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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

    President Obama and French President Hollande talk global warming; China and Taiwan held their first meeting since the Civil War; and Nevada Government officials decide to no longer back the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, Shirley Temple dies at 85 and the Duchess Kate Middleton makes fashion news for her trendy jeans.


    Obama, Hollande Talk Global Warming With Eyes Toward U.N. Summit: http://rtvote.com/1eQWHTM President Obama and French President Francois Hollande have made climate change one of their “four key themes” to discuss in their meetings this week in Washington, DC. President Hollande will be hosting the UN climate conference next year in Paris and both Presidents plan to focus on ambitious targets and outcomes from that summit. President Obama and President Hollande released a joint op-ed saying: “We continue to urge all nations to join us in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through concrete actions.”

    Shooting reported inside metro Atlanta supermarket:http://rtvote.com/1iLmHR6
    Two women were reportedly shot in an Atlanta Kroger supermarket on Monday afternoon. Both women have non-threating injuries and Kroger officials have also stated that no employees were hurt during this shooting. The store was evacuated during the shooting and is set to reopen at a later date. 

    China and Taiwan Hold First Official Talks Since Civil War:http://rtvote.com/1eR3rRv
    Can you believe it?! The representatives of Taiwan and China held their first meeting since 1949! Wang Yu-chi, the head of head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council and Zhang Zhijun, the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office met on Tuesday to improve and formalize communications between the two sides. The pair also discussed trade and Taiwan’s participation in regional economic agreements. Although this meeting isn’t expected to produce concrete results, the meeting stands as a symbolic development in ending the rivalry between the two sides.

    Nevada State Officials Stop Defending Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Appeal: http://rtvote.com/1iXvBdM
    The Governor and Attorney General offices of Nevada announced on Monday that the state will no longer uphold the amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said on Monday that, “After thoughtful review and analysis, the State has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable.” The recent decision made by Nevada government officials takes a dramatic turn in the Nevada fight for marriage equality and comes as a result to recent decisions from the 9thcircuit.  

    Christie bridge scandal: Recipients of 18 new subpoenas revealed:http://rtvote.com/1iLvzpW
    As a result of Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridge Gate”, the state legislature’s investigating committee will be issuing 18 subpoenas to Gov. Chris Christie’s office, his inner circle and officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 



    Shirley Temple Dies at 85: http://rtvote.com/LSd9rs

    Soleil Moon Frye Gives Birth, Welcomes Baby Boy:http://rtvote.com/1en2rzY

    Kate Middleton Wears Go-To Navy Jeans in Mustique with Prince George: Get the Look! :http://rtvote.com/1bJ97st

    Well, Look Who Popped Up at Fashion Week!: http://rtvote.com/1lw9Sv3

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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

    News Round-Up: October 29, 2013

    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

    Hawaii is up next to legalize gay marriage; an official review on NSA programs is underway; and social media sites criticize tasteless blackface and Trayvon Martin costumes. Meanwhile, the Jonas Brothers break up, and Julianne Hough receives some intense criticism for her offensive Halloween costume.

    -Sandy + Maura


    Hawaii governor expects gay marriage bill to pass ‘within week’,http://rtvote.com/1f1FWUw
    Hawaii’s legislature is expected to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage “within a week or so.” The state’s House of Representatives will pass the bill on Thursday if it passes Senate; both chambers have Democratic majorities. Governor Neil Abercrombie stated that he hopes the bill will pass before January, at the very latest.

    White House: Review will address global NSA concernshttp://rtvote.com/1gXYp8Q
    As more nations become enraged by NSA’s spying programs, the White House has assured the public that the collection of data on allies will not continue. A review of these programs is currently in the works, and a report on the review will be due by the end of the year. Spain is the latest country that has joined in on protests against the U.S.’s surveillance tactics; others include Germany, France, Brazil, and Mexico.

    Trick-or-treating takes a tasteless turnhttp://rtvote.com/1g9uU2E
    Halloween is right around the corner, and so are some of the most offensive costumes in Halloween history. Some of the more tasteless trick-or-treaters are donning Ariel Castro costumes, blackface costumes, and even Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman costumes. There has been a backlash on social media sites (rightfully so) against such getups, and the Utah Jazz and Julianne Hough have received such criticism.

    5 killed in Dallas-area shootings; suspect arrestedhttp://rtvote.com/1f1LVZx
    Police have arrested Charles Everett Brownlow, Jr., 36, for killing five people in a shooting spree in the small town of Terrell, Texas. The murders started at 5 PM Monday, and Brownlow was captured and arrested early Tuesday. The victims have not been officially identified.

    Report: White House knew plans would be canceled under ACA,http://rtvote.com/1gY57eY
    About 50%-75% of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will have their plans cancelled in the next year because their current policies fail to meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Initially, the White House said that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be kept even if they did not meet the requirements of the new healthcare law. The Department of Health and Human Services later narrowed that provision. NBC News reports that the Obama administration has known for three years that people’s insurance would be canceled. The White House has responded that those whose policies are voided will be automatically shifted to plans with better protections. Additionally, they claim that nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their plans, but the failure of some plans to meet the new minimum standards should be expected.


    George Clooney and John Prendergast discuss what should be done to stop the chaos in Sudan in “Sudan could become a second Syria,” http://rtvote.com/1f1Puij

    Errol Louis talks about Banksy’s insensitive slam against New Yorkers and Americans in “Banksy’s insult shows he’s clueless about New York,” http://rtvote.com/19PKcV9


    Julianne Hough Goes Blackface as Orange is the New Black Character for Halloween Costume, http://rtvote.com/1gY8ouS

    Jonas Brothers Break Up: “It was a Unanimous Decision,” http://rtvote.com/1gY8H8U

    Dax Shepard Doesn’t Have a Wedding Ring, Says It Cost Him $142 to Marry Kristen Bell,http://rtvote.com/1gY9t63

    Adam Levine Says Fiancée Behati Prinsloo Made Him Believe in Marriage,http://rtvote.com/1gY9R4i


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

    News Round-Up: Friday, August 9, 2013

    Friday, August 9th, 2013

    US staff in Pakistan removed due to increasing violence; the Eiffel Tower is evacuated; 16 New Jersey co-workers win the Powerball; and the Perseid meteor shower is set to light up the weekend night sky. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon reveals surrogacy; Beyoncé has a new due; and Lady Gaga strips down to her birthday suit.



    U.S. Pulls Staff From Pakistan Consulate as Violence Continues, http://rtvote.com/19SbGf0
    The United States pulled staff from its consulate in Lahore on Friday, citing terrorist threats that also led the State Department to advise Americans against traveling to Pakistan as violence continued to rattled the country.  Diplomats in the area were moved to other cities with only a small number of emergency personnel remaining.

    New Jersey co-workers hold Powerball winning ticket, http://rtvote.com/16zOq0d
    A group of 16 co-workers from New Jersey are one of three winning Powerball tickets and will be splitting the $448 million jackpot.  The group of employees of a vehicle maintenance department took part in the pool for the ticket bought at a local supermarket.

    Eiffel Tower Evacuated Due To Bomb Threat, http://rtvote.com/16zNKYI
    The Eiffel Tower was completely evacuated on Friday afternoon following a bomb alert, according to police officials. This popular French tourist attraction is regularly faced with bomb scares but is rarely subject to full evacuation.

    Turkish Airlines pilot, co-pilot kidnapped in Lebanon, http://rtvote.com/19SeCIu
    A minibus carrying a Turkish Airlines crew from Lebanon’s major international airport was waylaid early on Friday. The pilot and co-pilot were kidnapped from the minibus and the abduction is seen as the latest fallout from the neighboring war in Syria.

    Perseid meteor shower to light up night sky this weekend, http://rtvote.com/19SdKUo
    August’s annual Perseids meteor shower peaks Sunday and Monday, promising a possible 70 meteors an hour during those evenings. The Perseids take their name from the Greek myth of Perseus, who was born from a shower of heavenly gold.  Their brilliance is owed to the speed and the size of the meteors.

    Whitney Houston Would Have Celebrated 50th Birthday Today, http://rtvote.com/16zMq8j

    Coldplay’s “Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Song, ‘Atlas,’ to Debut Aug. 26, http://rtvote.com/16zMzbQ

    Beyoncé’s Pixie Cut: Singer Shows Off Short, Blond Hair, http://rtvote.com/16zMULw

    Lady Gaga Gets Completely Naked to Support the Marina Abramovic Institute, http://rtvote.com/16zN5qh

    Jimmy Fallon Reveals New Daughter Was Born Via Surrogate, http://rtvote.com/16zNdWG


    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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

    News Round-Up: Monday, July 29, 2013

    Monday, July 29th, 2013

    Obama set to back student loan deal; Israel-Palestine peace talks to resume; 51 are dead in Iraqi car bombings; and Pope Francis says he will not judge gay priests. Meanwhile, Diane Lane to play Hillary Clinton in new miniseries; and Johnny Depp discusses ending acting career.

    -Ally + Maura


    At least 51 dead in Iraq car bombingshttp://rtvote.com/15ZvrvV

    Monday morning rush hour saw a series of car bombings in central and southern Iraq. The attacks were reportedly led by “insurgents determined to undermine the government.” Since April of this year, similar events have killed over 3,000, reviving fear from the violence of the last decade.

    Thief Gets Away With Estimated $50 Million in Jewelry at a French Riviera Hotel, http://rtvote.com/15Zw5JQ

    An armed thief stirred the Carlton InterContinental Hotel in Cannes on Sunday, following the escape of an imprisoned member of the Pink Panther gang of jewel thieves in Switzerland. The jewels were exhibited in the hotel by the Leviev diamond house.

    Israeli-Palestinian peace talks set to resume Monday, http://rtvote.com/15ZwewB

    The U.S. State Department has announced that peace talks will resume this evening, with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho representing Israel, and Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh for Palestine. In anticipation of the talks, Israel released 104 Palestinian prisoners. These actions suggest hope for fruitful negotiations.

    Pope Francis says he won’t ‘judge’ gay priests, http://rtvote.com/13gRu2z

    Following a visit to Brazil’s World Youth Day, his first foreign trip as Pope, Francis says he will not judge gay priests. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” This view is in stark contrast to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

    White House Muted in Response to New Mass Killing of Egyptian Protesters, http://rtvote.com/19sN24y 

    Sunday marked the second mass killing of Egyptians in three weeks. The Obama administration remains quiet on the event, while Western diplomats work to calm tensions. The event revives the question as to whether Congress should suspend its aid to Egypt.

    Obama backs student loan bill, http://rtvote.com/13gUZpE

    After the Senate passed a bipartisan agreement to reverse the immediate doubling of student loan rates, linking rates to the interest rates, the bill will be brought to vote today in the House. The House is also expected to pass the bill, and President Obama signaled he would follow suit.


    Diane Lane to Play Hillary Clinton in NBC Miniseries, http://rtvote.com/13gYiNJ

    Johnny Depp to Quit Acting? “It’s Probably Not Too Far Away,” http://rtvote.com/13gXR5S

    Box office report: ‘The Wolverine’ earns $55 million; Plus ‘Despicable Me 2’ crosses $300 million mark, http://rtvote.com/19sO9Ba

    Lady Gaga Unveils ‘Applause’ Single Name, Artwork, http://rtvote.com/13gXaJR

    Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury Duets To Reportedly See Release This Fall, http://rtvote.com/15ZEcWM

    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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

    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Thursday, June 20th, 2013

    The U.S. destroys some of its military equipment in Afghanistan in an effort to pull out of the war; MERS virus appears more deadly than SARS; pollution in Singapore hits record high; four people are arrested for kidnapping, assaulting and attempting to kill a gay man; the crash of TWA flight 800 is once again under investigation; the European Commission asks France and Britain to make the Eurostar passenger tickets more affordable; and Obama begins plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions in existing power plants. Meanwhile, Sam Taylor-Johnson agrees to direct Fifty Shades of Gray movie, and Madonna reveals a trailer of her new “secret project.”

    Maura + Alexis


    Scrapping equipment key to Afghan drawdown, http://wapo.st/14jxaLB
    The U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other equipment as it attempts to reduce its involvement in the Afghanistan war. This grand disposal is unprecedented and was the solution to the question of what to do with equipment that will not be returning home. The U.S. hopes to greatly reduce its involvement in the war by the end of 2014.

    Mysterious new MERS virus spreads easily, deadlier than SARS, http://fxn.ws/144QXxL
    A newly discovered respiratory virus spreads even more easily than SARS, said doctors Wednesday. The virus originated in the Middle East, and the largest outbreak was in Saudi Arabia. Over 60 cases and 38 deaths have been recorded by the World Health Organization in the last year. Although MERS appears very similar to SARS, one way in which they are different is their source, and doctors are still investigating to find an answer to that question.

    Pollution in Singapore Hits Record Level, http://nyti.ms/195lliF
    Widespread forestry burning in Indonesia has provided Singapore with the negative externality of pollution. This Thursday, pollution levels rose to record highs. The Pollution Sandards Index has hit 371. Because health officials consider anything above 300 to be hazardous to health, Singaporean residents have been urged to stay inside and to wear a mask if stepping outside is necessary.

    4 relatives sentenced for kidnap, assault of gay man in Kentucky, http://bit.ly/17oGxj5
    Four relatives have been sentenced to years in prison for kidnapping and assaulting a gay man in Kentucky. They are being accused of luring the gay man into a truck, driving him to a state park, assaulting him, and attempting to kill him. Luckily the man escaped before he was killed. The two men were sentenced to three decades and 17 years respectively, and then the two women were sentenced to eight years and four months and eight years respectively.

    What brought down TWA Flight 800? Group wants investigation reopened, http://lat.ms/12VTuzg
    A request has been made to reopen the investigation of the 1996 explosion and crash of TWA Flight 800 that crashed off the coast of Long Island killing all 230 people aboard the aircraft. The request has come from a group of former investigators who argue that new evidence shows that an external force may have caused the disaster of the Boeing 747.

    Britain, France face EU action over high Eurostar charges, http://reut.rs/1avdNUA
    The European Commission announced Thursday that they would give France and Britain two months to respond to a request to lower charges for passenger and freight trains operating in the Channel Tunnel or else they would face court action. Illegally high track access charges have resulted recently in higher ticket prices on the Eurostar train. Much of the tunnel has not even been used due to these increasing charges and fees. EU officials bring up the fact that if the charges were lower, the tunnel could begin working at full capacity and make up for the difference in price by doubling of the amount of freight trains in service.

    Obama Readying Emissions Limits on Power Plants, http://nyti.ms/14iXAgs
    Wednesday, senior officials shared that President Obama is in the process of creating regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. This is the most consequential climate policy Obama has set in action so far, and it is likely to be met by some criticism from Republicans and some industries.


    Fifty Shades of Grey Gets a Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson “Will Honor” E.L. James’ Book, http://eonli.ne/16hgIgd

    Amanda Bynes & Wyclef Jean: Actress & Rapper Not Collaborating For Bynes’ Album, http://huff.to/180lRNC

    Journey: James Gandolfini Connection, Via ‘The Sopranos’ Ending, Was ‘Truly An Honor’, http://huff.to/11ALtt3

    Madonna ‘Secret Project’ Trailer: Singer Unveils Moody Clip For Mysterious Effort, http://huff.to/146DBRK

    This Week’s Cover: A first look at the making of ‘Divergent’, http://bit.ly/10x1vcg

    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