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    News Round-Up: November 5, 2013

    Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

    NJ mall shooter is found dead; nine skydivers survive a crazy plane collision midair; and Election Day 2013 has arrived with major elections in New Jersey, Virginia, NYC as well as other cities & states across the country. Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore is pregnant again (yippee!) and Lea Michele dedicates a song to her late love, Cory Monteith, on her new album.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    New Jersey Mall Shooter Found Dead With Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Police Say,http://rtvote.com/1hK7rEn
    Richard Shoop, 20, opened fire in New Jersey’s Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall ten minutes before closing time last night. Shoop fired at least six shots, none of which were aimed at people; witnesses described Shoop’s demeanor as extraordinarily calm. His body was found in a back area of the mall at 3:20 AM this morning. There have been no other reported injuries at this time. Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.

    Watch nine skydivers survive fiery two-plane collision in midairhttp://rtvote.com/HEmNNg
    As if skydiving weren’t terrifying enough. Skydivers in Wisconsin pulled off the stunt of their lives last weekend as they found themselves in the middle of something that looks straight from a James Bond movie. Two planes collided 12,000 feet in the air on Saturday, and a group of skydivers, along with the pilot, jumped from the exploding wreckage. The second plane was landed safely by another pilot, despite damage to the wing and the propeller.

    Obama: ENDA vote in Senate an ‘opportunity’http://rtvote.com/1hKcfcW
    At a dinner for top Organizing for Action donors, President Obama praised Senate’s 61-30 vote to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Monday. The bill forbids employers from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, it is still too soon to celebrate since the bill has yet to pass in the House.

    Takoma Park 16-year-old savors his history-making moment at the pollshttp://rtvote.com/1aCoAyi
    Ben Miller, 16, will step into a voting booth today and cast his ballot, along with 350 other 16- and 17-year-olds, who were granted the right to vote in municipal elections by the Takoma City Council in May. Montgomery County, Maryland, is the nation’s first community to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in municipal elections; council member Tim Male said this was intended as a way to boost voter turnout. It seems to be working, as young Ben Miller proudly exercises his newfound civic duty.
     

    ELECTION DAY 2013

    Election Day 2013: Five things to watch todayhttp://rtvote.com/HEmxhb
    Today, voters in Virginia and New Jersey will elect their new governors, while new mayors are chosen in New York, Boston, Detroit, and a heck of a lot of other cities. Important issues are at stake on many of these ballots. Here are five things to keep an eye out for.
     

    PUNDITS

    The New York Times Editorial Board discusses the ENA decision in “Toward Ending Workplace Discrimination”, http://rtvote.com/1aCD1m7

    Rocker Austin Estes tells us why young voters are a force to be reckoned with in “Young Americans Will Help Change History This Election Day – If They Vote,” http://rtvote.com/1a5stsW

    Writers respond to the increased incidents in gun violence in “LAX shooting heats up gun debate: Opinionline,”http://rtvote.com/177qaYc

    CULTURAL

    Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood Released From Jail, http://rtvote.com/1hgnV9B

    Drew Barrymore Is Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With Husband Will Kopelman, http://rtvote.com/1hKirlf

    Lea Michele Recorded a Song About Cory Monteith For Her Debut Album, http://rtvote.com/1bVBzrt

    Chris Pratt Was an Amateur Stripper at Age 18, http://rtvote.com/1a5vk5b

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 8, 2013

    Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

    The government shutdown continues even with enough votes to end it; Higgs and Englert are awarded the Nobel Prize for the Higgs boson; a salmonella outbreak hits 18 states; and North Korea is rumored to have restarted their plutonium reactor. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead premiere approaches fast, and Prince Harry is ready to get hitched!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the willhttp://rtvote.com/1ffKvgu

    According to an ongoing CNN survey, there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean continuing resolution (CR); the minimum number of votes needed is 217. However, the 18 Republicans who would vote to pass the clean CR are not pressuring Speaker John Boehner to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. They are still hoping to use the government shutdown as a way to defund or delay Obamacare.

    Peter Higgs, Francois Englert win Nobel Prize in Physicshttp://rtvote.com/1e69LCX

    The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to Peter Higgs, 84, and Francois Englert, 80, for the discovery of the Higgs boson. Also known as the “God particle”, the Higgs boson is associated with an invisible field that is part of the basic infrastructure of the cosmos.

    Salmonella outbreak in 18 states linked to raw chickenhttp://rtvote.com/18MEfry

    Raw chicken contaminated with a strain of bacteria, called salmonella Heidelberg, has affected about 278 people 18 states. The USDA has released a public health alert, indicating three facilities operated by Foster Farms as the likely sources. An outbreak of the same strain of salmonella was also linked to Foster Farms chicken in 2012. The USDA and Foster Farms assure consumers that cooking chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees will kill any harmful bacteria.

    S. Korea spy agency says N. Korea restarts reactorhttp://rtvote.com/1e6dgcA

    North Korea is being accused of restarting a plutonium reactor at its main nuclear facility. The reactor can be weaponized to produce one or two atomic bombs a year; it already has enough plutonium to produce 4-8 crude weapons. South Korea, the U.S., and Japan are performing routine maritime drills this week; in response, North Korea’s military gave its troops an emergency order to re-examine operational plans and be ready to launch them if anything comes of these drills.

    5 Things to Know about Government Shutdown on Tuesdayhttp://rtvote.com/1fXd6Za

    As an update on the government shutdown, some Republicans are still skeptical on the dangers of not raising the debt ceiling as the October 17th deadline approaches; Pentagon employees returned to work this week, but many other federal workers remain at home; stocks are falling; and although almost everyone is mad at the White House and/or Congress, the Republicans seem to be receiving most of the blame.

     

    PUNDITS

    Richard Haass asserts that the U.S. must begin to govern properly and end the shutdown for the sake of its reputation and security in “The Real Threat to U.S. National Security”, http://rtvote.com/18MKz2i

    Mark A. Patterson explains why there is only one (difficult) solution out of the debt limit in “One way out on the debt ceiling”, http://rtvote.com/1fXeYBm

     

    CULTURAL 

    The Walking Dead Countdown: Why Norman Reedus Likes It Dirty – and Why Season Four is the “Best So Far”,http://rtvote.com/1fg1Cia 

    Miley Cyrus Is “Happiest She’s Ever Been” Without Liam Hemsworth, Says Dad Billy Ray Cyrus,http://rtvote.com/1e6gXPt

    Drew Barrymore Wants to Have Another Baby “Right Away”, http://rtvote.com/1fXfXBn

    Prince Harry Ready to Marry Cressida Bonas, http://rtvote.com/18MMlk2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

    Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

    Scott Walker is the projected winner of Wisconsin’s recall election; Greece may be completely broke by July; Egyptians protest Mubarak’s appointee in Tahrir Square; 30 unpaid workers were forced to sleep under the London Bridge during the Queen’s jubilee; Mitt Romney’s e-mail may have been hacked; and Clinton breaks with Obama on Bush tax-cuts. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus is engaged; Sheryl Crow reveals her brain tumor diagnosis; and Amanda Bynes asks President Obama to intervene in her DUI.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Greece Warns of Going Broke as Tax Proceeds Dry Up, http://nyti.ms/NhnqMA
    Members of the Greek government said Wednesday that the country could run out of its $161.7 billion bailout money by July. If this is the case, the government may have to temporarily stop paying salaries and pensions as well as halt fuel, food, and pharmaceutical imports. The European Central Bank met Wednesday in Paris and it’s expected that it will keep interest rates at 1%. Also on Wednesday, Moody’s downgraded six of Germany’s banks.

    Walker Wins Wisconsin Recall Election, http://bit.ly/L9SKYO
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been projected the winner of the state’s recall election. Walker beat out Tom Barrett, the Democratic Mayor of Milwaukee, whom he was victorious against in 2010. Mitt Romney called Walker Wednesday night to congratulate him.

    Egypt’s Tahrir protesters take on Mubarak’s man, http://on.msnbc.com/M8dakA
    Egyptian protestors took to Tahrir Square Tuesday night to protest the presidential candidacy of Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s appointed prime minister during last year’s military crackdown. Protestors say they hold Shafiq responsible for the 800 people killed during last year’s 18 days of violence. “If Shafiq wins, we will overturn everything into fire and destruction,” said demonstrator Amr Sayed. Many demonstrators plan on voting for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate in order to prevent Shafiq’s win. Egypt’s current rulers have created a 48-hour deadline for political parties to form an 100 member panel that will draft the country’s new constitution. If the deadline is not met, then lawmakers have threatened to write the constitution themselves.

    Call for inquiry into use of unpaid jobseekers as jubilee stewards, http://bit.ly/LqDOIq
    A report surfaced on Tuesday, that security firm Close Protection UK had broken the law by forcing 30 unpaid diamond jubilee workers to sleep under the London Bridge. Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has asked Home Secretary Theresa May to investigate the claims; he is also demanding the government review CPUK’s contract for the Olympic games. In response to the report, CPUK issued a “sincere apology” for the “London Bridge incident,” which they said was meant to provide work experience.

    Have they no Seamus? Tipster claims hack of Romney email, http://lat.ms/Kx0yc0
    A hacker has claimed to have accessed Mitt Romney’s email simply by answering the security question, “What is your favorite pet?” The anonymous hacker revealed to Gawker that he changed the account password, although he did not provide screenshots as proof. He also did not say whether or not the answer to the security question was Seamus, Romney’s dog whom he crated and tied to the roof of his car during family vacations. A spokeswoman for the campaign said that “proper authorities are investigating this crime.”

    Clinton breaks with Obama over Bush tax cuts, http://politi.co/LqD2eo
    In an interview with CNBC last night, former president Bill Clinton said that extending the Bush tax-cuts is “probably the best thing to do right now” in order to stimulate the economy – a notion that President Obama strongly disagrees with. He continued that Republicans want a permanent extension of the tax-cuts, which he agrees that Obama should not support. The Bush tax-cuts will expire next year, most likely causing a partisan battle in Congress.

    (via The Washington Post) New map, new rules shake up California primaries, http://wapo.st/MFlK0k
    Primary voters in California on Tuesday began to remake the face of Congress as a redrawn electoral map and new balloting rules promised a significant overhaul of the state’s delegation, which accounts for about 12 percent of the House of Representatives. Even before Tuesday’s competitive and expensive primary contests, the changes drove eight veterans of the House into retirement and rattled what had been one of the most stable rosters of lawmakers sent to Washington by any state. Democrats think this could make Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House again. They contend that they could pick up five seats in California on their way to the 25 they need to retake the majority next year. In California, Republicans say the changes, over the long term, have the potential to transform to GOP into a more competitive party, because the new map and the new voting system may force it to nominate centrist candidates who can appeal to the state’s burgeoning population of minority voters.

    CULTURAL:

    Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth Are Engaged, http://bit.ly/JLKHQW

    Amanda Bynes Charged with DUI, Asks President Obama to Fire Cop, http://bit.ly/KQGlvG

    Sheryl Crow Reveals Brain Tumor Diagnosis, http://eonli.ne/KhTWK5

    Drew Barrymore: Wedding Picture with Will Kopelman, http://bit.ly/NJ6L22

    John Mayer: Taylor Swift ‘humiliated me’ with ‘cheap’ song, http://on.msnbc.com/JLOeyG

    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: Monday, June 4th, 2012

    Monday, June 4th, 2012

    Syrian rebels abandon the U.N’s attempts at a peace plan; a suicide car bomb kills 23 in Baghdad; gunmen surround the Tripoli airport; rescue workers sift through debris from yesterday’s deadly plane crash in Nigeria; suspected murderer Luka Rocca Magnotta is found in Berlin; and Mitt Romney’s popularity numbers increase. Meanwhile, Richard Dawson is remembered; Miss Rhode Island has been crowned Miss USA; and Drew Barrymore wed this weekend.

    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Syria violence flares after rebel deadline, http://reut.rs/LfLRJn
    Syrian rebels killed 80 pro-government soldiers over the weekend, signaling that they no longer support Kofi Annan’s peace plan for the country. The rebels had given President Bashar al-Assad a deadline of last Friday for putting an end to violence in Syria. When the deadline was not met, the rebels decided to break ties with the U.N.’s efforts to intervene in the country. “We have decided to end our commitment to this [plan], and starting from that date [Friday] we began defending our people,” rebel spokesman Maj. Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters.

    Suicide car bomb kills 23 in central Baghdad in deadliest Iraq attack in 3 months, http://wapo.st/KqTTjF
    A suicide car bomb aimed at Baghdad’s Shiite religious-affairs office killed twenty-three and left dozens dead in what is the deadliest attack in Iraq in three months. The explosion caused the first floor of the religious-affairs office to collapse and damaged nearby cars and buildings. “The scene was horrific,” one witness told The Associated Press. The religious-affairs office manages religious sites for Iraq’s Shiite Muslim population.

    Libya militia surrounds Tripoli airport, http://reut.rs/Kr8JXl
    Armed members of the al-Awfea Brigade surrounded the Tripoli airport this morning causing flights to land at a nearby military base. “The situation in the airport is very tense, and tanks are surrounding the buildings,” an official told Reuters. “No one is allowed into the building.” Allegedly, the gunmen targeted the airport after one of their militant leaders was captured. It is unclear whether the situation has ended or not, although a rebel spokesman told CNN that the situation has been resolved and the gunmen are withdrawing.

    Fears of on-ground deaths from Nigeria plane crash, http://bit.ly/M66OSf
    A plane crash in Nigeria Sunday killed all 153 passengers on board. The plane crashed near Murtala Muhammed International Airport in an area populated with businesses and residences. Officials fear that the location of the crash could have caused people on the ground to have been killed. “The fear is that since it happened in a residential area, there may have been many people killed,” said National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Yushau Shuaib. The cause of the crash is not clear. Emergency workers have been sifting through debris and have recovered 48 bodies.

    Sandusky judge denies accusers’ bid for pseudonyms, http://apne.ws/K9JiVB
    Judge John Cleland in Pennsylvania has ruled that Jerry Sandusky’s ten alleged victims will not be able to use pseudonyms in courts. Judge Cleland also ruled that no form of communication, like tweets or electronic media, can be present in the courtroom. Jury selection will begin Tuesday for the case, in which Sandusky faces 52 charges over 15 years stemming from allegations that he molested ten boys. The former Penn State assistant football coach, who denies the charges, has been under house arrest pending trial. 250 reporters have registered attendance in the courtroom.

    Luka Rocco Magnotta arrested in Berlin, German police say, http://natpo.st/NcovVI
    Luka Rocco Magnotta, the Canadian man suspected in the brutal murder and dismemberment of a Chinese student, has been arrested in Berlin. Police believed that the 29-year-old had fled to France, but were notified when a Berlin cafe worker recognized Magnotta after seeing his picture in the press. The suspect had been on the run for about two weeks.
    Poll: Romney’s favorable rating jumps, but Obama still more popular, http://bit.ly/KK6Mn3
    A new CNN/ORC poll shows that Mitt Romney’s popularity rating has risen from 34% to 48%. 42% of those polled have a negative impression of Romney – which is the same number of those who dislike President Obama. The poll has the president’s popularity rating at 56%. According to those who worked on the survey, young voters have allowed Obama’s popularity to be higher than Romney’s. “The biggest gap between Obama and Romney’s favorability ratings is among younger Americans,” observered CNN’s polling director. “Romney may have a small advantage among independent voters, but that is offset by his lower favorability rating among Republicans than Obama has among Democrats.”
    CULTURAL:
    Mike Tyson Broadway Play Will Be  a Spike Lee Joint, http://bit.ly/M0g6zG

    Queen’s Jubilee: Rock concert at Buckingham Palace, http://bit.ly/MbFK7v

    Richard Dawson remembered by Paula Abdul, Pat Sajak and more, http://cbsn.ws/KKqrmQ

    Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo to work on breast and ovarian cancer issues, http://cbsn.ws/JPBuf3

    Drew Barrymore’s Quiet Wedding, http://abcn.ws/KFfh2x

    Internet meme Mr. Trololo dies in Russia at age 77, http://bit.ly/LskAAm

    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: Friday, November 4, 2011

    Friday, November 4th, 2011

    Unemployment dropped to 9% in October; Corzine resigns from MF Global; Boehner says the supercommittee’s deal will include tax increases; Pakistan has been hiding its nuclear weapons to avoid US raids; Cain may sue Politico; and Groupon has successfully gone public. Meanwhile, the mother of Justin Bieber’s alleged child may face rape charges, and GTL no longer? Snooki claims The Situation is broke.

    Coral + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Unemployment rate drops to 9 percent, http://goo.gl/sb2oJ
    Unemployment decreased to 9% in October; despite this, only 80,000 jobs were added in comparison to the 100,000 that were expected. The private sector added 104,000 jobs, which was in line with estimates. The number of jobs added in September was also upped from 103,000 to 158,000.

    As Regulators Pressed Changes, Corzine Pushed Back, and Won, http://goo.gl/VS3Nj
    Jon Corzine has resigned from MF Global, his brokerage firm which has now gone bankrupt. As CEO, Corzine persuaded regulators to allow MF Global to conduct risky trades that ultimately led to the company’s demise. He also pressed regulators to allow a transaction that essentially would allow MF Global to borrow money from its customers. Now officials are looking over the company’s books in order to find the $630 million missing from customers.

    Boehner: Debt deal will include new tax revenues, http://goo.gl/AD2bN
    John Boehner announced yesterday that any bi-partisan debt deal reached by the “supercommittee” will include tax hikes. The Speaker went on to say that the tax increases will only be added if serious reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are included.

    The Ally From Hell, http://goo.gl/0xGXG
    According to The Atlantic, Pakistan has been continuously shuffling its nuclear weapons between the 15 facilities that hold them in order to make it harder for India or the US to carry out a raid. The moving of the weapons has been done in normal, low-security vehicles in everyday traffic. “The Pakistani government is willing to make its nuclear weapons more vulnerable to theft by jihadists simply to hide them from the United States, the country that funds much of its military budget,” Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder write.

    Cain camp considering legal action against Politico, http://goo.gl/Rl1Y2
    An aide to Herman Cain said yesterday that the candidate is considering legal action against Politico for reporting on his past sexual harassment claims. This is likely not over with Politico from a legal perspective,” the campaign official told The Washington Post. Despite this, Politico is still reporting on the allegations, revealing new details where one of the two women claims Cain made a sexual overture to her at a group event. The woman felt her job would be at risk if she did not comply with Cain in the situation. Meanwhile, Cain’s wife, who was supposed to do her first interview today with Fox News, has since cancelled.

    Groupon shares surge 46 percent in early trading, http://goo.gl/VjUXi
    Groupon has raised $700 million since it went public today. It has sold 35 million shares at $20 each, which is above the original price of $16-$18. This is the largest IPO for an Internet company since Google went public in 2004. Groupon will begin trading on NASDAQ today under the ticket symbol GRPN.

    Judge won’t face charges in videotaped beating, http://goo.gl/rwr4F
    William Adams, the Texas family-court judge who was videotaped beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt, will not face charges because the statute of limitations has expired. Adams’ daughter, now 23, posted the video to YouTube where it caused an uproar. In a statement, Judge Adams said that his daughter posted the video because she was angry he reduced her financial allowance and took away her Mercedes. He did not apologize for the abuse and noted that the video “looks worse than it is.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Police: Bieber sexual tryst may be investigated, http://goo.gl/DodFs

    Jury to get Michael Jackson doctor manslaughter case Friday, http://goo.gl/6IX5L

    ‘Jersey Shore’ star Snooki: ‘The Situation is broke,’ http://goo.gl/eTQiT

    Drew Barrymore, Eddie Murphy Top Forbes Overpaid Actors List, http://goo.gl/uHwox

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