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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    A stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school leaves 20 students injured; Rep. Vance McAllister’s staffer resigns after kissing incident; Police search for a possible serial sniper in Kansas City; and a new breakthrough in paralysis research has occurred. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway put a cabaret spin on some top hip hop songs; Prince George has a play date down under; and Miley discusses her freedom without Disney or Liam Hemsworth.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers, my (Veronica’s) hometown hockey team, on clinching a NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs spot last night. Let’s go Flyers!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    DEVELOPING STORY: 20 injured in Pittsburgh-area high school stabbing: http://rtvote.com/1qqQ250
    At least 20 students have been injured at Franklin Regional Senior High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An adult is also being treated for an unspecified medical condition. Four students have been taken to the hospital via helicopter and some students’ injuries are life-threatening. A hallway and a classroom were the setting for the potentially deadly stabbing. All schools are now secure, but the district’s elementary schools are closed for the day. The suspect, a sophomore boy, is now in custody.

    Spinal cord work is unexpected shocker: ‘This is a breakthrough’: http://rtvote.com/1qiwa5T
    Neuroscientist Susan Harkema had been running a study to try to learn more about “nerve pathways” by stimulating the spinal cords of paralyzed people through electricity. However, she managed to enable her patients to move their legs. All of her patients have been able to move their toes, move their legs around, sit up on their own, and even do sit ups! Harkema says this is the first time electrical stimulation to the spine and show results. Co-founder of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Dr. Barth Green says that “This is a breakthrough. It shows you can have a living spinal cord under the layer of their injury.” Scientists hope this will open the door to the possibility of new breakthroughs.

    Staffer caught kissing Rep. McAllister resigns, while Congressman keeps his job: http://rtvote.com/1k3Q4Qr
    Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught on tape Monday kissing a staff member. The Congressman and the staffer, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, are both married. Peacock has since resigned her post as district scheduler to McAllister. McAllister, conversely, says he has “no plans to resign” and insists that he will campaign for reelection this year. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen posted a surveillance video showing the two kissing. McAllister admitted the affair and apologized to his constituents: “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was “pleased” with the apology, but he has not yet commented on whether McAllister should keep his job.

    Kansas City authorities seek perpetrator after some shootings linked: http://rtvote.com/1kKJBby
    The FBI has joined the hunt for a shooter in Kansas City, Missouri area. So far, thirteen shootings have been reported along parts of Interstate 435 and Interstate 470, most of which are near exit and interchange ramps. No one has been killed, but three people have been wounded; one was shot in the arm, the others were shot in the leg. Law enforcement believes that at least a part of the thirteen shootings are linked. The FBI and ATF have put out a $7000 reward for anyone who might know anything about the shootings or the possible shooter(s).

    UConn Women’s Basketball completes 40-0 season: http://rtvote.com/1k3Y9ED
    UConn’s women’s basketball team has completed their 40-0 season with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. They are now repeat champions and it is the fifth time the team has gone undefeated under the head coach, Geno Auriemma. Auriemma has won nine National Titles in nine tries after the win. Notre Dame finished 37-1 after the loss.

    CULTURAL

    Paul Rudd joins Billy on the Street’s Billy Eichner for some Funny or Die fun: http://rtvote.com/R2X9GB

    Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway sing Broadway versions of…rap songs? http://rtvote.com/1lKl5J3

    Prince George’s royal play date: http://rtvote.com/ODqMfM

    Miley Cyrus talks “being free”: http://rtvote.com/1eks0sJ

    Samantha Harris diagnosed with breast cancer, due to receive double mastectomy: http://rtvote.com/1hsHbR3

    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: Monday, April 7, 2014

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    The latest lead for missing flight might be the most credible one yet; more major Ukrainian cities fall to Russian protesters; the Ebola virus in Africa has some concern for a worldwide outbreak; and diseases previously eradicated in the United States are making a deadly comeback. Meanwhile, legendary actor Mickey Rooney dies at age 93; the royal family lands “down under”; and Hillary Clinton’s photo with Pussy Riot dominates the web.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Flight 370: New signal sounds ‘just like’ one from a plane’s beacon: http://rtvote.com/1hTMVls
    The Ocean Shield, an Australian naval vessel containing a United States pinger locator, found signals in the Indian Ocean that appear to be from an airplane on Sunday. The signals are ones specially designed to be picked up by recorders and are not natural sounds. They were located in a part of the Indian Ocean that’s 14,800 feet deep. Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said that investigators also have a “visual locator on a screen” as well as the sound data. However, he says searching in deep marine waters could take days, but that “we are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be.” As of Monday, the search for Flight 370 has lasted 31 days.

    Russia trying to ‘dismember’ Ukraine through protests, Kiev says: http://rtvote.com/1jnRfcq
    Pro-Russian protesters have broken into and seized several important government buildings in Ukrainian cities this weekend, prompting Kiev to accuse Russia of attempting to ‘dismember’ Ukraine and replicate its actions in Crimea. Police said that some of the protesters had seized weapons while invading the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Donetsk People’s Republic, a new self-proclaimed legislative branch, said it would vote May 11th to join Russia. Current Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia was starting a “second wave of a special operation against Ukraine intended to overthrow the Kiev government.” Moscow has yet to offer its opinion or rebuttal.

    Anti-vaccine movement is giving diseases a 2nd life: http://rtvote.com/1lFPpoa
    As vaccination rates drop in the United States, diseases once deemed eradicated by the United States government-like whooping cough and measles-are now making a comeback. Measles outbreaks have recently been reported in New York, California, and Texas. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and has a reputation for being a ruthless killer. Although vaccination rates hold at 90%, some states-like Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, and Vermont-have noted that almost 5% of kindergartners have gone completely unvaccinated. The anti-vaccine movement has gained popularity as some celebrities have publicly denounced vaccinating their children. Some people still believe the now-debunked idea that vaccines cause autism, while others feel as though the government and pharmaceutical companies are not “trustworthy.”

    As Ebola spreads in Africa, how worried should West be? http://rtvote.com/1gDy9L1
    The Ebola virus, a deadly, easily contracted virus resulting in widespread outbreaks, has begun to spread throughout Africa. Ebola is almost always fatal, killing about 90% of people infected, and there are no vaccines or treatments. This current outbreak of the virus began in Guinea’s rainforests, moved to its capital city, and has now crossed over into Liberia. Workers in the area, however, have been able to answer definitely that, due to the extreme close contact needed to contract the disease, the likelihood of a worldwide epidemic is slim-to-none. Most people infected are health workers caring for the sick. Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids like blood, sweat, or saliva, and can incubate in people for up to 21 days before symptoms are revealed.

    Bus hits student near High Point High School: http://rtvote.com/1h8nX1R
    A bus drifted across a road, hit an 8-year-old boy, and landed in a ditch. The boy was waiting for the bus to come when he was hit. Witnesses reacted quickly and were able to pull the boy out from underneath the bus. For an unknown reason, the bus driver left the bus with nine children on board and apparently did not set the emergency brake. He stayed at the scene of the accident as investigators attempted to determine the reason he left the bus, and is expected to face reckless endangerment charges. Five of the 9 students on the bus, along with the boy who was hit, were transported to the hospital. All children are in stable condition and will recover fully.

    CULTURAL

    Acting legend Mickey Rooney dies at 93: http://rtvote.com/1ikFbFq

    Hillary Clinton’s picture with Pussy Riot takes over the web: http://rtvote.com/OrXosE

    The Royals rock New Zealand and Australia: http://rtvote.com/1kjvv56

    The ACM’s were last night: see the arrival pictures! http://rtvote.com/PG7NlG

    Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere crashed HBO’s online stream: http://rtvote.com/QXynrC

    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: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.

    CULTURAL

    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Thursday, January 30th, 2014
    A 3-year-old boy falls victim to a Mafia hit in Italy; another congressman is set to retire; Amanda Knox is back on trial and awaiting a verdict; and the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a fire was laid to rest yesterday. Meanwhile, the Academy Awards committee revokes a nomination; Jerry Seinfeld might have hinted at a Seinfeld reunion; the men of Full House sing Jimmy Fallon a classic lullaby; and Justin Bieber is back in the news.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Boy, 3, executed in alleged mob hit: http://rtvote.com/1loaari
    A 3-year-old boy was shot along with his grandfather and another person in an apparent Mafia hit. The grandfather, Giuseppe Innaicelli, was believed to be the intended target. One of the most powerful Mafia syndicates in the world – ‘Ndrangheta – is believed to be responsible for the crime. The killing shocked Italy and even drew the attention of the Pope, who asked people Sunday to pray for the boy (known as Coco) and call on the members responsible to ask forgiveness.

    Democratic Representative Henry Waxman to retire at end of term: http://rtvote.com/1eiWR69
    Representative Henry Waxman of California announced today that he will not seek reelection for a 21st Congressional term this election year. He is now one of the 7 House Democrats who have announced their refusal to run for reelection; 10 Republican House members have also announced their retirement. Although Waxman has vehemently chastised Tea Party Republicans in Congress, he has denied this as the reason for his departure. “After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark…” Waxman said. 

    Verdict due in third murder trial of Amanda Knox: http://rtvote.com/1hRPcM7
    A verdict is due in the ongoing trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. The two were charged in the gruesome 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher. Knox and Sollecito have been to court twice and were found guilty in one trial and innocent in the other. The Italian Supreme Court revoked the ‘innocent’ ruling, saying that key evidence had been left out of the trial. Prosecutors want Knox and Sollecito to serve 26 years in prison. 

    Doctors try to wake Schumacher from coma: http://rtvote.com/1n1mR6R
    Michael Schumacher, the German former Formula One champion, has been in a coma since December 29th, when he sustained serious head injuries at a ski resort in France. His condition has stabilized enough that doctors are trying to wake him out of his induced coma. The family has requested privacy throughout his ordeal, but Schumacher’s manager has spoken out to clear media leaks.

    Boy who saved 6 declared honorary firefighter at funeral: http://rtvote.com/Lt29RZ
    Tyler Doohan, the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a house fire before perishing, was buried yesterday. To honor his bravery, Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebemeyer presented a fire helmet at the funeral and made Tyler an honorary firefighter. People from all over the country came to Fariport, New York to be at Tyler’s funeral to honor his heroism. 

    CULTURAL

    Oscar nomination for Best Original Song revoked: http://rtvote.com/1batGxU

    Full House cast sings a lullaby to Jimmy Fallon: http://rtvote.com/1aKtMl3

    Did Jerry Seinfeld kind of confirm a Seinfeld reunion? http://rtvote.com/1a467vr

    Justin Bieber’s horrendous 2014 start: http://rtvote.com/1hSakBN

    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, January 22, 2014

    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

    The biggest snowstorm of the winter season covers the Northeast; two shootings occur on two college campuses; countries receive Olympic terror threats; and President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration releases a report offering solutions to shorten voter lines & modernize the registration process. Meanwhile, TV is taking over the entertainment headlines today as a Seattle Seahawks player goes on a postgame rant and The Bachelor’s ratings remain steady regardless of Juan Pablo’s controversial remarks.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Northeast buried under heavy snow: http://rtvote.com/1msuR0A
    The heaviest snowfall of the season pummeled the Northeastern United States and was accompanied by plunging temperatures. Cities like Philadelphia, Washington, and New York will see temperatures in the single digits and have wind chill numbers in the negatives. Meanwhile, states like New Jersey, Delaware, and New York are declaring states of emergency based on weather conditions. Thousands of flights have been canceled as travelers try to change their travel plans. The kicker? It’s currently warmer in Alaska!

    Two universities rocked by shootings: http://rtvote.com/1ezw7gN
    Two colleges were affected by shootings this weekend. At Purdue University, a student shot and killed another student before surrendering to police on Tuesday. The shooter has been identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. The victim, 21-year-old Andrew Boldt, was a teaching assistant at the school. This shooting followed up reports of another school shooting at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania (a city outside of Philadelphia) where the victim is in critical condition, and the shooter is still at large.

    Countries receive terrorist threats for Olympics: http://rtvote.com/1hLAaYS
    Hungary is the latest country to receive terroristic threats towards their Olympic athletes. The message, formatted as an email, is threatening the Hungarian athletes with violence if they attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next month. The nation’s security forces have been informed, as have Sochi organizers. However, officials believe that the message is random and contains no threat, something that is common before every Olympics.

    N.Y. 8-year-old saved 6 in fire, died trying to save 7th: http://rtvote.com/1ins77l
    An 8-year-old boy saved six of his family members after the trailer they were sleeping in caught on fire. The boy, identified as 8-year-old Tyler Doohan, then ran back into the home to rescue a disabled relative. The two of them were found dead in a back bedroom, and a third relative was found in a front room. Doohan warned his family about the fire and died trying to help everyone else escape.

    Cuccinelli: Chris Christie should step down from RGA post: http://rtvote.com/1in6vrP
    Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday that New Jersey governor Chris Christie should step down from chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Cuccinelli believes that the investigations and scandals surrounding Christie are preventing the Republican Party from focusing on their election year goals. The scandals include the now-infamous “Bridgegate” incident and the latest from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who claims Christie’s administration threatened to not provide Hurricane Sandy relief money to Hoboken unless she agreed to a real estate deal.

    Presidential Commission Offers Ways to Shorten Voting Lines: http://rtvote.com/19NYHMK
    After long lines continued at the polls during the 2012 election, President Obama announced the launch of a bi-partsian panel of election and management experts following his State of the Union speech last year. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration released their report & findings to President Obama and Vice President Biden today with recommendations on how to shorten voting lines and modernize the voter registration system. Rock the Vote is proud to announce their support of the Commission’s recommendations & their role in providing testimony and technology highlighted in the report. This is a big win for American voters!

    CULTURAL

    Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman loses his cool in a pre-Super Bowl interview: http://rtvote.com/1kXQb2q

    Juan Pablo Galavis’s remarks don’t dent The Bachelor‘s ratings: http://rtvote.com/1kXQDh6

    Murder, She Wrote reboot scrapped by NBC: http://rtvote.com/19NNCeB

    Jersey Shore‘s former cast member Jenni “JWoww” Farley is having a girl: http://rtvote.com/1msKDIW

    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