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    News Roundup: Friday, February 28th, 2014

    Friday, February 28th, 2014
    Masked gunmen wearing Russian uniforms seize a Ukrainian airport; the daughter of Sen. Robert Kennedy is acquitted after driving under the influence of drugs on a New York highway; Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy after hackers steal half a billion dollars worth of stock; and the Egyptian military claims to have the cure for–not one–but TWO deadly global diseases. Meanwhile Seth Rogen manages to make a CSPAN video go viral; and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are apparently engaged?!

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Gunmen in Russian Uniforms Sieze Airport in Ukraine http://rtvote.com/1eG8ksC
    Days after violence settled in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev, masked gunmen in Russian military attire have seized an airport in the Eastern Crimean region of Ukraine. The gunmen refused to respond when questioned about their authority and military status. It is yet unclear if there is any organized force behind the occupation. Though Kiev recently outed pro-Russian President Yanukovich, the Eastern Crimean region has historically been sympathetic to Russian interests.

    Kerry Kennedy Acquitted of Drugged Driving http://rtvote.com/1mKFK3i
    The 54-year old daughter of Senator Robert Kennedy was acquitted after a July 2012 incident in which she mistakenly took a fast-acting sleeping pill before driving along interstate 684. The pill, which she mistook for her thyroid medicine, caused her to speed, swerve dangerously, and hit a tractor trailer. Kennedy’s acquittal means she joins 21 other people (.2% of all cases) who were acquitted of misdemeanor charges in 2012.

    Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Files for Bankruptcy http://rtvote.com/1fwgk5q
    After a concerning period of silence, Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox announced it is filing for bankruptcy after hackers stole $480 million worth of its stock. Bitcoin is a newly developed currency available exclusively online. While part of Bitcoin’s appeal is that the currency is not regulated by a central bank, this also leaves the currency vulnerable. Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy has shaken the nascent industry, but users still think there is a future for Bitcoin.

    Day After Governor’s Veto, Arizona Moves Forward with Legislation Targeting Abortion Clinics
    http://bitly.com/1fYNLIM
    Just a day after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill said to permit discriminatory policies against gay Americans, the Arizona legislature has taken up a new bill to regulate abortion clinics in the state. The bill would permit unannounced inspections which, under current law, require a warrant. In the past, Gov Brewer has both supported and opposed conservative policies from the Republican arm of the state legislature; it is unclear whether or not she would support such a bill.

    Egyptian Military Claims to Have Cure for HIV http://rtvote.com/1lpiYw7
    In a surprise announcement yesterday, the Egyptian military claimed to have developed a cure for HIV and Hepatitis C after 22 years of “secret research.” If true, this could be very good news for Egypt, which has the highest global prevalence of Hepatitis C and a 1% infection rate for HIV. However, the international community is highly skeptical that Egypt could have the cure for two deadly epidemics when decades of research across the globe has failed to do so.

    CULTURAL

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are Engaged: A Timeline of the That’s 70′s Show Romance, http://rtvote.com/1dJf35s

    Justin Timberlake Gets His Butt Grabbed During a Philadelphia Concert, http://rtvote.com/1cfLkGD

    Kerry Washington Dresses Baby Bump in Chic Blue Sheath at Essence Lunch, http://rtvote.com/MBxHF9

    Seth Rogen Gives Heartfelt, Yet Hilarious, Speech Before Senate About Alzheimer’s Research, His Mother-in-Law, http://rtvote.com/1dJgoJB

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
    Bolivian President’s plane rerouted under suspicions; Mohamed Morsi remains defiant ahead of deadline; Zimmerman’s wounds deemed ‘insignificant’; Obamacare employer-madate postponed; firefighter memorial draws thousands; a Tiffany & Co. exec gets sticky fingers; and Boston patients HIV-free after marrow transplant. Meanwhile, movie White House Down slammed as ‘liberal propaganda’ and Miley Cyrus says she was Lil’ Kim in past life.

    Maura + Meron

    CRUCIAL

    Bolivian President’s plane leaves Austria after diplomatic scramble, http://rtvote.com/120vUic
    The plane carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales was rerouted to Austria, after the president made an offhand remark that he might be happy to host fugitive American former security contractor Edward Snowden. The plane was rerouted due to suspicions that Mr. Snowden was aboard.

    Egypt’s Morsi defiant under pressure as deadline looms, http://rtvote.com/14NBtiA
    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was defiant Tuesday amid growing pressure to back down as the deadline for a military-imposed ultimatum approached. Morsi’s supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to not leave quietly if their president is forced out.

    George Zimmerman jury told his injuries were ‘insignificant’, http://rtvote.com/18vMOJh
    Dr. Valerie Rao testified that Zimmerman was struck as few as three times by Martin during the fight the night of Martin’s death, though Zimmerman claims Martin repeatedly slammed his head on the concrete. Rao’s testimony could contradict Zimmerman’s assertion that he was involved in a potentially life-threatening struggle with the Florida teenager.

    Obama delays enforcing health-law employer mandate to 2015, http://rtvote.com/120Ce9p
    The Obama administration will postpone enforcement of the employer mandate, the requirement that businesses provide their workers with insurance, until 2015, after the congressional elections. Under this crucial provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don’t offer affordable insurance.

    Thousands gather to remember Ariz. firefighters, http://rtvote.com/14NCqqY
    An evening memorial for the 19 firefighters killed in an Arizona wildfire brought thousands of mourners to a high school football stadium. It was the first opportunity for the community to gather since the men died in the line of duty.

    Tiffany executive nabbed for allegedly stealing jewels, http://rtvote.com/18vKqlJ
    An executive at Tiffany & Co has been accused of stealing over $1 million in jewelry, according to the FBI. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun is a vice president of product development, and has been working at the upscale jeweler for over 20 years.

    Post-transplant and off drugs, H.I.V. patients are apparently virus-free, http://rtvote.com/14NDL1a
    Two H.I.V.-infected patients who had bone-marrow transplants for blood cancers have been virus-free for weeks since their antiretroviral drugs were stopped. Though the cases are of no practical use to H.I.V. infected people who do not have blood cancer or access to premier cancer-treatment hospitals, AIDS experts are still excited by the Boston cases, seeing them as another step in the search for a cure.

    CULTURAL

    ‘White House Down’: Conservative pundits slam film as ‘unrelenting liberal propaganda’, http://rtvote.com/18vQbjq

    Miley Cyris on Lil’ Kim: ‘In my past life, I feel like that was me’, http://rtvote.com/120Gu8F

    Steven Spielberg in talks to grab ‘Grapes of Wrath’ rights, will produce new film, http://rtvote.com/14NHhZt

    ‘Gravity’ at venice film festival” Alfonso Cuaron movie kicks off prestigious fest, http://rtvote.com/18vQriq

    Motorhead’s European tour canceled while frontman Lemmy recovers from health problems, http://rtvote.com/14NHVG9

    meron.w@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Meron Werkneh and I am a rising senior at Duke University. I study English and Political Science, and plan to go into entertainment law as my career. I'm from Washington D.C. and love books, oldies soul music, and getting closer to God every day! I'm excited to become a part of the Rock the Vote team.

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

    Hillary Clinton calls Sinai an operational base for terrorists; Assad may start to use chemical weapons against Syrian rebels; and the FDA approves a pill to prevent HIV. Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen will donate at least $1 million to U.S. troops, and the Obamas attend a Team USA basketball game.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Clinton warns Sinai could turn into jihadist haven, http://bit.ly/OE5CXi
    In an interview with CNN yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Sinai, the desert that borders Israel and Egypt, could become an “operational base” for jihadists if heightened security does not continue. Since Mubarak’s government fell in Egypt, Israel has had reason to be concerned about the region. The desert also poses a threat to Americans who are there monitoring the Camp David Accord.

    Syria: Assad regime ‘ready to use chemical weapons,’ http://bbc.in/NtD7Qg
    Nawaf Fares, the most senior Syrian politician to defect from the country, has given unconfirmed reports to BBC that the Syrian regime is ready to use chemical weapons on rebels. Fares described Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as “a wounded wolf and cornered.” The violent conflict in Syria started in March of last year when protests against Assad’s government began. Syria is known to have large amounts of chemical weapons.

    FDA approves first pill to help prevent HIV, http://on.today.com/Lot0aT
    Yesterday, the FDA approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Gilead Sciences’ pill, Truvada, has been declared a preventative measure for those at high risk of acquiring HIV, such as those who have HIV-positive partners. The drug comes as a milestone in the 30-year battle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS and has impacted the lives of 50,000 people each year for the last 15 years. Truvada is already on the market to manage HIV, but now Gilead Sciences may formally market the drug for preventative use.

    CULTURAL:

    Actor Christian Bale reflects on years as ‘Dark Knight,’ http://trib.in/MEgxAR

    Presidential rejection: Obama turned down on Kiss Cam, http://usat.ly/NtBUZd

    Alexa Vega files for divorce, http://bit.ly/SEYfUb

    Charlie Sheen I’m Donating $1 MILLION to U.S. Troops, http://bit.ly/NSi2yn

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

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



    NEWS ROUND-UP: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2011

    Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

    In today’s news, more unions are joining the Occupy Wall Street protesters; ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr.’s Monday night football intro after his controversial comments; Chris Christie has officially announced that he is not running for president; and Apple is set to release the iPhone 5 today. In entertainment news, Zach Baron retraces Hunter S. Thompson’s footsteps 40 years after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Florence and the Machine release their new music video.

    Coral + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL

    Protesters Drawing Labor Support, http://on.wsj.com/qrUW1b
    The Occupy Wall Street protesters are receiving support from local labor unions. On Monday, health-care workers union 1199SEIU agreed to help the protesters, saying it would help feed those camped out in the park, send nurses to train those providing first aid and set up a task force to figure out more plans of action. The union represents 200,000 health-care workers in New York and Long Island and 100,000 more employees located on the East Coast.


    Truck Bomb Kills Dozens in Somalia’s Capital,
    http://nyti.ms/oP7rKA
    Tuesday morning, a truck bomb exploded on a busy street in central Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, killing more than 70 people. The event may signal the comeback of the Shabab militant group, who had lost territory in recent months. The bomb also killed students who were registering for scholarships to study in Turkey, which has become a major aid donor to Somalia. Local health officials said 70 were killed and many more were injured. Witnesses reported that the bomber was driving a large truck piled high with scrap metal, apparently to conceal the explosives. The target was a building used by Somalia’s transitional government.

    ESPN pulls intro after Williams’ Obama comments, http://onforb.es/qg3om4
    In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Hank Williams Jr., unprompted, said of Obama joining a golf outing with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.” When asked to clarify he said, “They’re the enemy,” meaning President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. These comments prompted ESPN to pull Williams’ intro song for Monday night football and the line “Are you ready for some football?”


    Contraceptive Used in Africa May Double Risk of H.I.V.,
    http://nyti.ms/p2r3II
    According to a study published on Monday, a hormone shot given every three months mostly in Africa may double the risk of contracting HIV. In many countries where the rate of pregnancy is highest, the percentage of those infected with HIV is also high. For this reason, doctors find it troubling that the injectable contraceptive has biological properties that may make women and men more vulnerable to HIV infection.

    2 Severed Heads Found in Mexico City With Message, http://fxn.ws/nUCjby
    On Monday, police in Mexico City found two severed heads outside of a major military base. This is a popular tactic used by warring drug gangs. Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Mancera was quoted by local news media as saying that the heads were accompanied by a note referring to the “Mano con Ojos” or “Hand with Eyes” drug gang. The organization has been active in the State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City, and in some southern districts of the capital.

    Foreign Aid Set to Take a Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis, http://nyti.ms/ngTpZW
    The American budget crisis may cause foreign aid to take a hit which some say is a sign of America’s diminishing world influence. Lawmakers are scrambling to lower the national debt, and the House and Senate have both proposed cutting finances in the State Department and its related agencies. The proposals would make deep cuts in food and medicine for Africa, in relief for disaster-affected places like Pakistan and Japan, in political and economic assistance for the new democracies of the Middle East, and even for the Peace Corps.

    Rick Perry slips, Herman Cain rises in bid for GOP nomination, poll finds, http://wapo.st/pdljCy
    After a few uneven performances during the GOP debates, Rick Perry has lost half of his support over the past month. Perry’s slide has allowed Mitt Romney to claim the top spot in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. However, the biggest change in popularity goes to Herman Cain who is now tied with Perry for second place.

    More aides leave Bachmann presidential campaign, http://onforb.es/rdC5L8
    Pollster Ed Goeas and senior adviser Andy Parrish have left the Bachmann campaign which raises questions about her chances of getting into the White House. Parrish is returning to the Minnesota congresswoman’s office where he was chief of staff. He moved to Iowa this summer to build support before the state’s leadoff caucuses.

    (via National Journal) Christie Is Not Running for President, http://bit.ly/qWazDz: At 1pm New Jersey governor Chris Christie is set to make a public announcement of his decision to run for the presidency. However, according to the National Review Online, Christie has already made his decision, and he is not entering the race.

    Apple May Unveil Voice Technology With IPhone, http://bloom.bg/p10YyV
    Apple Inc. is set to unveil its new phone today, and the new rumor is voice recognition. New voice commands will let users make appointments in their calendars, send text messages or e-mails, and surf the Web on Apple’s new phone. The current iPhone has basic voice command abilities. The trick will be to get people to use the new product, and venture capitalist Larry Marcus said Apple can, “make it exciting and make people think about it in different ways. Voice controls are a very fundamental way to interact with your device.”

    Studies of Universe’s Expansion Win Physics Nobel, http://nyti.ms/oEfFwi
    On Tuesday, three American physicists won the Nobel prize for discovering that the universe is apparently being blown apart by a mysterious force that cosmologists now call dark energy. Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess discovered in the 1990s that the light from 50 supernovas was weaker than expected which showed signs of the universe expanding at an accelerated rate.

    CULTURAL

    Mike McCurry wants to “Improve civics education” http://politi.co/psKM5h

    The New Yorks Times shows us, “Alabama’s Shame” http://nyti.ms/qnOlmA

    Fear and Loathing 40 Years Later, http://bit.ly/pWdxOl

    Beyoncé & Jay-Z Raise $1 Million for Charity, http://bit.ly/qK51CY

    Sherri Shepherd Blasts Barbara Walters over N-Word Use on The View, http://bit.ly/ozlYpk

    Florence and the Machine: “Shake It Out”, http://p4k.in/mSX1YX

    coral@rockthevote.com
    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Thursday, July 14th, 2011

    The US women’s soccer team advances to the World Cup final, Obama stands strong behind a long-term debt deal, a Brooklyn man has murdered and dismembered an 8 year-old boy, the U.S. may lose its Aaa debt rating, and Minnesota is currently a dry state. Also, two studies show that certain pills can prevent H.I.V. infection, Spotify is coming to the U.S., and Amazon is creating an iPad competitor.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    Abby Wambach header breaks tie; United States advances to World Cup final,
    http://es.pn/q8mITj
    The US women’s soccer team played a challenging nail-biter against France yesterday.  In the end, Abby Wambach and goalie, Hope Solo pulled through to win the game. The Americans will play Japan in the World Cup final on Sunday.

    (via National Journal N2K) CONGRESS TAKES AIM AT MURDOCH. A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers is calling for a federal investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., amid reports that journalists employed by Murdoch’s empire may have hacked the phones of 9/11 victims. Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., sent a letter Wednesday to FBI Director Robert Mueller calling for an investigation. “It is my duty to discern every fact behind these allegations,” wrote King, noting that he lost 150 constituents in the attacks. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., echoed King’s call for an investigation as well as congressional hearings: “These latest allegations demand a swift and immediate inquiry by the appropriate agencies into whether any U.S. laws were broken.”

    Obama: ‘This May Bring My Presidency Down, but I Will Not Yield’ on No Short-Term Extensions,
    http://abcn.ws/q8JJbY
    “Don’t call my bluff,” President Obama said to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “I am not afraid to veto and I will take it to the American people.” Obama’s sternness was in response to Cantor’s repeated suggestions that they pass a short-term debt-ceiling increase instead of the grand bargain that the President wants. Republicans have accused the President of storming out of the talks, while the White House says the meeting had simply ended.

    House votes to block EPA on water pollution, http://politi.co/q5tDpN
    In what was a largely party-line vote, the House of Representatives voted 239-184 to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate state water quality. If the measure were to somehow make it through the Democratic majority in the Senate, then President Obama would veto it.

    Brooklyn boy Leiby Kletzky, 8, murdered and dismembered,
    http://nydn.us/pjepVR
    Leiby Kletzky, an 8-year-old boy in Brooklyn, was murdered and dismembered while walking home from summer camp. The man, a stranger whom Kletzky had asked for directions, had no excuse for why he killed the boy. The police found Kletzky’s severed feet in the freezer and the rest of his body in a trash bin two miles away.

    Shutdown Hits Happy Hour,
    http://on.wsj.com/p2C1zj
    In Minnesota, more than 300 bars and liquor stores cannot buy beer, wine, or liquor due to their buyers’ cards having expired. The state usually renews these licenses; however, the renewal departments are closed due to Minnesota’s government shut down.

    Treasuries, Dollar Weaken on Moody’s Rating Warning,
    http://buswk.co/qL91I3
    Could the United States really default on its loans? With debt ceiling negotiations going poorly, Moody’s Investors Service warns that the country could lose its Aaa debt rating. The rating allows the US to have more credit to borrow money. The warning  hashad a ripple effect today, weakening both the dollar and treasuries.

    Two Studies Show Pills Can Prevent H.I.V. Infection,
    http://nyti.ms/puh5xN
    Scientists report that modern antiretroviral drugs work to not only treat HIV/AIDS, but prevent it as well. Two new studies show that taking a daily pill in combination with certain AIDS drugs can keep uninfected people from catching the virus. “This is an extremely exciting day for H.I.V. prevention,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of AIDS prevention at the CDC.

    Spotify Wins Over Music Pirates With Labels’ Approval,
    http://bloom.bg/oCXJci
    Spotify, the music service that lets users stream any song they want in its entirety at no cost, is coming to America. Started in Sweden as something of an experiment to combat piracy with convenience, the iTunes and Pandora competitor is hugely popular in Europe. Americans can now sign up for paid premium accounts or wait for invites to the free, ad-supported version.

    Amazon to Battle Apple iPad With Tablet, http://on.wsj.com/pxJcwm
    Amazon plans to release a tablet to rival the Apple iPad by October. Amazon’s tablet will run on Google’s Android platform, and it will not have a camera.

    CULTURAL:

    Emmy Nominations are Announced, http://nyti.ms/qrUQJ8

    These Three Will Be Out Of Glee For Season 4, http://bit.ly/oNFbgj

    Lady Gaga to intern with Philip Treacy, http://bit.ly/pe9Ix8

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), http://nyti.ms/nOgO7L

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

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