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    News Round-Up: Friday, March 28, 2014

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    A new CDC study underscores major increases in cases of Autism; appeals court upholds challenged parts of major TX abortion law; Microsoft releases Office products for iPad…finally; and voting rights activists are noticing some positive changes in 2014. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez is allegedly served legal papers in regards to Bieber’s recent troubles; The Colbert Report is under fire on Twitter with a #CancelColbert hashtag; and James Van Der Beek admits to doing something illegal for Justin Timberlake.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Dayton Flyers (my alma mater) on making it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament! First time in 30 years. Way to go Flyers!

    -Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Autism rates soar, now affects 1 in 68 children, http://rtvote.com/1myqmpv
    Between 2008 and 2010, Autism rates have climbed nearly 30 percent and have more than doubles since the turn of the century according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new study. The study also points out that Autism is now believed to affect 1 of every 68 eight-year-olds—a dramatic increase. What is driving this increase still remains unknown. Some believe it’s a rise in awareness of the disease while other speculate on environmental reasons.

    Appeals court upholds challenged parts of Texas abortion law, http://rtvote.com/1gJFJtd
    On Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld parts of a Texas abortion law which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away. Planned Parenthood, which led the lawsuit against the bill, claims the law will cause clinics to shut down because hospitals would refuse doctors admitting privileges. This particular legislation, House Bill No.2, first garnered national attention when Senator Wendy Davis (now gubernatorial candidate), led a 13 hour filibuster to try and prevent the bill’s passage. The ruling of this appeal is considered a victory for anti-abortion activists.

    Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence, http://rtvote.com/1pBw6vO
    Continuing on with his diplomatic duties, President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia to reassure Arab allies that despite troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and greater energy independence, the United States is not abandoning the Arab world. On his overnight trip there are only two items on his public schedule: a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah at his desert camp.

    Microsoft to Offer Office for iPad, Maybe a Bit Late, http://rtvote.com/QnF8CJ
    It’s finally here! Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications to the iPad which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced a commitment to make the software work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors. Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of development and debate inside the company over implications that could occur against their own technology developments.

    VOTING RIGHTS

    Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction, http://rtvote.com/P1u5hq
    The primary election season is just around the corner, and voting rights activists are identifying some notable changes in relation to laws and restrictions around voting.  Although there have been a flurry of new rules, like the party-line vote for the elimination of a week of early voting in Ohio last month, some activists are noticing fewer restrictions and even some bipartisanship progress. Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University remarked that there has been “a lot of real momentum in 2014, thus far, towards improving our elections both at the states and nationally.” On that note, don’t forget to register to vote ! 

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Served With Legal Papers, http://rtvote.com/1rKLNVD

    The Colbert Report Tweets Racist Joke, Twitter Users Rally to #CancelColbert, http://rtvote.com/1jYCXy1

    Beyoncé Breaks Down in Tears During Final Carter Show Concert: “I’m Giving Y’all an Ugly Cry!”, http://rtvote.com/1maROGX

    Lady Gaga Celebrates 28th Birthday With Macabre “27 Club” Joke, http://rtvote.com/1pijgVc

    James Van Der Beek Let Underage Justin Timberlake Use His ID in the 90’s, http://rtvote.com/1fsBKfb

    Seth Meyers: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, http://rtvote.com/P1jwLm

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers continue to escalate; a NJ student suing her parents loses first court battle; Pope Francis says that he could potentially accept civil unions; and a 10-year-old boy is suspended after pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. Meanwhile, John Travolta speaks out about his Idina Menzel flub on Oscar Night; an emoji version of “Drunk in Love” is taking over the web; and you can see the Oscar selfie that broke Twitter and has the Twitter record for the most retweets ever! 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia: http://rtvote.com/1ga99e8
    Western governmental powers have begun to threaten Russia with sanctions if their military presence in Ukraine does not decrease. In retaliation, Russia has begun drafting a law that “would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to the U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow.” The European Union will meet Thursday in Brussels, and US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian equivalent to Kerry’s position, in Paris. This conflict stems from the removal of the Russian-allied government and the increase in tension in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, where a heavy Russian population resides.

    Student’s lawsuit against parents for support loses first round in court: http://rtvote.com/1lyMnEg
    18-year-old New Jersey resident Rachel Canning made news this week for suing her own parents to make them pay for varying expenses: her final semester at her private high school, her living expenses, her legal fees, and her college tuition. Canning says her parents forced her out of her home and made her live on her own and was subject to mental and physical abuse, while her parents say she left of her own accord because she “didn’t want to obey their rules.” A judge refused to hear the request of payment for both the high school and living expenses, but in April, another hearing will be held for other issues presented in the lawsuit.

    Ohio student points finger like gun, is suspended: http://rtvote.com/1fHONbj
    A 10-year-old boy who pointed his finger like a gun and pointed it at another student’s head was suspended by his principal. The other student didn’t see it, but a teacher did and reported it to the school’s administration. The boy, who said he was “just playing around,” had been warned before by the school, Devonshire Alternative Elementary, about pretending to play with guns, as have all the other students; they were also told of potential consequences if they were caught participating in this behavior. 

    Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions: http://rtvote.com/1hMh1X0
    On Wednesday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage (“marriage is between a man and a woman”), but also hinted at the possible acceptance of civil unions. Pope Francis is the first Pope to even hint at an acceptance of civil unions and is one of the most “gay-friendly” popes in history. Possible changes to the church regarding the women’s role and the contraception ban could also be in the works as the Pope’s first year comes to a close.

    Three children pulled to safety after woman drives van into ocean: http://rtvote.com/1kyfwiB
    A pregnant South Carolina woman, driving a minivan with three children inside, drove into the ocean in Florida. Rescuers said that they heard the children screaming that their mother was trying to kill them. People worked frantically to remove the children and the mother from the waterlogged vehicle. The children, aged 3, 9, and 10, were carried to shore and examined at a hospital before being declared “okay”. The mother walked to shore, dazed, and has refused to talk about the incident.

    CULTURAL

    See the now-infamous selfie that broke Twitter on Oscar Night! http://rtvote.com/1hLqDBZ

    John Travolta’s response to his Idina Menzel flub: http://rtvote.com/1cuhUoa

    The best and worst moments from the Oscars are in! http://rtvote.com/1gakNpt

    An emoji version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”? http://rtvote.com/1e1MWP0

    Dancing with the Stars just announced its latest cast: http://rtvote.com/1l14Y8T

    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-Roundup: Tuesday January 14th,2014

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

    Nigeria says NO to gay rights; a man was shot in a movie theater over a text message; and congressional negotiators revealed a $1.1 trillion dollar bipartisan compromise. Meanwhile, Downtown Abbey’s new episode creates controversy; Gabourey Sidibe silences her critics with a witty response; and Beyoncé writes an essay on gender equality.

     

    CRUCIAL

     Nigeria says No to gay rightshttp://rtvote.com/L04P9c
    Nigeria’s President Goodluck Johnson signs an unusually harsh anti-gay rights bill. The new bill includes 14 years in prison and bans all citizens from gay marriage and homosexual relationships. The bill was passed by the national assembly last May, but was only signed into law recently according to the President’s spokesperson Reuben Abati.

    Egyptians vote on a two-day referendum on a revised constitutionhttp://rtvote.com/1d0uzM7
    Egypt’s top military officer General Sisi has cast a precursor to bid for the presidency. General Sisi has emerged as Egypt’s dominant force to the overthrow of President Mubarak and President Morsi. The Muslim brotherhood has called for a boycott of the vote and, as a result, the size of this two day turn out is crucial. The proposed constitutional changes include broader language protection of religious freedom and women’s rights.

    $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill revealed in bipartisan compromise-http://rtvote.com/1dnDYyD
    The new compromise would ease the stress from the largely unpopular sequester and restore cuts to many federal programs, such as: Head Start, Medical research and job training. The bill also gives federal workers a 1 percent raise. White house officials and leaders of both parties are pleased due to the bill which funds the rest of the fiscal year and ends threat of a government shutdown previously scheduled for the current bill’s expiration midnight on Wednesday.

    Man shot in movie theater over text message http://rtvote.com/1fuJmDh
    A couple in a theater just north of Tampa were texting during the theater previews when a retired police officer, Curtis Reeves, began a dispute with the couple over the text messages.Reeves fatally shot the man, and the woman is currently at a hospital recovering from her injuries after trying to shield her husband from that fatal shot.

    FBI investigators clear suspicion of IRS crimes against conservative groups- http://rtvote.com/1kA5jD3
    FBI investigators do not believe that the IRS did any wrong in regards to the unusually heavy scrutiny against conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status. Although, the matter still has to go up against the Department of Justice, charges against the IRS seem unlikely due to the conclusion of the FBI investigators.

     CULTURAL
    Gabourey Sidibe’s witty response to Golden Globes wardrobe disaster - http://rtvote.com/1m54gGD

    New Outkast album in the works for 2014- http://rtvote.com/1dsMFsY
    It’s official, Christine McVie has rejoined the Fleetwood Mac band - http://rtvote.com/1hTxgnh

    Vogue editor in chief : Anna Wintour, is coming to a TV near you soon with new show: “The Fashion Fund” - http://rtvote.com/1iOgrIb

    Did you miss Sunday’s episode? Catch up on the Downtown Abbey Season 4 shocker here - http://rtvote.com/1dnslaX
    First Lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown will be at the Smithsonian, AGAIN - http://rtvote.com/JYzF1v
    Beyoncé writes Essay on gender equality- http://rtvote.com/1m57rhH

    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: December 4, 2013

    Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

    A Hezbollah commander is gunned down; a truck carrying dangerous radioactive substances is stolen in Mexico; and a man survives at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for 3 days. Meanwhile, Kris Jenner and Ben Flajnik enjoy a date night, and Olympian Tom Daley reveals the identity of his 39-year-old, Oscar-winning boyfriend.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Hezbollah commander ‘assassinated’ outside Beirut homehttp://rtvote.com/1izefrb
    Gunmen shot and killed a senior Hezbollah commander on Wednesday, and the Iranian-backed group is blaming Israel for the attack. The commander, Hassan al-Laqis, held some of Hezbollah’s most sensitive portfolios and was close to leader Nasrallah. Israeli officials are denying any involvement. 

    Bill Beckwith, host of HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal,’ killed in crashhttp://rtvote.com/1jlm4yK
    Just days after Paul Walker died in a tragic auto accident, we lose yet another celebrity in a similar situation. Bill Beckwith, host of HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal’, passed away Monday night in a motorcycle accident, where his bike collided with another vehicle in San Francisco.  Beckwith was only 38 years old. Rest in peace, Bill. You will be missed.

    Mexican truck with radioactive load stolenhttp://rtvote.com/18CvQe2
    The International Atomic Energy Agency says a truck carrying an extremely dangerous radioactive substance has been stolen in Tepojaco, Mexico. The truck was carrying cobalt-60, which is used for radiotherapy treatment to combat cancer. The U.N. nuclear agency warns that the load will be “extremely dangerous” if damaged or removed from its protective shielding.

    Police: Teacher flees U.S. after sex abuse allegationshttp://rtvote.com/1azdhBj
    Yee Tak Sharon Kui, 25, taught at The Frost School, a private education school for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Police began investigating sex abuse allegations against Kui, and they believe she was texting a 15-year-old autistic boy and had sex with him twice. Kui, facing charges, has fled to China to avoid prosecution; Montgomery County police are requesting Kui’s extradition by Chinese authorities.

    Nigerian man survives 3 days at bottom of Atlantichttp://rtvote.com/189IOPK
    At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, divers were pulling corpses out of a sunken tugboat – and then a hand suddenly grabbed one of the divers. Harrison Odjegba Okene, the boat’s Nigerian cook, survived for three days by breathing the oxygen in a small air pocket. The temperature dropped to freezing, and Okene was dressed only in boxer shorts. None of the other 11 crewmembers survived.

     

    CULTURAL

    Kris Jenner and Ben Flajnik Have “Date Night” at Nobu, Beyonce Concert, http://rtvote.com/18lXlmj

    Olympian Tom Daley’s Oscar-Winning Boyfriend Revealed: Find Out Who He Is, http://rtvote.com/18lXEgR

    Keira Knightley Wears Her Chanel Haute Couture Wedding Dress on the Red Carpet for the Second Time,http://rtvote.com/1kaTRIv

    Jason Biggs: Paul Walker-Inspired Tip Jars at Coffee Bean Seem “Exploitive” and “in Poor Taste,”http://rtvote.com/190Ubbi

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 13, 2013

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

    A popular Washington Post columnist and India’s top policeman find themselves in boiling hot water after making some controversial remarks (on separate topics); Haiyan’s survivors are struggling to get food and water, despite international aid; and Healthcare.gov will probably not reach its November 30th deadline. Meanwhile, Zac Efron broke his jaw (ouch), and a Beyonce fan dishes on trying out one of Queen Bey’s scary-intense diets.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    India’s Top Policeman Draws Fire With Rape Remarkhttp://rtvote.com/HTOr97
    Someone please nominate this man for the Stupidest Comment of the Year award. At a conference about illegal sports betting and gambling, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha said that if the state could not stop gambling, then it could at least make some revenue by legalizing it. He then proceeded to say, ‘If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.” Activists are outraged, seeing as this man is in charge of several rape investigations and that protests in India have grown rapidly since the fatal gang rape of a student this past year.

    Controversy over Richard Cohen’s comments on the de Blasio family,http://rtvote.com/HY7r5z
    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, 72, has been under intense scrutiny for his Tuesday column, which sounds a lot like Cohen has something against interracial marriages and homosexuals. Cohen insists that he was not expressing his personal views, but those of Tea Party conservatives. As news outlets continue to condemn him, Cohen’s boss at the Post defends one of his most popular columnists.

    Lawlessness, damage leave Filipinos strugglinghttp://rtvote.com/19kpb1l
    Food and water are still struggling to reach the typhoon’s survivors as roads and ports are destroyed, and trucks have no fuel to run on. Mobs of people have begun looting warehouses for food. Even though massive amounts of supplies have arrived on nearby islands and parts of Leyte, they cannot be moved into the city in large amounts. Most Filipinos have been left homeless, and the city of Tacloban will be without power for three months.

    Troubled HeathCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November,http://rtvote.com/1buISII
    It doesn’t look like HeathCare.gov will be ready by the end of November, like the Obama administration has promised. Software problems seem to be more difficult to resolve than expected. Government workers and technical contractors have advised people to use other means to enroll in healthcare plans so the website is not overburdened.

    Ryan Ferguson Update: Mo. man jailed for nearly 10 years released,http://rtvote.com/HRksyj
    Ryan Ferguson, 29, was released from custody after being jailed for almost ten years for a crime he claims he did not commit. Originally convicted in 2005 for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, an appeals court threw out the conviction last week because Boone County prosecutors violated federal law by failing to share several pieces of evidence that pointed to Ferguson’s innocence in 2005.

     

    CULTURAL

    Zac Efron’s Broken Jaw: “He’s Going to Be OK,” Says Pal Michael B. Jordan,http://rtvote.com/1hG0t5U

    Demi Lovato: People Would Be “Shocked” to Hear My Drug and Alcohol Abuse Stories, http://rtvote.com/1dqhDhQ

    Beyonce Fan Tries Singer’s Diet, Loses 10 Pounds in 10 Days,http://rtvote.com/1bDQAP0

    Alec Baldwin’s Alleged Stalker Genevieve Sabourin Gets 30 Days in Jail for Courtroom Interruptions, http://rtvote.com/1aTEYe2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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