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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

    A Ukrainian naval base is taken over in Crimea; data has been deleted from the pilot of the missing Flight 370’s flight simulator; the results of the Illinois primary election are in; and an Icelandic volcano might be close to erupting. Meanwhile, it was a big night for TV on Tuesday: get the scoop on the season finale of Pretty Little Liars and some inside information on Glee’s final season; plus, Mick Jagger talks about the suicide of L’Wren Scott; and celebrities react to L.A.’s earthquake on Twitter- see what they had to say!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Data deleted from pilot’s simulator, official says: http://rtvote.com/1qUkx6B
    Hishammuddin Hussein, an official looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, noticed that some of the data from the pilot of the flight’s (Captain Zahaire Ahmad Shah) flight simulator had been deleted. This has raised suspicions because the files saved from the flight simulator are not that large and do not take up a lot of room once saved and stored. Also, pilots use the data to track their progress, so to delete parts of it would be unusual. Flight 370 is nearing the 13th day of its disappearance, and the search area spans nearly 3 million square miles. United States officials believe, however, that the plane is probably in the southern part of the search area or at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

    Pro-Russians storm Ukrainian navy base in Crimea: http://rtvote.com/1mhaeso
    Tensions between Russians and Ukrainians in Crimea are readily increasing. On Wednesday, 300 pro-Russian supporters took over the Ukrainian naval post in Sevastopol, Crimea, just a day after Crimea voted to become part of Russia. No shots were fired between the pro-Russian supporters and the Ukrainian naval personnel, but the Ukrainian flags on the naval headquarters were replaced with Russian ones. This occurred one day after a Ukrainian military member was killed, another was injured, and others were captured when gunmen attacked the base in Simferopol, Crimea.

    Bruce Rauner wins close GOP primary in Illinois: http://rtvote.com/1eRGfj2
    Bruce Rauner, the 57-year-old billionaire businessman who set a state campaign finance record by funneling $6 million of his own money into his campaign, defeated state Senator Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary by a pretty close margin. He will contest incumbent governor Pat Quinn in November, who is regarded as one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors in the United States. For Senate, the GOP nominee is Jim Oberweis; however, his chance of winning against Democratic Senator Dick Durbin in November is slim. For election result numbers, click here.

    Iceland’s Hekla volcano could blow soon, claims scientist: http://rtvote.com/1j3DSRF
    A geoscientist from the University of Iceland claims that one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, dubbed “Hekla,” could erupt in the near future. A sign of a coming eruption is bulging rock and ground on the volcano’s northern side; this means the amount of magma under the volcano is increasing. Apparently, there is more magma under Hekla today than there was in 2000, when it last erupted. Hekla has a reputation for erupting with little or short notice, so geoscientists are keeping a close watch on the volcano for signs of eruption.

    CULTURAL

    Rock legend Mick Jagger talks about the suicide of L’Wren Scotthttp://rtvote.com/1l3TnZT

    The Giver Trailer Premiers: Watch Katie Holmes, Jeff Bridges, and Meryl Streep in Action: http://rtvote.com/Nu7Xe8 

    Read celebrity reactions to the L.A. earthquake: http://rtvote.com/1p472xm

    Pretty Little Liars season 4 episode recap- talk about intense! http://rtvote.com/OwVqI5

    Which beloved characters will remain for Glee’s final season? http://rtvote.com/1fF5Hb3

    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: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

    Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

    President Obama intends to discuss raising the minimum wage for some Federal workers in his State of the Union Address tonight; John W. Warner surprises many by endorsing his Democratic successor Mark Warner; and peace talks in the Middle East have led to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreeing to a three year transition period. Meanwhile, legendary folk singer Pete Seeger passed away today and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ will premiere its 200th episode tonight!

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL
    Obama to raise minimum wage for some Federal Workers, http://rtvote.com/MpuoSk
    In tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama plans to announce his intention of using an executive order to raise the minimum wage for some federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. The White House released a statement saying,“The President is using his executive authority to lead by example, and will continue to work with Congress to finish the job for all Americans by passing the (congressional) bill.” The State of the Union Address will air tonight at 9PM EST.

     Ex-GOP Sen. John Warner Endorses Dem, http://rtvote.com/M9K5MN
    Former Republican Senator John Warner has earned a reputation as a party maverick for bucking conservatives who won control of the GOP during his 30 year tenure in the US Senate. The former senator praised Democrat Mark Warner in his interview with the Associated Press as being a politician who understands the importance of bipartisan solutions. Mark Warner is grateful for his former opponent’s support and lauded John Warner as “The Gold Standard of Virginia”.

    Colorado High School Student Sets Self on fire in Cafeteria, http://rtvote.com/M9OpeJ
    A student at a local Denver high school set himself on fire in the school cafeteria. The unnamed 16 year-old student remains in critical condition as family, friends, school faculty, and police attempt to figure out what led the student to set himself on fire. Yesterday was the latest incident to affect the Denver area school community in recent weeks.

    Bill to Offer an Option to Give Vouchers, http://rtvote.com/1mRTtzT
    Senator Lamar Alexander, who served as Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, is planning to introduce a bill sometime today that would give federal money to the parents of 11 million children from low income families to spend on any type of schooling, as long as it is an accredited institution. Under this legislation, states would be given the option to opt in to the voucher program. About a third of states have already taken steps to redefine public education with a network of vouchers and scholarships. The rollout of Senator Alexander’s bill is seen as being a rallying point for Republicans as they approach mid-term election season.

    Palestinian President Says He Can Accept a 3 year transition period, http://rtvote.com/1dL3U2Z
    President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said in an interview that he can accept an Israeli military presence in the West Bank for three years as part of a peace deal. Mr. Mahmoud said,“We are willing to allow a third party to take Israel’s place during and after a withdrawal in order to soothe our concerns and Israel’s.”

    CULTURAL
    Pete Seeger, American Folk singer and songwriter dies at 94- http://rtvote.com/1e4voqq
    Rosie O’Donnell returning to The View as a guest seven years after bitter exit- http://rtvote.com/1hITkOm
    Kate Middleton will be attending The National Portrait Gala- http://rtvote.com/1f7MhOY
    ‘How I Met Your Mother’ will air the 200th episode tonight- http://rtvote.com/1iGUj5j

    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 23, 2013

    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

    Dead Boston Marathon suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was allegedly involved in a triple slaying in 2001; a 14-year-old boy is arrested for a teacher’s murder; and this year’s increases in public university tuitions are the lowest they’ve been in three decades. Meanwhile, a man spends major bucks to look like J-Biebs, and Katharine McPhee is caught kissing a married man (uh oh!).

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Dead Boston Marathon suspect tied to 2011 killingshttp://rtvote.com/19v0suo
    Federal prosecutors have filed a report against 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect shot and killed by police. Authorities allege that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in a triple slaying on September 11, 2011. The filing is prosecutors’ attempt to block Tamerlan’s younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, from obtaining certain information from authorities, like investigative documents on the triple slaying, also known as the Waltham slayings.

    Obama appeals to backers on health care lawhttp://rtvote.com/1fVgPpj
    President Obama reminds American citizens that the new health care program is “much more than a website.” There are many benefits, including young people being able to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26, the elimination of restrictions on coverage, and the provision of preventive care. The president admitted there are technical issues to overcome with healthcare.gov, but he assures the American people that these problems are being addressed as we speak.

    Colleges see a slowdown in tuition price increaseshttp://rtvote.com/19vd9Wg
    This year, four-year public universities in the U.S. have seen the smallest annual increase in three decades. Tuition and fees rose only 2.9%, but this was offset by recent declines in federal grant aid. Low tuition increases are a reason to rejoice, but don’t expect to see much of this from now on. Economist Sandy Baum says that these small increases serve as reminders of the cyclical nature of price increases.

    Boy held in teacher’s death that closed schools in Danvers, Massachusettshttp://rtvote.com/1eJm2gU
    The body of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old teacher, was found in the woods near Danvers High School in Massachussetts today. A 14-year-old boy was arrested and is being held for Ritzer’s murder. Authorities found the teacher’s body after she failed to return home yesterday; the boy was reported missing yesterday afternoon. Police cannot release the suspect’s name or his connection to Ritzer because of his juvenile status.

    Dolphins killed for shark bait in Peruhttp://rtvote.com/1fVmonK
    The cost of fish bait increases annually in Peru, so shark fishermen have resorted to using dolphins as shark bait. This practice is outlawed in Peru, but that isn’t stopping them. The Peruvian government has promised to investigate whether this is a widespread practice and will take measures if so. More than 10,000 dolphins are being slaughtered every year in Peruvian waters. Shark meat is predominantly consumed in Peru, but the fins are oftentimes shipped to the Far East as well.
     

    PUNDITS 

    James Alan Fox stresses the importance of safer gun policies and technologies in “Nevada school shooting shows limits of security,”http://rtvote.com/1gFegsQ

    Julian Zelizer applauds the gay rights movement for focusing on the marriage issue to garner political support in “Chris Christie ahead of the GOP curve on same-sex marriage,” http://rtvote.com/1eJsh4p

    CULTURAL

    Man Spends $100,000 to Look Like Justin Bieber, http://rtvote.com/1gFfTH1

    Katharine McPhee Caught Kissing Married Smash Director Michael Morris, http://rtvote.com/1eJsS5U

    Rider Strong Marries Alexandra Barreto, http://rtvote.com/1gFgAzX

    Danielle Fishel Slams Critics Calling Her Fat On Wedding Day, http://rtvote.com/1gFgFDU

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

    The Turkish deputy PM seeks to appease citizens; the U.N. human rights team believes Syria has used chemical weapons; the GOP threatens to restrict funding for the IRS; floods continue in Germany; Oscar Pistorius’s hearing is postponed until August 19; an American tourist is gang-raped in India; China censors the big yellow duck; and David Barton warns Christians not to drink Starbucks coffee.  Meanwhile, Channing and Jenna Tatum reveal their baby girl’s name, and Coldplay drummer makes a cameo in Game of Thrones.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Turkish deputy PM seeks to calm anti-government protests, http://reut.rs/19EmmvR
    Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister attempted to appease anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday with an apology for police crackdown on a peaceful protest. Bulent Arinc’s words carried a much different tone than Erdogan’s, who leftMonday on a visit to North Africa. Arinc told a news conference in Ankara that “the excessive violence that was used in the first instance against those who were behaving with respect for the environment is wrong and unfair. I apologize to those citizens.”

    U.N. rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria, http://reut.rs/19EBUQb
    Human rights investigators from the U.N. said Tuesday that they had “reasonable grounds” to believe that at least small amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria. Now, more so than ever, a sense of urgency has been instilled in the West to end the war. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the use of chemical weapons was unacceptable. The U.N. commission examined four reported toxic attacks in the months of March and April, but there is no information as to which side was behind the attacks.

    GOP threatens IRS purse strings, http://bit.ly/18NZR8E
    GOP appropriators said Monday that they were willing and able to pull on the IRS’s ‘purse strings’ to elicit answers regarding accusations that the IRS has been targeting conservative groups. In other words, the House Appropriations Committee would restrict IRS funding, a power only Congress has, in order to get to the truth. The acting IRS chief said he is prepared to defend President Obama’s budget, which aims for a $1 billion increase in funding for the IRS.

    Floods threaten Dresden as Prague river levels fall, http://bbc.in/1309bjF
    Cities in southern and eastern Germany are on high alert, and Dresden prepares for water levels 5m higher than average. Thankfully, river levels in Prague are falling, and floodwaters are moving north. The city of Regensburg has declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, in the state state of Saxony, which includes the city of Dresden, officials warn that water levels have the chance of rising higher than those of the record floods of 2002. Eleven people have died so far throughout the countries affected; only six fewer than in 2002.

    Oscar Pistorius’ hearing postponed until Aug. 19, http://usat.ly/15BPcds
    Oscar Pistorius stood throughout the entirety of his 15-minute court hearing Tuesday, portraying very little emotion. It was a very different look compared to the very emotional presentation he gave during his bail hearing in February. Magistrate Daniel Thulare decided to postpone the case until August 19, 2013, allowing police more time for investigations.

    US Tourist Gang-raped in Northern India: Police, http://yhoo.it/18QhJ2V
    An American female tourist was gang-raped by a truck driver and two accomplices Tuesday in Northern India. The 30-year-old woman was raped following her decision to accept an offer for a ride from a truck driver in Manali. Medical tests prove that she was indeed raped, and police continue to hunt down the criminals. Every truck driver in Manali has been ordered to report to the local police station in an effort to track down the three men.

    Censored in China: ‘Today,’ ‘Tonight’ and ‘Big Yellow Duck’, http://nyti.ms/12qwdFj
    China has banned the phrases “today,” tonight,” “June 4,” and “big yellow duck” on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, today due to a picture posted on the internet that quickly became an internet sensation. In an attempt to resurrect a banned image of a Chinese man blocking a line of tanks in Tianenman Square, a photoshopped version of the iconic image was posted on Weibo replacing the tanks with big yellow ducks. The images were almost immediately removed by censors, but only after making their way all across cyberspace.

    Christians Can’t Drink Starbucks Because Company Supports Gay Marriage, Evangelical Says (VIDEO), http://huff.to/16Exgmo
    According to former evangelical pastor and conservative activist David Barton, there is “no way” a truly righteous Christian can drink coffee from a cup with a little green straw – from Starbucks, that is. Because Starbucks donates money to support gay marriage and has publicly supported Washington state’s same-sex marriage bill, Barton argues that to support the company would be supporting “what is attacking God.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Miguel’s Leg Drop Victim May Have Suffered Brain Damage, Might Sue, http://huff.to/1b0xFfL

    Jonah Hill In ‘Arrested Development’ Movie? Mitch Hurwitz Reveals He Could Have Played George Michael In Elaborate Hoax, http://huff.to/18R74oH

    Penelope Cruz As Bond Girl? Rumor Has Oscar Winner Heading To Next 007 Film, http://huff.to/18Ls4d

    Will Champion On ‘Game Of Thrones’: Coldplay Drummer Makes Cameo Appearance As Drummer, http://huff.to/16FhWWK

    Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Reveal New Daughter’s Name!, http://eonli.ne/15xx3Ne

    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



    News Round-Up: Monday, March 18, 2013

    Monday, March 18th, 2013

    Republicans look to change the party’s image; a verdict is reached in the Steubenville high school rape trial; President Obama will select Tom Perez for Secretary of Labor; and Hillary Clinton announces her support for gay marriage. Meanwhile, Beyonce premiers two new songs; Lil Wayne remains in intensive care; and Justin Timberlake could release a follow-up album to “The 20/20 Experience”.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Republicans want to end perception as ‘stuffy old men’, http://bit.ly/107gA1e
    The Republican National Committee released a report on Monday addressing its image problems and structural setbacks, including hundreds of recommendations on how to target specific demographic groups that favored Democrats in 2012. The report, which totals over 100 pages, was initiated by the RNC immediately after November’s election loss. It was created in response to the fact that Mitt Romney lost the vote of every demographic except for white men. Social policy is at the forefront of the report, with many recommendations about issues like gay rights. The report also advocates for change at the campaign level, including a stronger digital effort .

    Verdicts in Steubenville high school rape trial, http://nbcnews.to/15U8JFT
    Two high school football players accused of raping an intoxicated 16 year-old girl at a party in Steubenville, Ohio, were found guilty despite denying charges. Seventeen year-old Trent Mays and 16 year-old Ma’Lik Richmond were accused of raping and sharing pictures of the passed out girl in August, launching a case that attracted national media attention and divided the small community. As allegations surfaced that other students were involved, many claimed that those in the know should stand trial. As a result, Ohio’s attorney general plans to convene a grand jury that will look into whether more students should be investigated.

    Hillary Clinton Announces Suport for Gay Marriage, http://huff.to/15hCeiE
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her support for gay marriage on Monday, claiming in a video released by gay rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, that gays and lesbians are “full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship.” Clinton’s announcement aligns her with other high-profile Democrats on an issue that is quickly gaining public approval, and fuels speculation that she may be considering a presidential run in 2016.

    President Obama to pick Tom Perez for Labor, http://politi.co/146xDEa
    President Obama will nominate Tom Perez as his next labor secretary, according to White House officials. Perez currently serves as the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and would be the first Hispanic-American appointed to Obama’s second-term cabinet. Perez will likely face tough questions from Senate Republicans during confirmation hearings, including inquiries into a misleading report he gave about racial hostilities within the Civil Rights Division.

    Hill Poll: Voters prefer Republican budget ideas, but dislike GOP, http://bit.ly/113FvBO
    Though a majority of voters favor Republican fiscal ideas, voters were more likely to trust the Democratic Party over the GOP on budgetary issues, a Hill poll found. According to the poll, some voters who identified themselves as Democrats supported several Republican ideas, and 65 percent of those surveyed were partial to reducing the deficit by cutting spending rather than by raising taxes. Yet questions that specifically mentioned the Republican Party demonstrated mistrust among voters, raising concerns about the image problem and identity crisis many believe the GOP currently faces.

    Plane crashes into Indiana neighborhood, kills 2, http://bit.ly/YjYZ5F
    A corporate jet crashed into a row of single-story homes in a South Bend, Indiana neighborhood on Sunday, killing two of the four passengers aboard and injuring two others. The plane’s pilot said he was experiencing technical issues, and was attempting to circle back to the airport after one failed landing attempt. The neighborhood of around 50 homes has been evacuated, with two shelters set up for residents.

    CULTURAL: 

    Beyonce premieres new songs “Bow Down” and “I Been On,” http://bit.ly/119LyIH

    History Channel’s Satan Looks A Lot Like Barack Obama, http://bit.ly/15fztyt

    Lil Wayne–Day 6 in Intensive Care, http://tmz.me/143dVZL

    Justin Timberlake to Release Follow-Up Album in November, http://bit.ly/WxMIuV

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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