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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    President Obama holds his first meeting with Pope Francis; at least 90 people are missing as a result of the Washington mudslide; POTUS says that the government should stop holding phone data; and Northwestern University athletes are legally allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Psych ended its 8-season run last night; the trailer for Jupiter Ascending has been released; and Joan Rivers has some harsh criticism for Lena Dunham.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama has first audience with Pope Francis: http://rtvote.com/1jyS19L
    President Obama and Pope Francis had their first meeting with one another on Thursday in Italy. The meeting was cordial and people hoped that the meeting would bring attention to important issues both leaders support. Much of the meeting was about the church’s role in current issues in the United States, international conflict, and human rights protection according to a statement from the Vatican. President Obama extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the United States in 2015.

    Ukraine military dolphins to switch nationalities, join Russian navy: http://rtvote.com/1j9eoQt
    Russia is planning on taking control of Ukraine’s military dolphins. These dolphins are highly trained and specialize in detecting hazards to Ukraine like sea mines or enemy scuba divers trying to enter the country’s waters. Dolphins can detect noises and objects in the ocean that humans can’t, making them effective for security. A Russian news agency reported Thursday that “the combat dolphin program in the Crimean city of Sevastopol will be preserved and redirected toward the interests of the Russian navy.”

    Obama says government should stop collecting, holding bulk phone data: http://rtvote.com/1pcb9JM
    The United States expressed outrage when former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government collected data from people’s telephones. President Obama said Thursday that the government is trying to stop collecting phone records and wants to leave that up to phone carriers, who would then provide suspicious activity to counterterrorism agencies. Other changes include the requirement that a federal judge give its approval before the government can collect phone data.

    Mudslide recovery brings tears to searchers: http://rtvote.com/OY2H42
    Firefighters and volunteer rescuers in Washington are coming to the grim reality that some people missing in the mudslide might never be found. In the beginning, there was a list of people thought to be missing after the massive mudslide leveled Oso, Washington six days ago. 140 people have since been eliminated from that list, leaving 90 people missing and 35 others who were not confirmed to be in the area when the mudslide occurred. 25 bodies have been discovered, but searchers expect that number to increase. However, due to dangerous conditions like quicksand-like mud 30-40 feet deep, ice, rain, fallen trees, and other hazards, many bodies may never be found.

    Northwestern University football players can unionize: http://rtvote.com/1g4cxai
    Athletes at Northwestern University won the right to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago recognized the athletes as employees of the university. Northwestern plans to appeal the decision, saying that the athletes are students, not employees. However, the board saw enough evidence to believe that the students were employees; they work between 20 and 50 hours a week, get paid through scholarships, and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the university. The students filed the petition to “get a seat at the bargaining table in college sports,” receive better medical coverage and concussion tests, be offered full four-year scholarships, and potentially get paid.

    CULTURAL

     Get the scoop on the Psych series finale: http://rtvote.com/1g4fs2O

    Zac Efron punched in the face during a fight: http://rtvote.com/1pA3pPY

    Joan Rivers attacks Lena Dunham’s weight: is a celebrity feud brewing? http://rtvote.com/1rFLueK

    The reviews for Noah are in! See what the critics are saying: http://rtvote.com/1o4x5cI 

    Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum steal the show in their Jupiter Ascending trailer: http://rtvote.com/1jRq3BL

    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, February 6th, 2014

    Thursday, February 6th, 2014

    An All-Star pitcher is diagnosed with cancer; NYC schools undergo some holiday changes; outrage erupts after a trial’s conclusion; another murder trial begins; and Sochi officials fire back at critics. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber makes headlines yet again; Kevin Jonas posts an adorable picture of his daughter; Jon Gosselin has some serious things to say; and Emma Watson’s Wonderland interview is out!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer: http://rtvote.com/1fKY2vI
    47-year-old pitching legend Curt Schilling shocked the sports community yesterday when he revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Boston Red Sox, winning three World Series Championships. Schilling was due to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this MLB season.

    NYC Schools to Get Islamic, Lunar Holidays Off: http://rtvote.com/1jiuyIO
    New York City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio has begun instigating some new schooling policies. Soon, NYC public schools will close for various Muslim holidays (including Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two Islamic holy days) and the Chinese New Year. De Blasio says he wants to take time to adjust school calendars to make these new changes.

    No jail for ‘affluenza’ teen in fatal car crash draws outrage: http://rtvote.com/1byx3SA
    The Texas boy responsible for hitting a group of people (killing four and injuring nine) due to driving under the influence will not receive jail time. Instead, 17-year-old Ethan Couch will be on probation for ten years and will attend rehab for an unspecified amount of time. His defense team used the ‘affluenza’ defense; this stated that Couch had been spoiled by his wealthy family and felt entitled and lacked good judgment. Psychologists believe that the future use of the affluenza defense could almost reinforce recklessness and bad judgment.

    ‘Loud music’ murder trial begins: http://rtvote.com/1eBp5t2
    The trial for the Florida man accused of shooting and killing a 17-year-old in late 2012 is being put on trial. The man, Michael Dunn, noticed an SUV was playing loud music at a gas station and asked the people inside to turn it down. Allegedly, one occupant withdrew a shotgun, prompting Dunn to grab his own gun and shoot eight times into the car, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn waited before calling police, who did not find a weapon in the SUV. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. The trial should not last until February 14th.

    Russian Officials Fire Back at Olympic Critics: http://rtvote.com/1ndDX1C
    Dmitry Kozak, the top person responsible for the Sochi Olympic preparations, has been firing back at critics, saying they have surveillance video of people purposely trying to sabotage their hotel rooms. Kozak also said they’ve only received 103 complaints after housing over 100,000 guests. Olympic athletes like American speed skater Sugar Todd say that their hotel rooms do not have any problems. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson says that Sochi’s organizers are almost definitely working to solve the problems.

    CULTURAL

    The truth behind Justin Bieber’s “Pot Plane” scandal: http://rtvote.com/1fWnDRK

    Cute pic of Kevin Jonas’s daughter! http://rtvote.com/1fL6dYS 

    Jon Gosselin spouts off some serious stuff about Kate: http://rtvote.com/1khikAc

    See parts of Emma Watson’s Wonderland interview: http://rtvote.com/N8WRfD    

    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