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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

    Hundreds are announced dead in South Sudan violence; two people have won the Mega Millions jackpot; and a retired Microsoft executive is set to oversee healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, Christina and Gaga perform together as The Voice crowns a new champion (spoiler alert!); Pippa Middleton is engaged (sorry guys!); and Jonah Hill talks about working with DiCaprio inThe Wolf of Wall Street.



    Jackpot grows: Two winners to split $648Mhttp://rtvote.com/1bQc2l7
    Well it looks like the hope of winning the big bucks are over for most of us. Two winners have been identified: one in San Jose, California and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners will be splitting the second-largest jackpot of all time with the odds of winning at 1 in 259 million. The Virginia Lottery Executive Director said that this 22-drawing run generated more than $300 million in profits for programs in the states that participate. In case you missed the numbers, here they are: 8, 20, 14, 17, 39 and 7 (Mega Ball).

    Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov,http://rtvote.com/1fENQ6S
    President Obama continues to seek advice from high-tech executives in response to the rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov. The administration announced Tuesday that Kurt DelBene who recently retired from Microsoft, will serve as an unpaid senior advisor on the website. This is a response to the concerns of several lawmakers that the administration needed outside experts in order to overcome the difficulties of the launch. Many people have given a positive endorsement of DelBene, including Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

    UN Told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes: diplomats, http://rtvote.com/1eowHkI
    For the second day in a row, violence has rippled through South Sudan. Local sources and diplomats reported an estimate of 800 wounded and 400-500 killed, though the numbers have not been officially confirmed. The government in the capitol of Juba announced that they captured 10 major political figures and are searching for its former vice president who they believe led this failed coup. Despite its rich oil reserves, South Sudan remains one of the poorest & least developed countries in Africa. The U.S. is urging its citizens to leave the country and will proceed to suspend normal operations at the embassy.

    Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogationshttp://rtvote.com/19SRe9i
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested one of the C.I.A.’s internal studies regarding U.S. interrogations. Last year, the C.I.A. completed a report about the interrogation program that was one of the most controversial policies of the post-Septemer 11th era. The Senate report totaled more than 6,000 pages and has yet to be declassified. Those who have read the study disclose that the report does not hold back on criticism of the now-defunct interrogation program whose brutal methods led to little valuable intelligence.

    Obama, Biden, Top U.S. Officials To Stay Away From Sochi Olympics,http://rtvote.com/18RsvlI
    The 2014 Winter Olympics games will be held in Sochi, Russia, but with no representation from top United States officials. Instead, a former federal official, Janet Napolitano will be leading the U.S. delegation, along with two LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. This announcement comes just two months before the opening ceremony and is a signal of U.S. disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws among other human rights concerns.


    Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco Welcomes a Baby Boy, http://rtvote.com/1cbn4nK

    Pippa Middleton Engaged to Boyfriend Nico Jackson, http://rtvote.com/19SDHPl

    Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga Perform on The Voice, Effectively Putting Feud Rumors to Rest,http://rtvote.com/1fmOsgw

    Jonah Hill Talks Making Leonardo DiCaprio Throw Up and Why Loving Leo Made The Wolf of Wall Street Better, http://rtvote.com/1i1u8ph

    The 9 Brand New Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, http://rtvote.com/1i1uCvy

    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


    Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

    In today’s news, the government may face another shut down; Maine’s Secretary of State finds no voter fraud; President Obama says he will not support a Palenstinian bid for statehood; and a spacecraft will fall to Earth in two days. In entertainment news, Bill Gates is still the richest American; Gary Busey will appear on an interesting episode of “Wife Swap;” and “Playboy Club” bombs.

    Coral + Caitlin


    Capitol Hill’s New Shutdown Threat, http://bit.ly/mUvMQc
    With a vote of 230-195, fiscal Republicans joined Democrats in voting down a bill that would have kept the government running past the end of this month. The bill was was crafted by Speaker John Boehner. Despite this, the GOP was angry that the spending limits were higher in this legislation than the targets they had set earlier this year.

    Palestinians to push U.N. bid despite Obama, http://reut.rs/pnlEFX
    Obama is concerned that granting Palestine statehood will not end the long conflict between it and Israel. The President is, therefore, threatening to veto Palestine’s bid for statehood. Even without Obama’s support, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will pursue its bid for statehood at the U.N. “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.,” Obama said in response. “Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.”

    Maine Sec. of State Finds No Voter Fraud, http://bit.ly/q3bCzO
    Maine Republican Party Chair Charlie Webster has claimed to have found 206 students who committed voter fraud in the state. Webster then asked Maine’s Secretary of State Charlie Summers to conduct an investigation of the students. After the investigation, Summers reported that none of the students had committed voter fraud. He did find one case of fraud in Portland; however, the man had already been deported. Even with this evidence, Webster claims Maine’s election system is “fragile and vulnerable.”

    Mitt Romney Has Some Down-to-Earth Tastes, He’d Like You to Know, http://nyti.ms/rl9T8W
    Mitt Romney is coming out to show voters that he is just like us. From eating a Carl’s Jr sandwich and Subway morning flatbread to flying Southwest, Romney wants to show people he is a down-to-earth guy. Recent renovations on his 12 million dollar home has brought Romney’s wealth to public attention, forcing his campaign to work towards showing people that he is not out of touch with the needs of the common people.

    Prepping for tonight’s GOP debate with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, http://lat.ms/pBPbEM
    Megyn Kelly, host of Fox News Channel’s daytime “American Live,” is prepping for the GOP debate tonight at 9 PM EST. FOX News is partnering with Google for the debate, which will include video and other submitted questions from the public.

    Hate crime killer executed, http://bit.ly/oKbV58
    While most of the country was following the Troy Davis case, Texas quietly held an execution of its own last night. Lawrence Russell Brewer, a former KKK member, was executed on Wednesday for murdering James Byrd Jr. The hate crime was carried out in 1998 when Brewer and two others beat, urinated on, and dragged Byrd behind his pickup truck for being African American. John William King and Shawn Allen Berry were also convicted of Byrd’s murder. King is set to be executed, and Berry was sentenced to life in prison.

    UARS satellite: New images of tumbling US spacecraft, http://bbc.in/obvsgj
    A six-ton spacecraft is scheduled to fall to Earth on September 24th anywhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator. Theirry Legault, an amateur photographer from Paris, captured video of the satellite passing over northern France.

    Facebook f8 2011: Where To WATCH LIVE, http://huff.to/qDRAXT
    “Read. Watch. Listen” is the tagline at today’s Facebook conference, suggesting Facebook’s transformation into a media hub. The company is also expected to announce partnerships with companies such as Spotify, Netflix, and CNN. The conference can be seen live on Facebook’s page today.


    Jennifer Rubin thinks, “Perry has to get the ethics issue off the deck” http://wapo.st/nTSEA1

    Gail Collins wonders, “What Would Willow the Cat Do?” http://nyti.ms/q6hyiG

    Bill Gates Is Richest American, Still, http://bit.ly/qRDhOZ

    Ted Haggard, Gary Busey On ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’, http://huff.to/piWS4T

    ‘Playboy Club’ Bombs; Real Ex-Bunny Finds it ‘Degrading’, http://bit.ly/mZsahL

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Writing Memoir, http://bit.ly/qV9AE9

    Emily Deschanel Has a Baby Boy, http://bit.ly/nmgLXp

    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

    President Obama inks an executive order to indefinitely detain prisoners at Guantanamo despite previously promising to shut the facility down, and a poll indicates that Americans want out of Afghanistan despite what Defense Secretary Gates says.  It’s also the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day and Arianna Huffington leads a number of celebratory blogs on HuffPost. Meanwhile, in a tough day for billionaires, Bill Gates is no longer the wealthiest man in the world as a result of his charitable donations and Oprah reboots her OWN network!


    Obama Creates Indefinite Detention System for Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, http://wapo.st/f5naBd

    Despite promises to close Guantanamo Bay entirely, President Obama signed an executive order to allow indefinite detention of prisoners who still pose a threat to national security.

    Standoff at St Louis Home Where 3 Officers Shot, http://apne.ws/hf5IYa

    Two federal marshals and one police officer were shot this morning in a gun fight in a St. Louis home. One of the marshals is in fair condition, the other in critical. The police officer was wearing a bullet proof vest and suffered less severe injuries.

    Rasmussen Poll: Majority Want U.S. Troops Out of Afghanistan Within A Year, http://huff.to/dR20aN

    A recent poll found that the majority of likely voters want U.S. troops out of Afghanistan within a year. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the opposite, said he wants us to have a presence in the country through 2014.

    U.N. Claims 1 Million in Libya Will Need Emergency Aid, http://huff.to/gOIylQ

    It is projected that in the next three months $160 million will be needed for camps, sanitation, food and other necessities for foreiegn workers and others trying to leave Libya during the violence.

    Warner Bros. Starts Renting Movies on Facebook, http://on.mash.to/igcOGD

    Now Facebook users can rent movies on the site using Facebook Credits or cash to download Warner Bros. films for 48 hours. The Dark Knight is currently the only movie available, but many more are on their way.

    Want to Date Your Doppelganger? There’s a Site for That, http://ti.me/hkSVSx

    A new site called findyourfacemate.com will allow people to find potential dating partners who look like them. The site tests the theory that similar looks is what we look for in a mate.

    Tea Party Steeped in Redistricting, http://politi.co/egyIij

    Tea Party members aim to work on redistricting in order to continue to see success for their party.

    A Sharp Mass. Welcome for Obama, http://politi.co/dEuVAM

    Mitt Romney wrote an Op-Ed comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter and his failed reelection bid as he lays the ground work for his own presidential hopes.

    Iowa Blastoff: 2012 Candidates Say Social Issues are Job No. 1, http://politi.co/feKyKj

    GOP presidential hopefuls talked about a variety of social issues at the first event of the Iowa Caucus, hoping to push the issues into the spotlight alongside the economy.

    Arianna Huffington talks about important life lessons on International Women’s Day, http://huff.to/hqlIr3

    Anthony C. Zinni explains why budget cuts to peace builders won’t pay off, http://nyti.ms/hCd7ne

    The Economist wonders if we should worry about an oil crisis?, http://econ.st/f0bnEf

    Howard Kurtz talks with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, http://bit.ly/hyoQqS


    Oprah’s TV network is undergoing major changes, including reshuffling its line up: http://nyp.st/fgVvmW

    Charlie Sheen officially gets a pink slip from CBS: http://bit.ly/dJfOCp

    Bill Gates gives away his spot as wealthiest man, literally: http://reut.rs/h753s3

    Mark Zuckerberg adopts the luckiest dog ever: http://bit.ly/fnNf50

    How I Met Your Mother renewed for two more seasons: http://bit.ly/gC9Z2Y

    Demi Lovato opens up about rehab, thanks fans: http://bit.ly/ia3oLb

    Monopoly movie still passing go: http://bit.ly/hFuGDK

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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