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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

    Wendy Davis might turn Texas purple; Hillary Clinton has an Iowa army; and President Obama keeps moving with his Ukraine Strategy. Meanwhile, Brittany Murphy’s final movie has been released four years after her death;Dancing With the Stars has its opening night; and yesterday’s Los Angeles Earthquake resulted in a pretty hilarious reaction from newscasters.

    Also, today is the Primary Election in Illinois! Visit Rock the Vote’s Election Center to find all the info you need: http://rtvote.com/TdeABy. But don’t forget: polls close at 7:00pm!

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    As Barack Obama’s Ukraine strategy rolls on, so does Vladimir Putin’s,http://rtvote.com/1d9ZIRe
    President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, both moved forward on Monday with their strategy on the Ukraine crisis seemingly unphased by the other. President Obama revealed on Monday that he is issuing sanctions against Russia in an attempt to the get the White House proclaimed Russian “cronies” in line and perhaps reach President Putin. The sanctions put in place by President Obama are the most aggressive sanctions taken against Russia by a US President since the end of the Cold War.

    Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple, http://rtvote.com/1fW8wZY
    A recent poll in Texas shows that State Senate Democrat Wendy Davis is within single digits of her Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott for the 2014 Gubernatorial election. This poll is just another indicator that Texas voters are no longer reliably red. The single digit margin is impressive for Wendy Davis, when comparing the 2002 gubernatorial election where Republican candidate Rick Perry won by almost 18 points over his Democratic opponent.  Wendy Davis has a serious shot at becoming governor when looking at the recent poll and her ability to sway women voters.

    Ohio State University Has a Case of the Mumps: http://rtvote.com/1izSIwo
    If you go to Ohio State University, be cautious when sharing drinks. A recent outbreak of the Mumps has infected 23 students and faculty over the past month. Although there is currently no cure for the disease, lasting effects are rare and recovery usually takes no more than two weeks. All the same, public health officials are warning students to take precautions to avoid infection.

    Illinois Gets Ready to Rock the Vote: http://rtvote.com/1gL3Hik
    Voters in Illinois today head to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2014 primary election. Republicans will choose among primary candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, and state treasurer, while Democrats face little competition to replace incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.The Chicago Tribune also reports that voters will now experience a new electronic voter verification system that matches the voter’s signature with the precinct’s records. Pretty nifty! Happy voting, Illinois!

    Joe Scarborough: ‘No Plans’ to Run for President, http://rtvote.com/1nATSfU
    The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, a former four-term congressman who has been actively flirting with the idea of running for the 2016 Republican nomination, spent the weekend in New Hampshire wow-ing and possibly wooing the party faithful. But, you can all stop speculating… Joe Scarborough announced today to the Daily Beast that he has no plans to run for office. 

    Hillary Deploys Iowa Army, http://rtvote.com/1gK4PCW
    The Ready For Hillary super PAC lived up to it’s name this past weekend by organizing in 84 of Iowa’s 99 counties for Hillary. Although, Iowa Caucuses are two years away, The Ready for Hillary super PAC is showing that they are a force to be reckoned with. Ready for Hillary managed to gather 250 volunteers in those 84 counties and they are currently the only super PAC with boots on the ground for a potential Democratic 2016 hopeful.

     

    CULTURAL

    Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Premiere Recap: Who Dazzled?Who Fell Flat? (Spoilers!):http://rtvote.com/1oos5w1

    Kate Winslet Explains Son Bear’s Middle Name Blaze: Ned Rocknroll and I Met During Fire on Richard Branson’s Island:http://rtvote.com/NqPMWN

    Brittany Murphy’s Final Film Something Wicked Released Four Years After Star’s Death:http://rtvote.com/1nAWo5Z

    Glee Roll Call! Who’s In and Who’s Out for the Final Season:http://rtvote.com/1fF5Hb3

    Los Angeles Earthquake Makes News Anchors Slightly Overreact on Live TV—Watch Now!:http://rtvote.com/1g6FnMF

    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: Monday, February 3, 2014

    Monday, February 3rd, 2014

    A man was arrested for threatening a former President; a Super Bowl commercial sparks controversy; a convicted murderer escapes a Michigan prison, a man lost at sea for over a year is found; and a new report sheds light on the controversial Keystone Pipeline. Meanwhile, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his NYC apartment; J.K. Rowling drops a Harry Potter bombshell; and the Super Bowl spawned some decent commercials and social media moments.

    - Veronica + Maura 

    CRUCIAL

    Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill George W. Bush: http://rtvote.com/LrGlW4
    A New York man threatened to kill former President George W. Bush on Friday. Allegedly, the man, Benjamin Smith, had an interest in one of Bush’s daughters, Barbara. Smith’s mother alerted police after she found a note discussing his plans and discovered that a rifle was missing from their home. Police found Smith in Manhattan with a loaded rifle, ammunition boxes, gasoline, and a machete and arrested him.

    Coca-Cola “America” ad sparks strong reactions: http://rtvote.com/1gGGPqa
    The Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in eight different languages has sparked controversy around the Internet. People took to Twitter and Facebook to express their opinions. Some criticized the linguistic diversity, saying basically that “in America, we speak English.” Others, however, praised the commercial, saying it was an accurate portrayal of American diversity. Coca-Cola plans to air a longer version of the commercial during the Sochi Olympics. 

    Killer escapes Michigan prison, briefly abducts woman: http://rtvote.com/1ekLPPv
    A search that began in Michigan has become nationwide after a Michigan prisoner had escaped on Sunday. The man, 40-year-old Michael David Elliot allegedly escaped from Iona Correctional Facility by escaping through a hole in the fence. He then kidnapped a woman; she escaped and called police when he stopped to buy gas.

    Marshall Islands castaway details fishing trip gone awry: http://rtvote.com/1nIT1as
    Jose Salvador Alvarenga was found on the Marshall Islands a year after his disappearance. He said after his rescue that he and his traveling partner were blown off course when the fishing boat they were in lost engine power. His traveling companion starved to death after four months, but Alvarenga survived on fish, rainwater, and turtles, among other things. Police are trying to confirm his story while he seeks medical attention.

    Report: Keystone pipeline would have minimal environmental impact: http://rtvote.com/1lx7B6x
    According to a new State Department report, the highly controversial Keystone Pipeline will not have significant environmental effects. This could cause more pressure for President Obama to approve it. Republicans and moderate Democrats are excited, calling on the President to approve the pipeline for the jobs it could create. Environmentalists and Democrats, however, say that the report has failed to recognize the environmental impact of the initial oil extraction. If President Obama approves the pipeline, he could garner more support from the GOP House.

    CULTURAL

    The 10 best social media moments from Super Bowl XLVIII: http://rtvote.com/1dmjzpl

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, dead at age 46: http://rtvote.com/1eN7FpJ

    J.K. Rowling drops a Harry Potter bombshell: http://rtvote.com/1esTf1A

    Super Bowl recap- see the best commercials here: http://rtvote.com/1k49yWi

    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: October 18, 2013

    Friday, October 18th, 2013

    House Republicans criticize healthcare.gov and push for HSS Secretary’s resignation; Snowden says Russian and Chinese intelligence are not in possession of NSA docs; and two teenage girls carry human fetus remains in Victoria’s Secret bag. Meanwhile, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard (quietly) tie the knot, and Gordon Ramsay confesses to spying on his daughter with a hidden camera.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Congressional fight over Obamacare turns to website woeshttp://rtvote.com/1ewvMLb
    Although the government shutdown ended with a deal that left Obamacare untouched, the bickering over the healthcare law is far from over. Republicans are pointing out all of the problems with healthcare.gov and are holding oversight hearings next week. Some are also pushing Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to resign after the rollout. The White House, on the other hand, fully supports her and claims that technical errors are being fixed. They are reminding people that the most important thing is not the website, but that all Americans can be insured.

    Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russiahttp://rtvote.com/19ehRaS
    Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, revealed in an interview this month that he did not take any secret NSA documents to Russia when he fled there for asylum in June. He said he gave all classified documents to journalists in Hong Kong and that he made sure Chinese and Russian intelligence did not get hold of them. Snowden faces charges under the Espionage Act for leaking NSA documents to the media, but he stands by his conviction that the American people deserved to know how closely they were being watched.

    NY police: Shoppers held after possible human remains found in baghttp://rtvote.com/1fIrinU
    Two teenage girls were detained in a Manhattan Victoria’s Secret store after one of the store employees stopped them and found possible human remains in one of their bags. Initial reports indicate the remains are a fetus, but the medical examiner’s office is still investigating. Both teens are being charged as adults and face charges of petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

    Air marshal accused of taking upskirt pictures of passengershttp://rtvote.com/1ewFZY7
    A federal air marshal, Adam Bartsch, was on duty, aboard a Southwest Airlines flight when he was caught taking inappropriate pictures underneath women’s dresses. Bartsch, 28, was removed from the flight before take-off, charged with disorderly conduct, and held on $10,000 bail. He has confessed that this was not the first time he had done this. The TSA is in the process of suspending or terminating his employment.

    Recording of mother’s voice used in search for missing autistic New York teen,http://rtvote.com/1ewHDsO
    Divers, police, and rescue officers from several states have joined efforts to look for an autistic 14-year-old, Avonte Oquendo. The search has been going on for more than a week, and the NYPD has begun to play a recording of Avonte’s mother’s voice over loudspeakers. Avonte is unable to communicate verbally, and Avonte’s mother hopes he will hear her message, urging him to “walk toward the [emergency vehicles’] lights.” Avonte left his school on October 4, and the Oquendo family is in the process of filing a lawsuit against the city of New York due to the school’s failure to supervise the child.
     

    PUNDITS

    Hank Plante explains why members of Congress should not have to share the blame equally in “Tea Party holds most blame for shutdown,” http://rtvote.com/1fIwNTy

    The USA Today Editorial Board discusses the importance of affirmative action and racial diversity in colleges in “College diversity still necessary,” http://rtvote.com/1gqd2By

     

    CULTURAL

    Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Married? Couple Reportedly Tie the Knot in Spontaneous, Low-Key Ceremony,http://rtvote.com/1gqfk3F

    Alessandra Ambrosio Denies Split Rumors, http://rtvote.com/19ewpHl

    Find Out Why Seth Meyers’ Wife Was Advised (by Doctors!) Not to Marry the SNL Star,http://rtvote.com/1gqgzzN

    Gordon Ramsay Uses a Hidden Camera to Spy on Teenage Daughter Megan, http://rtvote.com/1fIBHQB

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 11, 2013

    Friday, October 11th, 2013

    The beginnings of a deal to end the shutdown may be coming together (finally…); the former corrupt mayor of Detroit is sentenced to 28 years in jail; and a cold case is brought back to life as the father of deceased ‘Baby Hope’ is identified. Meanwhile, Glee bids farewell to the late and beloved Cory Monteith and Miley Cyrus dishes on her breakup with former fiancé Liam Hemsworth. 

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Sergeant: Officers involved in bike/SUV incident a ‘blemish’http://rtvote.com/1edyJ3l
    Seven arrests have now been made in the bike/SUV melee from September 29. One of them includes an undercover NYPD police officer, Wojciech Braszczok; he was one of at least three officers who participated in the altercation. Prosecutors claim Braszczok took an active role in the brawl that left SUV driver Alexian Lien with lacerations on his face and a motorcyclist paralyzed. Police Sergeant Ed Mullins expressed severe disapproval over these undercover officer’s actions.

    Progress, but still no deal, as shutdown enters Day 11http://rtvote.com/1edEn5q
    The shutdown continues! The White House met with House Republicans, but there is still no deal. However, a spark of hope did come through during a brief moment between Rep. Paul Ryan and Obama. Republicans said they are willing to extend the debt ceiling for up to six weeks while negotiating other issues under a continued government shutdown. The president said he would negotiate with the Republicans only after they reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling. He is willing to accept a short-term debt deal, but he refuses to give concessions to reopen the government.

    ‘Corruption no more’: Judge sends a message with 28-year sentence for Kilpatrickhttp://rtvote.com/18UZCqG
    The former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, 43, has been sentenced to 28 years in jail, but can be out in 23 years with good behavior. Among the slew of scandals behind Kilpatrick, a few include his affair with his top aide, running a secret “money-making racket” in city hall, and using funds that were intended for needy citizens to pay for his yoga classes. Judge Nancy Edmunds chastised him for his actions; Kilpatrick apologized to the people of Detroit but denied stealing from them.

    Father of deceased ‘Baby Hope’ identifiedhttp://rtvote.com/18V5JuZ
    On July 23, 1991, police found the body of a young girl in a picnic cooler, hidden in the woods. The unidentified girl was named ‘Baby Hope’ by the police. After a 22-year investigation, the NYPD Cold Case Apprehension Squad is now closer to finding the person responsible than ever before. Thanks to a tip and DNA testing, the mother has been found; she is cooperating with police. The identity and location of the father has also been revealed, and authorities intend to speak with him very soon as a person of interest.

    The United States is still getting rid of its chemical weaponshttp://rtvote.com/18V7FUp
    The global taboo on chemical weapons is growing stronger, especially after today’s ceremony awarding the 2013 Noble Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Nobel committee thanked the OPCW for risking their lives to eliminate the stockpiles of poison gas in Syria. The committee also made mention of the U.S. and Russia as two countries that have yet to honor their commitments. Washington and Moscow signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in the 1990s, which prohibitied the use, production, and stockpiling of chemical weapons. Both countries are still in the process of ridding their stockpiles; Syria has until mid-2014 to get rid of theirs.

    PUNDITS

    Julia Fine talks about the inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai and her beliefs in “Why Malala’s bravery inspires us”,http://rtvote.com/1fpnrMk

    Robert Mnookin discusses how Boehner and Obama can end the shutdown in “How Boehner and Obama can get to ‘yes’,”http://rtvote.com/18Vbl8A

    CULTURAL

    ‘Glee’s’ awkward but moving farewell to Cory Monteith, the sensitive, singing quarterback, http://rtvote.com/1fpq2WI

    Bruce and Kris Jenner Divorcing? Kendall and Kylie Taking Sides? Here’s the Real Story on Their Separation,http://rtvote.com/1fpqGna

    JWoww Takes on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: It’s Time to Support Gay Marriage!, http://rtvote.com/18VcJbx

    Miley Cyrus Breaks Her Silence on Liam Hemsworth Split: “I’m Obsessed With Being Alone,” http://rtvote.com/1g6gyRt

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 9, 2013

    Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

    Obama begins meeting with congressional caucuses; the World Bank president makes a plea for developing countries; stocks tumble as the shutdown keeps going; and an undercover officer may have been involved in the Alexian Lien incident. Meanwhile, the Sinead-Miley feud continues, and Kanye West is off the hook for anger management classes.

    -Sandy + Maura 

    CRUCIAL

    Obama to meet with congressional caucuseshttp://rtvote.com/18Pd0N8

    Day 9 of the shutdown has arrived. President Obama has announced that he will meet with Republican and Democratic congressional caucuses in the upcoming days. The first session will take place today at 4:30 PM EST with the House Democrats; the government shutdown and the possibility of a debt ceiling default will be discussed. 

    World Bank President: Debt debate could be direhttp://rtvote.com/1fgvYkR

    If the U.S. defaults because of a failure to raise the debt ceiling by October 17th, the consequences could be much more severe than what some Republicans think. The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, warns of the significant economic setbacks developing countries would experience as a result. Even during these times of uncertainty, these countries could experience a destabilization of stock markets and an increase in borrowing costs.

    Stocks: Nasdaq tumbles 2% as shutdown drags onhttp://rtvote.com/18NhDXW

    It was Day 8 of the government shutdown yesterday, and the stock market started to see numbers drop further and further. Even though the damage to stocks in the first seven days of the shutdown were limited, investors are beginning to become anxious. Many believe a default is avoidable, but the market will continue to fall unless a decision to raise the debt ceiling is made sooner rather than later.

    Official: Off-duty officer allegedly seen pounding SUV in video of attackhttp://rtvote.com/1fgMj9a

    An undercover police officer, who was riding with the motorcyclist gang from the infamous September 29th incident, may have been involved in Alexian Lien’s attack. The officer did not come forward for three days for fear that his cover would be blown. He has been assigned to desk duty, and it remains unclear whether or not he partook in Lien’s vicious beating.

    Taser use on 8-year-old justified, police in S.D. sayhttp://rtvote.com/1e92h23

    An unnamed police officer deployed his Taser at an 8-year-old girl, who was holding a knife to her chest, threatening suicide. Police Chief Bob Grandpre defends the officer’s action as something that may very well have saved the girl’s life. However, her parents are furious, claiming that tasering a young child is unjustifiable. The Taser company’s website describes the shock as mild to moderately painful. The child was not seriously injured.

    PUNDITS 

    Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, David Letterman, and Jay Leno poke some fun at our government’s functionality (or lack thereof) in “Punchlines: Debt ceiling? Shutdown? One comic says bring it on”, http://rtvote.com/18Pu8Cj

    Eric Liu has some words of advice for Obama in “Four ways for Obama to lead U.S. out of crisis”,http://rtvote.com/1g0826q

    CULTURAL

    Sinead O’Connor Slams Miley Cyrus in Fourth Letter to Pop Star, http://rtvote.com/18NmyYJ

    Kanye West Ordered to Stay Away from Photographer, No Anger Management Classes Required,http://rtvote.com/18NmNTD

    Snooki Talks Anorexia Struggle During High School on Dancing with the Stars: “It Got Really, Really Bad”,http://rtvote.com/18NmUyE

    Tom Hanks Reveals Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis to David Letterman, http://rtvote.com/1fgKjxC

    sandywu
    Bio:

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