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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

    The SCOTUS comes to a decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case; a powerful earthquake strikes off the coast of Chile; Muriel Bowser defeats incumbent in DC mayoral primary; and bombings hit Cairo University in Egypt. Meanwhile, the Broadway cast of The Lion King does an epic rendition of the “Circle of Life” in an unexpected place; Michael Strahan shares some big news with the TV world; and Anna Kendrick preps for her SNL appearance.

    -Veronica + Maura


    DEVELOPING STORY: Justices strike down political donor limits: http://rtvote.com/1dN6htc
    The Supreme Court of the United States has determined the outcome of the McCutcheon v. FEC case.  With a vote of 5-4, individuals are no longer faced with a limit on how much they can donate to political campaigns. The winning argument determined that individual donor limits and regulations violated the First Amendment rights of the donor.

    Powerful earthquake strikes off Chile, triggers tsunami: http://rtvote.com/1pL0c20
    A massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck directly off the coast of Chile on Tuesday. Fortunately, damage was minimal; landslides wiped out roads in some places and phone and power lines were also knocked out. Tsunami warnings were also in effect as tsunamis hit at various beaches, generating 6 to 7 foot waves. Five people died: two had heart attacks while the others were crushed by debris. People fled to higher ground as soon as the quake was felt, creating some traffic jams. Some are still without any source of power or phones, not knowing if they are able to return to their homes. There is no danger for the United States coastline.

    Muriel Bowser defeats Gray in DC mayoral primary: http://rtvote.com/1hhuFO7
    DC Councilmember Muriel Bowser defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in yesterday’s mayoral primary. Gray had been hit with scandals and a federal investigation relating to potential monetary felonies that helped him get elected in 2010. The Democratic primary winner has won every official election in Washington because 75% of registered voters in the district are Democrats; however, the Republican challenger, David Catania, is a definite contender. Despite Bowser’s win, many voters were discouraged with the candidates running and the election experienced a low voter turnout.

    Regulators did not properly track complaints on GM switches, inspector general says: http://rtvote.com/1oqcDTM
    According to the Department of Transportation’s inspector general Calvin L. Scovel III, “federal auto safety regulators lacked effective procedures for tracking consumer complaints” about the flaw in the ignition: the issue that has spurred the recall and resulted in thirteen deaths. General Motors’ Chief Executive, Mary T. Barra, says she was unaware of the issue until this year and did not answer questions relating to GM’s failure to fix the flaw. GM has recalled 2.6 million Chevy Cobalts deemed at risk for the ignition switch flaw. According to lawmakers, the ignition switch problem could have been solved by GM for a cost of .57 cents per vehicle.

    Bombings rock area near Cairo University: http://rtvote.com/1mKyRhw
    Two bombs planted outside of Cairo University in Egypt exploded, killing an Egyptian police officer and wounding five other security officers. Violence like this has been prevalent since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi last year, and is expected to escalate as Election Day grows closer. The current Egyptian leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is expected to win with almost no contest, as the Muslim Brotherhood, the political party behind Morsi, and Egypt’s most organized party, have been banned. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack, although people speculate that Islamic militants are responsible. 


    The Lion King Broadway cast gives an impromptu performance: watch the awesome video! http://rtvote.com/1ft6eRL

    Anna Kendrick’s SNL promos are a thing of beauty & hilarity: http://rtvote.com/1mKFekZ  

    Michael Strahan has some big news: http://rtvote.com/1pQYSc5

    Miley Cyrus grieving over dog’s death: http://rtvote.com/1go46Xp

    Two people debate the How I Met Your Mother finale: http://rtvote.com/1oqkwbV

    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: December 10, 2013

    Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

    Some Colorado residents are preparing their guns for some drone-hunting; the winter weather is closing offices, getting flights cancelled, and posing a real safety threat; and GM names the very first woman to run a major automaker. Meanwhile, Lea Michele releases a preview of her debut single, and Miley is named MTV’s best artist of 2013.

    -Sandy + Maura



    Colorado town’s vote on drone ordinance postponedhttp://rtvote.com/18zSP6I
    A vote on a drone ordinance is currently on hold as a court determines the ordinance’s legality. If passed, it would allow Deer Trail residents to shoot down federal drones. The FAA is concerned that this could lead to criminal or civil liability. Responses are mixed; one of the biggest concerns of drone use is trespassing.

    Extreme cold raises fears for 2 adults, 4 children missing in Nevada snowhttp://rtvote.com/J23bCO
    As the winter weather hits many parts of the U.S., federal offices in DC close as more sleet and snow are expected. New York and Philadelphia are expected to receive several inches of snow, and temperatures will drop to about 10-20 degrees below normal in many areas. Rescue teams in Nevada are also searching for two adults and four children who went out to play in the snow and never returned. Please keep warm and stay safe, everyone.

    Friends say student killed by officer was gentle; police say he struck officerhttp://rtvote.com/1hKFvBV
    Robert Cameron Redus, 23, who many describe as a gentle and compassionate honor student, was shot and killed by a campus police officer at his Catholic college in Texas last week. Redus allegedly hit the officer with his own baton after a night of drinking, and when Redus failed to comply with Cpl. Christopher Carter’s orders to stop resisting, Carter fired six shots at Redus. Five of those shots hit Redus and ended the student’s life.

    GM names Mary Barra as CEO – first woman to run major automakerhttp://rtvote.com/1bAhbP4
    Mary Barra, an executive vice president and 33-year GM veteran, will succeed current CEO Dan Akerson on January 15 and become the first woman to run a major automaker. GM shares are up more than 40% so far this year, and the company has earned nearly $20 billion in net income since 2010 – the year it returned to profitability after emerging from bankruptcy. Congrats, Mary Barra! This is huge!

    Can airships revolutionize transportation in world’s harshest environments?http://rtvote.com/19zuzij
    First, the drones. Now, new and improved airships? Scientists and engineers are really making strides in the world of technology. U.S.-based airship company Aeros and Icelandic airline Icelandair Cargo intend to team up to develop a new air freight service cross the Arctic. They hope to deliver standard cargo, troops, and disaster relief supplies into remote and inhospitable terrain. The new airship, dubbed the Aeroscraft, is capable of true vertical takeoff and landing, thus eliminating the need for runways. Aeros has also hinted at possible use of these airships as “floating hotels” and “sky yachts for millionaires” in the future.



    Lea Michele Releases Preview of Debut Single “Cannonball” – Plus, Check Out Her Album Cover for Louder,http://rtvote.com/1kwe1wF

    Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie Have a Simple Life Reunion in Miami, http://rtvote.com/1bv3Y99

    Brandi Glanville Apologizes for Her Racist Joke on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hillshttp://rtvote.com/18ztyXt

    Miley Cyrus is MTV’s best artist of 2013, http://rtvote.com/18ktcsM


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


    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    Iran’s leaders react to sanctions; the Greek bailout is starting to unravel; Xi Jinping visits Iowa; unemployment applications continue to drop; Rick Santorum releases his tax returns, and Minnesotans protest voter ID laws. Elsewhere, Buzz Bissinger talks newspaper sales in Philadelphia; New Jersey will fly its flags at half staff in honor of Whitney Houston; and “The Colbert Report” is on temporary hiatus.

    Aaron + Caitlin


    Aggressive Acts by Iran Signal Pressure on Its Leadership, http://nyti.ms/wZuwW7
    Iranian leaders are posturing after the West has tightened sanctions due to Iran’s nuclear strides and its terrorist attacks abroad. In response, Iran will immediately cut off a portion of oil supply to the EU. There has been recent speculation that Israel is prepared to use force in order to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program. Experts are saying that Iran’s recent actions indicate its willingness to fight back if Israel or the United States attacks.

    8 Young Afghans Killed in Strike, NATO Acknowledges, http://nyti.ms/zx5IiU
    Eight Afghan boys have been killed in a bombing in a remote mountainous region of Afghanistan. Afghan officials claim that the boys were unarmed civilians. The families of the deceased have stated that the boys were tending to goats outside of the village. NATO officials have said that they observed the boys with weapons acting in a tactical fashion. Both Afghanistan and NATO agree that there was a search for a weapons cache in the area nearby. According to some of the families, a few of the boys who died were 12 years of age or younger.

    Doubting Greeks’ Resolve, Euro Zone May Hold Back Full Bailout, http://nyti.ms/wEQMvZ
    The EU has yet to hand over the $170 billion that was agreed upon to bail out the Greece. The money was never going to be given in a lump sum because German officials feared that Greece would misuse it and cut back on the austerity measures they insisted on. German economists are voicing their concerns over whether Greek officials can be trustworthy with the bail out. As a result, Greek officials are making incendiary statements towards Germany while protestors burn German flags.

    Xi Jinping visits Iowa, where the diplomatic equivalent of love is in the air, http://wapo.st/x01pzp
    Future Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to return to Iowa, a state he visited as a lowly agricultural official in the 1980s. In 1985, he stayed in Muscatine, Iowa where, with a tiny budget, Jinping slept at the house of a Iowa couple, his bed surrounded by their son’s Star Trek figurines. The visit left a huge mark on Jinping, and he hopes to use his trip to Iowa to show how the US and China need to remain strong partners.

    GM earns highest profit ever in 2011 at $7.6B; union workers to get $7,000 in profit sharing, http://wapo.st/x0GY57
    Strong sales in both the United States and China are responsible for GM’s biggest profit ever in 2011, eclipsing its profits from the late 1990s boom in SUV and Truck sales. The profits have occurred 2 years after the US government bailed out the car manufacturer. However, not all is perfect for GM; the car giant lost money in both Europe and South America which has caused its stocks to not improve as much as it’d like. The US government has a large share of those stocks and is waiting for them to improve before selling them off to recoup money from the bailout.

    Hundreds crowd state Capitol to oppose anti-voting rights amendment http://bit.ly/wQ3ZfH
    Minnesotans are protesting a bill that would rid of same day registration and limit voting to those with who do not have a valid photo ID. According to Minnesota’s Secretary of State, this law would disenfranchise over 200,000 voters, many of whom are elderly, impoverished or homeless. The ruling against same day registration would affect over half a million people who register at the polls. 200 people protested the bill that would force many to cast provisional ballots and would delay many election results.

    Voting rights group files suit over Texas registration practices http://bit.ly/wlgSOp
    Voting for America has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Texas, alleging that they have suppressed voting. The suit centers around what Voting for America feels are illegal laws that limit who can vote. It also points out instances where voters have been asked for photo IDs even though the law has yet to be implemented. In Galveston, many voters were mistakenly listed as first time voters and then were incorrectly asked to present ID cards. Critics of this lawsuit allege that Voting for America is a front for the scandal ridden ACORN and say that it has ties to the White House.


    Whitney Houston’s funeral to be broadcast online; Gov. Christie defends decision to fly flags half-staff, http://wapo.st/xBdnBk

    Stephen Colbert’s show cancels taping Wednesday night, http://wapo.st/wzxQ5Y

    REGGIE BUSH: I’m NOT Back with Kim Kardashian, http://bit.ly/wAb0E5

    Black Thought and Questlove On Board for GrassROOTS Charity Concert in Philly, http://bit.ly/z57IiI

    Big L Mourned 13 Years Later on Anniversary of Passing, http://bit.ly/wnYSLc

    Aaron Ghitelman

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

    The U.S. may be able to pay its bills until Aug. 10, the mayor of Kandahar has been killed in a Taliban suicide attack, Norwegian intelligence thinks the Norway killer acted alone, Piers Morgan may have taken part in phone hacking, the White House and car manufacturers near a deal on fuel standards, a new surge of generic drugs are expected to lower prescription prices, and Google is updating Chrome for Lion multitouch.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    U.S. May Have Way to Cover Bills After Deadline, for Week,
    Due to tax payments and maneuvering by the Treasury Department, the U.S. can probably pay all of its bills until August 10th. However starting August 10th, the government will no longer be able to make out Social Security checks without borrowing. President Obama maintains that August 2nd is Congress’s “hard deadline” to increase the debt ceiling.

    Afghan war: Mayor of Kandahar killed in suicide attack,
    An attacker, who detonated explosives hidden in his turban, has killed Ghulam Haidar Hameedi. This comes as more bad news in Afghanistan; President Karzai’s brother and other high-profile politicians have been killed just as the US is transferring security responsibility to local troops. The Taliban has admitted to carrying out the attack.

    Norway attacks: ‘Breivik acted alone,’
    Janne Kristiansen, the Norwegian Domestic Intelligence Chief, thinks that Anders Behring Breivik carried out his killing spree alone. Kristiansen also doubts that he is insane, describing him as calculating and someone who sought the limelight.

    Morgan Admits Dodgy Practices,
    In the past week, Piers Morgan has been denying that he published stories obtained through phone hacking and other questionable methods. However, an interview with him on June 7, 2009 has him saying this: “Not a lot of that went on…A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves…That’s not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work.”

    White House, carmakers near deal on fuel standards,
    54.5 miles per gallon by 2025; that’s the deal the Obama administration has reportedly made with auto manufacturers. Ford and GM support the new standards, while Chrysler has been more reluctant to do so. The administration has the authority to increase the standards without the companies’ agreement, but has chosen to compromise anyway.

    New surge of generic drugs expected to lower prescription prices,
    The patents for Lipitor, Plavix, and five other best-selling prescription drugs will expire in the next 14 months. An “unprecedented wave” of generic drugs will lower many drug prices by around 70%.

    Google updating Chrome for Lion multitouch,
    Apple users who updated to Lion may have experienced a few bugs. Specifically, Google’s popular Chrome browser could not handle the new iPhone-like touch gestures. Today, Google has released a beta version that fixes many of the issues.

    Google+ and the Norway Tragedy,
    It’s no secret that Twitter has changed the way we experience live breaking news; however, the attacks in Norway were the first big event to test Google+’s reaction. NPR first reported the attack after Google+ user, “Raymond K” broke the news. Raymond K now has thousands of followers.


    Alexander McQueen Leaves $82,000 to His Three Dogs, http://bit.ly/pUshln

    Alexander Skarsgård Sinks His Teeth Into New Anti-Bullying PSA, http://eonli.ne/mSmjZm

    Amy Winehouse’s Family Reveals Plans for Charity Foundation, http://bit.ly/ndaxDF

    ‘Breaking Dawn’ Soundtrack Could Feature A Castmember, http://on.mtv.com/nwPLzv

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

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