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    News Round-Up: Monday, February 24th, 2014

    Monday, February 24th, 2014

    The Department of Defense proposes some extreme military cuts; Deval Patrick may be considering running for president; and a strange polio-like disease strikes five kids. Meanwhile, view the top 15 moments at the Sochi Olympics; Alec Baldwin has harsh words for some celebrities; and Pharrell’s “Smoky the Bear” Grammy’s hat is up for auction.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WWII size:http://rtvote.com/1pjsT6W
    The Department of Defense will present a new defense budget Monday that will decrease defense spending. The budget outlines a plan intent on reducing the Army to the size it was before World War Two (between 440,000 and 450,000 troops) and plans on removing a class of Air Force attack jets. The bill, supported by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, protects funding for cyberwarfare and security as well as special operations programs. Congressional leaders with large military populations in the area they represent may provide a strong opposition to the budget.

    Mass. Gov Patrick: ‘Maybe’ I’ll run for president:http://rtvote.com/1k4j7lg
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told Politico that he might consider a run for president in the future. He originally dismissed rumors of a 2016 presidential bid because he was afraid of the impact the election would have on his family. Patrick said that he and his wife would have to agree on running if he ever considered it. Patrick is not running for a third gubernatorial term this year.

    Longest-serving Congressman to retire:http://rtvote.com/1cHUd9x
    Michigan Representative John Dingell, 87, will retire from the House of Representatives when his 29th term ends later this year. A champion of healthcare reform, environmental protection, gun control, worker’s rights, and gun rights, Dingell has an impressive congressional accomplishments sheet. Serving in Congress has taken a toll on his physical health, and he continually expressed frustration with the increasingly partisan Congressional gridlock. Dingell’s retirement is now one of many, as more congressmen and senators call for retirement. Although his Michigan district is considered a safety district for Democrats, the Congressman or woman who takes his place will have a tough act to follow.

    Polio-like illness found in five California children:http://rtvote.com/1epOTnD
    Between August 2012 and July 2013, five California children have become paralyzed in one or more of their limbs. Doctors ruled out polio because all of the affected children had been vaccinated against the disease, despite their ailment having polio-like qualities. Instead, two of the five children have been diagnosed with enterovirus 68, an incredibly rare disease that is from the same family as polio. Since 2000, there have been 47 cases of enterovirus 68 in the United States. Health officials are not concerned about the possibility of an outbreak, stressing the rarity of the illness.

    Students, say goodbye to snow days:http://rtvote.com/OtTD74
    Teachers are beginning to utilize technology to teach at home. Because this winter has been difficult for many areas of the country, some schools have run out of snow days. Teachers in some school districts have begun to teach online during snow days, requiring students to log in to a program online to keep track of attendance and grades. This prevents students from missing too many school days, which would require school officials to take days away from spring break.

    CULTURAL

    See the most memorable moments from the Sochi Olympics:http://rtvote.com/1fnoTj4

    Brooke-Burke Charvet ousted from her DWTS hosting job:http://rtvote.com/1eb5gt5

    Alec Baldwin’s harsh New York essay:http://rtvote.com/1gwSMKa

    You can buy Pharrell’s infamous Grammy hat:http://rtvote.com/1mD9Ju3

    Liam Neeson discusses Natasha Richardson’s death:http://rtvote.com/1pjQ9ll

    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: Monday, January 27, 2014

    Monday, January 27th, 2014

    Multiple avalanches block a major road in Alaska; the motive behind Saturday’s Maryland mall shooting may be concealed in the shooter’s journal; a Congressman resigns; and a Penn State student is arrested on bomb charges. Meanwhile, the biggest night of music provided surprising wins, awesome fashion, and some awkward dance moves. Find out everything about the 2014 Grammy Awards right here!

    - Veronica + Maura 

    CRUCIAL

    Avalanches cut road travel to Valdez, Alaska: http://rtvote.com/M4WcdS
    Multiple avalanches have covered the only highway into Valdez, Alaska. Officials are urging residents to evacuate because water began to build up behind the debris and snow piles. A shelter has been created at a local high school for those who have chosen to evacuate their homes. The highway is expected to be closed for at least another week.

    Journal may reveal mall shooter’s motive: http://rtvote.com/1gjATmM
    The journal of 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar, the gunman responsible for the Maryland mall shooting on Saturday, may provide details of his motive. The journal was taken from Aguilar’s home after police responded to a missing persons report: before his identity as the shooter had been confirmed. The journal was taken by a police officer who said it contained “enough disturbing information” to cause worry. The contents of the journal have not been released.

    Rep. Trey Radel to resign from Congress After Drug Plea: http://rtvote.com/1gjDnl6
    Representative Trey Radel, a Republican Congressman from Florida convicted of possessing cocaine in November, will resign from Congress. As a freshman congressman, Radel took time off to attend rehab and vowed to stay in office as he sought treatment. The House Ethics Committee, who was looking into Radel’s case to see if he had broken other laws, will lose jurisdiction over his case after his resignation. Many candidates have their eyes on potentially running for his seat, including state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and, possibly, former Representative Connie Mack.

    Penn State student arrested for constructing ‘weapons of mass destruction’: http://rtvote.com/1eaJkxA
    Eighteen year-old Vladislav Miftakhov was arrested when police, investigating his room for a marijuana-related claim, found two homemade bombs and bomb-making materials. The Russian college student was charged with “risking catastrophe” and “unlawful possession of weapons of mass destruction.” Miftakhov told authorities he intended to use the explosives at some point.

    CULTURAL

    The biggest night in music has come to an end: see the complete list of winners here! http://rtvote.com/1fhWCZk

    View photos of the Grammys biggest performances here: http://rtvote.com/1mOt9H7

    Who rocked the red carpet, and who hit a sour note; see the best and worst dressed stars from the 2014 Grammys: http://rtvote.com/LfHrF8

    Macklemore texts Kendrick Lamar after Grammy win: http://rtvote.com/1f2A91r

     

    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, February 13, 2013

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    President Obama advocates for bipartisanship and economic reforms in his State of the Union speech; Marco Rubio responds with a now infamous swig of water; Christopher Dorner is presumed dead from a fire; the pope gives his last public mass before his retirement; the Senate Armed Services Committee approves Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense; and a New York Times reporter finds that calorie listings on foods can be highly inaccurate. Meanwhile, a rare Affenpinscher named Banana Joe wins the Westminster Dog Show; Justin Bieber says The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney should be ‘slapped around;’ and more revealing pictures of Kate Middleton are set to be released.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Obama Pivots Left on Economy in State of the Union Speech, http://rtvote.com/11GAtzA
    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama advocated for bipartisanship within the government and economic reforms. “It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth,” he said. Obama went on to call for an increased minimum wage, a reformed pre-school education system, carbon regulation, immigration reform, and stricter gun laws.

    Did the police start fire that killed Christopher Dorner?, http://rtvote.com/15cBX3i
    The search for Christopher Dorner is over as a cabin he barricaded himself in was burned to the ground last night. Unconfirmed audio for a police scanner points to police starting the fire, which most likely killed Dorner. The ex-LAPD officer stole a car and shot two officers, killing one, during a shootout where he escaped into the cabin.

    Marco Rubio Winsome in Response to Obama, Rand Paul Mostly Feisty, http://rtvote.com/YdwJz2
    On Tuesday night, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio responded to President Obama’s State of the Union speech on behalf of the Republican party. Rubio attacked the president for his stance on taxes and government spending. A particularly memorable moment was when Rubio paused to drink from a water bottle in the middle of speaking. The moment immediately went viral on the Internet. On Good Morning America, Rubio said in regard to the sip, “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human.”

    Pope Says Exit Is for ‘Good of the Church’, http://rtvote.com/11GF7O3
    In what is most likely his last public Mass as pope, Benedict XVI said that he is resigning for the “good of the church.” He also went on to thank his followers for their “love and support.” He cited his health as the reason for his retirement, explaining that he could no longer carry out his responsibilities effectively. The pope’s resignation will take effect February 28.

    Senate Armed Services Committee approves Hagel 14 to 11, http://rtvote.com/YdxW9u
    The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Chuck Hagel as the president’s Secretary of Defense. Hagel was barely approved with the committee voting 14 to 11 to have his nomination go to a vote in the Senate.

    Thai insurgents attack army base, troops kill 16, http://rtvote.com/11GE0Ol
    Sixteen Muslim insurgents were killed by Thai troops in a raid on Wednesday morning. The insurgents were trying to invade a military base in northern Thailand when Thai marines opened fire. The attack indicates the increased number of Muslim insurgents entering Thailand, which is a Buddhist-controlled country.

    Casey Neistat finds that calorie listings on foods can be highly inaccurate in “Calorie Detective,” http://rtvote.com/15cHxTz

    CULTURAL:

    “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin expecting child with new wife, http://rtvote.com/11GDMa3

    Lady Gaga suffers ‘show injury,’ postpones tour for a week, http://rtvote.com/XLmUZl

    Want a Dog Like Banana Joe? There Are 7 For Sale in America, http://rtvote.com/11GG1tU

    Chi Magazine Defends Kate Middleton Baby Pics: U.K. Channel ITV Apologizes for Showing Unblurred Cover,http://rtvote.com/11GG6he

    Justin Bieber Responds to Black Keys’ Drummer Grammy Diss, http://rtvote.com/11GG8Wg

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Monday, February 11, 2013

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign since 1415, the search for an ex-cop at the center of an LAPD revenge plot widens, and sources predict an aggressive State of the Union address from Obama. Meanwhile, Grammy winners celebrate their awards, Justin Timberlake makes his musical return with a retro Grammy performance, and Tiger Woods may be dating Lindsay Vonn.

    CRUCIAL: 

    Pope Benedict XVI To Resign, http://huff.to/VPiqiC
    Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign the papacy on February 28, citing health concerns and old age. The pope, who is 85, will the be the first pope to resign since 1415. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to a certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” said Pope Benedict. Benedict had already been the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years when he was elected in 2005 at age 78. Since there will be no need for the mourning period that traditionally follows the death of a pope, the Vatican will hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March.

    Search for ex-cop at center of LAPD revenge plot widens, http://bit.ly/Y4Icz7
    Authorities are entering the second week of a manhunt for former LAPD cop Christopher Dorner, who released an online manifesto targeting police officers and their families. Dorner says he is seeking revenge for being fired from the police department and is so far accused of killing three, including the daughter of a former LAPD police chief and another former cop. The search for Dorner has widened to become one of the largest in the history of Southern California. Los Angeles announced a $1 million reward on Sunday for help in catching Dorner.

    Obama’s State of the Union 2013: Aggressive, http://politi.co/WEATlU
    Democrats close to Obama hint that the president plans to use his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to challenge the Republican Party and put his opposition on the defensive. West Wing leaks suggest viewers should expect an address much more aggressive than his 2009 SOTU, in which he called for peaceful, bipartisan collaboration. The address is likely to build upon Obama’s progressive Inauguration speech and supposedly will center on jobs creation, the middle class, and infrastructure projects, all key areas for partisan debate. The speech will also mark the debut of Cody Keenan, who wrote for Ted Kennedy, as Obama’s new chief speechwriter. Florida Senator and rising Republican star Marco Rubio will likely generate buzz when he delivers the GOP’s rebuttal speech.

    Graham on Brennan, Hagel: ‘No confirmation without information,’ http://bit.ly/12mIT9R
    Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he would hold up Obama’s nominees to head the CIA and Defense department until he gets more information about the administration’s response to September’s Benghazi attack. “No confirmation without information,” Graham said, addressing whether he would allow the nominations of John Brennan and Chuck Hagel to go forward. Graham specifically asked whether Obama had called Libyan officials and asked them to allow a rescue team to go to the consulate that night, saying he believes American lives could have been saved had the president called the government. ” I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed secretary of defense until the White House gives us an accounting,” he said.

    Tornado tears through southern Mississippi, http://bit.ly/Wc6ZDM
    At least 12 were injured when a tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Sunday, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in four counties. The University of Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg, received significant damage to several buildings as a result of the storm, though none were injured there. No one has been killed so far, authorities reported, though many town structures were impacted. “If there is a good thing about this, it happened on a Sunday when most of these structures were vacant,” mayor of Hattiesburg John DuPree said.

    Local Students Want “Traditional Prom”, Gays Banned, http://bit.ly/Y4iRHc
    A group of students, parents, and at least one teacher at a high school in Sullivan, Indiana are advocating for a “traditional” prom that would ban gay students. Sullivan High School insisted that they cannot legally allow such a prom, inspiring the group to organize at a church on Sunday and discuss options for holding a separate prom. “We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” one high school student said. Though the movement has garnered support from several local pastors, not all in the community agree with it. “The feeling of being loved and belonging is universal,” said local Jim Davis.

    CULTURAL: 

    Grammy Awards 2013: Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ Wins Album of the Year, http://lat.ms/YktKnp

    Justin Timberlake Makes Musical Return With Retro Performance, http://bit.ly/Z4kdGS

    Grammy Dresses: The Bold and the Beautiful, http://bit.ly/14MGQ21

    Tiger Woods Dating Lindsay Vonn; Source Says Relationship is New, http://bit.ly/151O43b

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

    In today’s news, a group of Iranians may be responsible for bombings in Bangkok; Republicans agree to payroll tax extensions; and a silver mine threatens a Mexican community’s way of life. Additionally, the trailer for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” has been released, and a Catholic group criticizes Nicki Minaj’s Grammy’s performance.

    CRUCIAL:

    Explosions in Bangkok Injure Suspected Iranian National, http://nyti.ms/AeOTSc
    There were several explosions today in Bangkok, Thailand. Witnesses say three men, who did not appear ethnically Thai, fled a house following the explosions. Two of the men escaped, but a third was unable to. When a cab refused to pick him up, he threw a grenade at it and then threw a grenade at police officers. The man checked into a hotel as an Iranian and had Iranian currency. Israel had previously warned Thailand of possible terrorist attacks which led to the arrest of a Lebanese man in January.

    House Republican leaders agree to payroll tax holiday extension without offsets, http://wapo.st/zdNooR
    Republican leaders have backed down from their demands that the payroll tax extension be offset by spending cuts. Over Christmas, the Republicans almost did not vote for the extension which would have amounted to a tax increase on most Americans. The average American will have $80 more in their pocket each month thanks to this tax holiday. In addition to this, Congress is hammering out agreements for the $50 billion needed for unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

    Huichol ‘cosmic portal’ peyote ceremonies threatened by silver mine, http://wapo.st/yGS00l
    The Huichol people of Mexico fear an existential threat from a Canadian group seeking to mine a mountain for silver. The group eats peyote as part of a religious experience to heighten introspection and insight. To them, the silver and gold under the mountain contribute to the energies of the peyote and their lifestyle. Other local Mexicans are in favor of the mine as a way to gain jobs.

    Santorum, Taking On Michigan, Wants to Talk Jobs, Not Social Issues, http://nyti.ms/xNuqoC
    After winning many primaries with the help of evangelicals and Tea Party enthusiasts, Santorum is trying to win over those concerned with the economy just as much as morality. While campaigning in Michigan, a state rife with economic issues, Santorum has tried to convince voters that he is just as capable as Mitt Romney when it comes to revitalizing the economy.

    Model Struts Path to Stardom Not on Runway, but on YouTube, http://nyti.ms/yTe8cA
    Kate Upton has followed a unique path to make the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Instead of finding success on international runways, she has become an internet sensation on YouTube. Upton was first noticed when a video of her doing “The Dougie” at an NBA game went viral. Since then, the video has garnered 3 millions views, and Upton has over 100,000 followers on Twitter.

    Backers of Iran Sanctions Make an Appeal to China, http://nyti.ms/zR8c4M
    American groups that have worked hard to isolate and impoverish Iran have reached out to China. These groups are trying to use sanctions to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. As Xi Jinping visits the United States prior to his ascension to power in China, American groups are reaching out to him. China purchases much of Iran’s petroleum and it has the unique ability to sanction Iran in meaningful ways.

    Lottery jackpots may get bigger, http://usat.ly/yfXs8q
    A resident of Rhode Island recently won a powerball lottery sum of over $300 million. Lottery officials estimate that there will soon be a total prize of over $500 Million. The new changes that have increased totals include doubling ticket costs and raising the minimum total prize to $40 million. Officials say that under the current model, there will be a prize of $1 billion every 10 years.

    CULTURAL:

    Haute Event: Perez Hilton Brings the Broken Heart Ball to the Bank, http://bit.ly/yPFNMG
    Grammy Parties: Photos From the Recording Academy, Clive Davis, Cash Money, Belvedere, Pepsi, and More, http://bit.ly/y4b0Kx
    Whitney Houston to be laid to rest Saturday in N.J., http://trib.in/zP98uN
    Las Vegas’ newest museum puts the Mafia on exhibit, http://bit.ly/wXDZSV
    “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” trailer released, http://bit.ly/xdCMaF
    Catholic League President Denounces Nicki Minaj’s “Roman Zolanski” Exorcism/Performance At Grammys, http://bit.ly/zzJ9mi
    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com