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    ‘django unchained’

    News Round-Up: Friday, January 18, 2013

    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    Algerian special forces have freed 650 of the hostages seized by Islamists; Lance Armstrong admits to doping in an interview with Oprah; and speculation surrounds Notre Dame football star Manti Te’O and his fake girlfriend. Meanwhile, the Onion will release an “autobiography” on Vice President Biden, and Michelle Obama debuts a new haircut.

    Caitlin + Liza


    650 hostages freed by Algerian special forces, http://bit.ly/Xhf5In
    Algerian special forces have freed 650 hostages taken by Islamists after attacking a gas field in eastern Algeria on Wednesday. Over half of the 132 foreign workers taken hostage have been freed. 10 to 20 Americans are being evacuated, while some remain unaccounted for. U.S. officials have not specified the exact number of Americans involved in the attack. “This incident will be resolved–we hope–with a minimum loss of life. But when you deal with these relentless terrorists, life is not in any way precious to them,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

    Lance Armstrong Confession: Cyclist Admits Doping During Oprah Interview, http://huff.to/13Kj8CW
    Lance Armstrong opened up about doping Thursday night in the first installment of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong openly admitted to using banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories. Earlier on Thursday, he was stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics. Armstrong noted that he was committed to restoring his reputation. “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and trying to apologize to people…for the rest of my life,” he said.

    Behind Manti Te’O hoax about girlfriend lies a deep desire to believe, http://wapo.st/XinJqA
    Following a Deadspin.com report published Wednesday, questions are circulating about the dead girlfriend of Manti Te’O, the star linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up who helped lead Notre Dame to the BCS Champion Bowl. Te’O's supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who was said to have died of leukemia, was a media fixation central to his personal story. Te’O claims the pair carried out their relationship online, and now says he was the victim of an online prank. However, controversy remains over whether the fake girlfriend may have been a publicity stunt created by Te’O himself.

    ‘Obama for America’ to morph into ‘Organizing for Action’, http://bit.ly/13LRSFd
    President Obama’s “Obama for America” re-election campaign will be relaunched as “Organizing for Action”, a non-profit organization with a mission to advocate for his second-term agenda. Organizing for Action will push for agreements on the president’s priority issues by using powerful tools from the re-election campaign including grassroots organization, social media outreach, and a large voter database. Jim Messina, who directed the 2012 campaign, will chair Organizing for Action.

    One to beam up: NASA uses a laser to send Mona Lisa to the moon, http://nbcnews.to/XimYxX
    NASA will use a laser-tracking system to make the Mona Lisa the first digital image to be transmitted via laser to the moon. NASA has previously sent laser pulses and strings of numbers to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the laser-tracking system that has been circling the moon for the past three and a half years, but this is the first time they will transmit a far more visual painting. NASA said this type of laser communication could serve in the future as a backup for the radio communication currently used by satellites, potentially allowing higher data rates of communication.


    Biden Getting an Autobiography From the Onion (Whether He Wants It or Not), http://nyti.ms/WL5Tfh

    New ‘Do Alert: Michelle Obama Debuts Bangs, http://bit.ly/XeucCi

    Selena Gomez Talks Justin Bieber Pre-Split and Taylor Swift Friendship, http://eonli.ne/XjhJ0j

    “Django Unchained” Slave Toys Discontinued, http://tmz.me/VOHz0m

    Jennifer Lawrence: I Should Have Been in “Zero Dark Thirty”!, http://eonli.ne/SJmBAC 



    Liza Dee

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

    Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

    Newtown prepares for more victims’ funerals; shooter Adam Lanza destroyed his hard-drive before his rampage; Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye has died at 88; Dick’s Sporting Good pulls certain rifles from their stores; four vaccination workers are killed in Pakistan; Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffers a stroke; Instagram outrages users with its new privacy policy; and The New York Times reports that Wal-Mart bribed Mexican officials in the case of 19 stores. Meanwhile, Suri Cruise is about to have the best Christmas ever; Zac Posen will replace Michael Kors on Project Runway; and Scarlett Johansson’s cellphone hacker gets ten years in prison.



    Despite some news of progress, House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that President Obama’s “fiscal cliff” plan is “not there yet.” In turn, the White House sent back Boehner’s “Plan B,” which includes a tax bill. Recently, Boehner said he would increase taxes on those who make over $1,000,000 a year.

    Funeral Services Planned For Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Victims, http://cour.at/Yhh0mr
    Funeral services will take place Tuesday for two more young victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Jessica Rekos, 6, and James Mattioli, 6, were two of twenty-six victims killed after Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire at the school before killing himself. The parents of the victims said Jessica “loved horses,” while James was a natural swimmer. Newtown’s other schools resumed classes today. Sandy Hook Elementary will remain closed as it is currently a crime scene.

    The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Got Its Way in Mexico, http://nyti.ms/RAG0Dr
    The New York Times has done a lengthy investigation into Wal-Mart’s alleged bribes in Mexico. The Times found that Wal-Mart bribed Mexican officials in the case of nineteen stores so that it could build in its ideal locations. In Teotihuacán, Wal-Mart bribed officials to change a zoning map so it could build on a woman’s alfalfa field. The Times first hinted at the bribery in a shorter investigation published in April.

    Adam Lanza Destroyed His Hard Drive Before Attack, http://bit.ly/XCq8wK
    According to investigators, Adam Lanza, 20, destroyed his computer’s hard-drive before killing his mother, 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary, and himself. “The kid knew what he was doing,” a source told The Daily Beast. “This was a planned event. There is no question about it.” The FBI is trying to piece the hard-drive together, although it’s possible Lanza may have written over any data.

    Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye dies at age 88, http://wapo.st/XB5WeL
    Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii died Monday at the age of 88. Inouye was the second longest-serving senator in U.S. history behind Robert Byrd. Elected in 1963, he was a popular senator who lost his arm in World War II and received the Bronze Star Medal of Honor.

    Richard Engel and NBC News team freed from captors in Syria, http://nbcnews.to/R33QpF
    NBC’s Richard Engel and his crew were freed Monday after being kidnapped in Syria for five days. An unknown group captured the crew after they crossed into Syria from Turkey. They were freed at a security point manned by Syrian rebels. NBC says they had not been touch with Engel or his crew during their captivity nor were they contacted about a ransom.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods blasts ‘modern sporting rifles’ off shelves; halts sales nationwide citing ‘unspeakable tragedy’ of Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School deaths, http://nydn.us/UzYekA
    Dick’s Sporting Goods announced Tuesday that it would pull its “modern sporting rifles” from all of its stores due to the shooting in Newtown, CT. The company released a statement saying it was “extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy” and would be pulling all guns from its Danbury store, which is near Newtown. Dick’s Sporting Goods has 511 stores and has not specified which rifles in particular it would pull from shelves. Relatedly, Wal-Mart has stopped selling the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, which was found on shooter Adam Lanza.

    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani hospitalized in Baghdad after suffering a stroke, http://nydn.us/WmGmuW
    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. Sources say he is in stable condition, although the seriousness of the stroke is uncertain. The 79-year-old leader has been unifying amongst Iraq’s splintered groups.

    Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos, http://bit.ly/Wmo6Sp
    Instagram has changed its privacy policy just three months after Facebook acquired the popular photo-sharing app. The new policy says that Instagram has a right to sell users’ photos to advertisers. Profits from the sales will go only to Instagram. The new terms have caused an uproar amongst the app’s users.


    Scarlett Johansson ‘humiliated, embarrassed’ by celebrity hacker, http://lat.ms/YdUg6Q

    Premiere of Violent Tarantino Film Is Canceled Because of School Massacre, http://nyti.ms/ZehkUq

    Project Runway: Zac Posen In, Michael Kors Out As Judge, http://bit.ly/UA6alV

    Tom Cruise to give Suri $16m house for Christmas, http://bit.ly/UA6eBX

    ‘Gossip Girl’ finale recap: Two weddings, Chuck and Blair’s kid, and the anonymous blogger’s identity revealed,http://bit.ly/V07XPl

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 26th, 2012

    Thursday, April 26th, 2012

    An alleged rocket strike kills 70 in Syria; Charles Taylor has been found guilty of aiding Sierra Leone rebels; LAX TSA screeners are being charged with corruption and drug trafficking; the head of the New England mob has been arrested; a suicide bomber kills three at a Nigerian newspaper; and Obama launches the 2012 presidential race with announced campaign stops. Meanwhile, hologram Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes may join TLC for a reunion tour; viewers will have to keep up with the Kardashians for three more years; and a sneak peak at Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” has been released.



    Syria: Massive explosion in Hama ‘kills 70,’ http://bbc.in/IefdaO
    A huge explosion in the city of Hama, possibly caused by a rocket strike, has left 70 Syrians dead. Video footage depicts people pulling bodies out of a crater that is too large to be caused by regular shelling. The Syrian government says the explosion is from the blowing up of a terrorist bomb factory. The Arab League has called an emergency meeting to discuss the attack. Only 13 of the 300 U.N. monitors are in Syria.
    Charles Taylor guilty of aiding Sierra Leone war crimes, http://bbc.in/I7Rd3u
    The Hague has found former Liberian leader Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting rebels in Sierra Leone’s civil war which left 50,000 dead. According to the court, Taylor provided weapons and communications equipment to rebels in return for blood diamonds. Taylor was also found guilty of murder, rape, sexual slavery, cruelty, and enlisting child soldiers. Prosecutors were unable to prove that he commanded the rebels. Taylor is the first head of state to be convicted of war crimes by an international court since the Nuremberg trials
    TSA screeners allegedly let drug couriers through LAX for cash, http://lat.ms/K01ZxU
    Several TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport have been indicted for corruption and drug trafficking. Allegedly, the agents allowed suitcases filled with cocaine and methamphetamine through airport security in exchange for thousands of dollars. The agents would meet the smugglers, place them in line so that they could check them through the monitoring desk, and then meet them again in the airport bathroom to retrieve their money. The TSA is also facing criticism for patting down a crying four-year-old in Kansas.
    Man Said to Be Acting Head of New England Mob Is Held, http://nyti.ms/Izppsr
    Anthony DiNunzio, the alleged head of the New England mafia, has been arrested after he was recorded bragging that he’d remain the mob’s boss even if he were imprisoned. He was also heard telling members of New York’s Gambino crime family that he would bury disobedient members alive. “You and I get to watch you die in the ground,” he allegedly said. DiNunzio apparently came into power in 2009 and may be responsible for the extortion of Rhode Island strip clubs and other businesses.
    Suicide car bombs hit Nigerian newspaper offices, http://lat.ms/K01ZxU
    Two explosions killed three people at the office of This Day, a newspaper in Nigeria that supports President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan has been a public target for the Islamist guerilla group Boko Haram, although the group has not taken responsibility for the attack. Witnesses say the suicide bomber drove into the building with a Jeep.
    Obama to launch 2012 campaign with first official rallies in Virginia, Ohio, http://bit.ly/IRtfLN
    The Obama campaign has announced its first official campaign stops. On May 5th, President Obama and Michelle Obama will visit Columbus, OH and Richmond, VA. The president has already been traveling to college campuses in campaign stop fashion. He has been speaking to students about reforming student loan-debt and drawing from personal experience on the issue, “I just want everybody here to understand,” the president said,  ”I didn’t just read about this.
    (via ABC News) Texas Gov. Perry Endorses Romney, http://abcn.ws/IbHuym
    Texas Governor Rick Perry endorsed Mitt Romney today, ahead of Newt Gingrich dropping out of the race, which is expected to happen next week. “Mitt Romney has earned the Republican Presidential nomination through hard-work, a strong organization, and disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration,” said Perry in a statement.
    This Isn’t Weird at All: Britney Spears’ Fiance Gets Shared Legal Control Over Her, http://bit.ly/IUjUCy

    TLC reuniting for a tour with virtual Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes?, http://on.msnbc.com/IzD9nd

    E! network re-ups the Kardashian crew for three more years of reality TV, http://post.cr/IHtIjZ

    First Look at Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ Is Off The Chain, http://bit.ly/If5S0w

    Katherine Heigl, Josh Kelley Adopt Second Daughter, http://bit.ly/Ic1pu7

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com