Barbie dolls since the mid-1990s.

    Gingrich paid just under $1M in taxes for 2010, http://usat.ly/yvNyHC
    Gingrich kept his promise and released his tax return for 2010 during last night’s GOP debate. He paid taxes of $994,708 on an adjusted gross income of $3,142,066. On Wednesday, Gingrich said he paid an effective tax rate of 31% while Mitt Romney admitted earlier this week that he pays “closer to 15%.” Gingrich also said that if he were to debate Obama, it would be a battle of knowledge and a teleprompter. After being booed, Romney said he would release his tax returns once he’s the nominee. Ron Paul noted that he’s too embarrassed to show his numbers next to Romney and Gingrich while Santorum said his taxes are on his home computer.

    Treasure haul as N.Z. police raid Megaupload guru, http://bit.ly/wSPIGB
    Yesterday, New Zealand police raided the fortified mansion of Megaupload founder “Kim Dotcom,” who is now being accused of online piracy in one of the largest cases of of copyright theft in U.S. history.  Armed officers arrested Kim Schmitz, a 37-year-old German citizen with New Zealand and Hong Kong residency, denying him bail with three other men on Friday in a court appearance. Police seized a pink Cadillac, a sawed-off shotgun, and froze millions of dollars in cash after raiding Schmitz’s mansion. The U.S. government shut down Megaupload yesterday causing a hacking sweep of government websites.

    Senior al Qaeda figure killed in drone strike, http://reut.rs/wdbxtT
    U.S. officials said Thursday that a “senior operations organizer” for al Qaeda was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan last week. Aslam Awan was the last member of a Pakistan-based al Qaeda cell that Pakistani police have been trying to eliminate since 2008.

    Wildfire Near Reno Destroys More Than 20 Homes, http://nyti.ms/z5bt5P
    More than 10,000 people had to evacuate their homes Thursday after a brush fire became out of control in Reno, Nevada. The fire started Thursday and has already damaged several homes. 82 mph winds caused the brush fire to become fast-moving. The area had gone a record 56 days without rain before a snowfall occurred earlier this week.

    (via POLITICO) The Supreme Court has thrown out the Texas redistricting maps drawn by a San Antonio federal court. “Because it is unclear whether the District Court for the Western District of Texas followed the appropriate standards in drawing interim maps for the 2012 Texas elections, the orders implementing those maps are vacated,” the court wrote in its decision.


    President Obama sings Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ http://usat.ly/xNdcME

    Elton John’s Husband Backtracks On Madonna Statements, http://on.mtv.com/zFAsXQ

    Lana Del Rey: ‘I Don’t Love Live Television,’ http://on.mtv.com/wUXnFP

    This year’s Sundance shorts go online, http://usat.ly/xAkgnT

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