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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    A shipwreck in South Korea leaves nearly 300 missing; a large al Qaeda meeting video surfaces and unsettles United States intelligence; a cold case has been solved after over 40 years; and two backpacks wreak havoc at the Boston Marathon Commemorative Ceremonies. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital; Paul Walker’s brothers will help finish filming Fast & Furious 7; and Pharrell shares a “Happy” moment with Oprah despite some tears.

    - Veronica + Maura

     CRUCIAL

    Rescuers search dark, cold sea for survivors of shipwreck off South Korea: http://rtvote.com/1t9Riha
    300 people are still missing after a ferry, charged with taking passengers to a South Korean resort, capsized and sank Wednesday. Rescue teams are still searching the Yellow Sea for potential survivors. Out of the 459 people on board, four people (three men and one woman) are known to be dead and 164 have been rescued. Most of the passengers were students and teachers from a high school in Seoul, who were on a four-day field trip to an island resort nearby. A loud bang was heard before the ship began to rapidly take on water. The crew told the passengers to put on lifejackets and jump into the ocean. Some survivors said they tried to help people get out, but were not able to in time. The cause of the accident remains a mystery.

    Unsettling video shows large al Qaeda meeting in Yemen: http://rtvote.com/1qJdDjo
    A video deemed authentic by the US government shows what has been considered the largest gathering of al Qaeda militants in years. What’s more, either the CIA or the Pentagon did not know the gathering was occurring or they could not get a drone there in time. US officials have yet to comment on their lack of action, but the video is being heavily analyzed by US intelligence. Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the group’s second in command leader worldwide, is depicted to be standing in the open greeting followers, completely unconcerned that he could be hit by a drone strike. He said in his speech: “We must eliminate the cross…. The bearer of the cross is America.” Experts say there is cause for worry, stating that the recent video means that a new round of plotting is at hand. The al Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the most dangerous sect of the terrorist organization.

    Case of missing South Dakota girls solved after 40 years: http://rtvote.com/1mcP4th
    Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller were on their way to a party in 1971 when they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Authorities originally believed it was homicide, but were forced to drop the charges against the accused man due to false evidence. Since then, the case was considered a cold case. Last September, a car was found in a creek near the girls’ destinations. Inside were skeletal remains found in the cab of the car and Miller’s driver’s license, as well as personal items like notes and photographs. DNA analysis of the remains confirmed the identities of Jackson and Miller. There was no sign of alcohol, the keys were in the car’s ignition, the car was in gear, and a tire was damaged. 40 years later, the police are finally able to provide the families with a definitive answer: the girls’ deaths were an accident.

    Man with ‘hoax device’ frays nerves at Boston Marathon site: http://rtvote.com/1gANfSa
    Commemorative ceremonies for the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing had just ended when police found two backpacks and a suspicious person, forcing them to evacuate the area. The man was lurking with a backpack near the Boylston Street finish line and was “acting peculiarly”. The Boston Police Department called in the bomb squad and blew up both backpacks as a precaution. Police also arrested the man, the owner of only one of the bags, who said the bag contained a rice cooker. The contents of the other bag are unknown. The man was arrested and charged with possession of a hoax device, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.

    Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes: http://rtvote.com/Qpuue1
    A study published in a neuroscience journal found that recreation marijuana use (as in, using a few times a week) is “enough to physically alter crucial brain structures”. Since there is little research on the effects of casual marijuana smoking, this study shed some light on the subject. Hans Breiter, the leader of the study, analyzed the brains of 20 light marijuana users and 20 nonsmokers. The brains of the smokers began to change in two major areas- the areas linked with emotion, motivation, and mental illnesses. The study parallels with the study of Staci Gruber, who focused on a batch of heavier marijuana smokers but found similar results. She said that the studies show that marijuana “is not quite the benign substance people thought it was.”

    CULTURAL

    Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital: http://rtvote.com/P5h4TE

    Paul Walker’s brothers to complete Fast & Furious 7 scenes: http://rtvote.com/1qJx0sP

    After a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, Valerie Harper says she is cancer-free! http://rtvote.com/1qJy3Ji

    Pharrell sheds tears with Oprah: watch the video! http://rtvote.com/1gGITfR

    Get the inside scoop on how Mila stays fit and healthy during her pregnancy: http://rtvote.com/1qJF0tD

    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 29, 2013

    Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

    A US drone strike kills six; Michele Bachmann announces she will not run for re-election in 2014; The UK is ready to return Afghan detainees; a man is arrested in France for stabbing a soldier Saturday; the mother of the Chinese newborn rescued from a sewer pipe admits she was present during the rescue; an ex al-Qaida member starts his own terrorist group; Obama jokes about a lipstick stain on his shirt collar; French citizens protest the legalization of gay marriage in Paris; and a new virus is on the radar. Meanwhile, pregnant Kate Middleton flaunts her baby belly at the Queen’s garden party, and John Mayer’s sixth album is in the works.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    US drone strike kills six suspected militants in Pakistan, say officials, http://bit.ly/15ioExk
    Today in Pakistan a US drone strike killed at least six suspected militants. This is the first drone strike since President Obama spoke about new C.I.A. drone guidelines last week. According to security sources, a senior Pakistani Taliban commander was among the six killed, but his identity has yet to be confirmed. Six are dead, and two more wounded from this attack.

    Rep. Michele Bachmann says she will not run for re-election in 2014, http://fxn.ws/145jtOP
    Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announces she will not be running for re-election in 2014. After four terms as representative of Minnesota’s sixth congressional district, she is ready for a change of pace. She claims that her decision to not run again has neither anything to do with concerns that she would not be re-elected nor inquiries into her 2012 presidential campaign.

    UK ‘ready to hand over Afghan detainees’, http://bbc.in/11a6v4y
    Around 90 Afghans, who have been held at Camp Bastion for up to 14 months without charge, are set to be released into Afghanistan’s custody. The Ministry of Defense has found a “safe route” by which they can return home without posing as a threat to British troops. Normally, British forces can detain suspects in Afghanistan for only 96 hours, but under “exceptional circumstances” they can detain them for longer.

    France holds man for ‘religiously motivated’ soldier stabbing, http://bit.ly/18sOkLR
    French police arrested a suspect on Wednesday associated with the stabbing of Private First Class Cedric Cordiez in the neck Saturday. The 22-year-old man admitted to stabbing the soldier, and told officers that he had prayed in the street before committing the crime. Officials suspect the attack was motivated by “religious ideology,” because there was nothing that alluded the the young man’s involvement in violent activity.

    Mother of newborn in sewer was present for rescue, http://bit.ly/13YGExu
    The mother of a Chinese newborn baby boy rescued from a sewer pipe was there throughout the entire two-hour long rescue and was the one who called for help in the first place. The police knew something was up after they found baby toys and blood stained toilet paper in the 22-year-old woman’s room in the building where the rescue occured. The woman finally confessed to the police that the baby was indeed hers when they asked her to undergo a medical checkup. She claims she could not afford an abortion and that while delivering the child Saturday afternoon over the toilet, he slipped into the sewer pipeline. It was then that she alerted her landlord of the trapped, crying baby.

    Rise of Al-Qaida Sahara Terrorist, http://bit.ly/1avODCu
    After years of attempts to discipline him, the leaders of al-Qaida’s North African branch sent a final letter to their most difficult to work with employee, Moktar Belmoktar. In the lengthy letter was a list of things he had failed to due, most importantly failing to carry out a single spectacular operation. His response to the letter – he created his own terrorist group in opposition to al-Qaida and has since then been responsible for 101 deaths and one of the largest hostage-takings in history.

    Obama Jokes About Lipstick Stain on Shirt Collar, http://abcn.ws/ZcEhFs
    President Obama donned a spot of red lipstick on his collar at a White House event Tuesday evening. To put everyone, including his wife Michelle, at ease, he called out the woman responsible for the stain in front of everyone there at the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month celebration. Obama was quoted saying “Where’s Jessica Sanchez? It wasn’t Jessica. It was her aunt. Where is she? Auntie, right there. Look at this. Look at this. I just want everybody to witness,” and then joking that “I do not want to get in trouble with Michelle so I’m calling you out right in front of everybody.”

    Gay Marriage Is Protested in France, http://nyti.ms/Z90zYO
    On Sunday, France’s Mother’s Day, thousands of people marched to protest the recent legalization of gay marriage. The demonstration was mostly peaceful, and police estimate around 150,000 people participated.

    New SARS-like virus is a ‘threat to the entire world’, http://bit.ly/131qmmk
    According to the United Nations’ World Health Organization a new SARS-like virus has been recently discovered in humans. It is unknown where the virus comes from or how to treat and prevent it. The virus belongs to a family called coronaviruses, which cause illnesses that range from the common cold to SARS. As of last week, 44 have been infected by the virus, most of them in the Middle East. 23 of them have died. So far no cases have been reported in the U.S., but infectious disease experts say it will not be surprising if cases start popping up here soon.

    CULTURAL: 

    Pregnant Kate Middleton Flaunts Baby Bump at Queen’s Garden Party,  http://eonli.ne/14RZWDF

    James Marsden Debuts Baby Boy William—See the First Pic!, http://eonli.ne/19kmP6f

    Sam Mendes May Return For James Bond; ‘Skyfall’ Director Could Helm Bond 24, http://huff.to/158VCRi

    Amanda Bynes Slams Chrissy Teigen On Twitter: ‘You’re Just An Ugly Model’ & ‘I Don’t Respect You’, http://huff.to/15iQh9p

    John Mayer’s Sixth Album In The Works As Singer Records In The Studio, http://huff.to/13iP5kW

    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