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    News Round-Up: Monday, February 3, 2014

    Monday, February 3rd, 2014

    A man was arrested for threatening a former President; a Super Bowl commercial sparks controversy; a convicted murderer escapes a Michigan prison, a man lost at sea for over a year is found; and a new report sheds light on the controversial Keystone Pipeline. Meanwhile, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his NYC apartment; J.K. Rowling drops a Harry Potter bombshell; and the Super Bowl spawned some decent commercials and social media moments.

    - Veronica + Maura 


    Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill George W. Bush: http://rtvote.com/LrGlW4
    A New York man threatened to kill former President George W. Bush on Friday. Allegedly, the man, Benjamin Smith, had an interest in one of Bush’s daughters, Barbara. Smith’s mother alerted police after she found a note discussing his plans and discovered that a rifle was missing from their home. Police found Smith in Manhattan with a loaded rifle, ammunition boxes, gasoline, and a machete and arrested him.

    Coca-Cola “America” ad sparks strong reactions: http://rtvote.com/1gGGPqa
    The Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in eight different languages has sparked controversy around the Internet. People took to Twitter and Facebook to express their opinions. Some criticized the linguistic diversity, saying basically that “in America, we speak English.” Others, however, praised the commercial, saying it was an accurate portrayal of American diversity. Coca-Cola plans to air a longer version of the commercial during the Sochi Olympics. 

    Killer escapes Michigan prison, briefly abducts woman: http://rtvote.com/1ekLPPv
    A search that began in Michigan has become nationwide after a Michigan prisoner had escaped on Sunday. The man, 40-year-old Michael David Elliot allegedly escaped from Iona Correctional Facility by escaping through a hole in the fence. He then kidnapped a woman; she escaped and called police when he stopped to buy gas.

    Marshall Islands castaway details fishing trip gone awry: http://rtvote.com/1nIT1as
    Jose Salvador Alvarenga was found on the Marshall Islands a year after his disappearance. He said after his rescue that he and his traveling partner were blown off course when the fishing boat they were in lost engine power. His traveling companion starved to death after four months, but Alvarenga survived on fish, rainwater, and turtles, among other things. Police are trying to confirm his story while he seeks medical attention.

    Report: Keystone pipeline would have minimal environmental impact: http://rtvote.com/1lx7B6x
    According to a new State Department report, the highly controversial Keystone Pipeline will not have significant environmental effects. This could cause more pressure for President Obama to approve it. Republicans and moderate Democrats are excited, calling on the President to approve the pipeline for the jobs it could create. Environmentalists and Democrats, however, say that the report has failed to recognize the environmental impact of the initial oil extraction. If President Obama approves the pipeline, he could garner more support from the GOP House.


    The 10 best social media moments from Super Bowl XLVIII: http://rtvote.com/1dmjzpl

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, dead at age 46: http://rtvote.com/1eN7FpJ

    J.K. Rowling drops a Harry Potter bombshell: http://rtvote.com/1esTf1A

    Super Bowl recap- see the best commercials here: http://rtvote.com/1k49yWi

    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, May 28, 2013

    Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

    Chinese hackers hack into U.S. weapons systems; fire burns 1,000 acres in Santa Barbara; three Lebanese soldiers are killed at an army checkpoint; News Corp claims no record of subpoena from the U.S. government; Royal Caribbean cruise cancels trip due to fire onboard; a baby is rescued from a sewer pipe in China; South Korea suspends two nuclear reactors due to unauthorized parts; a gay activist in New York is punched in the face; and BuzzFeed collaborates with CNN and YouTube. Meanwhile, police crack down on Justin Bieber’s reckless driving, and Daniel Radcliffe talks about returning to film as Harry’s dad.

    Maura + Alexis


    Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies, http://wapo.st/ZaMji4
    Chinese hackers have compromised more than two dozen advanced weapons systems, programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships. Experts on the subject of espionage warn that this access to our defense plans provides China with all that it needs to advance its own weapons system and weaken the U.S. military advantage that we once had.

    Campers, residents flee fire near Santa Barbara, http://lat.ms/11toN2k
    A fire in Santa Barbara has burned about 1,000 acres and sent thousands of residents and campers running. Over 5,000 people were ordered to evacuate, but it looked like most were able to return home Monday night. The white fire started at a campsite and soon covered over 1,000 acres.

    Lebanese soldiers killed at checkpoint, http://aje.me/ZbdjxX
    Three Lebanese soldiers were killed at an army checkpoint in the Bekaa Valley Tuesday. The armed men who shot the three soldiers fled towards the Syrian border. In February, four Lebanese soldiers and two fighters were also killed in the same region near Arsal. Lebanon continues its effort to keep sectarian tensions at bay.

    News Corp says has no record of Fox News subpoena, http://reut.rs/14ZwHj1
    News Corp claims Monday it is still investigating whether or not it has received any form of notification from the U.S. government regarding a subpoena for a Fox News reporter’s phone records. The Justice Department maintains that it informed News Corp of the seizure of phone records for Fox News reporter James Rosen in August of 2010. News Corp spokesman Nathaniel Brown claims, “While we don’t take issue with the DOJ’s account that they sent a notice to News Corp, we do not have a record of ever having received it.” Fox News, owned by News Corp, also says it has not received a notification of a subpoena either.

    Cruise passengers expected back in US after fire on Royal Caribbean ship cancels trip, http://wapo.st/ZaSym0
    Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas was headed for CocoCay, Bahamas for a seven-night cruise when it had to stop in Freeport due to a fire that broke out onboard the ship Monday afternoon. The fire was completely extinguished within two hours of when it began, and all 2,224 passengers will received a full refund in addition to a certificate for a future cruise.

    Baby in China saved from sewer pipe, http://bit.ly/12KD3QZ
    A newborn baby boy was rescued from a sewer pipe in eastern China on Saturday afternoon after allegedly being flushed down a toilet. A resident in an apartment building in the wealthy province of Zhejiang reported the sound of a baby crying to which firefighters responded by checking all around the building until finding the baby in a sewage pipe directly underneath a toilet. Reports of abandoned babies in China are far too common. Due to the one-child rule as well as poor health care for new mothers, many women cannot legally keep their children and some of them are not even aware they are pregnant until right before giving birth.

    South Korea suspends more nuclear reactors over unapproved parts, http://bbc.in/14158mm
    South Korea, a country whose 23 nuclear reactors supply close to a third of its electric energy needs, has decided to suspend operations at two more nuclear reactors due to unauthorized parts. Knowledge Economy MInister Hong Suk-woo has shared that the two reactors will not continue to operate until the unauthorized parts are replaced. Six nuclear power engineers and suppliers were sentenced to jail time for supplying components with forged safety certificates to nuclear plants.

    Gay Activist Punched in Latest Homophobic Attack in Midtown, http://bit.ly/12JF1RE
    Eugene Lovendusky, a gay activist who has spent the past few weeks talking to the public about the recent slew of homophobic attacks in New York, became a target Saturday morning. Lovendusky was punched in the face early Saturday by a group of boys shouting anti-gay comments at him and his boyfriend. The couple was leaving a nightclub around 42nd Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues around 3 a.m.when the slurs grew clearer and then the group became visible. Police have arrested 19-year Manuel Riquelme and have charged him with felony assault as a hate crime and misdemeanor aggravated harassment. Lovendusky has declined medical treatment.

    BuzzFeed, CNN and YouTube Plan Online-Video Channel, http://on.wsj.com/140Kpz2
    BuzzFeed announced Tuesday that it will join with CNN and YouTube to create a new online-video channel, “CNN BuzzFeed.” Jon Steinberg, COO of BuzzFeed says he intends to create three videos a week for the channel. The plan is a part of a larger initiative to establish the company as a news source targeted at 18-34 year olds. Kenneth Estenson, senior vice president for CNN Digital explains that the new alliance “will enable both organizations to engage new audiences.”


    Justin Bieber: Police Visit Singer’s Home Following Complaints of Reckless Driving, http://eonli.ne/19iRYH0

    Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn Go Jet-Skiing With Golfer’s Kids—See the Pic, http://eonli.ne/19jf28C

    Amanda Bynes Backtracks (Kinda) on Rihanna Diss, Claims She’s Completely Sober and a “Model Citizen”, http://eonli.ne/19j6vT4

    Daniel Radcliffe: ‘Harry Potter’ Return As Harry’s Dad Could Work, http://huff.to/10EIKhR

    Jesse Eisenberg On ‘Now You See Me’ Role: ‘This Allowed Me To Feel Not Only Good, But Arrogant’, http://huff.to/115IdWh

    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: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

    Rick Santorum makes an unexpected comeback in three state contests; Proposition 8 has been overturned by U.S. Circuit Court; and Obama shows gains over Romney in Virginia. Meanwhile, violence in Syria continues; Russian scientists have reached an Antarctic subglacial lake the size of New Jersey; and Daniel Radcliffe admits to groupie one night stands.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Syria: Homs under ‘heaviest’ shelling yet, http://bbc.in/AhOpGA
    After President Bashar al-Assad promised yesterday that he would end violence in Syria, 40 people have since died in Homs from heavy shelling. Civilians are hiding inside buildings, running low on food, and unable to travel because of sniper fire in the streets. The continued shelling comes after Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution last week that backed a new Arab League plan for Syria. The plan involved Assad handing power to a deputy who would oversee a transition of power. Syria has become increasingly violent and isolated since the resolution was blocked.

    Russians Claim To Have Punched Through To Antarctic ‘Subglacial Lake,’ http://n.pr/xuaLJX
    Russian scientists announced today that they have successfully drilled through two miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok in Antarctica. The “lake” is roughly the size of New Jersey. Scientists have been drilling to Lake Vostok for about 50 years. The initial spurt of water from the lake, released when scientists finally broke through, has risen up and frozen in the drill hole. Likely contaminated from drilling chemicals, the scientists’ plan is to return next December to draw clean water.

    Prop 8, California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Declared Unconstitutional, http://huff.to/zABLfQ
    Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, noting that the ban serves no other purpose than to “lessen the status and human dignity” of gay people. Proposition 8 was approved by California voters in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote. The circuit court opinion cited that the law has no other purpose than to single out gay couples exclusively from marriage, since California already grants them all the rights and benefits of marriage if they register as domestic partners. The one dissenting judge wrote that the ban would help ensure that children are raised by married, opposite-sex couples. Gay rights activists were very pleased because the decision allows the controversy over Proposition 8 to move to the Supreme Court, where it is expected that the justices will affirm the trend of the appeals courts’ reversal of the ban.

    White House hinting compromise on birth control, http://bit.ly/AqStxy
    Amid outcry from conservative leaders and the Catholic Church, the Obama Administration is rumored to discuss a compromise on contraception coverage. A White House spokesman confirmed the belief that women working for church-affiliated employers should have access to birth control, but that the White House will also seek to accommodate ways to allay Catholic employer concerns. An option for compromise could include allowing a church-affiliated employer to not cover birth control and instead, refer employees to an insurer who would provide the coverage.  Another would expand the definition of “religious employer” to be affiliated with houses of worship and institutions, which would allow them to be exempt from the healthcare mandate.

    Rick Santorum wins Republican votes in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado, http://trib.in/z8GU07
    Despite less money and less visibility, Rick Santorum won three states yesterday: the Missouri primary and the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses. Santorum, in total, has won four states, the other being Iowa. The votes in Missouri will not affect awarding delegates at the convention later in the year, but more Republicans participated in the Missouri primary than in Nevada, resulting in a major symbolic victory over Mitt Romney. Ron Paul also edged out Romney in Minnesota, coming in second place.

    Obama leads Romney in Virginia poll, http://bit.ly/zdv2zN
    Virginia, now a famous swing state in presidential elections, is showing that in a hypothetical poll, Obama leads Romney 47 percent to 43 percent. The poll results has Obama at a 5 point increase from December. The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, interviewed 1,544 registered Virginia voters. The poll findings also mention that, despite this encouraging state lead, Obama’s overall approval rating is still below 50 percent. Obama won Virginia in 2008, making him the first Democrat to win it in more than 40 years.

    Sprint sells 1.8 million iPhones but posts huge loss, http://cnnmon.ie/zOlkBB
    Joining AT&T and Verizon as the third national carrier to sell Apple’s iPhone last quarter, Sprint announced that while it sold 1.8 million iPhones, it is posting its biggest quarterly loss in three years. For the quarter, Sprint posted a $1.3 billion loss, 40 percent larger than the $929 million loss it recorded a year earlier. Sprint spokespeople remain hopeful, citing the company’s biggest customer growth in six years and average revenue per user rising by the highest rate in Sprint’s history. Apple sold 40 percent of iPhone products to Sprint customers, much above Verizon and AT&T.


    ‘It has happened!’ Squeaky clean Daniel Radcliffe implies he’s had one-night stands with groupies, http://bit.ly/waKhZh

    Adele’s Health Crisis and Comeback, http://bit.ly/xQPhjx

    Justice Sotomayor Appears On Sesame Street, http://bit.ly/AfQt7e

    2.1 million viewers live stream Super Bowl online, http://bit.ly/ws8T3m

    Ellen Degeneres addresses Prop 8 and J.C. Penney controversy, http://bit.ly/AjFHrs 

    Kelly Holleran

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

    The House has passed a conservative deficit reduction plan, Cameron tells Parliament he would have never hired Andy Coulson, Obama endorses the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a great white shark is released after jumping onto a boat, Republican candidates will debate on Facebook, and Apple launches Mac OS X Lion.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    On a largely party line vote, the House has passed a conservative deficit reduction plan known as “Cut, Cap and Balance” on a 234-190 vote. The bill includes caps on spending and a balanced budget amendment, but it has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate and faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

    Phone hacking: Cameron’s ‘regret’ over hiring Coulson,
    Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that in hindsight, “I would not have offered [Andy Coulson] the [Head of Communications] job and I expect that he wouldn’t have taken it.” Cameron added that “If it turns out I have been lied to that would be a moment for a profound apology, and in that event I can tell you I will not fall short.”

    Obama Endorses Feinstein’s Bill To Repeal The Defense Of Marriage Act,
    President Obama still has not come out in support of same-sex marriage; however, his administration continues to fight anti-gay legislation, most recently DOMA. Specifically, Obama has endorsed a bill that would give federal protections and benefits, like joint-income tax filing and spousal Social Security benefits, to same-sex couples.

    Young Democrats will register voters despite strict new rules by Republicans,
    The Florida legislature has tightened the rules of third party voter registration drives, but young Democrats say they will not be discouraged. The state has a new requirement that volunteers turn voter registrations into elections offices within 48 hours, or else they will face fines. The law also shortens early voting from 14 days to eight, and voters who have moved from one county to another since registering to vote can no longer cast a regular ballot.

    NAACP opposes new voter ID law,
    The NAACP says that the new voter ID law in South Carolina, signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley, discriminates against voter turnout. Reverend Nelson Rivers stated that “In America, we should be trying to include people in the voting process. This law excludes people.”

    Reporter Accosted After Bachmann Comments on Migraines,
    ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross ran into some trouble at a Bachmann rally in South Carolina. When Bachmann left without taking questions, Ross ran after her, asking if she had ever missed a vote due to a migraine. Bachmann’s bodyguards “pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times.”

    Facebook and Republican party team for debates. Do you ‘like’ this?
    The Republican Party announced that it will be holding its first-ever Facebook debate sometime next year before the New Hampshire primary. It will be moderated by Meet the Press’ David Gregory and streamed live on Facebook so that users will be able to give instant feedback.

    Apple launches Mac OS X Lion in Mac App Store,
    It’s been a good week for Apple. Yesterday the company announced a record $7.31 billion in profit (a 183% increase in profit from last year). And today the company unleashes Lion, the newest version of its OS X operating system with over 250 new features.


    Comic-Con kicks off with fans, flicks, costumes, http://bit.ly/oN0oLL

    Kim K Suing Old Navy — You Can’t COPY Me!!!!! http://bit.ly/ovKF7G

    It’s A Boy For Maya Rudolph, http://bit.ly/rtskpQ

    ‘Harry Potter’ Author Scores Multi-Million $$ Thank You, http://bit.ly/qypzQO

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

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

    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

    In today’s news, Bill Clinton says he would use the 14th amendment to raise the the debt ceiling, British Parliament will question Murdoch, Elizabeth Warren may run for Senate, US and Libyan representatives have met in person, NPR reports on new voter id laws, and an iPhone 4 survives a 13,500-foot fall.


    Bill Clinton: I’d use 14th Amendment, http://politi.co/ncX1yh
    Former President Bill Clinton thinks that Congress will come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling. Clinton also stated that if he were still president, he would use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling himself.

    Questioning Begins in British Hacking Scandal, http://nyti.ms/mZQa9M
    With News Corp’s phone hacking scandal still thriving, Sir Paul Stephenson appeared before lawmakers on Tuesday, saying his decision to quit was “my decision and my decision only.” Mr. Murdoch, his son James, and Rebekah Brooks will testify before another panel later today.

    Warren mulls run against Scott Brown, http://bit.ly/obZB9h
    Republican filibuster threats mean Elizabeth Warren will not be appointed head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she designed; despite this, Warren is not finished in Washington. The Harvard Law Professor is considering challenging Massachusetts’ Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat.

    US and Libya in face-to-face talks, http://bit.ly/oGEIVH
    The US and Libya held a face-to-face meeting on Saturday. It is the first meeting since hostilities began four months ago. The meeting lasted three hours and was held on “neutral ground” in Tunisia. While Libyan officials described it as a first step to further negotiations, the US says the only purpose of the meeting was to reiterate that Muammar Gaddafi must step down. No further meetings are planned.

    The Politics Behind New Voter ID Laws, http://n.pr/oYblgB
    NPR reports on the new photo ID laws that Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed in seven states. Many voters will need to go to the DMV to get new ID cards or else they will risk getting turned away at the polls.

    iPhone 4 survives 13,500-foot fall from skydiver’s pocket, http://bit.ly/n0MAOu
    When Jarrod McKinney jumped out of an airplane and realized he hadn’t secured his iPhone 4, he “just knew it was gone.” His skydiving instructor called the phone as a joke, but the call went through, prompting him to decide to buy one for himself. McKinney used the iPhone’s GPS app to find it on the roof of a building half a mile away.


    Jersey Shore Season 4 Trailer Is Released, http://bit.ly/ospuez

    After ‘Deathly Hallows,’ Tom Felton Goes From ‘Potter’ To Primates, http://on.mtv.com/qft0va

    Rebecca Black Drops ‘My Moment’ Music Video, http://on.mtv.com/pTYaCY

    Justin Bieber Crashes Wedding, Unsuspecting Couple Calls It ‘Surreal,’ http://abcn.ws/n8MwK5

    Mila Kunis: ‘Friends With Benefits’ ‘Pushes the Envelope,’ http://bit.ly/oSRYqU

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

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