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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 

    CULTURAL

    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB

     

    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: Thursday, January 24, 2014

    Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

    A strange new agency is being formed in Florida; a young Illinois girl murders her younger sister; a supernova provides a spectacle for astronomers both amateur and professional; and polls about the United States’ beliefs on income inequality are released. Meanwhile, the story everyone is talking about: Justin Bieber’s arrest; a new celebrity couple become engaged; and some of the biggest ‘90’s stars are returning to TV for the Super Bowl.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Good with people? Willing to capture crocodile, if needed? Apply now! http://rtvote.com/KNOPr5
    Advertisements for “crocodile response agents” have been circulating around Florida due to the increasing number of crocodiles being born. To be considered, a person must be “flexible, mature, a good listener, and non-confrontational,” although experience is optional. Crocodiles have been moving back into residential areas along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Florida Keys. The program currently consists of nine agents who make $25 an hour.

    Girl, 14, stabs sister 40 times because she felt unappreciated: http://rtvote.com/1dyGJst
    An 11-year-old Illinois girl is dead after being stabbed nearly 40 times by her older sister. The sister initially called the police using an intruder as a cover story, but later confessed to the crime when questioned. The 14-year-old sister was angry at her sister for not appreciating all that she did for her. She has been arrested and charged with murder.

    Supernova! Exploding star lights up nearby Cigar Galaxy: http://rtvote.com/1iqKrMZ
    A supernova, also known as an exploding star, has just become visible in the night sky. It is located between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and is so bright that it is easily visible for people to see through a telescope (or even a pair of binoculars) in the Northern Hemisphere. The phenomenon is approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth. Although exciting to behold, astronomers may be able to use the supernova to help study dark energy.

    Poll: United we stand on wealth gap: http://rtvote.com/1f9qlna
    A new poll shows that 65% of Americans surveyed believe that the gap between the wealthiest people and the rest has increased. People also believe that the system “unfairly favors the wealthy.” Interestingly enough, nearly the same percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents also believe that inequality is growing, and a majority of those surveyed believes that the government must take action to curb inequality. 

    CULTURAL

    Justin Bieber arrested for DUI and drag racing: http://rtvote.com/1hOxIRb 

    A Full House reunion commercial during the Super Bowl: is an even bigger reunion in the works? http://rtvote.com/1mx973E

    Megan Park and Tyler Hilton are engaged! http://rtvote.com/1f9hxh5

    Ralph Lauren returns to design the 2014 United States Olympic uniforms. See the pictures here: http://rtvote.com/1f9i8i

    He’s back! Bill Cosby returns to NBC to star in a new family comedy: http://rtvote.com/1egECdY

    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, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.

    CULTURAL 

    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    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: November 21, 2013

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013

    Partisan gridlock continues as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a ‘nuclear option’; Congressman Radel (R-Fla) is busted for cocaine purchase but doesn’t resign; and a volcanic eruption has led to the arrival of a tiny new island in Japan. Meanwhile, Miley is at it again! as she bleaches her eyebrows & posts to Instagram; an O.C. cast member and former Gossip Girl star are set to get hitched; and Jennifer Lawrence gets teased by her Catching Fire co-stars.
    - Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL 

    Harry Reid may go ‘nuclear’ Thursday, http://rtvote.com/1h50yii
    Tension and dysfunction in Washington, D.C. continues and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is poised to do something about it. After a slew of executive nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was thwarted by Republicans, Senator Reid may move toward a historic change to the Senate rules that would eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday. If a second round of votes to choose from the nominees fails, the Senator may move to make a change of rules the Senate based on a majority vote.  Stay tuned for more as this develops.

    Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to take leave of absence after guilty plea to cocaine charge, http://rtvote.com/1ek5Anu
    On Wednesday, the 37-year-old lawmaker and freshman Congressman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug-possession charge in D.C.  Superior Court.  He was arrested last month outside of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. after purchasing cocaine from an undercover officer. In a late night press conference Wednesday, the Congressman apologized to his constituents in Florida, but will not resign from his post.

    Karzai Says Security Pack With U.S. Should Be Signed Next Year, http://rtvote.com/1dkJWT1
    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signaled that a security deal with the U.S. may not be finalized until next year, even if it is ratified by a grand council of Afghan leaders this week. He asked the council to place the agreement on hold until after his successor is elected, but was unclear on what that timeline looks like. This would put a final agreement on hold and could keep American and NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

    Volcano spawns new Japanese island, http://rtvote.com/1dkMlx3
    Japan is fired up! A recent undersea volcanic eruption has given Japan a tiny new patch of territory that currently measures about 660 feet in diameter and is located just off the coast of Nishinoshima. However, the country will put naming its newest addition on hold until they are sure that the sea will not engulf it.

    LRA leader Joseph Kony ‘in surrender talks’ with CAR, http://rtvote.com/1ixTmtZ
    A spokesperson of the Central African Republic (CAR) has said that it is in talks with Joseph Kony, the infamous Ugandan warlard. His rebellion in northern Uganda began more than 20 years ago and his fighters became known for abducting children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and the United States government has offered up $5million for any leads that result in his arrest.

    CULTURAL
    ‘Catching Fire’ stars joke about Jennifer Lawrence’s ego: ‘You can hardly talk to her’, http://rtvote.com/19KDrkq

    Lullaby time: Kelly Clarkson is expecting first baby, http://rtvote.com/1bUmY1U

    Miley Cyrus Bleaches Her Eyebrows, Parties With Miranda Kerr and Lily Allen—See the Pics!, http://rtvote.com/1aTKCab

    Leighton Meester, Adam Brody Are Engaged! Former Gossip Girl Star and O.C. Stud to Wed, http://rtvote.com/19KFepp

    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