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    News Round-Up: Thursday, February 27, 2014

    Thursday, February 27th, 2014

    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoes SB 1062; Michelle Obama supports the FDA’s new rules for food labels; President Obama unveils “My Brother’s Keeper”; and NASA discovers 715 new planets. Meanwhile, Seth Rogan goes to Washington; Fast & Furious 7 resumes production soon; and it’s almost Oscar Night: see the nominees one more time!

    - Veronica + Maura

     CRUCIAL

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes anti-gay bill: http://rtvote.com/1hshIoc
    Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, the highly controversial Arizona bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to or turn away members of the LGBT community based on religious beliefs. Brewer said in a statement: “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.” Opponents to the bill praised Brewer, while supporters of the bill believed the veto was a shot to religious freedom.

    Obama to detail program to help minority youth: http://rtvote.com/1fLN6xW
    President Obama will announce details on his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative on Thursday. The initiative is a partnership between businesses, organizations, and the government that will hopefully help “high risk” minority men stay out of jail through skills training. Several philanthropic groups have already pledged to funnel $200 million over the next five years into the program. The Obama administration and the organizations involved will analyze the effectiveness of existing programs that have similar aims as “My Brother’s Keeper” does and figure out how they can be reformed or maintained to improve effectiveness.

    Nutrition labels getting a makeover: http://rtvote.com/1ccfA5d
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed changing the nutrition labels found on every packaged food and drink. New labels would put a heavier focus on calories per serving and percent daily value, and the serving sizes will be changed to reflect the average amount of the product people consume. First Lady Michelle Obama is vehemently supporting the changes, saying in a press release that the new labels will “make a big difference for families all across the country.”

    Seoul: N. Korea fired short-range missiles into sea: http://rtvote.com/1ftGjum
    South Korean officials report that North Korea fired four short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday in an apparent protest of military exercises occurring between the United States and South Korea. Pyongyang believes that these exercises are a “rehearsal for invasion”. The launch could also be a plea for international attention in order to obtain more aid negotiations from foreign countries.

    NASA discovers 715 new planets: http://rtvote.com/1gEUNE6
    NASA announced Wednesday that they have found 715 new planets, making it the largest planetary discovery in history. To put this in perspective, before the announcement, there had been 1,000 planets discovered in the Milky Way galaxy. Four of these planets, scientists believe, have the potential to support life. The four are each about twice the size of Earth, and one orbits a star half the size of the sun every 30 days. The planets were discovered using the Kepler space observatory’s telescope. Launched in 2009, these 715 planets are only from Kepler’s first two years in space, meaning there could be more to come.

    CULTURAL

    Watch Seth Rogan in Congress! http://rtvote.com/1jDz3v7

    More Bieber drama after police release footage: http://rtvote.com/1jDzrKf

    Are Matthew Bellamy and Kate Hudson breaking up? http://rtvote.com/1cq4nZk 

    Fast & Furious 7 scheduled to resume production in April: http://rtvote.com/1eqa9OS

    Quick refresher before Oscars Sunday: see the nominees! http://rtvote.com/1mIZq7C

    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: Friday, February 14, 2014

    Friday, February 14th, 2014

    Tens of thousands evacuate Indonesia after volcanic eruption; Facebook adds up to 10 gender pronoun choices; snow hits hard on the East Coast; and President Obama announces a $1 billion climate fund proposal. Meanwhile, the day you’ve been LONG waiting for has arrived—House of Cards Season 2 is on Netflix!; an Olympic skier saves some adorable puppies in Sochi; and in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we have a list of 21 awkward greeting cards that will make your sides hurt with laughter.

    Happy Valentine’s Day Rockers!

    -Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    D.C. Region Begins Digging Out After Major Snowstorm Finally Moves On, http://rtvote.com/MRS1m3 Grab your snow boots and watch out for the ice! Another snowstorm swept through the region yesterday, blanketing major parts of the East Coast. The wintry onslaught left at least 21 people dead, including a pregnant woman who was struck by a snowplow in New York City. On Wednesday and Thursday, the snowstorm moved up from the South and left 1.2 million utility customers without power. And, as for snow coverage, the Northeast region near Pennsylvania got more than 22 inches and parts of upstate New York got 27!

    Indonesia Volcano Erupts; 76,000 Evacuated, Most of Java’s Airport Shut, http://rtvote.com/1dsISL8
    The Mount Kelud volcano, located in the province of East Java in Indonesia, erupted Thursday night sending 10 miles of ash into the air. Over 76,000 people have now fled their homes and flights across most of Java, Indonesia’s densely populated island, were grounded. Mount Kelud is one of 130 active volcanoes in the world’s fourth most populous country, which sits along the “Ring of Fire” volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

    Vladimir Putin Visits Team USA in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/1nyRPUd
    Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the USA House, which is a meeting place for the athletes and their families. The visit had been kept low key, and visitors at the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters were stunned when he appeared. Mr. Putin has been making his rounds sporadically at national organizing committee spotlights.

    Facebook Opens Up LBGTQ-Friendly Gender Identity And Pronoun Options, http://rtvote.com/1bRXkIm Facebook recently updated gender options for their users.  Aside from the usual “male” and “female” options, users can choose up to 10 different gender definitions to describe themselves out of more than 50 options.  Some of those options include, “cisgender”, “transgender”, and “intersex.” Not only will the gender choice show up on the user’s About page, but it will show up in all other pronouns on the site that refer to that user.

    Obama to propose $1 billion climate fund, http://rtvote.com/1kHD0Se
    In an effort to bring climate change to the forefront, President Obama is preparing to ask Congress to set up a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund” in his proposed budget next month. According to the White House, the fund would go to research on the projected impacts of climate change, help communities prepare for climate change’s effects, and fund “breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.” On Friday, the President will travel to Fresno, California to discuss the impact of drought in the Western U.S. and to announce his climate fund proposal.

    CULTURAL

    Skier Gus Kenworthy Proves His Heart of Gold By Saving Puppies in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/MPtvlE

    The Coolest Teachers Ever Announce Snow Day With Hilarious Rap,http://rtvote.com/1btlluR

    21 Awkward Valentine’s Day Cards For Your Confusing Modern Relationship, http://rtvote.com/1c3KhHg

    Bethenny Frankel’s Daytime Talk Show Cancelled, Not Renewed for Second Season, http://rtvote.com/1dPCppi

    President Obama’s Twitter Account: No ‘House of Cards’ Spoilers,http://rtvote.com/1gAmTly

    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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Thursday, January 30th, 2014
    A 3-year-old boy falls victim to a Mafia hit in Italy; another congressman is set to retire; Amanda Knox is back on trial and awaiting a verdict; and the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a fire was laid to rest yesterday. Meanwhile, the Academy Awards committee revokes a nomination; Jerry Seinfeld might have hinted at a Seinfeld reunion; the men of Full House sing Jimmy Fallon a classic lullaby; and Justin Bieber is back in the news.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Boy, 3, executed in alleged mob hit: http://rtvote.com/1loaari
    A 3-year-old boy was shot along with his grandfather and another person in an apparent Mafia hit. The grandfather, Giuseppe Innaicelli, was believed to be the intended target. One of the most powerful Mafia syndicates in the world – ‘Ndrangheta – is believed to be responsible for the crime. The killing shocked Italy and even drew the attention of the Pope, who asked people Sunday to pray for the boy (known as Coco) and call on the members responsible to ask forgiveness.

    Democratic Representative Henry Waxman to retire at end of term: http://rtvote.com/1eiWR69
    Representative Henry Waxman of California announced today that he will not seek reelection for a 21st Congressional term this election year. He is now one of the 7 House Democrats who have announced their refusal to run for reelection; 10 Republican House members have also announced their retirement. Although Waxman has vehemently chastised Tea Party Republicans in Congress, he has denied this as the reason for his departure. “After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark…” Waxman said. 

    Verdict due in third murder trial of Amanda Knox: http://rtvote.com/1hRPcM7
    A verdict is due in the ongoing trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. The two were charged in the gruesome 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher. Knox and Sollecito have been to court twice and were found guilty in one trial and innocent in the other. The Italian Supreme Court revoked the ‘innocent’ ruling, saying that key evidence had been left out of the trial. Prosecutors want Knox and Sollecito to serve 26 years in prison. 

    Doctors try to wake Schumacher from coma: http://rtvote.com/1n1mR6R
    Michael Schumacher, the German former Formula One champion, has been in a coma since December 29th, when he sustained serious head injuries at a ski resort in France. His condition has stabilized enough that doctors are trying to wake him out of his induced coma. The family has requested privacy throughout his ordeal, but Schumacher’s manager has spoken out to clear media leaks.

    Boy who saved 6 declared honorary firefighter at funeral: http://rtvote.com/Lt29RZ
    Tyler Doohan, the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a house fire before perishing, was buried yesterday. To honor his bravery, Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebemeyer presented a fire helmet at the funeral and made Tyler an honorary firefighter. People from all over the country came to Fariport, New York to be at Tyler’s funeral to honor his heroism. 

    CULTURAL

    Oscar nomination for Best Original Song revoked: http://rtvote.com/1batGxU

    Full House cast sings a lullaby to Jimmy Fallon: http://rtvote.com/1aKtMl3

    Did Jerry Seinfeld kind of confirm a Seinfeld reunion? http://rtvote.com/1a467vr

    Justin Bieber’s horrendous 2014 start: http://rtvote.com/1hSakBN

    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, January 29, 2014

    Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

    The State of the Union Address was delivered last night; southern states are caught completely unprepared for snowfall; Congressman threatens reporter; and reading gap due to wealth increases. Meanwhile, Bieber returns to the States; Miley and Madonna sing a duet on MTV; a possible real-life love triangle surfaces in Hollywood; and a famous rock and roll band calls it quits.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    State of the Union: Obama calls for action, with or without Congress: http://rtvote.com/1fwyC2L
    Last night marked the delivery of President Obama’s fifth State of the Union Address. The address called for changes to the tax code, investment in alternative energy, and equal pay for women. President Obama received a standing ovation when he encouraged Congress to work alongside him instead of against him, and brought tears to the eyes of many Americans when telling the story of Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, an injured war veteran. Overall, a majority of viewers believed that the policies listed in the address will help the economy, and the address was generally well-received.

    Stranded, cold motorists spend nights on freeways after rare snow in South: http://rtvote.com/1k7ijfI
    Travelers in Alabama and Georgia were left in traffic, stranded on the roads- sometimes 16 hours after leaving work or school. Light snow, sleet, and freezing rain are wreaking havoc on Southern states unaccustomed to dealing with this type of weather. At the first sign of snow, people left their jobs, thinking they could deal with the weather. They couldn’t, resulting in spin-outs, accidents, and traffic jams miles long. Currently, people are trying to help stranded travelers while the government is telling its citizens to stay home.

    Rep. Grimm on why he threatened reporter: http://rtvote.com/1jJcxTW
    Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY), threatened a NY1 reporter, Michael Scotto, after last night’s State of the Union Address. Scotto tried to ask Grimm about a federal investigation pertaining to his campaign finances. This question sparked the threat. Grimm said in an email to NY1 and other news stations that Scotto took a “disrespectful and cheap shot” at the interview’s end, discussing a topic that was unrelated to the State of the Union Address, which was what Grimm was being interviewed about. Bob Hardt, NY1’s political director, was appalled by Grimm’s actions and wants a full apology.

    Reading gap between wealthy, poor students widens: http://rtvote.com/1jJfEv1
    A new report shows that 80% of fourth graders from low-income families do not read at their grade level, compared to 49% of their wealthier counterparts. Overall, 66% of all fourth graders do not read at their grade level, a figure regarded as shocking. Researchers believe that 8-year-olds, especially those living in low-income families, are not developed enough to be successful. To keep kids from falling behind, fewer children have to start kindergarten with undetected and untreated learning disabilities.

    CULTURAL

    Famous rock band Mӧtley Crüe to dissolve: http://rtvote.com/1aHIjOC

    Justin Bieber leaves Panama for LA: http://rtvote.com/1mXGEnZ

    Miley and Madonna finally duet! http://rtvote.com/1cuEE5p

    A real-life love triangle? http://rtvote.com/1fn3AMC

     

     

    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, 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