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    News Round-Up: Monday, January 27, 2014

    Monday, January 27th, 2014

    Multiple avalanches block a major road in Alaska; the motive behind Saturday’s Maryland mall shooting may be concealed in the shooter’s journal; a Congressman resigns; and a Penn State student is arrested on bomb charges. Meanwhile, the biggest night of music provided surprising wins, awesome fashion, and some awkward dance moves. Find out everything about the 2014 Grammy Awards right here!

    - Veronica + Maura 

    CRUCIAL

    Avalanches cut road travel to Valdez, Alaska: http://rtvote.com/M4WcdS
    Multiple avalanches have covered the only highway into Valdez, Alaska. Officials are urging residents to evacuate because water began to build up behind the debris and snow piles. A shelter has been created at a local high school for those who have chosen to evacuate their homes. The highway is expected to be closed for at least another week.

    Journal may reveal mall shooter’s motive: http://rtvote.com/1gjATmM
    The journal of 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar, the gunman responsible for the Maryland mall shooting on Saturday, may provide details of his motive. The journal was taken from Aguilar’s home after police responded to a missing persons report: before his identity as the shooter had been confirmed. The journal was taken by a police officer who said it contained “enough disturbing information” to cause worry. The contents of the journal have not been released.

    Rep. Trey Radel to resign from Congress After Drug Plea: http://rtvote.com/1gjDnl6
    Representative Trey Radel, a Republican Congressman from Florida convicted of possessing cocaine in November, will resign from Congress. As a freshman congressman, Radel took time off to attend rehab and vowed to stay in office as he sought treatment. The House Ethics Committee, who was looking into Radel’s case to see if he had broken other laws, will lose jurisdiction over his case after his resignation. Many candidates have their eyes on potentially running for his seat, including state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and, possibly, former Representative Connie Mack.

    Penn State student arrested for constructing ‘weapons of mass destruction’: http://rtvote.com/1eaJkxA
    Eighteen year-old Vladislav Miftakhov was arrested when police, investigating his room for a marijuana-related claim, found two homemade bombs and bomb-making materials. The Russian college student was charged with “risking catastrophe” and “unlawful possession of weapons of mass destruction.” Miftakhov told authorities he intended to use the explosives at some point.

    CULTURAL

    The biggest night in music has come to an end: see the complete list of winners here! http://rtvote.com/1fhWCZk

    View photos of the Grammys biggest performances here: http://rtvote.com/1mOt9H7

    Who rocked the red carpet, and who hit a sour note; see the best and worst dressed stars from the 2014 Grammys: http://rtvote.com/LfHrF8

    Macklemore texts Kendrick Lamar after Grammy win: http://rtvote.com/1f2A91r

     

    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: December 11, 2013

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

    The Nevada family that never returned from playing in the snow has been found and rescued; Senator Ted Cruz walks out on Cuban President Raul Castro’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service; and a family struggles to get people to help those with mental illnesses. Meanwhile, Demi Lovato talks about her struggles with cocaine addiction, and Kate Winslet gives birth to her first child!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Meteor explodes over Arizona; big meteor shower begins,http://rtvote.com/IPLo1k
    A tremendous boom rattled the houses of residents in Tucson, Arizona. The largest meteor shower of the year, Geminid, seemed to be giving them a sneak preview. A dash cam caught the spectacular meteor on video. The Geminid meter shower officially starts Thursday.

    Senator’s chief of staff under investigation involving child porn allegations,http://rtvote.com/1jOt0od
    Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Tuesday that law enforcement officials were searching the home of his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, regarding allegations involving child pornography. The Senator has placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. His office is fully cooperating with the investigation.

    Lost Nevada family warmed rocks by fire to survive snow for 2 days,http://rtvote.com/18C9iV8
    The Nevada family that went out to play in the snow and never returned has finally been found and rescued. James Glanton, 34, and his girlfriend, Christina McIntee, remained calm after their jeep overturned and slid down an embankment, trapping them in the cold weather. Glanton and McIntee cleverly warmed rocks to start a fire to keep the children, 3 to 10, warm at night. The hospital says they are stable with no frostbite, just some exposure issues.

    Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial,http://rtvote.com/18mkKcz
    Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, part of a Congressional delegation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, walked out of the service when Cuban President Raul Castro took to the stage and delivered his speech. A spokesperson for Cruz stated they he hopes that Castro can learn from the lessons of Mandela by releasing his political prisoners and holding free elections for the Cuban people. Before eulogizing Mandela, President Obama shook Raul Castro’s hand – a remarkable gesture between the leaders of two nations that have not shared diplomacy in over half a century.

    ‘My Son is Mentally Ill’ So Listen Uphttp://rtvote.com/1iXk16p
    Stephanie Escamilla and her 14-year-old son tell their powerful story of having a family member who has a mental illness. They urge this nation and its people to stop neglecting those who are mentally ill. 1 in 4 American adults suffer from mental illness; 1 in 5 children have a mental disorder. Something has to be done for those who are oftentimes bullied, ignored, and marginalized in society for their condition.

     

    CULTURAL

    LeAnn Rimes Breaks Down in Tears Singing at American Country Awards,http://rtvote.com/1iXmKwx

    Demi Lovato Talks Past Drug Use: “I Couldn’t Go 30 Minutes to an Hour Without Cocaine,” http://rtvote.com/1gpHuev

    Kate Winslet Gives Birth to a Baby Boy, Her First child With Husband Ned Rocknroll, http://rtvote.com/1h0kjot

    Katy Perry: Russell Brand Wanted Me to Have Children as a Way of Control,http://rtvote.com/18mnd6H

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 6, 2013

    Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

    Results from the 2013 elections are analyzed after victors are announced—with wins by Christie, McAuliffe, and De Blasio capturing the headlines; talks of gay marriage being legal in Illinois emerge; and the mayor of Toronto publically admits to smoking crack. Meanwhile, excitement brews around the 2013 CMA’s and a Hunger Games star cuts off their hair (can you guess who?).

    - Sandy + Maura
    CRUCIAL

    Christie wins re-election; seen as prelude to 2016http://rtvote.com/1cEFYEh
    Last night, Republican incumbent Chris Christie won re-election in New Jersey’s governor race with the help of female and Hispanic voters, beating out Democratic Senator Barbara Buono with over 60% of the total votes. This sets Governor Christie up as a very possible Republican candidate to run for president in 2016. However, Christie has yet to reveal his plans for a presidential candidacy.

    De Blasio Is Elected New York City Mayor in Landslidehttp://rtvote.com/1cEG0fz
    Bill de Blasio won NYC’s mayoral race, defeating his opponent, Joseph J. Lhota, by a margin of 49 percentage points, with 99 percent of the votes counted. De Blasio, a supporter of very liberal change, won over many New Yorkers by acknowledging rising frustrations with income inequality, aggressive policing tactics, and lack of affordable housing. The new mayor will become the first Democrat to lead NY in a generation.

    Why Terry McAuliffe barely wonhttp://rtvote.com/19DNkV2
    In the days leading up to Election Day, public opinion polls showed that Democrat Terry McAuliffe had a very good lead on Republican Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia’s governor race. The final results pegged McAuliffe as the winner, but only by less than 3 percentage points leaving the race much closer than expected.

    Lawmakers approve gay marriage in Illinoishttp://rtvote.com/1hNol4Q
    Will Illinois be the 15th state to legalize gay marriage? It sure seems like it! Lawmakers approved a bill that extended the right to wed to same-sex couples yesterday. Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign the bill, which would go into effect on June 1, 2014.

    Toronto Mayor Admits Crack Use, as Wild Ride in Office Continueshttp://rtvote.com/1baaqkI
    Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, 44, is no stranger to public acts of drunken belligerence and other inappropriate behavior. In May, Ford denied smoking crack cocaine when questioned, but yesterday he officially admitted to using the drug. However, don’t expect him to be stepping down anytime soon. Up until this point, his right-of-center, suburban supporters have remained loyal. However, this most recent scandal may have been too much for his core constituency.

    CULTURAL

    Jennifer Lawrence Cuts Off Hair—See Pixie Cut on Hunger Games Star, http://rtvote.com/18ZxEHe

    Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour Kicks Off on Valentine’s Day 2014, http://rtvote.com/17F8UtU

    CMA Awards Ballot: Who should/will win?, http://rtvote.com/HxFMIB

    Lady Gaga to Sing In Space in 2015, http://rtvote.com/1arWPT8

    Kris Jenner Celebrates 58th Birthday with Family, Given Cake with Her Face on it, http://rtvote.com/17N1zGz

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 1, 2013

    Friday, November 1st, 2013

    Food stamp cuts set in; a super-sophisticated secret underground tunnel used for smuggling drugs from Mexico to the U.S. is discovered; and the iPad Air makes its debut. Meanwhile, Heidi Klum officially wins the Most Awesome Celebrity award for her Halloween costume, and Kristin Stewart reunites with Robert Pattinson.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Families brace as billions in food stamp cuts set inhttp://rtvote.com/1ahKIba
    Benefit cuts to food stamp recipients begin today. This comes from Congress’s decision to cut $5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in exchange for increased education funding and school nutrition programs. An increased number of needy Americans will turn to organizations that already provide meals to hungry citizens, like food pantries and the Campaign Against Hunger.

    US discovers huge hi-tech Mexican drug-smuggling tunnelhttp://rtvote.com/1hzxE8o
    Authorities have discovered one of the most sophisticated drug smuggling passages, running from warehouses in Tijuana to San Diego. The secret underground tunnel is the length of almost six football fields and is equipped with lighting, ventilation, and an electric rail system. Upon discovery, authorities found 8.5 tons of marijuana and 327 pounds of cocaine.

    Trick or treat? Canada seizes three cocaine-filled pumpkins at airporthttp://rtvote.com/1f8kcX6
    Canadian officials seized three pumpkins at the Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Cocaine-filled pumpkins, that is. Authorities found them while searching through a female traveler’s luggage. An investigation is currently underway.

    Internal notes show paltry initial enrollment in Obamacarehttp://rtvote.com/16SO7x0
    Notes from a “war room” meeting at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance revealed that only six Americans successfully enrolled in the federal health care exchange on the first day of the rollout. This number has been gradually increasing, and Joanne Peters, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman, is confident that the pace of enrollment will pick up.

    Best Deals for iPad Airhttp://rtvote.com/HsZRQG
    The new iPad Air debuts today – but before you whip out your wallet, make sure you read through this. Find out where and how to get the best deals on Apple’s latest gimmick.
     

    PUNDITS

    Senator Bernie Sanders discusses how our healthcare system could be more cost-effective without sacrificing programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in “Don’t cut the big benefit programs,”http://rtvote.com/1h614NS

    Facebook users and USA Today readers weigh in on HHS Secretary Sebelius’s apology at Wednesday’s congressional hearing in “Should Sebelius step down for Obamacare woes?” http://rtvote.com/17xwg4F

    CULTURAL

    Heidi Klum goes geriatric for Halloween, http://rtvote.com/1hzs7Pq

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Sue YouTube Cofounder Over Leaked Proposal Footage,http://rtvote.com/1bJBE1x

    Kristen Stewart Spends Time With Robert Pattinson at His House: All the Details and New Photos,http://rtvote.com/17BSr7D

    Pamela Anderson Chops Off Hair, Is Unrecognizable With New Pixie Cut, http://rtvote.com/16SVUuS

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    NEWS ROUND-UP: THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

    Thursday, April 5th, 2012

    A suicide in Greece sparks protests; an old practice is on the rise in Afghanistan; Arianna Huffington will have more control at AOL; painkiller usage is on the rise; Augusta National still has no female members; a Wisconsin woman is wrongfully turned away at the polls; and Mitt Romney’s Independent support is dropping. Elsewhere, guitar amp pioneer Jim Marshall has died, and reports say cocaine was found in Whitney’s room.

    Aaron + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Pensioner suicide prompts Athens protest http://f24.my/HVjgDW
    A 77 year-old retired pharmacist publicly commit suicide in protest over austerity measures in Greece on Wednesday. The Greek pensioner stated that he would rather end his life than forage through garbage for food. As Greece continues to cut government spending, the economy is not improving and the quality of life for Greeks continues to drop. The country’s economy has led to sharp yearly increases in suicides since 2010. Similar to the suicide of a vegetable peddler in Tunisia, this man’s death is seen as a focal point for protest groups.

    Afghanistan sees rise in ‘dancing boys’ exploitation http://wapo.st/HgxqSL
    The practice of Bacha Bazi is on the rise in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Bacha Bazi is when adult men take on young male partners. It is roughly translated into English as dancing boys. The boys are taken at young ages and trained and groomed for their jobs as dancers and for sexually pleasing their masters. The Taliban forbid this activity and would punish it with death. However, there is a weak police force currently in Afghanistan and many international NGOs are not fighting the practice. Once the boys grow up, they are discarded, often becoming pimps, prostitutes or drug addicts.

    America’s romance with sprawl may be over http://usat.ly/HiEkW1
    After the recent recession, Americans are becoming more wary of living on the outskirts of cities due to economic factors that make renting and public transportation more attractive. Statistics show that virtually every county with over 1 million residents has grown, many of them growing at faster rates than the rest of the nation. The growth of urban areas can also be contributed to aging baby boomers and Millennials’ preference for living in cities over suburban areas.

    Electronic Dance Concerts Turn Up Volume, Tempting Investors http://nyti.ms/Hfzziy
    Electric dance music is in the middle of an incredible boom. The genre, which has spent much time on the fringe, has infiltrated mainstream culture, and traditional promoters are looking to see how they can profit off of it. LiveNation, which consolidated rock promoters in the 1990s into a national promotion group, is one of the groups looking to purchase small electric dance promoters. However, many people fear that it will not be easy to just buy a successful promoter and take over their business. The wave can be considered a dot-com boom for electric promotion groups.

    Voter thwarted in Waukesha for lack of ID http://bit.ly/Hdpj6d
    A woman and her 87-year-old mother were turned away from a Wisconsin polling place after the octogenarian lacked photo ID. Although Wisconsin had previously passed a bill requiring a bill, courts had struck that law down, and for this election photo IDs were not necessary. After being turned away, the woman contacted the Government Accountability Board who said that she should return to the polling place and to call again if she was given a hard time. By that time, however, it was too late for that woman’s mother to go back and vote, for it was past 8 p.m. and polls had closed.

    Masters Prestige Seen as Reason IBM Stays While CEO Excluded http://bloom.bg/HW19hq
    Historically, the CEOs of Masters sponsors are given membership at the Augusta National Golf Club. IBM is a Masters sponsor, but their new CEO, Ginni Rometty, is a woman. Augusta National has never offered membership to a woman. There is not much uproar from IBM over this exclusion, however. Allegedly, a sponsorship of the Masters tournament is so prestigious that it would not be in IBM or Rometty’s interests to make a fuss about the exclusion.

    Painkiller sales soar across U.S., spread to new areas http://usat.ly/Hw4h15
    Oxycodone and Hydrocodone sales have skyrocketed in the last decade. The increases are due to three things, one is the aging US population, another is doctors’ willingness to treat pain with pills, and the last is growing addiction rates. Production and consumption were so high in 2010 that every American could have consumed 200 mg of Percocet  or 120 mg of Vicodin. Unlike other drugs, painkiller hot spots are rural Appalachia and affluent suburbs. But in the last decade, addictions have spread to the rest of the population. States have tried to track opiate purchases, but without a national registry it is hard to prevent abuse.

    CULTURAL:

    Rihanna Says Fallout from Chris Brown Attack Was ‘My Liberation,’ http://bit.ly/HXOURr

    Extent of cocaine use revealed in official Houston autopsy report, http://bit.ly/I65vkl

    Guitar amp pioneer Jim Marshall dies aged 88, http://trib.in/HierHG

    Keith Olbermann Disses Current: ‘Those People Have No Idea What They’re Doing,’ http://bit.ly/I6rBnf

    Nothing can sink ‘Titanic,’ http://bit.ly/I10oHr

    Sotheby’s sued for return of 10th century Cambodian statue, http://tgr.ph/HVFyW4

    Donald Trump vs. Gloria Allred: Transgender beauty battle, http://bit.ly/Hq4jYv

    Aaron Ghitelman
    Bio:

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