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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers continue to escalate; a NJ student suing her parents loses first court battle; Pope Francis says that he could potentially accept civil unions; and a 10-year-old boy is suspended after pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. Meanwhile, John Travolta speaks out about his Idina Menzel flub on Oscar Night; an emoji version of “Drunk in Love” is taking over the web; and you can see the Oscar selfie that broke Twitter and has the Twitter record for the most retweets ever! 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia: http://rtvote.com/1ga99e8
    Western governmental powers have begun to threaten Russia with sanctions if their military presence in Ukraine does not decrease. In retaliation, Russia has begun drafting a law that “would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to the U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow.” The European Union will meet Thursday in Brussels, and US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian equivalent to Kerry’s position, in Paris. This conflict stems from the removal of the Russian-allied government and the increase in tension in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, where a heavy Russian population resides.

    Student’s lawsuit against parents for support loses first round in court: http://rtvote.com/1lyMnEg
    18-year-old New Jersey resident Rachel Canning made news this week for suing her own parents to make them pay for varying expenses: her final semester at her private high school, her living expenses, her legal fees, and her college tuition. Canning says her parents forced her out of her home and made her live on her own and was subject to mental and physical abuse, while her parents say she left of her own accord because she “didn’t want to obey their rules.” A judge refused to hear the request of payment for both the high school and living expenses, but in April, another hearing will be held for other issues presented in the lawsuit.

    Ohio student points finger like gun, is suspended: http://rtvote.com/1fHONbj
    A 10-year-old boy who pointed his finger like a gun and pointed it at another student’s head was suspended by his principal. The other student didn’t see it, but a teacher did and reported it to the school’s administration. The boy, who said he was “just playing around,” had been warned before by the school, Devonshire Alternative Elementary, about pretending to play with guns, as have all the other students; they were also told of potential consequences if they were caught participating in this behavior. 

    Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions: http://rtvote.com/1hMh1X0
    On Wednesday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage (“marriage is between a man and a woman”), but also hinted at the possible acceptance of civil unions. Pope Francis is the first Pope to even hint at an acceptance of civil unions and is one of the most “gay-friendly” popes in history. Possible changes to the church regarding the women’s role and the contraception ban could also be in the works as the Pope’s first year comes to a close.

    Three children pulled to safety after woman drives van into ocean: http://rtvote.com/1kyfwiB
    A pregnant South Carolina woman, driving a minivan with three children inside, drove into the ocean in Florida. Rescuers said that they heard the children screaming that their mother was trying to kill them. People worked frantically to remove the children and the mother from the waterlogged vehicle. The children, aged 3, 9, and 10, were carried to shore and examined at a hospital before being declared “okay”. The mother walked to shore, dazed, and has refused to talk about the incident.

    CULTURAL

    See the now-infamous selfie that broke Twitter on Oscar Night! http://rtvote.com/1hLqDBZ

    John Travolta’s response to his Idina Menzel flub: http://rtvote.com/1cuhUoa

    The best and worst moments from the Oscars are in! http://rtvote.com/1gakNpt

    An emoji version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”? http://rtvote.com/1e1MWP0

    Dancing with the Stars just announced its latest cast: http://rtvote.com/1l14Y8T

    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, February 24th, 2014

    Monday, February 24th, 2014

    The Department of Defense proposes some extreme military cuts; Deval Patrick may be considering running for president; and a strange polio-like disease strikes five kids. Meanwhile, view the top 15 moments at the Sochi Olympics; Alec Baldwin has harsh words for some celebrities; and Pharrell’s “Smoky the Bear” Grammy’s hat is up for auction.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WWII size:http://rtvote.com/1pjsT6W
    The Department of Defense will present a new defense budget Monday that will decrease defense spending. The budget outlines a plan intent on reducing the Army to the size it was before World War Two (between 440,000 and 450,000 troops) and plans on removing a class of Air Force attack jets. The bill, supported by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, protects funding for cyberwarfare and security as well as special operations programs. Congressional leaders with large military populations in the area they represent may provide a strong opposition to the budget.

    Mass. Gov Patrick: ‘Maybe’ I’ll run for president:http://rtvote.com/1k4j7lg
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told Politico that he might consider a run for president in the future. He originally dismissed rumors of a 2016 presidential bid because he was afraid of the impact the election would have on his family. Patrick said that he and his wife would have to agree on running if he ever considered it. Patrick is not running for a third gubernatorial term this year.

    Longest-serving Congressman to retire:http://rtvote.com/1cHUd9x
    Michigan Representative John Dingell, 87, will retire from the House of Representatives when his 29th term ends later this year. A champion of healthcare reform, environmental protection, gun control, worker’s rights, and gun rights, Dingell has an impressive congressional accomplishments sheet. Serving in Congress has taken a toll on his physical health, and he continually expressed frustration with the increasingly partisan Congressional gridlock. Dingell’s retirement is now one of many, as more congressmen and senators call for retirement. Although his Michigan district is considered a safety district for Democrats, the Congressman or woman who takes his place will have a tough act to follow.

    Polio-like illness found in five California children:http://rtvote.com/1epOTnD
    Between August 2012 and July 2013, five California children have become paralyzed in one or more of their limbs. Doctors ruled out polio because all of the affected children had been vaccinated against the disease, despite their ailment having polio-like qualities. Instead, two of the five children have been diagnosed with enterovirus 68, an incredibly rare disease that is from the same family as polio. Since 2000, there have been 47 cases of enterovirus 68 in the United States. Health officials are not concerned about the possibility of an outbreak, stressing the rarity of the illness.

    Students, say goodbye to snow days:http://rtvote.com/OtTD74
    Teachers are beginning to utilize technology to teach at home. Because this winter has been difficult for many areas of the country, some schools have run out of snow days. Teachers in some school districts have begun to teach online during snow days, requiring students to log in to a program online to keep track of attendance and grades. This prevents students from missing too many school days, which would require school officials to take days away from spring break.

    CULTURAL

    See the most memorable moments from the Sochi Olympics:http://rtvote.com/1fnoTj4

    Brooke-Burke Charvet ousted from her DWTS hosting job:http://rtvote.com/1eb5gt5

    Alec Baldwin’s harsh New York essay:http://rtvote.com/1gwSMKa

    You can buy Pharrell’s infamous Grammy hat:http://rtvote.com/1mD9Ju3

    Liam Neeson discusses Natasha Richardson’s death:http://rtvote.com/1pjQ9ll

    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, May 22, 2013

    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

    The mayor of Moore, OK demands new laws to keep citizens safe; an FBI agent shoots an associate of one of the Boston bombing suspects; Anthony Weiner announces his candidacy for the mayor of New York City; Eric Garcetti wins the LA mayoral race; kidnapped Egyptian soldiers return home; and a lesbian couple is banned from living together in Texas. Meanwhile, Kellie Pickler wins Dancing with the Stars, and David Spade donates to the Red Cross for Oklahoma disaster relief.

    Caitlin + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Mayor of tornado-ravaged town: New law needed to keep people safe, http://bit.ly/193xnGw
    Glenn Lewis, the mayor of Moore, Oklahoma, is pushing for a law that would require storm shelters or “safe rooms” in new homes. With at least 24 dead from a two-mile wide tornado, Lewis insists new measures be taken to keep people safe. Nine children were killed by the tornado after they were trapped inside Plaza Towers Elementary School. The devastating EF5 tornado that hitMonday is one of the strongest tornadoes ever measured in the U.S..

    Man with ties to Boston bombing suspect shot during FBI questioning, http://nbcnews.to/1a5WHJK
    An FBI agent shot and killed a man associated with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Ibragim Todashev pulled a knife on the agent during questioning in Florida. Todashev confessed to the agent that he had been involved in a triple murder in Waltham, Mass. in 2011, but claimed to not be involved with the Boston bombings. When asked to sign a written statement regarding his confession, he pulled a knife on the FBI agent, who, out of self defense, shot and killed Todashev.

    Weiner Announces Candidacy for Mayor in Video, http://nyti.ms/1a5iS2O
    Anthony D. Weiner announced Wednesday that he will be running for mayor of New York City. Weiner resigned his Senate post when it surfaced that he sent a picture of his crotch to a female Twitter follower. He is now trying to make a comeback in New York politics. Weiner admits he “made some big mistakes” and “let a lot of people down,” but that he has also “learned some tough lessons.” His announcement Wednesday was made in a video on YouTube.

    Garcetti, Greuel locked in tight battle for L.A. mayor’s post, http://lat.ms/13HcwD8
    Eric Garcetti defeated Wendy Greuel in yesterday’s L.A. mayoral election. Garcetti, who will be the city’s first Jewish mayor, will takeover current mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s seat on June 30, 2013. Garcetti spent $33 million in his race to become mayor, making his campaign the most expensive in city history.

    Egyptian security men abducted in Sinai freed, http://aje.me/18gXFUt
    Six Egyptian policemen and a border guard, who were abducted on the Sinai peninsula last week, have been released. President Mohamed Morsi and the  Egyptian army welcomed them home to Cairo today. The seven soldiers were released in the desert south of Rafah near the Israeli border.

    Senate Judiciary panel passes immigration bill, http://politi.co/10hWHpb
    After five long days of deliberation, the Senate Judiciary Committee finally approved the Gang of Eight’s proposed immigration bill Tuesday night. The approved bill will create more opportunities for citizenship to over 11 undocumented immigrants. It will also invest billions in new border security. The bill will appear on the Senate floor in early June, and if is passes through the full Senate, it will move on to the House.

    CULTURAL:

    Kellie Pickler Wins Dancing With the Stars: My Husband Cried!, http://usm.ag/YZzqaL

    Jennifer Aniston Sounds Off on Possible FriendsReunion: “We Miss Each Other”, http://eonli.ne/14R2mCC

    David Spade Donates $200,000 to Red Cross for Oklahoma Tornado Relief Efforts, http://eonli.ne/192XeP0

    Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott in “Nesting Mode” as She Awaits Baby, http://eonli.ne/192YS39

    Ken Jeong’s ‘Hangover’ Pay: $5 Million, http://huff.to/16OWy14

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    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, December 19, 2011

    Monday, December 19th, 2011

    North Koreans begin a national mourning period for the death of Kim Jong-il; Kim’s son, Kim Jong-un, will take over for his father despite rumored turmoil; Ron Paul currently leads in Iowa; Romney continues to receive income from Bain Capital; and Apple is planning its TV takeover. Meanwhile, MTV announces its “Power 12″ election campaign, and the third engagement is a charm for Britney Spears.

    CRUCIAL:

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies ‘of heart attack,’ http://goo.gl/m8ssu
    North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il died Saturday of a heart attack. Kim, who suffered the heart attack while riding a train, had been in power for 17 years. The news was made public on Monday when a woman wearing black announced it on Korean state television. When the news broke, people began crying in the streets of Pyongyang. Kim’s funeral will be held December 28, and the period of national mourning will end December 29. His body will be in a mausoleum where his father Kim Il-sung’s corpse is on public display. Kim’s official North Korean obituary paints a different picture than those of other publications, making statements like “He turned the DPRK into an invincible political and ideological power in which single-minded unity has been achieved.”

    Kim Jong-il, North Korean Dictator, Dies, Kim Jong-un Takes Over, http://goo.gl/xc7Qi
    Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s third son, will take over for his late father as leader of North Korea. Not much is known about about Kim, including his age; although, it’s rumored that he is in his 20s. Kim was briefly educated in Sweden, and his father began grooming him for a take-over last year. According to the New York Times, some intelligence believes he planned two attacks on South Korea last year in order to prove himself as a leader. Korean state television is now proclaiming him “the great successor” and is telling the Korean people to “faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong-un.” Considering the two days between Kim Jong-il’s death and its announcement, some believe Kim will just serve as a figurehead of the party due to leadership struggles behind the scenes.

    Pa. voter ID bill undergoes changes, http://goo.gl/9xyRC
    In response to complaints that Pennsylvania’s new voter ID bill disenfranchises young people and the elderly, the PA State Senate Government Committee has added an addendum that allows identification issued by colleges and nursing homes to be valid at the polls. Also, voters without proper ID will be able to cast a provisional ballot that will be valid if they send in a copy of their ID via fax, mail or in person within six days of casting the ballot.

    Paul Leads in Iowa, http://goo.gl/iPk9o
    According to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, Ron Paul is leading in Iowa with 23%. Mitt Romney trails behind him with 20%, and Newt Gingrich is in third with 14%. In fact, Newt Gingrich has dropped 13% in two weeks. Iowa voters say they favor Ron Paul because he has campaigned the hardest in the state. He even leads Romney 26-5 percent with voters who say it’s “very important” that a candidate spends a great deal of time in the state.

    Buyout Profits Keep Flowing to Romney, http://goo.gl/NoEsf
    Even though Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in 1999, he is still receiving millions of dollars a year from the company. Apparently before he left, Romney negotiated a very lucrative retirement package that enables him to receive profits from all of Bain’s deals. Romney’s opponents may attack the candidate for profitting from layoffs, such as the massive firings Bain made after acquiring KB Toys. His retirement package has also been taxed at 15% instead of the 35% for ordinary income.

    Apple Plots Its TV Assault, http://goo.gl/iNu50
    Apple executives have been meeting with media executives to discuss the future of television at Apple’s hand. Potential technology includes an Apple TV set that provides shows and movies through wireless streaming. Viewers may also be able to pause their shows and movies and resume watching them on their iPhones or iPads, which would also serve as remote controls. One person from the meetings says a Siri component may also be possible as discussions have included voice and gesture commands for controlling the TV.

    Exclusive: Secret U.S., Taliban talks reach turning point, http://goo.gl/12JH9
    Reuters is reporting that secret discussions between the U.S. and Taliban “have reached a critical juncture.” The U.S. is considering transferring Guantanamo Bay inmates into Afghan custody in exchange for the Taliban’s denouncement of international terrorism and their entering of peace talks with Afghanistan. Reuters is still reporting that a diplomatic breakthrough “is a longshot.”

    CULTURAL:

    For Election Year, MTV Drops ‘Choose or Lose’ Slogan, http://goo.gl/3KS39

    “Dancing With The Stars” winner J.R. Martinez to be a dad, http://goo.gl/qyNx5

    Will Britney Spears’ Third Marriage Be Her Best Yet?! Source: “You Can’t Even Compare the Chances!,”http://goo.gl/yomJZ

    Daniel Craig is offered deal to play James Bond five more times, http://goo.gl/xNEPi

    Paul McCartney to release album of covers, two new songs, http://goo.gl/Kykkj

    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: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2011

    Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

    In today’s news, Penn State coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season; Cain accuser Karen Kraushaar has come forward; Mississippi votes down the “personhood” act; and Maine has voted to maintain same-day voter registration. In other news, hip-hop star Heavy D has died at aged 44, and Justin Bieber will take a paternity test in two weeks.

    Coral + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL

    Italy borrowing costs hit record 7%, http://bbc.in/tkYfqN
    A day after Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would resign once budget reforms were passed, the country’s cost of borrowing has hit a 7 percent record level. The yield on 10 year government bonds reached more than 7%, which is the highest since the euro was created in 1999. The 7 percent level is considered unsustainable, having been the mark at which Portugal, Greece, and Ireland were all forced to seek E.U. bailouts. An E.U. team will arrive in Rome Wednesday to begin monitoring Italy’s plans to deal with debt.

    Ahmadinejad: Iran won’t retreat from nuclear path, http://yhoo.it/tVmA9V
    A UN validated report on Tuesday claimed that Iran is working on atomic weaponry. In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged Iran “won’t retreat one iota from the path it is going.” He then attacked the IAEA report as absurd, asking “Why are you ruining the prestige of the agency for absurd U.S. claims?” He insisted that Iran was not building nuclear weapons, “The Iranian nation is wise,” he said. “It won’t build two bombs against 20,000 bombs you have.”

    Joe Paterno Retiring: Penn State Football Coach Reportedly Stepping Down At End Of Season, http://huff.to/ty2fFZ
    After 46 seasons, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno plans to retire at the end of this season. Paterno has come under fire for not following up after reporting that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted a number of young boys. At least nine people have come forward to allege abuse by Sandusky and recently, that number has reportedly risen to 20. Sandusky worked under Paterno.

    Flooding, damage reported as powerful storm hits Alaska, http://usat.ly/w1sVUG
    The Bering Sea superstorm has begun. The west coast of Alaska is being hammered with hurricane-force winds, large waves, and blowing snow, and the conditions are expected to continue for most of the day. There are reports of roofs being blown off houses, and a 7-foot storm surge is expected to cause coastal erosion and flooding. The National Weather Service told Alaska residents to seek shelter.

    Karen Kraushaar interested in press conference with all Cain accusers, http://bit.ly/rTUH8z
    Karen Kraushaar, one of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior in the 1990s, told CBS News that she is interested in holding a press conference with all of the women who claim Cain harassed them. Kraushaar confirmed that she is one of the women accusing Cain of sexual harassment. Meanwhile, Cain continues to deny all of the allegations.

    Mainers vote to continue Election Day registration, http://bit.ly/sAnYRx
    At Tuesday’s election, Maine residents voted to keep same-day voter registration. “Maine voters sent a clear message: No one will be denied a right to vote,” said Shenna Bellows, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. “Voters in small towns and big cities voted to protect our constitutional right.” Before being overturned, the law was passed by a Republican majority legislation to preserve the integrity of voter registration, and it required that voters be registered at least two days before election day.

    Mississippi voters reject ‘life begins at conception’ initiative, http://bit.ly/vG2M4t
    Mississippi voters rejected a “personhood” act on Tuesday. This amendment to the state’s constitution would have defined life as starting at conception. It would have made all abortions illegal, including cases of rape and when the life of the mother was in serious danger. It also would have made certain types of birth control illegal including IUDs. Nearly 60 percent of voters rejected the bill.

    Ohio voters overwhelmingly reject Issue 2, dealing a blow to Gov. John Kasich, http://bit.ly/sbipV4
    Voters in Ohio voted down an anti-union bill on Tuesday. The law would have restricted collective-bargaining for thousands of workers. The vote sends a strong message to Republican Governor John Kasich who said “It’s clear the people have spoken. I heard their voices. I understand their decision. And frankly, I respect what the people have to say in an effort like this. And as a result of that, it requires me to take a deep breath and to spend some time to reflect on what happened here.”

    Russell Pearce on verge of historic loss in recall, http://bit.ly/t9IgRQ
    Arizona residents voted to recall Senate president Russell Pearce, who proposed the state’s controversial immigration law. He lost 53-45 to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis, a conservative Mormon who opposed the state’s anti-immigration crackdown. It’s the first time in U.S. history that a sitting Senate president has been recalled, and Pearce is the first Arizona legislator to ever lose a recall election.

    (via Reuters) Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, strike ad alliance: Yahoo Inc, Microsoft Corp and AOL Inc have set up an advertising partnership as Google and Facebook’s online ad dominance grows. The alliance, announced on Tuesday, allows each of the companies to sell each other’s unsold premium advertising inventory — known as display ads — by early next year. http://reut.rs/uX5cqi

    CULTURAL

    Clarence Page says “Cain has another issue with women: Taxes” http://trib.in/t3jkcP

    Jon Healey on “Backgrounder on ‘net neutrality’” http://lat.ms/uzEfCn

    Dorothy Rabinowitz describes “Why Gingrich Could Win” http://on.wsj.com/v7j8Si

    USA Today wants to “Make police get a warrant for GPS tracking” http://usat.ly/rOjyiF

    Paul G. Kengor says “In 1920, U.S. saw the carnage of class warfare” http://usat.ly/tZzMK5

    Hip-hop star Heavy D dies aged 44, http://bbc.in/vdpjTV

    ‘Dancing With The Stars’: Nancy Grace Signs Off, http://on.mtv.com/vM6VqI

    Brett Ratner Resigns 2012 Oscars – Will Eddie Murphy Follow? http://bit.ly/tUrirv

    Justin Bieber Will Take Paternity Test In Two Weeks, http://on.mtv.com/tSzvJZ

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

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