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    News Round-Up: November 8, 2013

    Friday, November 8th, 2013

    October tells a surprisingly positive story of job growth; the strongest tropical cyclone in history hits the Philippines; and Toronto mayor Rob Ford keeps finding himself in trouble. Meanwhile, Johnny Galecki finally spills on the secret relationship he shared with Kaley Cuoco, and Renee Zellweger shoots down anorexic rumors like a boss.

    -Sandy + Maura



    U.S. added surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in October, http://rtvote.com/1bieyPr
    Despite the 16-day government shutdown, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose from 7.2% to 7.3% in September, but that was most likely due to the temporarily furloughed federal workers. October’s surprising job growth was an encouraging sign that many companies just shrugged off the shutdown and continued to accelerate their activity.

    Obama says he is sorry for ‘You can keep it’ declaration, http://rtvote.com/HD0GWV
    In a NBC interview Thursday, President Obama apologized that some Americans were forced to lose their current healthcare plan as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, the president assured Americans that they could keep their current plans if they did not change since the passing of the ACA. After receiving heavy criticism for that statement, Obama reminded us that those whose plans would be cancelled will be receiving much better healthcare policies at the same or cheaper rates.

    Super Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps strongest ever, plows across Philippineshttp://rtvote.com/1cIzKTT
    Super Typhoon Haiyan is a Category 5 hurricane that first hit Samar, Philippines, at 4:30 AM Friday. It may be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in recorded history. Officials are trying to determine the extent of the damage Haiyan has done thus far, but what they do know for sure is that Haiyan poses a very real danger. Three people have been reported dead, and seven are injured. Among the most vulnerable are people living in tents on the island of Bohol, where a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit last month. As Haiyan continues on its path, Rock the Vote sends its warmest wishes to those being affected by the storm. Stay safe, everyone.

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in video murder ranthttp://rtvote.com/18diPkJ
    And it just keeps getting worse. A video has been leaked, showing infamous mayor Rob Ford making threats to murder an unknown person. Ford has apologized, but this latest incident comes after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine earlier this week. On Sunday, he acknowledged on his radio show that he has a drinking problem. Nonetheless, he will not step down from office; councilors are increasing their calls for Ford to resign.

    Satellite falling to Earthhttp://rtvote.com/17jsT0T
    Watch where you’re going! A European satellite has run out of fuel, and fragments of the disintegrating, 2000-pound spacecraft will strike Earth’s surface within the next few days. The only problem? Nobody really knows where or when they will hit. The European Space Agency said the parts are likely to hit the ocean or unpopulated areas. In case they’re wrong, I would advise you to keep an eye out for any objects hurdling through the sky this weekend (and get out of the way).



    Johnny Galecki Talks About Secret Romance With Kaley Cuoco: “She’s Part of My Life,”http://rtvote.com/1fp4sz0

    Renee Zellweger Is Not Anorexic, Goes to the Gym to Keep Her “Sanity,” http://rtvote.com/16N2aHC

    Selena Gomez Says She’s Single and Having the “Best Year” Ever, http://rtvote.com/16N2hTB

    Justin Bieber Filmed Sleeping in Bed by Brazilian Girl, http://rtvote.com/1acCULt


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

    News Round-Up: October 30, 2013

    Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologizes at a hearing; retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiates a gay marriage ceremony; and a wine shortage hits the world (oh, say it ain’t so). Meanwhile, Chris Brown returns to rehab, and Ashton Kutcher expands his ever-growing resumé with Lenovo.

    -Sandy + Maura


    Health chief Sebelius apologizes for botched websitehttp://rtvote.com/1gciabr
    At today’s hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, formally apologized for the technical problems Healthcare.gov has been experiencing. More Republicans are calling for her resignation, and the panel intensely scrutinized Sebelius and the sub par performance of the healthcare website. The Obama administration has vowed to fix these issues by the end of November.

    After Retired Justice O’Connor Performs Their Wedding, Gay Couple Celebrates “Wonderful Day”,http://rtvote.com/1gcl146
    Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiated the wedding of Jeff Trammell and Stuart Serkin. She is the second official of the High Court to have officiated a gay marriage ceremony; the first was current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Once considered a conservative justice, O’Connor was nominated to the bench by President Reagan and retired in 2006.

    Thirsty? There’s a global wine shortagehttp://rtvote.com/1h0vXmS
    Brace yourselves. There’s a wine shortage in the world. Global production fell by more than 5% last year, the lowest it’s been since the 1960s, while demand continues to increase. The main cause for the decrease in production was bad weather in France and Argentina. The French consume the most wine, followed by Americans and then the Chinese. Although the U.S. wine making industry is growing, don’t expect global wine production to improve anytime soon.

    Brazilian Footballer’s Decapitated Head Reportedly Sent to Wife by Drug Lordshttp://rtvote.com/1gcpnZ6
    Former pro Brazilian soccer player Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos was kidnapped and decapitated by suspected drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro. His head was sent to his wife’s residence on the morning of October 29. Police are unsure why Santos was targeted. Brazilian soccer is often linked to gang activity.

    Baylor students seek to remove gay ban from student codehttp://rtvote.com/1h0AMfN
    The student senate of Baylor University, a private Baptist school, voted to propose that university officials remove “homosexual acts” from the school’s sexual misconduct code. The proposal will go on to the Baylor University Board of Regents for review. Seems like a win for progress and equality? Not quite. One Baylor student says this rewording does not mean they are advocating homosexuality; they are simply not pinpointing homosexuals anymore: “It is saying homosexual acts are wrong but heterosexual acts committed outside of marriage are also wrong.”


    Joanne Bamberger discusses how certain voting models are compromising the rights of married or divorced women in “Voter ID laws threaten women’s rights,” http://rtvote.com/1gcv2hO

    Sally Kohn explains why losing your current healthcare plan under Obamacare is not something to cry over in “A canceled health plan is a good thing,” http://rtvote.com/1f482P4


    Chris Brown Kisses Karrueche Tran Before Heading to Rehab, http://rtvote.com/1f48cWG

    Kristin Cavallari Pregnant with Baby No. 2, http://rtvote.com/1h0PUtI

    Former Full House Child Star Blake McIver Now a Sexy Go-Go Dancer, http://rtvote.com/1h0Qec0

    Ashton Kutcher Hired as a Product Engineer to Help Design Tablets for Lenovo, http://rtvote.com/1f48Lj7


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

    News Round-Up: October 29, 2013

    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

    Hawaii is up next to legalize gay marriage; an official review on NSA programs is underway; and social media sites criticize tasteless blackface and Trayvon Martin costumes. Meanwhile, the Jonas Brothers break up, and Julianne Hough receives some intense criticism for her offensive Halloween costume.

    -Sandy + Maura


    Hawaii governor expects gay marriage bill to pass ‘within week’,http://rtvote.com/1f1FWUw
    Hawaii’s legislature is expected to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage “within a week or so.” The state’s House of Representatives will pass the bill on Thursday if it passes Senate; both chambers have Democratic majorities. Governor Neil Abercrombie stated that he hopes the bill will pass before January, at the very latest.

    White House: Review will address global NSA concernshttp://rtvote.com/1gXYp8Q
    As more nations become enraged by NSA’s spying programs, the White House has assured the public that the collection of data on allies will not continue. A review of these programs is currently in the works, and a report on the review will be due by the end of the year. Spain is the latest country that has joined in on protests against the U.S.’s surveillance tactics; others include Germany, France, Brazil, and Mexico.

    Trick-or-treating takes a tasteless turnhttp://rtvote.com/1g9uU2E
    Halloween is right around the corner, and so are some of the most offensive costumes in Halloween history. Some of the more tasteless trick-or-treaters are donning Ariel Castro costumes, blackface costumes, and even Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman costumes. There has been a backlash on social media sites (rightfully so) against such getups, and the Utah Jazz and Julianne Hough have received such criticism.

    5 killed in Dallas-area shootings; suspect arrestedhttp://rtvote.com/1f1LVZx
    Police have arrested Charles Everett Brownlow, Jr., 36, for killing five people in a shooting spree in the small town of Terrell, Texas. The murders started at 5 PM Monday, and Brownlow was captured and arrested early Tuesday. The victims have not been officially identified.

    Report: White House knew plans would be canceled under ACA,http://rtvote.com/1gY57eY
    About 50%-75% of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will have their plans cancelled in the next year because their current policies fail to meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Initially, the White House said that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be kept even if they did not meet the requirements of the new healthcare law. The Department of Health and Human Services later narrowed that provision. NBC News reports that the Obama administration has known for three years that people’s insurance would be canceled. The White House has responded that those whose policies are voided will be automatically shifted to plans with better protections. Additionally, they claim that nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their plans, but the failure of some plans to meet the new minimum standards should be expected.


    George Clooney and John Prendergast discuss what should be done to stop the chaos in Sudan in “Sudan could become a second Syria,” http://rtvote.com/1f1Puij

    Errol Louis talks about Banksy’s insensitive slam against New Yorkers and Americans in “Banksy’s insult shows he’s clueless about New York,” http://rtvote.com/19PKcV9


    Julianne Hough Goes Blackface as Orange is the New Black Character for Halloween Costume, http://rtvote.com/1gY8ouS

    Jonas Brothers Break Up: “It was a Unanimous Decision,” http://rtvote.com/1gY8H8U

    Dax Shepard Doesn’t Have a Wedding Ring, Says It Cost Him $142 to Marry Kristen Bell,http://rtvote.com/1gY9t63

    Adam Levine Says Fiancée Behati Prinsloo Made Him Believe in Marriage,http://rtvote.com/1gY9R4i


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

    News Round-Up: Friday, June 21, 2013

    Friday, June 21st, 2013

    Protests in Brazil grow; the Miami Heat wins game 7;  the firm that completed a background check on Edward Snowden is being investigated; rain floods southern Alberta, Canada; 3 midshipmen from the Naval Academy are being charged with sexual assault; North Carolina repeals the ‘Racial Justice Act’; and Ken Mehlman is trying to convince Republicans that gay marriage is consistent with conservative values. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian reveals her baby girl’s name, and Angelina Jolie stands up for refugees on World Refugee Day.

    Maura + Alexis


    Brazil Leaders to Meet as Protests, Violence Grow, http://apne.ws/12ZhBgp
    Thursday night, 1 million protestors filled the streets all over Brazil. Over 300,000 people protested in Rio de Janeiro, at least 40 of them injured, and at least one protestor was killed in Sao Paulo. President Dilma Rousseff who has not said much about the protests, called for a meeting with top Cabinet members. It is still unclear what action she and her government will take.

    Miami Heat beat Spurs in Game 7, http://bit.ly/16lP0Pm
    The Miami Heat took home another NBA Championship title last night. What was a close game for the first three quarters and majority of the fourth began to turn in favor of the Heat with three minutes to go. The Heat have arrived at three consecutive finals, two of which they have now won.

    Firm that checked NSA leaker’s background under investigation, http://cbsn.ws/14lLhQw
    A background investigation was performed on Edward Snowden, the man who disclosed NSA surveillance programs. The USIS will not answer any questions regarding the background check at the moment, because according to Michelle Schmitz, it is against policy to answer questions about ongoing investigations.

    Flooding hits Alberta province, forces 75,000 people from their homes in Calgary, http://bit.ly/16RLj4R
    Rain has flooded southern Alberta, Canada. In Calgary alone, 75,000 people have been forced out of their homes. Officials have asked people to limit telephone use as not to overwhelm the system and get in the way of emergency respondence.

    Academy: 3 Midshipmen Charged with Sexual Assault, http://apne.ws/12W9n8F
    Wednesday, the U.S. Naval Academy charged three midshipmen with sexually assaulting a female student at an off-campus house about a year ago. The former football players are being charged with two violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, one involving rape, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, and the other for making a false statement. The boys have not been named and it is unclear whether or not they have an attorney.

    ‘Racial Justice Act’ repealed in North Carolina, http://bit.ly/13Wxd0W
    The Governor of North Carolina has agreed to repeal a law that allowed inmates to challenge their death sentences on racial grounds. The Racial Justice Act previously allowed convicts to argue that race was a determining factor in their sentencing. Governor Pat McCrory signed the repeal Wednesday.

    Bush aide now promotes gay marriage, http://usat.ly/16iDqV3
    Prominent Republican strategist Ken Mehlman, who ran President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, is using his sexual orientation to try to change the minds of Republicans nation-wide. As the New York Times reported, Mehlman, a once-closeted gay man “is waging what could be his final campaign: to convince fellow Republicans that gay marriage is consistent with conservative values and good for their party.”


    Kim Kardashian Hinted at Baby Girl North’s Name to E! News, http://eonli.ne/16lzOBW

    Johnny Depp Opens Up About Turning 50: “It’s Great!”, http://eonli.ne/1azvdPK

    Angelina Jolie Stands Up for the Downtrodden on World Refugee Day, http://eonli.ne/16krQc2

    Nigella Lawson Steps Out Without Her Wedding Ring After Alleged Choking Incident, http://eonli.ne/16k9U1n

    Helena Bonham Carter In ‘Cinderella’: Actress’s Casting As Fairy Godmother Recalls Her Oddest Roles, http://huff.to/19ntADh

    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

    Protests erupt in Brazil; new information leads to yet another search for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa; a 98-year-old Hungarian man is charged with military crimes from WWII; the U.S. military releases plans to allow women in almost all combat jobs by 2016; North Korea looks at Hitler’s Third Reich for ideas; the U.S. House of Representatives writes new abortion legislation; and new research has made 3-D printers capable of creating prosthetic hands. Meanwhile, Cher is working on a new album, and Bernie Sahlins dies.

    Maura + Alexis


    Brazil protests: violence erupts during nationwide marches, http://bit.ly/11IfKoM
    Mass protests broke out in Brazil Monday evening. Around 200,000 people upset about high costs and poor public services stormed the streets. Protestors in Rio de Janeiro burned cars and robbed buildings while police fought back with teargas and rubber bullets. These rallies are some of the largest Brazil has ever seen.

    Source: ‘Highly credible’ info led to new Hoffa dig; murder put on Detroit mob, http://bit.ly/11IUBuG
    The FBI is digging in Detroit in a search for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. The hunt for Jimmy Hoffa has been going on for about four decades now, but according to the FBI, new information provided by alleged mobster Tony Zerilli is what brought the search back to the surface.

    98-year-old charged with ‘unlawful execution, torture’ of Jews during World War II, http://nbcnews.to/19MoMKu
    A 98-year-old man has been charged with war crimes, having helped deport Jews to Auschwitz in World War II. Laszlo Csatary was found guilty in 1948 and was sentenced to death at that time. He has lived on the run for decades, however, until last July when Hungarian authorities detained him and put him under house arrest in Budapest. According to a spokeswoman for the Budapest Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Csatary’s case will most likely go to trial within the next three months.

    Military Plans Would Put Women in Most Combat Jobs, http://apne.ws/19MeMRj
    The glass ceiling in the military is about to be shattered. By mid 2015 it is expected that women will be able to train as Army Rangers and by mid 2016 as Navy SEALs. According to plans released today, there will soon be one common standard for men and women for each job in the military. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reviewed the plans and given U.S. military services the green light.

    North Korea looks towards Hitler and the Third Reich, http://bit.ly/11jJeh3
    One of Kim Jong-un’s gifts to North Korea’s high-ranking officials this year was a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Kim Jong-un chose this book with the idea that he and his country could simulate Hitler’s simultaneous construction of a strong military and a strong economy. He has “issued an order for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and that practical applications be drawn from it.”

    House Takes Up Far-Reaching Anti-Abortion Bill, http://apne.ws/10txCJU
    House Republicans Tuesday make an effort to change federal abortion law. New legislation would ban almost all abortions after the fetus reaches 20 weeks old. The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is expected to pass the House Tuesday. Whether or not it will be passed on further than that is uncertain, however.

    3-D Printer Brings Dexterity To Children With No Fingers, http://n.pr/18VKc8q
    Richard Van As was working out of his home in South Africa in May of 2011 when he suffered a severe injury after losing control of his table saw. He lost two fingers and mangled two more, all on his right hand. He was determined to find a way to use his hand again and eventually came up with the idea of creating a mechanical hand using a 3-D printer. Even a lower jaw has been created using the technology but never before was a hand created, due to its complexity. After much research and travel, he helped create a mechanical hand for a 5-year-old named Liam. He then returned to the U.S. and partnered with MakerBot, a 3-D printing company to create such prosthetic pieces from a 3-D printer.


    Cher’s ‘Closer To The Truth’ Album Announced As Singer’s Next Project, http://huff.to/12SVJDe

    ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Delayed: Sequel’s Release Date Pushed Back To August 2014, http://huff.to/11MgJVX

    Bernie Sahlins, Second City Theater Legend, Leaves Huge Legacy, http://huff.to/13Qqi9E

    Nigella Lawson’s Husband, Charles Saatchi, Admits To Assault Charges, http://huff.to/13QqlCe

    James Franco’s ‘Palo Alto’ Movie Project Launches Indiegogo Campaign To Raise $500,000, http://huff.to/15ggRya

    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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