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    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: Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers continue to escalate; a NJ student suing her parents loses first court battle; Pope Francis says that he could potentially accept civil unions; and a 10-year-old boy is suspended after pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. Meanwhile, John Travolta speaks out about his Idina Menzel flub on Oscar Night; an emoji version of “Drunk in Love” is taking over the web; and you can see the Oscar selfie that broke Twitter and has the Twitter record for the most retweets ever! 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia: http://rtvote.com/1ga99e8
    Western governmental powers have begun to threaten Russia with sanctions if their military presence in Ukraine does not decrease. In retaliation, Russia has begun drafting a law that “would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to the U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow.” The European Union will meet Thursday in Brussels, and US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian equivalent to Kerry’s position, in Paris. This conflict stems from the removal of the Russian-allied government and the increase in tension in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, where a heavy Russian population resides.

    Student’s lawsuit against parents for support loses first round in court: http://rtvote.com/1lyMnEg
    18-year-old New Jersey resident Rachel Canning made news this week for suing her own parents to make them pay for varying expenses: her final semester at her private high school, her living expenses, her legal fees, and her college tuition. Canning says her parents forced her out of her home and made her live on her own and was subject to mental and physical abuse, while her parents say she left of her own accord because she “didn’t want to obey their rules.” A judge refused to hear the request of payment for both the high school and living expenses, but in April, another hearing will be held for other issues presented in the lawsuit.

    Ohio student points finger like gun, is suspended: http://rtvote.com/1fHONbj
    A 10-year-old boy who pointed his finger like a gun and pointed it at another student’s head was suspended by his principal. The other student didn’t see it, but a teacher did and reported it to the school’s administration. The boy, who said he was “just playing around,” had been warned before by the school, Devonshire Alternative Elementary, about pretending to play with guns, as have all the other students; they were also told of potential consequences if they were caught participating in this behavior. 

    Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions: http://rtvote.com/1hMh1X0
    On Wednesday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage (“marriage is between a man and a woman”), but also hinted at the possible acceptance of civil unions. Pope Francis is the first Pope to even hint at an acceptance of civil unions and is one of the most “gay-friendly” popes in history. Possible changes to the church regarding the women’s role and the contraception ban could also be in the works as the Pope’s first year comes to a close.

    Three children pulled to safety after woman drives van into ocean: http://rtvote.com/1kyfwiB
    A pregnant South Carolina woman, driving a minivan with three children inside, drove into the ocean in Florida. Rescuers said that they heard the children screaming that their mother was trying to kill them. People worked frantically to remove the children and the mother from the waterlogged vehicle. The children, aged 3, 9, and 10, were carried to shore and examined at a hospital before being declared “okay”. The mother walked to shore, dazed, and has refused to talk about the incident.

    CULTURAL

    See the now-infamous selfie that broke Twitter on Oscar Night! http://rtvote.com/1hLqDBZ

    John Travolta’s response to his Idina Menzel flub: http://rtvote.com/1cuhUoa

    The best and worst moments from the Oscars are in! http://rtvote.com/1gakNpt

    An emoji version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”? http://rtvote.com/1e1MWP0

    Dancing with the Stars just announced its latest cast: http://rtvote.com/1l14Y8T

    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: November 21, 2013

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013

    Partisan gridlock continues as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a ‘nuclear option’; Congressman Radel (R-Fla) is busted for cocaine purchase but doesn’t resign; and a volcanic eruption has led to the arrival of a tiny new island in Japan. Meanwhile, Miley is at it again! as she bleaches her eyebrows & posts to Instagram; an O.C. cast member and former Gossip Girl star are set to get hitched; and Jennifer Lawrence gets teased by her Catching Fire co-stars.
    - Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL 

    Harry Reid may go ‘nuclear’ Thursday, http://rtvote.com/1h50yii
    Tension and dysfunction in Washington, D.C. continues and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is poised to do something about it. After a slew of executive nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was thwarted by Republicans, Senator Reid may move toward a historic change to the Senate rules that would eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday. If a second round of votes to choose from the nominees fails, the Senator may move to make a change of rules the Senate based on a majority vote.  Stay tuned for more as this develops.

    Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to take leave of absence after guilty plea to cocaine charge, http://rtvote.com/1ek5Anu
    On Wednesday, the 37-year-old lawmaker and freshman Congressman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug-possession charge in D.C.  Superior Court.  He was arrested last month outside of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. after purchasing cocaine from an undercover officer. In a late night press conference Wednesday, the Congressman apologized to his constituents in Florida, but will not resign from his post.

    Karzai Says Security Pack With U.S. Should Be Signed Next Year, http://rtvote.com/1dkJWT1
    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signaled that a security deal with the U.S. may not be finalized until next year, even if it is ratified by a grand council of Afghan leaders this week. He asked the council to place the agreement on hold until after his successor is elected, but was unclear on what that timeline looks like. This would put a final agreement on hold and could keep American and NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

    Volcano spawns new Japanese island, http://rtvote.com/1dkMlx3
    Japan is fired up! A recent undersea volcanic eruption has given Japan a tiny new patch of territory that currently measures about 660 feet in diameter and is located just off the coast of Nishinoshima. However, the country will put naming its newest addition on hold until they are sure that the sea will not engulf it.

    LRA leader Joseph Kony ‘in surrender talks’ with CAR, http://rtvote.com/1ixTmtZ
    A spokesperson of the Central African Republic (CAR) has said that it is in talks with Joseph Kony, the infamous Ugandan warlard. His rebellion in northern Uganda began more than 20 years ago and his fighters became known for abducting children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and the United States government has offered up $5million for any leads that result in his arrest.

    CULTURAL
    ‘Catching Fire’ stars joke about Jennifer Lawrence’s ego: ‘You can hardly talk to her’, http://rtvote.com/19KDrkq

    Lullaby time: Kelly Clarkson is expecting first baby, http://rtvote.com/1bUmY1U

    Miley Cyrus Bleaches Her Eyebrows, Parties With Miranda Kerr and Lily Allen—See the Pics!, http://rtvote.com/1aTKCab

    Leighton Meester, Adam Brody Are Engaged! Former Gossip Girl Star and O.C. Stud to Wed, http://rtvote.com/19KFepp

    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, July 18, 2013

    Thursday, July 18th, 2013

    Indian police search for principal after 22 children die; dispute between U.S. military and Afghanistan halts custom procedures; Nelson Mandela’s health improves; Tom Perez is the new Labor Secretary. Meanwhile, the 2013 Emmy Award Nominations are announced; Neil Patrick Harris agrees to host the Emmys; Jane Lynch has emotional talk with Ellen; and Adam Levine gets engaged.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Tom Perez Confirmed as Labor Secretary, http://rtvote.com/12L8eyt
    The Senate confirmed Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez as the next secretary of labor Thursday with a vote of 54-46, making him the only Latino in President Obama’s cabinet.

    Police can’t find Indian principal after school lunches deaths, http://rtvote.com/19548VK
    At an Indian school where 22 children were poisoned to death after eating school lunches and police now say the headmistress of the school is nowhere to be found. Authorities say the students were between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and began vomiting Tuesday soon after their first bite of rice. The Bihar state Education Minister P.K. Shahi said the children were poisoned by an insecticide that was in the food.

    Flow of the U.S. military gear across Afghan borders halts amid dispute, http://rtvote.com/1954Nqb
    An escalating dispute between the Afghan government and the United States over customs procedures has halted the flow of U.S. military equipment across Afghanistan’s borders.

    Mandela ‘steadily improving’ on 95th birthday, http://rtvote.com/15pqWKz
    South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on Thursday, a milestone capped by news that the former president’s health was improving. Zindzi, one of Mandela’s daughters, remarked that he is making “remarkable progress.”

    Senators reach deal on student loan interest rates, http://rtvote.com/1953szN
    A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal Wednesday evening to offer college students better rates on loans this fall but higher rates in future years. The Senate deal would offer students lower interest rates through the 2015 academic year.  In the debate Democrats won a protection for students that rates would never climb higher than 8.2% for undergraduate students.
    CULTURAL

    2013 Emmy Nominations: 6 Biggest Surprises and Snubs, http://rtvote.com/1951lfm

    Jane Lynch Talks Cory Monteith Death: “We’ve Lost a Really Great Guy”, http://rtvote.com/1951NdA

    Adam Levine’s Fiancée Behati Prinsloo: 5 Things to Know About the Victoria’s Secret Angel, http://rtvote.com/15pkYJK

    Queen Elizabeth II Hopes Royal Baby Arrives Soon, http://rtvote.com/1952l2Y

    Neil Patrick Harris steps in to host for Emmy noms, http://rtvote.com/1bLpszh

    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