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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura


    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.


    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: Friday, July 29, 2011

    Friday, July 29th, 2011

    President Obama says that Democrats and Republicans are not far apart on a debt ceiling agreement, there has been no vote on Boehner’s deficit reduction plan, a soldier admits to planning another attack on Fort Hood, the U.S. believes that Iran has an alliance with al Qaeda, conservatives are angry over the Pell Grant funding in Boehner’s debt bill, and the 2012 London Olympic medals have been unveiled. Also, Tiger Woods will return to the green, and the Seattle Police Department tweeted nearly every emergency call it received this past Tuesday.

    In Rock the Vote news: today is Katie and Perry’s, our wonderful interns, last day! Everyone at RTV wants to thank them for doing such a great job on the press clips all summer!

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    President Barack Obama said Friday that Democrats and Republicans are not far apart on an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, but they must work together to forge a bipartisan compromise that can win approval in both the House and Senate. “There are plenty of ways out of this mess, but we are almost out of time,” Obama said in a brief statement at the White House.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    There [was no] vote [last night] in the House on Speaker John Boehner’s deficit reduction plan, as Republicans were unable to come up with the votes to pass the bill after hours of arm twisting and vote whipping.

    AWOL Soldier Condemned ’09 Fort Hood Shootings,
    After previously condemning the ’09 Fort Hood shootings, it’s been revealed that Pfc. Naser Abdo had planned an attack on Fort Hood. After a tip from a gun shop where he bought 6 pounds of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol, Abdo was found and arrested. He had a bomb in his backpack and weapons stashed in his motel room.

    U.S. Sees Iranian, al Qaeda Alliance,
    The U.S. believes that Iran has an alliance with al Qaeda. Specifically, the U.S. suspects Iran of allowing al Qaeda to use its land to move money, arms, and fighters to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Officials at the Iranian mission in New York called the allegations “totally baseless,” but the U.S. has suspected an alliance for years.

    Eric Cantor’s glaring conflict of interest,
    The No. 2 Republican in the House, and the GOP’s chief debt ceiling negotiator has thousands of dollars invested in a fund that would skyrocket if those negotiations failed. The trust “aggressively” shorts Treasury bonds, essentially betting against the country’s debt.

    Conservatives angry over Pell Grant funding in Boehner debt bill,
    One of the reasons Speaker Boehner’s debt ceiling bill had been unceremoniously postponed last night was the supplemental Pell Grant funding it preserved. Some Republicans called the college aid money “welfare” for people who “don’t have to graduate from college.”

    2012 London Olympic medals unveiled,
    In exactly one year, the Olympic opening ceremonies will begin in London. The Olympic committee has marked the occasion by unveiling the medals, which are the biggest ever at 400 grams. The front of the medal has the traditional image of the Greek goddess of Nike; the back shows the controversial 2012 logo over a ribbon that represents the River Thames.

    It’s back to work for Tiger Woods,
    The ups and downs of the world’s best golfer have been widely publicized; he’s had affairs, undergone knee surgery, fired his caddie, missed tournaments and plummeted in the rankings. But yesterday Woods tweeted that after an 11-week break, he will return for the Bridgestone Invitational.

    Twitter as Police Scanner Draws Feedback in Seattle,
    For 12 hours this past Tuesday, the Seattle Police Department tweeted nearly every emergency call it received. The 478 tweets, or 40 an hour, were meant to show the public what an average day was like for the city’s police force. The wave of tweets made some Twitter users angry enough to unfollow @SeattlePD.


    Amy Winehouse family fear she was killed by giving up alcohol, http://bit.ly/pSmHcM

    Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love All Kinds of Crazy, Stupid Fantastic, http://eonli.ne/prNl2q

    The Good, the Bad, and the Slimy, http://slate.me/qM5o6q

    Teen Moms’ Graduation Triumph, http://bit.ly/rl0mcO

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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

    Fort Hood Memorial

    Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

    Today, at Fort Hood in Texas, our country mourned the victims of last week’s tragedy. President Obama paid tribute to those who were killed and, in doing so, offered praise for the current generation serving in the military.

    Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It is a chance to pause, and to pay tribute – for students to learn of the struggles that preceded them; for families to honor the service of parents and grandparents; for citizens to reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of a more perfect union.

    For history is filled with heroes. You may remember the stories of a grandfather who marched across Europe; an uncle who fought in Vietnam; a sister who served in the Gulf. But as we honor the many generations who have served, I think all of us – every single American – must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who have come before.

    We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes.

    This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in a time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different and difficult places. They have stood watch in blinding deserts and on snowy mountains. They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war. They are man and woman; white, black, and brown; of all faiths and stations – all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life.

    You can read the full text of the speech, including individual tributes to each of the fallen, here.

    Thomas Bates
    Bio: Thomas is Rock the Vote's Vice President of Civic Engagement.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com