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    NEWS ROUND-UP: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014

    Friday, February 21st, 2014
    A new deal is presented to end bloodshed in Ukraine; the Dalai Lama’s visit to The White House causes reaction from China; and evidence of climate change continues as the Earth experiences its fourth-warmest January on record (despite the snow and chilly temps!). Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera makes a major announcement; U.S. women’s figure skaters talk about returning for 2018 Olympic games; and Kanye West is listed as a headline for Bonaroo for a second time.

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    New deal is signed in Ukraine to end bloodshed http://rtvote.com/1bsPNVM
    After yesterday’s short-lived truce, it seems that violence in Ukraine might finally be settling down. Opposition leaders have signed a deal with government officials that calls for early elections and reductions of presidential power. The deal is thought to be promising because of involvement from high-level European and Russian mediators. Since anti-government protests escalated earlier this week, hundreds of Ukrainian protesters and security officers have been killed.

    China calls Dalai Lama “political exile;” criticizes White House meeting http://rtvote.com/1fFf22L
    The Dalai Lama is known around the world as a spiritual leader. But it turns out he isn’t exactly revered by all. China today posted a statement (on its website of all places!) criticizing the U.S. for meeting with the Dalai Lama. China has considered the Tibetan monk a “political exile” since 1959 because of his advocacy for autonomous rule in Tibet.

    New York reconsiders solitary confinement http://rtvote.com/1dae3XH
    Corrections officials in New York this week indicated a move to reconsider solitary confinement policies. New York has been one of the worst offenders for overusing solitary confinement, a form of punishment that isolates prisoners for as much as 23 hours a day. What’s worse, the average length of stay in solitary confinement for New York prisons is five months. Clearly, the state is in need of reform and this is widely seen as a progressive move towards more humane treatment of prison populations. Kudos to New York.

    Earth has fourth-warmest January on record http://rtvote.com/1l5p2tu
    It’s been pretty cold on the East Coast this year, but this is by no means an indication of global averages. The Earth as a whole experienced its fourth-warmest January on record, marking the 38th straight year that January temperatures have been higher than 20th century averages. This definitely makes you think twice about the existence of climate change!

    German athlete tests positive for doping at Sochi games http://rtvote.com/1jQP28z
    For shame! Germany’s Olympic committee announced that one of Germany’s Olympic athletes has tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, although they declined to release the athlete’s name. USA Today reports that this is the first positive test of the Sochi games. Germany has won 16 Olympic medals in Sochi so far, including 8 gold.

    CULTURAL

    Lena Dunham: Jezebel’s $10,000 Vogue Retouching Expose “Was Messed Up”, “Felt Gross”, http://rtvote.com/1h5sCQG

    Grace Gold , Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds Talk About Figure Skating Results, Eyeing Return for 2018 Olympic Games, http://rtvote.com/1fhw5Ny

    Christina Aguilera Is Pregnant! Newly-Engaged Expecting Second Child, http://rtvote.com/MIEEVz

    Kanye West Headlines Bonaroo, take 2. How’s this going to play out?, http://rtvote.com/1fhwDmw

    SPOILER ALERT: Kate Mara’s Done Lying about House of Cards and That Huge Twist, http://rtvote.com/1jV7PD1

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

    Hundreds are announced dead in South Sudan violence; two people have won the Mega Millions jackpot; and a retired Microsoft executive is set to oversee healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, Christina and Gaga perform together as The Voice crowns a new champion (spoiler alert!); Pippa Middleton is engaged (sorry guys!); and Jonah Hill talks about working with DiCaprio inThe Wolf of Wall Street.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Jackpot grows: Two winners to split $648Mhttp://rtvote.com/1bQc2l7
    Well it looks like the hope of winning the big bucks are over for most of us. Two winners have been identified: one in San Jose, California and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners will be splitting the second-largest jackpot of all time with the odds of winning at 1 in 259 million. The Virginia Lottery Executive Director said that this 22-drawing run generated more than $300 million in profits for programs in the states that participate. In case you missed the numbers, here they are: 8, 20, 14, 17, 39 and 7 (Mega Ball).

    Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov,http://rtvote.com/1fENQ6S
    President Obama continues to seek advice from high-tech executives in response to the rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov. The administration announced Tuesday that Kurt DelBene who recently retired from Microsoft, will serve as an unpaid senior advisor on the website. This is a response to the concerns of several lawmakers that the administration needed outside experts in order to overcome the difficulties of the launch. Many people have given a positive endorsement of DelBene, including Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

    UN Told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes: diplomats, http://rtvote.com/1eowHkI
    For the second day in a row, violence has rippled through South Sudan. Local sources and diplomats reported an estimate of 800 wounded and 400-500 killed, though the numbers have not been officially confirmed. The government in the capitol of Juba announced that they captured 10 major political figures and are searching for its former vice president who they believe led this failed coup. Despite its rich oil reserves, South Sudan remains one of the poorest & least developed countries in Africa. The U.S. is urging its citizens to leave the country and will proceed to suspend normal operations at the embassy.

    Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogationshttp://rtvote.com/19SRe9i
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested one of the C.I.A.’s internal studies regarding U.S. interrogations. Last year, the C.I.A. completed a report about the interrogation program that was one of the most controversial policies of the post-Septemer 11th era. The Senate report totaled more than 6,000 pages and has yet to be declassified. Those who have read the study disclose that the report does not hold back on criticism of the now-defunct interrogation program whose brutal methods led to little valuable intelligence.

    Obama, Biden, Top U.S. Officials To Stay Away From Sochi Olympics,http://rtvote.com/18RsvlI
    The 2014 Winter Olympics games will be held in Sochi, Russia, but with no representation from top United States officials. Instead, a former federal official, Janet Napolitano will be leading the U.S. delegation, along with two LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. This announcement comes just two months before the opening ceremony and is a signal of U.S. disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws among other human rights concerns.

    CULTURAL

    Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco Welcomes a Baby Boy, http://rtvote.com/1cbn4nK

    Pippa Middleton Engaged to Boyfriend Nico Jackson, http://rtvote.com/19SDHPl

    Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga Perform on The Voice, Effectively Putting Feud Rumors to Rest,http://rtvote.com/1fmOsgw

    Jonah Hill Talks Making Leonardo DiCaprio Throw Up and Why Loving Leo Made The Wolf of Wall Street Better, http://rtvote.com/1i1u8ph

    The 9 Brand New Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, http://rtvote.com/1i1uCvy

    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



    Rock the Vote’s Charitybuzz Auction Launches!

    Friday, December 2nd, 2011

    In 2011, Rock the Vote turned 21. Like most 21-year-olds, we are always down to have a little fun. However, with the 2012 presidential election less than a year away, it’s time to get down to business with your help. Our plans for 2012 include running our largest youth voter registration drive ever and mobilizing millions of young Americans to the polls. To celebrate our 21st birthday and achieve our goal, we’re hosting an online celebrity auction at charitybuzz.com from December 2 – December 21, 2011 (just in time for the holidays!).

    We have a chock full list of exciting items to bid on. All you Gleeks will go crazy for our one-on-one lunch with GLEE star Darren Criss. If you’re more Team Xtina, then we have an opportunity to meet Christina Aguilera and attend a taping of The Voice. You can also get your groove on with two VIP tickets to The Ellen Show, or bring out your inner DJ with the opportunity to guest-host a Sirius XM show with DJ Skee. Aspiring writers will have the chance to draft a blog post with Perez Hilton and have it posted on Perezhilton.com. And memorabilia collectors will fawn over our signed Fender bass autographed by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. That’s not even all of it. We have so many other awesome items donated by Rock the Vote’s celebrity supporters. Check out the full list here.

    Our charitybuzz celebrity auction is fitting; for more than two decades Rock the Vote has worked with artists, celebrities and athletes to make politics relevant to young people, registering, educating, and turning them out to voice their opinions, have a say, and participate in the political process. In 2008, more young people voted than in any previous US election- and Rock the Vote ran the largest nonpartisan voter registration drive in the history of the United States, bringing more than 2.6 million voters into the process. Currently, with 13,000 people turning 18 every day, we certainly have our work cut out for us.

    That’s why we need your help! Check out our charitybuzz auction here and help us and millions more to rock the vote in 2012. Not only will you be supporting your favorite non-profit organization (wink, wink), you (or a surprised loved one) will also get the chance to rendezvous with a favorite celebrity. What could be better?

    Don’t forget to share the auction with your other celeb-lovin’ friends. Use the hashtag #21stBIRTHDAY to keep track of the auction on Twitter!

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    NEWS ROUND-UP: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2011

    Monday, November 21st, 2011

    In today’s news, the supercommittee will announce that it cannot come to a debt agreement; a man is charged in a New York City bomb plot; Michelle Obama was booed at a NASCAR race this weekend; and Newt Gingrich tells the 99% to “take a bath.” In entertainment news, Taylor Swift wins big at the AMAs, Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5 give a stellar AMAs performance, and Jack White will team up with John C. Reilly to re-release White Stripes singles.

    Coral + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL

    Debt supercommittee members brace for failure, http://wapo.st/tEvfEt
    The congressional supercommittee spent its final meeting on Sunday not pushing for a last minute debt crisis plan, but instead discussing how to admit their failure to the public. On Monday, the committee chairs, Senator Patty Murray and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, are expected to issue a joint statement announcing they have not struck a deal. This is Congress’ third big debt agreement fail this year.

    Cairo clashes cast doubts over Egypt vote, http://bit.ly/uC83gd
    On Sunday, Egypt’s military forces began clearing protesters out of Cairo’s Tahrir Square. As a result, at least 24 people have died and over a thousand have suffered injuries. The protesters are demanding the military hand over power. Even with the parliamentary elections coming up, the army retains executive power until a presidential election, which could not occur until early 2013.

    Man Arrested and Charged in Bomb Plot, http://nyti.ms/sYQpiH
    New York City’s government workers, returning military personnel and elected officials were the target of a man who planned to build a bomb and detonate it. Police arrested a 27-year-old Al Qaeda sympathizer, Jose Pimentel, a Manhattanite and U.S. citizen who had been under surveillance for two years. Pimentel was arrested for purchasing the materials to make explosives. He is believed to have acted alone as he has no actual connections to Al Qaeda. The suspect’s proclaimed heroes were Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

    Michigan lawmaker’s family accuses congressman of past sexual abuse of family member, http://bit.ly/saNwyI
    A cousin of Congressman Dale Kildee is accusing the lawmaker of sexually abusing him over 50 years ago. Patrick Kildee, who was12-years-old at the time of the first alleged abuse, was said to have been the victim of sexual molestation for five years. Rep. Kildee called the charges “completely false and shameful,” saying his second cousin only accused him after the Congressman recently refused him money and federal benefits. Kildee serves not only on the House Early Childhood Committee, but he also once oversaw the House Page Program which ended a few weeks after the Congressman announced he would not seek an 18th term.

    First Lady Michelle Obama Booed At NASCAR Race, http://bit.ly/tbTYaS
    First Lady Michelle Obama was booed at a NASCAR event Sunday, along with Dr. Jill Biden. The two had showed up at the Homestead-Miami Speedway to support Joining Forces, an initiative to hire veterans, but were less-than-welcomed when they were introduced at the start of the race. Despite this, the two women received a standing ovation at the earlier pre-race drivers meeting.

    Iran may have sent Libya shells for chemical weapons, http://wapo.st/sb34SU
    The Obama administration is investigating whether or not Iran supplied Gaddafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya has been keeping a secret for decades. Former Libyan rebels recently found shells filled with mustard gas, and while it’s not known for certain where the shells came from, a senior U.S. official said that he suspects Iran. Iran has dismissed the claims as U.S. propaganda. In 2004, Gaddafi had made an international promise to destroy all of the country’s chemical weapons.

    A Revolution in Canvassing Among Voters, http://nyti.ms/vLaP8L
    For the first time, technology is allowing candidates to log onto voter databases cell phones. So, don’t be surprised if the canvasser knocking on your door this election cycle knows details about your political leanings, voting history and even magazine subscriptions. This is the first election since legislative maps have been redrawn with data from the 2010 census. Even though collecting information about voters is not new, new technology is making the research more detailed and convenient for representatives who want information about recently registered constituents.

    Highlights from the GOP Thanksgiving Family Forum, http://reut.rs/rOZizR
    Newt Gingrich told Occupy Wall Street protesters to, “Go get a job. Right after you take a bath.” as he spoke to a group of Republicans at the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa. Gingrich attacked the protesters, saying they “start with a premise that we all owe them everything.” He continued, “They take over a public park they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they they don’t want to pay for.”

    CULTURAL

    Louie Dane says “From Disinterest to Self-Interest: Youth in Elections,” http://huff.to/u60l8X

    Doyle McManus wants “Another presidential gene pool,” http://lat.ms/s5dt1Z

    Mary Sanchez believes “School lunch policy: Let them eat crud,” http://trib.in/trBzPN

    Robert J. Samuelson tells us “Why there’s a debt stalemate,” http://wapo.st/uWRnYg

    Swift unstoppable at American Music Awards, http://apne.ws/8fKEVo

    Prince Harry’s Vegas Discovery: Free Drinks While Gambling, http://bit.ly/vx2H4r

    Britney Spears Video Tournament Kicks Off Today! http://on.mtv.com/sROpV6

    Jack White Teams With John C. Reilly, Reissues White Stripes Singles, More, http://p4k.in/uHSlrT

    AMAs 2011: Winners and Nominees Complete List, http://bit.ly/scgC1D

    Maroon 5 and Xtina Take Over the AMAs Stage, http://bit.ly/symMey

    coral@rockthevote.com
    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

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



    Rock the Vote 2012 Calendar

    Thursday, August 18th, 2011

    Founded more than twenty years ago at the intersection of popular culture and politics, Rock the Vote was created to support generations of young people who strive to create political and social change and get involved in the electoral process. The Rock the Vote 2012 wall calendar features select posters used in the organization’s outreach over the last two decades. This outreach provoked millions of young people to head to the polls.

    Not only does the calendar feature a look back at Rock the Vote’s history and campaigns, it also has a special QR code so you can use your mobile phone to register to vote. Get your calendar today to own some Rock the Vote history (not to mention, you’ll never forget another holiday or birthday!): http://bit.ly/out67M

    Below are Rock the Vote posters included in the calendar:

    February

    February

    August

    March – Christina Aguilera for the Rock the Vote 2008 Campaign

    January – Rock the Vote’s first ever campaign: Censorship is Unamerican

    May

    July – Rock the Vote 2008 Campaign

    November – Rock the Vote 2008 Campaign

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com