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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

    Arizona’s governor has yet to make a decision on the latest controversial bill; secession fears emerge in Ukraine; and a California couple finds $10 million worth of Gold Rush-era coins. Meanwhile, another celebrity couple splits; more controversy emerges for Justin Bieber; and Kanye West talks music.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Arizona governor takes time on anti-gay bill: http://rtvote.com/1mHkU4T
    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has been pressured for days to take a stance on bill SB1062, that would allow businesses and restaurants to refuse to serve gays based on religious beliefs. People from all professions and belief systems have called on Brewer to veto the bill including: the LGBT community, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, religious leaders, business giants like Apple, and Arizona’s two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake. The NFL is also watching the bill’s progress; if it passes, the 2015 Super Bowl’s Arizona location might be challenged. Brewer has until Saturday at 11:59pm to make her decision, but her inaction so far has drawn criticism.

    Tensions rise in Ukraine’s pro-Russian Crimea amid secession fears: http://rtvote.com/1fHdjOg
    Pro-Russian protesters faced off with pro-Ukrainian protesters in Simferopol, a city within Ukraine’s Crimea region. Some fear that Crimea, due to its extreme loyalty to Russia, will secede from Ukraine, although parliament speaker Volodimir Konstantinov has denied that there are secession plans in the works. Currently, eastern and southern Ukraine has a heavier Russian influence, while Western Ukraine favors the majority of Europe. Currently, Ukraine is trying to create a new government in the midst of the continuing political instability throughout the country.

    No bluff: US planning possible withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan: http://rtvote.com/1gCjscp
    If no security agreement is signed, the Obama administration told Afghanistan that they would withdrawal all of the United States troops that remain by the end of the year. This comes after Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, refused to sign the security agreement, which would keep American troops in Afghanistan after combat operations end this year. A Pakistani official believes that if the United States leaves Afghanistan completely, a civil war will ensue. Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would sign the deal if elected.

    UAE Islamic affairs authority warns Muslims against a mission to Mars: http://rtvote.com/1ewcRhg
    The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) has issued a ruling telling Muslims not to travel to Mars, despite supporting space travel in general. The GAIAE is against travel to Mars because they believe people won’t come back: that they’ll die in space. This, they say, is similar to committing suicide because the traveler willingly went to Mars knowing he or she may not return. Suicide is strictly against Islamic principles. Mars One, the Dutch nonprofit planning the first tourist mission to outer space (through Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic) this year, issued a statement saying that human lives would not be at risk for tourism-based space travel and that the GAIAE should revoke the ruling.

    California couple unearths Gold Rush coins worth $10 million: http://rtvote.com/1jAakb3
    Two Californians stumbled upon 1,427 gold coins buried by a tree on their property while walking their dog. The discovery is believed to be “one of the greatest buried treasures ever unearthed in the United States” says the trade journal Coin Update. The coins worth $5, $10, and $20 were in mint condition and had never been circulated, though they have been dated from 1897 to 1894. Most of the coins are $20 coins minted between 1855 and 1894. Some experts say some coins could be auctioned for $1 million. No one has any idea who might have buried them. The couple plans to sell the majority of the coins on Amazon and plan on using the proceeds to help their community.

    CULTURAL

    Katy Perry and John Mayer hit splitsville: http://rtvote.com/1pthPUZ

    Justin Bieber’s security guard and driver arrested: http://rtvote.com/1llFOoy

    Kanye West to make “kid-friendly” music? http://rtvote.com/1khb5pg

    Miley Cyrus debunks some rumors: http://rtvote.com/N3mGgH

    Paul Rudd vs. Jimmy Fallon…at lip syncing: http://rtvote.com/1bM4aEN

    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, February 24th, 2014

    Monday, February 24th, 2014

    The Department of Defense proposes some extreme military cuts; Deval Patrick may be considering running for president; and a strange polio-like disease strikes five kids. Meanwhile, view the top 15 moments at the Sochi Olympics; Alec Baldwin has harsh words for some celebrities; and Pharrell’s “Smoky the Bear” Grammy’s hat is up for auction.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WWII size:http://rtvote.com/1pjsT6W
    The Department of Defense will present a new defense budget Monday that will decrease defense spending. The budget outlines a plan intent on reducing the Army to the size it was before World War Two (between 440,000 and 450,000 troops) and plans on removing a class of Air Force attack jets. The bill, supported by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, protects funding for cyberwarfare and security as well as special operations programs. Congressional leaders with large military populations in the area they represent may provide a strong opposition to the budget.

    Mass. Gov Patrick: ‘Maybe’ I’ll run for president:http://rtvote.com/1k4j7lg
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told Politico that he might consider a run for president in the future. He originally dismissed rumors of a 2016 presidential bid because he was afraid of the impact the election would have on his family. Patrick said that he and his wife would have to agree on running if he ever considered it. Patrick is not running for a third gubernatorial term this year.

    Longest-serving Congressman to retire:http://rtvote.com/1cHUd9x
    Michigan Representative John Dingell, 87, will retire from the House of Representatives when his 29th term ends later this year. A champion of healthcare reform, environmental protection, gun control, worker’s rights, and gun rights, Dingell has an impressive congressional accomplishments sheet. Serving in Congress has taken a toll on his physical health, and he continually expressed frustration with the increasingly partisan Congressional gridlock. Dingell’s retirement is now one of many, as more congressmen and senators call for retirement. Although his Michigan district is considered a safety district for Democrats, the Congressman or woman who takes his place will have a tough act to follow.

    Polio-like illness found in five California children:http://rtvote.com/1epOTnD
    Between August 2012 and July 2013, five California children have become paralyzed in one or more of their limbs. Doctors ruled out polio because all of the affected children had been vaccinated against the disease, despite their ailment having polio-like qualities. Instead, two of the five children have been diagnosed with enterovirus 68, an incredibly rare disease that is from the same family as polio. Since 2000, there have been 47 cases of enterovirus 68 in the United States. Health officials are not concerned about the possibility of an outbreak, stressing the rarity of the illness.

    Students, say goodbye to snow days:http://rtvote.com/OtTD74
    Teachers are beginning to utilize technology to teach at home. Because this winter has been difficult for many areas of the country, some schools have run out of snow days. Teachers in some school districts have begun to teach online during snow days, requiring students to log in to a program online to keep track of attendance and grades. This prevents students from missing too many school days, which would require school officials to take days away from spring break.

    CULTURAL

    See the most memorable moments from the Sochi Olympics:http://rtvote.com/1fnoTj4

    Brooke-Burke Charvet ousted from her DWTS hosting job:http://rtvote.com/1eb5gt5

    Alec Baldwin’s harsh New York essay:http://rtvote.com/1gwSMKa

    You can buy Pharrell’s infamous Grammy hat:http://rtvote.com/1mD9Ju3

    Liam Neeson discusses Natasha Richardson’s death:http://rtvote.com/1pjQ9ll

    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: Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Thursday, August 15th, 2013

    The death toll in Egypt rises to 525; surge of violence continues in Iraq; torture revealed in California murder & abduction case; Senator Wendy Davis appears in Vogue; and Wimbledon champion abruptly retires from tennis.Meanwhile, Oprah gives away more cars; Stern reacts to Bachelor star suicide; and Justin Timberlake releases track list for 20/20 Experience part 2.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Morsi supporters call for protest marchers as crackdown death toll rises in Egypthttp://rtvote.com/1a895O9
    Supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi called for protest marches Thursday, after violent government crackdowns have left over 500 people dead and more than 3,700 people injured, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry. This has been the deadliest day in Egypt since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

    Officials: Car bombs kill 31 in Iraqi capitalhttp://rtvote.com/1a8enZS
    A month’s long surge of violence continues in Iraq as 31 people are killed and dozens injured in a car bomb attack near the Iraqi capital. More than 3,000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months raising fears Iraq could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed.

    Affidavits: Hannah Anderson’s mother, brother ‘tortured and killed’,http://rtvote.com/16NoK09
    It has now been revealed that the California man that kidnapped Hannah Anderson after her cheerleading practice, first tortured and killed her mother and brother. Investigators didn’t reveal details of the torture, but believe James Lee DiMaggio, a friend of Hannah’s father, carried out the killings and abduction.

    Wendy Davis in heels and in Voguehttp://rtvote.com/1a8gtJj
    Vogue’s September issue will feature Wendy Davis, Democratic Senator from Fort Worth, Texas who might be making a bid for governor. The magazine feature offers a revealing look at Davis’ personal journey from struggling as a single mother to graduating from Harvard Law School.

    Bartoli’s Retirement Caught Nearly Everyone by Surprise,
    http://rtvote.com/1a8ajsP
    After winning the title of Wimbledon Champion last month, Marion Bartoli has announced her retirement from tennis after a loss at the Western & Southern open. Citing physical issues, lack of will, and other goals, the French tennis champion said, “I feel it’s time for me to walk away actually.”

     

    CULTURAL

    Oprah Winfrey Gives Away a Car on Jimmy Kimmel Livehttp://rtvote.com/141Xlck

    Justin Timberlake Complete Track List for 20/20 Experience: Part 2 of 2,http://rtvote.com/1a852RP

    Bachelor Fan Howard Stern Weighs In on Gia Allemand Suicide: “I Was Sad to Hear About it”, http://rtvote.com/16NhPEe

    Orange Is the New Black: Reports of Laura Prepon’s Exit “Inaccurate”, Says Netflix,http://rtvote.com/16NitS6

    Bruce Willis Commercial Gets Banned in Britain, http://rtvote.com/16NiC8b

    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



    CA Millennials: Rock The Vote targeting frequent fliers, gamers, and electronic dance music fans

    Friday, September 7th, 2012

    This piece was originally published on the California Forward blog.

    Fasten your seatbelts and place your seatbacks and tray tables in their full upright, and locked position…and prepare to register to vote.

    Two weeks ago Virgin America, the only California-based airline company, launched an initiative to register passengers at 35,000 feet through their back-of-the-seat entertainment systems. In-flight voter registration on all of Virgin America’s roughly 1,000 daily flights is just one of many recent innovative projects developed by Rock the Vote in their effort to register 1.5 million young Americans by November 6, 2012.

    Rock the Vote (RTV), a 21 year old non-partisan voter registration organization, is dedicated to building the political power of young people by engaging them in the electoral process through the use of new technologies, music, and pop culture.

    Millennials are the fastest growing, most diverse generation in our nation’s history, accounting for nearly one quarter of the electorate nationwide, outnumbering seniors this November. By 2016 this group of young people is predicted to make up nearly 33% of all actual voters.

    “In four years these young people will make up a real majority of the electorate. We want to put the power in their hands now, as well as educate them,” said Amanda Brown, Deputy Director of Rock the Vote. “Research shows that registering and engaging young people helps create voting habits early which yields lifelong voting.”

    The 2012 election is one of critical importance to Millennials in California, who tend to have weak voter turnout. A View Point Leaning survey conducted earlier this year found that 56% of 18-29 year old Californians believe that the high cost of a college education has been a major obstacle to achieving their goals. If the Governor’s tax hike fails this November, the UC system, whose budget has already been severely cut, stands to lose another $375 million in state funding over the next two years.

    Although the 2008 election saw a historic increase in voter turnout among Millennials, less than half of young people 18-24 showed up at the polls nationwide. This is where Rock the Vote’s innovative voter registration programs play a huge role. Traditional campus-based ‘get out the vote’ drives, although effective, leave large communities of young people relatively untouched.

    Through the Spin the Vote program, RTV, in partnership with Insomniac Events, is targeting a whole new community that has been largely untapped politically. By providing on-site voter registration at every Insomniac music festival in 2012, Spin the Vote, which kicked off the festival season at Beyond Wonderland in San Bernardino, is helping electronic dance music fans have a voice in the 2012 election. Not only can fans register to vote while fist pumping, but inspirational videos and voice messages from prominent artists, like Diplo and Paul Van Dyk, encouraging fans to stay engaged are being released all season long.

    “Research shows that all it takes to engage young people is making the ask,” said Brown, commenting on RTV’s more diverse targeting of new communities.

    Earlier this month, RTV also announced it is again teaming up with Microsoft to engage the gaming community by providing in-game voter registration on Xbox LIVE’s Election 2012 Hub. “Voter registration efforts need to reach young people while they are doing things they regularly do, whether that be attending an electronic dance music festival, flying across the country, or playing XBOX,” said Brown. “We need to make voter registration easier and more accessible to get more young people engaged.”

    Rock the Vote is constantly trying to find innovative ways to mobilize and empower young people to ensure they have a say in the important decisions that affect their lives. By leveraging new technologies and identifying key validators for different constituencies, RTV has not only successfully registered over 5 million young people to vote but also become a trusted source of elections information.

    In a state that has more eligible voters under the age of 30 than the entire number of voters who showed up to the polls for this year’s presidential primary, we welcome all efforts designed to increase civic participation.

    California Forward understands that in order to have a truly vibrant and representative democracy, we must convince more Californians, particularly Millennials, to register and vote. Persistent low voter turnout among young people increases the incentive for politicians to continue to ignore the needs of this ever-growing segment of the electorate so critical to the future California. The more Californians who are engaged, the faster the state gets on the road to recovery.

    Alexandra Bjerg
    Bio:

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