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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    President Obama holds his first meeting with Pope Francis; at least 90 people are missing as a result of the Washington mudslide; POTUS says that the government should stop holding phone data; and Northwestern University athletes are legally allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Psych ended its 8-season run last night; the trailer for Jupiter Ascending has been released; and Joan Rivers has some harsh criticism for Lena Dunham.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama has first audience with Pope Francis: http://rtvote.com/1jyS19L
    President Obama and Pope Francis had their first meeting with one another on Thursday in Italy. The meeting was cordial and people hoped that the meeting would bring attention to important issues both leaders support. Much of the meeting was about the church’s role in current issues in the United States, international conflict, and human rights protection according to a statement from the Vatican. President Obama extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the United States in 2015.

    Ukraine military dolphins to switch nationalities, join Russian navy: http://rtvote.com/1j9eoQt
    Russia is planning on taking control of Ukraine’s military dolphins. These dolphins are highly trained and specialize in detecting hazards to Ukraine like sea mines or enemy scuba divers trying to enter the country’s waters. Dolphins can detect noises and objects in the ocean that humans can’t, making them effective for security. A Russian news agency reported Thursday that “the combat dolphin program in the Crimean city of Sevastopol will be preserved and redirected toward the interests of the Russian navy.”

    Obama says government should stop collecting, holding bulk phone data: http://rtvote.com/1pcb9JM
    The United States expressed outrage when former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government collected data from people’s telephones. President Obama said Thursday that the government is trying to stop collecting phone records and wants to leave that up to phone carriers, who would then provide suspicious activity to counterterrorism agencies. Other changes include the requirement that a federal judge give its approval before the government can collect phone data.

    Mudslide recovery brings tears to searchers: http://rtvote.com/OY2H42
    Firefighters and volunteer rescuers in Washington are coming to the grim reality that some people missing in the mudslide might never be found. In the beginning, there was a list of people thought to be missing after the massive mudslide leveled Oso, Washington six days ago. 140 people have since been eliminated from that list, leaving 90 people missing and 35 others who were not confirmed to be in the area when the mudslide occurred. 25 bodies have been discovered, but searchers expect that number to increase. However, due to dangerous conditions like quicksand-like mud 30-40 feet deep, ice, rain, fallen trees, and other hazards, many bodies may never be found.

    Northwestern University football players can unionize: http://rtvote.com/1g4cxai
    Athletes at Northwestern University won the right to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago recognized the athletes as employees of the university. Northwestern plans to appeal the decision, saying that the athletes are students, not employees. However, the board saw enough evidence to believe that the students were employees; they work between 20 and 50 hours a week, get paid through scholarships, and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the university. The students filed the petition to “get a seat at the bargaining table in college sports,” receive better medical coverage and concussion tests, be offered full four-year scholarships, and potentially get paid.

    CULTURAL

     Get the scoop on the Psych series finale: http://rtvote.com/1g4fs2O

    Zac Efron punched in the face during a fight: http://rtvote.com/1pA3pPY

    Joan Rivers attacks Lena Dunham’s weight: is a celebrity feud brewing? http://rtvote.com/1rFLueK

    The reviews for Noah are in! See what the critics are saying: http://rtvote.com/1o4x5cI 

    Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum steal the show in their Jupiter Ascending trailer: http://rtvote.com/1jRq3BL

    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: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

    The Turkish deputy PM seeks to appease citizens; the U.N. human rights team believes Syria has used chemical weapons; the GOP threatens to restrict funding for the IRS; floods continue in Germany; Oscar Pistorius’s hearing is postponed until August 19; an American tourist is gang-raped in India; China censors the big yellow duck; and David Barton warns Christians not to drink Starbucks coffee.  Meanwhile, Channing and Jenna Tatum reveal their baby girl’s name, and Coldplay drummer makes a cameo in Game of Thrones.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Turkish deputy PM seeks to calm anti-government protests, http://reut.rs/19EmmvR
    Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister attempted to appease anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday with an apology for police crackdown on a peaceful protest. Bulent Arinc’s words carried a much different tone than Erdogan’s, who leftMonday on a visit to North Africa. Arinc told a news conference in Ankara that “the excessive violence that was used in the first instance against those who were behaving with respect for the environment is wrong and unfair. I apologize to those citizens.”

    U.N. rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria, http://reut.rs/19EBUQb
    Human rights investigators from the U.N. said Tuesday that they had “reasonable grounds” to believe that at least small amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria. Now, more so than ever, a sense of urgency has been instilled in the West to end the war. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the use of chemical weapons was unacceptable. The U.N. commission examined four reported toxic attacks in the months of March and April, but there is no information as to which side was behind the attacks.

    GOP threatens IRS purse strings, http://bit.ly/18NZR8E
    GOP appropriators said Monday that they were willing and able to pull on the IRS’s ‘purse strings’ to elicit answers regarding accusations that the IRS has been targeting conservative groups. In other words, the House Appropriations Committee would restrict IRS funding, a power only Congress has, in order to get to the truth. The acting IRS chief said he is prepared to defend President Obama’s budget, which aims for a $1 billion increase in funding for the IRS.

    Floods threaten Dresden as Prague river levels fall, http://bbc.in/1309bjF
    Cities in southern and eastern Germany are on high alert, and Dresden prepares for water levels 5m higher than average. Thankfully, river levels in Prague are falling, and floodwaters are moving north. The city of Regensburg has declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, in the state state of Saxony, which includes the city of Dresden, officials warn that water levels have the chance of rising higher than those of the record floods of 2002. Eleven people have died so far throughout the countries affected; only six fewer than in 2002.

    Oscar Pistorius’ hearing postponed until Aug. 19, http://usat.ly/15BPcds
    Oscar Pistorius stood throughout the entirety of his 15-minute court hearing Tuesday, portraying very little emotion. It was a very different look compared to the very emotional presentation he gave during his bail hearing in February. Magistrate Daniel Thulare decided to postpone the case until August 19, 2013, allowing police more time for investigations.

    US Tourist Gang-raped in Northern India: Police, http://yhoo.it/18QhJ2V
    An American female tourist was gang-raped by a truck driver and two accomplices Tuesday in Northern India. The 30-year-old woman was raped following her decision to accept an offer for a ride from a truck driver in Manali. Medical tests prove that she was indeed raped, and police continue to hunt down the criminals. Every truck driver in Manali has been ordered to report to the local police station in an effort to track down the three men.

    Censored in China: ‘Today,’ ‘Tonight’ and ‘Big Yellow Duck’, http://nyti.ms/12qwdFj
    China has banned the phrases “today,” tonight,” “June 4,” and “big yellow duck” on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, today due to a picture posted on the internet that quickly became an internet sensation. In an attempt to resurrect a banned image of a Chinese man blocking a line of tanks in Tianenman Square, a photoshopped version of the iconic image was posted on Weibo replacing the tanks with big yellow ducks. The images were almost immediately removed by censors, but only after making their way all across cyberspace.

    Christians Can’t Drink Starbucks Because Company Supports Gay Marriage, Evangelical Says (VIDEO), http://huff.to/16Exgmo
    According to former evangelical pastor and conservative activist David Barton, there is “no way” a truly righteous Christian can drink coffee from a cup with a little green straw – from Starbucks, that is. Because Starbucks donates money to support gay marriage and has publicly supported Washington state’s same-sex marriage bill, Barton argues that to support the company would be supporting “what is attacking God.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Miguel’s Leg Drop Victim May Have Suffered Brain Damage, Might Sue, http://huff.to/1b0xFfL

    Jonah Hill In ‘Arrested Development’ Movie? Mitch Hurwitz Reveals He Could Have Played George Michael In Elaborate Hoax, http://huff.to/18R74oH

    Penelope Cruz As Bond Girl? Rumor Has Oscar Winner Heading To Next 007 Film, http://huff.to/18Ls4d

    Will Champion On ‘Game Of Thrones’: Coldplay Drummer Makes Cameo Appearance As Drummer, http://huff.to/16FhWWK

    Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Reveal New Daughter’s Name!, http://eonli.ne/15xx3Ne

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    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