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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

    Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

    President Obama intends to discuss raising the minimum wage for some Federal workers in his State of the Union Address tonight; John W. Warner surprises many by endorsing his Democratic successor Mark Warner; and peace talks in the Middle East have led to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreeing to a three year transition period. Meanwhile, legendary folk singer Pete Seeger passed away today and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ will premiere its 200th episode tonight!

    -Gianna & Maura

    Obama to raise minimum wage for some Federal Workers, http://rtvote.com/MpuoSk
    In tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama plans to announce his intention of using an executive order to raise the minimum wage for some federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. The White House released a statement saying,“The President is using his executive authority to lead by example, and will continue to work with Congress to finish the job for all Americans by passing the (congressional) bill.” The State of the Union Address will air tonight at 9PM EST.

     Ex-GOP Sen. John Warner Endorses Dem, http://rtvote.com/M9K5MN
    Former Republican Senator John Warner has earned a reputation as a party maverick for bucking conservatives who won control of the GOP during his 30 year tenure in the US Senate. The former senator praised Democrat Mark Warner in his interview with the Associated Press as being a politician who understands the importance of bipartisan solutions. Mark Warner is grateful for his former opponent’s support and lauded John Warner as “The Gold Standard of Virginia”.

    Colorado High School Student Sets Self on fire in Cafeteria, http://rtvote.com/M9OpeJ
    A student at a local Denver high school set himself on fire in the school cafeteria. The unnamed 16 year-old student remains in critical condition as family, friends, school faculty, and police attempt to figure out what led the student to set himself on fire. Yesterday was the latest incident to affect the Denver area school community in recent weeks.

    Bill to Offer an Option to Give Vouchers, http://rtvote.com/1mRTtzT
    Senator Lamar Alexander, who served as Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, is planning to introduce a bill sometime today that would give federal money to the parents of 11 million children from low income families to spend on any type of schooling, as long as it is an accredited institution. Under this legislation, states would be given the option to opt in to the voucher program. About a third of states have already taken steps to redefine public education with a network of vouchers and scholarships. The rollout of Senator Alexander’s bill is seen as being a rallying point for Republicans as they approach mid-term election season.

    Palestinian President Says He Can Accept a 3 year transition period, http://rtvote.com/1dL3U2Z
    President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said in an interview that he can accept an Israeli military presence in the West Bank for three years as part of a peace deal. Mr. Mahmoud said,“We are willing to allow a third party to take Israel’s place during and after a withdrawal in order to soothe our concerns and Israel’s.”

    Pete Seeger, American Folk singer and songwriter dies at 94- http://rtvote.com/1e4voqq
    Rosie O’Donnell returning to The View as a guest seven years after bitter exit- http://rtvote.com/1hITkOm
    Kate Middleton will be attending The National Portrait Gala- http://rtvote.com/1f7MhOY
    ‘How I Met Your Mother’ will air the 200th episode tonight- http://rtvote.com/1iGUj5j

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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

    News Round-Up: December 10, 2013

    Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

    Some Colorado residents are preparing their guns for some drone-hunting; the winter weather is closing offices, getting flights cancelled, and posing a real safety threat; and GM names the very first woman to run a major automaker. Meanwhile, Lea Michele releases a preview of her debut single, and Miley is named MTV’s best artist of 2013.

    -Sandy + Maura



    Colorado town’s vote on drone ordinance postponedhttp://rtvote.com/18zSP6I
    A vote on a drone ordinance is currently on hold as a court determines the ordinance’s legality. If passed, it would allow Deer Trail residents to shoot down federal drones. The FAA is concerned that this could lead to criminal or civil liability. Responses are mixed; one of the biggest concerns of drone use is trespassing.

    Extreme cold raises fears for 2 adults, 4 children missing in Nevada snowhttp://rtvote.com/J23bCO
    As the winter weather hits many parts of the U.S., federal offices in DC close as more sleet and snow are expected. New York and Philadelphia are expected to receive several inches of snow, and temperatures will drop to about 10-20 degrees below normal in many areas. Rescue teams in Nevada are also searching for two adults and four children who went out to play in the snow and never returned. Please keep warm and stay safe, everyone.

    Friends say student killed by officer was gentle; police say he struck officerhttp://rtvote.com/1hKFvBV
    Robert Cameron Redus, 23, who many describe as a gentle and compassionate honor student, was shot and killed by a campus police officer at his Catholic college in Texas last week. Redus allegedly hit the officer with his own baton after a night of drinking, and when Redus failed to comply with Cpl. Christopher Carter’s orders to stop resisting, Carter fired six shots at Redus. Five of those shots hit Redus and ended the student’s life.

    GM names Mary Barra as CEO – first woman to run major automakerhttp://rtvote.com/1bAhbP4
    Mary Barra, an executive vice president and 33-year GM veteran, will succeed current CEO Dan Akerson on January 15 and become the first woman to run a major automaker. GM shares are up more than 40% so far this year, and the company has earned nearly $20 billion in net income since 2010 – the year it returned to profitability after emerging from bankruptcy. Congrats, Mary Barra! This is huge!

    Can airships revolutionize transportation in world’s harshest environments?http://rtvote.com/19zuzij
    First, the drones. Now, new and improved airships? Scientists and engineers are really making strides in the world of technology. U.S.-based airship company Aeros and Icelandic airline Icelandair Cargo intend to team up to develop a new air freight service cross the Arctic. They hope to deliver standard cargo, troops, and disaster relief supplies into remote and inhospitable terrain. The new airship, dubbed the Aeroscraft, is capable of true vertical takeoff and landing, thus eliminating the need for runways. Aeros has also hinted at possible use of these airships as “floating hotels” and “sky yachts for millionaires” in the future.



    Lea Michele Releases Preview of Debut Single “Cannonball” – Plus, Check Out Her Album Cover for Louder,http://rtvote.com/1kwe1wF

    Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie Have a Simple Life Reunion in Miami, http://rtvote.com/1bv3Y99

    Brandi Glanville Apologizes for Her Racist Joke on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hillshttp://rtvote.com/18ztyXt

    Miley Cyrus is MTV’s best artist of 2013, http://rtvote.com/18ktcsM


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

    News Round-Up: Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Thursday, September 12th, 2013

    Vladimir Putin writes NY Times Op-ed; CIA delivers weapons to Syrian rebels; Colorado flash floods kill 2 people; and a secret Koch brother’s group is revealed to the public. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks has jury duty issues; Lady Gaga talks Miley; JT and Jessica Biel caught smooching; and Prince William leaves the military to be full-time royal.



    U.S weapons reaching Syrian rebels, http://rtvote.com/17Z1gG3
    A flow of materials from the U.S. to Syrian rebels now marks what is being viewed as a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war. The CIA began delivering weapons to rebels ending months of delay in lethal aid promised by the Obama Administration. Other types of aid that includes vehicles, communications equipment, and advanced combat medical kits are also being delivered.

    Vladimir Putin’s comments on American exceptionalism, Syria cause fusshttp://rtvote.com/17Z2jpq
    Vladimir Putin has caught the attention of Americans by writing an opinion piece in today’s New York Times op-ed column, causing a flurry of reactions. Putin says he wrote the article to “speak directly to American people and their political leaders.”

    Flash floods wash away homes, kill at least 2 near Boulder Colorado, http://rtvote.com/17Z3Fk3
    Torrential rains caused at least 2 deaths Thursday in Boulder, Colorado. The National Weather Service described the conditions as “life threatening” in an emergency message issued just after midnight local time for areas around Boulder where 6.5 inches of rain fell in the last 24 hours.

    Exclusive: The Koch brothers’ secret bank, http://rtvote.com/17Z4p8R
    An Arlington, Virginia based conservative group called Freedom Partners, that raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape the political and policy debate nationwide, has been revealed. The group served as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.


    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Share Rare PDA at U.S. Open, http://rtvote.com/15mUaMX

    Lady Gaga Talks Miley Cyrus at the VMAs On ‘WWHL’: ‘Lighten Up and Leave Her Alone’, http://rtvote.com/15mS3Jh

    ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff: ‘Better Call Saul’ Prequel Happening at AMC, http://rtvote.com/15mT1VU

    Prince William to Leave the Military and Become Full-Time Royal, http://rtvote.com/17YWSH5

    Tom Hanks’ jury duty service leads to misconduct allegation, http://rtvote.com/17Z0Tv6

    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

    News Round-Up: Monday, June 24, 2013

    Monday, June 24th, 2013

    A Pakistani actress suffers an acid attack; Nelson Mandela is now in critical condition; Edward Snowden goes missing; Twinkies are set to make a comeback July 15; a transgender first-grader from Colorado wins a civil rights case allowing him to use the girls’ bathroom at school; Nik Wallenda successfully crosses the Grand Canyon on a tight rope; and the Texas House tentatively passes an abortion bill. Meanwhile, Earth, Wind and Fire are set to release a new album in September, and Monsters University tops the box office at $82 million.

    Maura + Alexis


    Pakistani actress burned in acid attack, http://aje.me/17v5zx2
    An 18-year-old Pakistani actress was attacked Saturday while sleeping in her home. The actress, who goes by the name Bushra, is popular in the northwest for her film, television, and theatre appearances. Bushra was immediately taken to Lady Reading Hospital after the incident. Bushra’s brother claims the man who threw the acid on his sister is a local TV drama producer who was upset over Bushra’s decision not to marry him.

    Nelson Mandela in Critical Condition, http://on.wsj.com/12bHNB6
    Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former leader and hero, is in critical condition after spending over two weeks in the hospital treating a lung infection. The 94-year-old transitioned from serious but stable to critical condition within the past 24 hours.

    Edward Snowden missing after failing to fly to Cuba, http://bit.ly/12Z4tXo
    Edward Snowden was expected to be on a flight from Moscow to Havana today, but was nowhere to be seen. Although the US has been trying to keep other nations from providing him asylum, everyone has the right to seek political asylum by UN rules.

    ‘Sweetest comeback’: Twinkies to hit shelves July 15, http://nbcnews.to/14RG9FX
    Hostess has decided to restock store shelves with the American favorite – Twinkies – July 15. Although the company went bankrupt last year as a result of a fight with its unionized workers, new owners have taken the reins and its sweets are set to be back on shelves by mid-July.

    Colorado transgender first-grader Coy Mathis wins civil rights case, http://bit.ly/16sJr1L
    The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of a 6-year-old transgender boy who was once barred from using the girls’ bathroom at school. Coy Mathis, born a boy, had been using the girls’ bathroom at school every day until holiday break. At that time, her parents received a notice from the school saying that Coy would not be able to return to using the girls’ bathroom following the holiday break. Her very supportive parents were furious, and filed a civil rights complaint in February. Finally, four months later, the Mathis family can rest at ease.

    Daredevil Nik Wallenda completes high-wire walk across Grand Canyon, http://reut.rs/15wUwwb
    U.S. daredevil Nik Wallenda completed his second historic high-wire walk yesterday over the Grand Canyon. He walked 1,400 feet over the Colorado River in 22 minutes and 54 seconds. He is the first person to ever cross teh canyon on a 2-inch steel cable with neither a tether nor a safety net. Last year Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of a family of acrobats, completed a similar high-wire walk over the Niagara Falls with the same cable.

    Texas House tentatively passes abortion bill, 97-33, http://bit.ly/17xlPNT
    With a vote of 97-33, the Texas House of Representatives tentatively passed the Senate’s catch-all abortion bill. While some cheered as the legislation was passed, others shouted “Shame” claiming the war on women had begun. Of the 19 not present for the vote, 18 of them were Democrats, which could have had a large impact on the vote.


    Earth, Wind & Fire Album, ‘Now, Then & Forever,’ Set For Sept. 10, http://huff.to/144SMfH

    Adrian Grenier, ‘How To Make Money Selling Drugs’ Producer, On Obama: ‘I’d Like To See Him Be A Little Bolder’, http://huff.to/19ku4xB

    ‘Mad Men’ Finale: Shocking Revelations And Oh My, That Dress!, http://huff.to/19vFpqZ

    Elton John’s ‘The Diving Board’ Album To Arrive In September, http://huff.to/10NGpGR

    ‘MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’: Pixar stays perfect as ‘Monsters’ prequel ($82M) tops box office, http://wapo.st/14rd5D7

    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

    News Round-Up: Monday, June 17, 2013

    Monday, June 17th, 2013

    The DNI denies claim that NSA analysts were able to listen to domestic phone calls without warrants; Turkey threatens to send army out to stop protesters; IRS supervisor in D.C. admits to targeting conservatives; many residents have returned home after being evacuated due to fires in Colorado; a Chinese dissident claims that China pressured NYU to ask him to leave; Miss Connecticut was crowned Miss USA; and the Supreme Court decision regarding DOMA could greatly impact immigration reform. Meanwhile, Jeff Garlin is arrested for beating in a car window, and Rihanna’s song ‘Stay’ enters AC Top 10.

    Maura + Alexis


    DNI denies NSA analysts can tap calls without a warrant, http://bit.ly/14EJPL5
    The U.S. intelligence community shot down claims that NSA analysts were able to listen to domestic phone conversations without warrants. According to a statement released by the office of the Director of National Intelligence, “Members have been briefed on the implementation of Section 702, that it targets foreigners located overseas for a valid foreign intelligence purpose, and that it cannot be used to target Americans anywhere in the world.”

    Turkey threatens to deploy army to end unrest, http://aje.me/18Q0hN0
    The Turkish deputy prime minister has informed the public that the army may be asked to intervene to stop ongoing protests if the police fail to restore order. The threat arose in response to a one-day strike held by two union federations over the forced evictions of protesters – a group of about 800,000 workers.

    AP: IRS official in D.C. reviewed tea party applications, http://cbsn.ws/12CEQvc
    An IRS supervisor admits to being personally involved in the agency’s targeting of tea party groups. She says that some of the requests for tax-exempt statuses were held for more than a year without action. Holly Paz, a supervisor in Washington, D.C., contradicts the original claims by the agency that only small groups of agents working out of Cincinnati were responsible for the so-called “targeting” of applications based on party affiliation. Paz has given no evidence, however, to support the suspicion that senior IRS officials ordered agents to target these groups.

    Residents return home after destructive Colorado blaze, http://usat.ly/11RoEEu
    While the cause of the fire is still unkown, Colorado officials stated Sunday that the fire has burned about 21,000 acres of the state, and firefighters are working hard to contain the fire that is now approaching Colorado Springs. The fire is currently 65 percent contained. Many residents were able to return to their homes Sunday. Two people have been found dead, but all people have been accounted for.

    China pressured U.S. university to make him leave, dissident says, http://reut.rs/10oSfqK
    A Chinese dissident who fled China to become a visiting scholar at NYU accused the institution Sunday of pressuring him to leave. He attributes the school’s interest in asking him to leave to “unrelenting pressure” from China. NYU has denied the claim, and has explained that Chen Guangcheng’s fellowship was only meant to last a year and was expected to end this summer.

    Miss USA Crown Goes to Connecticut Contestant, http://abcn.ws/17gh9Mc
    Miss Connecticut has been crowned Miss USA. Erin Brady will leave her job as an accountant behind as she pursues the duties associated with her new title. One of Brady’s goals moving forward is to dispel negative attitudes some hold about pageants.

    Supreme Court DOMA Ruling Looms Over Immigration Overhaul, http://abcn.ws/ZXzM22
    While a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill would address same-sex couples, the Supreme Court just might beat them to it. The Supreme Court is currently ruling on the DOMA case. If DOMA is struck down, the question of whether the immigration law can apply to same-sex couples will no longer be a question. If DOMA is upheld on the other hand, legal uncertainty will continue for gay couples.


    Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ Enters Adult Contemporary Top 10, A First For The Singer, http://huff.to/14dmqhQ

    ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Trailer: Martin Scorsese Likes ‘Yeezus’ Too? (Or At Least Paramount’s Marketing Team Does), http://huff.to/19Jc5zV

    No Loki In ‘Avengers 2′? Joss Whedon Says Tom Hiddleston Won’t Return For Sequel, http://huff.to/10qq5LT

    Girl Meets World Officially Picked Up by Disney Channel: Find Out What Cory and Topanga Are Up To!, http://eonli.ne/1640WFh

    ‘Curb’ Star Jeff Garlin Arrested For Alleged Window Rage, http://tmz.me/ZTYsbK

    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