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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014

    Almost 1,600 veterans are forced to wait for care from a doctor; a new Georgia law allows guns in school districts, bars; and lawmakers threaten to pull funding from public universities. Meanwhile, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome their new son; a teen with terminal cancer raises over $1,000,000 for charity; and a runway model criticizes thin-shaming.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list: http://rtvote.com/ROzEle
    Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix, Arizona created a scheme to hide the fact that between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans had no choice but to wait for months for doctoral care. At least 40 of those veterans suffered and died because they could not get care. What’s worse? The management at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix knew about and defended the waiting list. A former doctor at the hospital said there were two lists the hospital used: one that was shown to Washington that proves that people were getting care (the “sham” list) and the other that showed how veterans had to wait for up to a year: the “real” list. The hospital also did not preserve records and could make it seem as though a person never came in for an appointment. After the allegations came to a head, Congress has ordered all records to be preserved.

    Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches: http://rtvote.com/1k9l9lb
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Wednesday that would allow guns to be carried into previously gun-free zones: like bars, churches, school zones, airports, and government buildings. The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 (or the “guns everywhere bill” as dubbed by opponents) was lobbied for by GeorgiaCarry, a pro-gun rights organization and will go into effect on July 1st of this year. 5% of Georgia’s population has passed background checks necessary to own a gun, and Deal says that this legislation “gives added protection to those who have played by the rules.” Some people, like members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, refuse to allow guns in their sanctuary. Others regard the law as ridiculous because the state has refused to expand healthcare and accept Obamacare but allows its citizens to own guns. However, the Safe Carry Protection Act has garnered wide support from members of the NRA and other supporters of the right to carry.

    Lawmakers pressure universities with threat to pull funds: http://rtvote.com/1f7AGTC
    States are threatening to pull funding from universities based on the information they teach, the things professors say, and the organizations partnered with the schools. For example, in South Carolina, funding is threatened at two different universities because students were asked to read a book discussing homosexuality. In Kansas, lawmakers threatened to “withhold appropriations” after a professor tweeted anti-NRA rhetoric. Some states have also banned universities from sending money to organizations that support things like unionization and boycotts that the state did not support. Colleges and lawmakers are trying to work together to find common ground.

    Ukraine tense as Russia launches military drills, activists die in clashes: http://rtvote.com/ROW3yJ
    After Russian forces practiced military drills near the Russian-Ukraine border, Ukrainian officials claim that they killed five pro-Russian militant activists. The deaths occurred as the Ukrainian military attempted to remove barricades from around Slavyansk, a Ukrainian city occupied by pro-Russian activists. Russian Vladimir Putin was quick to respond, saying: “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime.” He also threatened “consequences” to the Ukrainians. Foreign nations, like the United States and countries represented in NATO, have expressed worry at the 40,000 Russian troops that have gathered at the border and have asked Russian forces to back down.

    CULTURAL

    Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome baby Otis! http://rtvote.com/1k9D1MJ

    The Bachelorette contestant Eric Hill tragically dies in freak accident: http://rtvote.com/1gUsLnK

    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, loses her brother in accident: http://rtvote.com/1hq099r

    Jodie Foster is married! Congrats! http://rtvote.com/1nscIF1

    Terminally ill teen raises over $1,000,000 for charity: http://rtvote.com/1ptSRXQ

    Runway model: “If you can feel beautiful for being big, I can feel beautiful about being small”: http://rtvote.com/1lJpkbh

    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 10, 2014

    Monday, February 10th, 2014

    Iranian warships head towards the United States; a top NFL prospect comes out; a Danish zoo kills a healthy giraffe and sparks internet outrage; Julia Mancuso wins another medal; and a young girl is rescued from Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, Anna Kendrick talks about Pitch Perfect 2; Kristen Stewart defends her past; Matt Damon starts a conga line; and…wait…are these stars actually related?

    - Veronica + Maura 

    NEWS 

    Iranian warships headed close to US borders: http://rtvote.com/1bFgPUz
    Iran is sending warships to US maritime borders in response to the ongoing American presence near Iranian borders. The vessels are equipped with navy cadets and a regular crew and include a destroyer and supply ship carrying helicopters. They are intent upon carrying out a three-month mission following a push from the Iranian government to “project its power”.

    Top NFL prospect says he’s gay: http://rtvote.com/1fZ7cVf
    Former college football star Michael Sam, one of the top NFL draft picks this year, came out to ESPN’s Chris Connelly Sunday night. Sam will be the first openly gay draft pick and, subsequently, since most high draft picks enter the NFL, the first openly gay football player in NFL history. The 2014 NFL Draft will be a test to see if the NFL is truly open to players of differing sexualities.

    Danish zoo kills healthy giraffe, feeds body to lions: http://rtvote.com/1h4c3Yn
    The online petition, dubbed “Save Marius”, garnered 27,000 signatures but made no difference. The Copenhagen Zoo euthanized a 2-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, to prevent inbreeding. After the giraffe’s death, an autopsy was performed outside in front of a crowd of people (including children). Marius’s body was then fed to the zoo’s lions, tigers, and leopards. Other zoos and the online petition encouraged the Copenhagen Zoo to find Marius a different hope, but to no avail.

    Mancuso wins her fourth Olympic medal: http://rtvote.com/1dCfTQq
    Julia Mancuso won her fourth Olympic medal on Monday in the super combined event, becoming the record-holder for most Olympic medals won by an American female skier. Only four other women skiers in history have won more Olympic medals than Mancuso. The super combined event begins with a downhill run and concludes with a slalom run. Despite not training for slaloms as heavily, Mancuso still managed to walk away with the bronze. 

    Firefighters rescue autistic girl from Lake Michigan ice: http://rtvote.com/1h4hRRQ
    A 13-year-old girl was rescued from Lake Michigan after jumping over a fence and walking onto the ice. She was not wearing shoes, and tried to fight off firefighters during her rescue. She was suffering from hypothermia at the time of her rescue and was transported to Saint Joseph Hospital in stable condition.
     

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Anna Kendrick talks Pitch Perfect 2: http://rtvote.com/1aO3u1a

    Kristen Stewart has no regrets: http://rtvote.com/1bO5Wmu

    Are these celebrities really related to each other? You be the judge! http://rtvote.com/1f9RRgX

    Celebrity conga line starring Matt Damon: http://rtvote.com/1eNUZmj

    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