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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Thursday, March 13th, 2014

    More people are pronounced dead after East Harlem building explosion; G.M. reveals new information about a safety defect linked to 12 deaths; and a hit and run driver kills 2 people at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley makes Jimmy Fallon blush; Emma Watson graces the cover of Elle magazine; and Harry Styles gets rescued by AAA.

    - Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Disputes report that missing plane flew on for hours,http://rtvote.com/1ihA8sK
    Sadly, little progress has been made in the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet that went off the grid nearly a week ago over the Gulf of Thailand. In response to speculation about the fate the of the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew, Malaysia’s defense minister held a press conference dismissing a series of leads. Officials are describing this incidence as an unprecedented aviation mystery, and it is still unknown whether the plane is on land or in water, east or west of the country, or far beyond.

    Building collapse kills at least 7 in Manhattan,http://rtvote.com/1nn7mvN
    Updates are emerging after a massive explosion yesterday in East Harlem, that leveled two five-story apartment buildings. At least 7 people were killed and firefighters are still searching through the rubble for survivors. More than 40 people were reported with injuries. Authorities believe a gas leak caused the explosion but are still waiting to announce the official cause. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the site, commenting that this was a “tragedy of the worst kind.”

    Hit and run driver kills 2, injures 23 at SXSW,http://rtvote.com/1m0m222
    Tragedy struck last night at one of the most anticipated festivals of the year: South by Southwest. A drunk driver, said to be fleeing from police who tried pulling him over, went the wrong way down a one-way street and drove into a crowd of people waiting outside of a popular bar and music venue. Two people were killed in the accident and 23 others are injured.

    G.M reveals that it was told of ignition defect in 01’,http://rtvote.com/1i89q5d
    In an expanded chronology of events filed with federal safety regulators about the recall of 1.6 million cars, General Motors reveals it had reports of a safety defect in its cars as early as 2001. This particular safety defect has been linked to 12 deaths and at least 31 accidents over the past decade. According to GM, in 2001 a study found that the ignition switch in the Saturn Ion could turn off easily, but the company said a design change “had resolved the problem.”

    CULTURAL

    28 Modern Proverbs for 20 Somethings, http://rtvote.com/1ftr0MB  

    Harry Styles Rescued by AAA Tow Truck After Motorcycle Breaks Down,http://rtvote.com/1m0gmoP

    Emma Watson Covers Elle Magazine, Explains Why She’s “So Jealous” of Certain Actresses, http://rtvote.com/1cV2Ikg

    Shailene Woodley Gives Jimmy Fallon a Phallic Herb—And it Makes The Tonight Show Host Blush, http://rtvote.com/1nn5GlY 

    Pharell Williams Up With Comme Des Garcons to Release New Fragrance,http://rtvote.com/1nn5WRU

    Maura
    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: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 

    CULTURAL

    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB

     

    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 9, 2013

    Monday, December 9th, 2013

    Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War vet, has been released from North Korea after six weeks; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Yahoo have joined forces to fight the NSA; and local police agencies have started copying the NSA’s spying habits. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez throws a hissy fit on stage, and the mystery surrounding Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles’ relationship remains ongoing.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Merrill Newman has been deported from North Korea: reporthttp://rtvote.com/1gSBDfd
    The 85-year-old Korean War veteran, Merrill Newman, has finally been released after being detained in North Korea for six weeks. Newman had been held on charges of “hostile acts” against the state for his role in the war. North Korea released him because Newman apologized and also because of his age and medical condition. VP Joe Biden met Newman in Beijing to welcome him on his way home.

    Tech giants band together in anti-snooping coalitionhttp://rtvote.com/19c6WA0
    Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo have come together to form what is essentially an anti-NSA coalition. Dubbed the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, these popular tech companies are determined to limit the federal government’s authority to collect user information. The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google have written an open letter to the federal government.

    Meet Mort Crim: The inspiration for Will Ferrell’s ‘Anchorman’http://rtvote.com/19wbw8G
    As theaters prepare for ‘Anchorman 2’, Ron Burgundy has been popping up on talk shows and sports events around the country. Even though the hilarious news anchor is a fictional character, he is based on someone very real. Meet the man who inspired Will Ferrell’s perfectly mustached character.

    Cellphone data spying: It’s not just the NSAhttp://rtvote.com/1dhAdbx
    The NSA is not the only one spying on people. Local police are now using new technologies to secretly collect data from people’s cellphones. About 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a “tower dump”, and at least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a device that acts as a fake cell tower. 36 other police agencies refuse to say whether they’ve used either tactic.

    ‘127 Hours’ author arrested in Denverhttp://rtvote.com/1gSNw4F
    The man who James Franco portrayed in ‘127 Hours’ was arrested for assault and wrongs to minors in Denver on Saturday night. Aron Lee Ralston, 38, is due in court this afternoon. Ralston is best known for amputating his own arm with a dull blade after being trapped by a boulder for five days in a Utah canyon.

     

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Curses During Performance, Walks Off Stage After Technical Difficulties, http://rtvote.com/1jEeZJQ

    Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles Leave NYC Hotel Together, http://rtvote.com/J7kByw

    One Direction Joins Paul Rudd and His Anchorman 2 Costars on SNL, Debut “Through the Dark,”http://rtvote.com/IXIWGn

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Attend Her Brother’s Wedding, http://rtvote.com/1cwnaVd

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 26, 2013

    Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

    The Supreme Court will hear Hobby Lobby’s case that challenges Obamacare’s birth control coverage requirement; Hollywood partakes in animal cruelty; and the CIA has turned Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents. Meanwhile, Seth Rogen and James Franco make a painfully funny spoof of Kim and Kanye’s “Bound 2” video, and Kendall Jenner puts some Harry Styles rumors to rest.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Supreme Court to take up Obamacare contraception casehttp://rtvote.com/1aVZJTO
    The Supreme Court has accepted an Obamacare law appeal over contraception coverage. The court justices will review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers of a certain size to offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay. The issue of focus is whether private companies and non-profits can refuse this, based on the claim that it violates their religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby, Inc. is one of the plaintiffs.

    ‘Pretty Woman’ producer says he was Israeli spyhttp://rtvote.com/1bl239I
    The Israeli-born producer behind Hollywood hits, like Pretty WomanFight Club, and L.A. Confidential, has revealed that he used to serve as an Israeli spy for years. Arnon Milchan said he helped buy technologies and arms on Israel’s behalf to operate nuclear bombs. The producer also said other big Hollywood names were connected to his covert affairs.

    Sandy Hook killer took motive to his gravehttp://rtvote.com/194lkGA
    Connecticut authorities have released a 44-page summary of their investigation on Adam Lanza – the shooter behind Newton’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza’s motive behind the atrocious crime remains a mystery, and he gave “no clear indication” that he planned the Sandy Hook killings. Lanza’s mental illness, reclusion, and obsession with school shootings are detailed in the report.

    Animals Were Harmed: Hollywood’s Nightmare of Death, Injury, and Secrecy Exposed,http://rtvote.com/1exhrP2
    Too many Hollywood films and television shows, including Life of PiThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, HBO’sLuck, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (the list goes on), have caused the brutal injuries and deaths of animals on set. The “No Animals Were Harmed” trademark accreditation in the ending credits means nothing anymore. It’s time to own up to animal cruelty, Hollywood… and it’s time for us to stop it.

    Penny Lane: Gitmo’s other secret CIA facilityhttp://rtvote.com/1hfZdVQ
    After 9/11, the CIA made double agents out of some Guantanamo Bay prisoners. They trained them and sent them home to help the U.S. kill former and current terrorists. The prisoners/double agents were promised freedom, the safety of their families, and some very hefty bags of money from the CIA’s secret accounts. The program was carried out in a secret facility, nicknamed Penny Lane, located yards away from the Guantanamo Bay prison. This has some heavy-duty controversy written all over it.

     

    CULTURAL

    Kim Kardashian Thinks Seth Rogen and James Franco’s “Bound 2” Parody Is…, http://rtvote.com/17QURPH

    Demi Lovato: “I Would Rather Sacrifice My Privacy to Help People,” http://rtvote.com/1bSyasn

    Kendall Jenner Breaks Her Silence About Harry Styles Dating Rumors: “We’re Friends,” http://rtvote.com/Il8pd3

    Kristen Bell Had to Make “Pretend Love” to Her Best Friend’s Husband Hours After Getting Married,http://rtvote.com/Il97Hu

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 4, 2013

    Monday, November 4th, 2013

    The U.S. rejects clemency for Edward Snowden; Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the field last night; and new details emerge on the LAX shooter. Meanwhile, Beebz gets pelted by a water bottle, and Harry Styles dresses up as Miley Cyrus… foam finger and all (yes, it is a bit disturbing).

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Edward Snowden: Congress and White House reject clemencyhttp://rtvote.com/1azQXxi
    Edward Snowden has asked for international help to persuade the U.S. to drop the espionage charges that are currently set against him. The White House has rejected clemency for the fugitive intelligence analyst. Snowden, 30, is still in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum until July 2014 after he leaked confidential U.S. intelligence. German Green MP has revealed Snowden’s readiness to brief the German government on NSA’s spying.

    Texans coach Gary Kubiak left on stretcher, taken to hospital for ‘precautionary’ reasons,http://rtvote.com/1cHtdVw
    Coach Kubiak, 52, collapsed at halftime last night during the Texans-Colts game. Reports claim the Texans coach did not suffer a stroke or a heart attack; he is undergoing further evaluation. Before leaving the stadium, the coach was conscious and had a strong heart rate. Hope you’re feeling better, Coach.

    New details emerge in LAX shootinghttp://rtvote.com/1czVIs9
    Paul Ciancia, 23, allegedly killed a TSA agent and wounded three others at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. In a note written by Ciancia, he mentions the NWO, which many believe refers to the New World Order. The NWO is a conspiracy theory that the world powers are trying to create a one-world government, which would in turn destroy American freedoms.

    Navy secrets bought with prostitutes, bribeshttp://rtvote.com/173ExwP
    Malaysian businessman Leonard Francis, nicknamed “Fat Leonard”, has arranged prostitutes, Lady Gaga tickets, and other bribes for a U.S. commander in exchange for military secrets. The scandal continues to unfold in a federal court case, and senior Navy officials suspect more people may have been involved. However, they are still unsure of how many or how high up the ranks this has gone.  The case signifies serious national security breaches and corruption.
     

    ELECTION DAY 2013

    Terry McAuliffe uses Obama, ‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington, to win youth, black womenhttp://rtvote.com/1cAg70o
    With a highly publicized statewide election going on in Virginia, a fight for the state’s youth vote continues as we head into Election Day 2013. McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate in Virginia’s governor’s race, has recently used big names like Kerry Washington and Bill Clinton to grab the attention of young voters. Rock the Vote’s president, Heather Smith, adds that it would be a mistake to ignore the ever-growing power of young voters: “Expect [them] to set the bar for the ‘new normal’ in transforming the politics of our democracy.”
     

    PUNDITS

    Journalists weigh in on the state-level elections in New York, Virginia, and New Jersey in “Winners and losers in upcoming elections: Opinionline,” http://rtvote.com/184KJ2w

    John McCain and Robert Menendez fight for disability rights in “Menendez and McCain: Ratify disabilities treaty,”http://rtvote.com/1a38riG

    CULTURAL

    Justin Bieber Storms Off Stage After Being Hit by a Bottle in Brazil, Releases New Song “Bad Day,”http://rtvote.com/1aA2aOj

    Michelle Pfeiffer Reveals She Was Once in a Cult: “They Were Very Controlling,” http://rtvote.com/HrjvfG

    Harry Styles Dresses Up as Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs for Halloween, http://rtvote.com/HFuzp6

    Dolly Parton Defends Goddaughter Miley Cyrus: “She’s Just Trying to Find Her Own Place,”http://rtvote.com/1aA2MDI

    sandywu
    Bio:

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