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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura


    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.


    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    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: October 9, 2013

    Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

    Obama begins meeting with congressional caucuses; the World Bank president makes a plea for developing countries; stocks tumble as the shutdown keeps going; and an undercover officer may have been involved in the Alexian Lien incident. Meanwhile, the Sinead-Miley feud continues, and Kanye West is off the hook for anger management classes.

    -Sandy + Maura 


    Obama to meet with congressional caucuseshttp://rtvote.com/18Pd0N8

    Day 9 of the shutdown has arrived. President Obama has announced that he will meet with Republican and Democratic congressional caucuses in the upcoming days. The first session will take place today at 4:30 PM EST with the House Democrats; the government shutdown and the possibility of a debt ceiling default will be discussed. 

    World Bank President: Debt debate could be direhttp://rtvote.com/1fgvYkR

    If the U.S. defaults because of a failure to raise the debt ceiling by October 17th, the consequences could be much more severe than what some Republicans think. The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, warns of the significant economic setbacks developing countries would experience as a result. Even during these times of uncertainty, these countries could experience a destabilization of stock markets and an increase in borrowing costs.

    Stocks: Nasdaq tumbles 2% as shutdown drags onhttp://rtvote.com/18NhDXW

    It was Day 8 of the government shutdown yesterday, and the stock market started to see numbers drop further and further. Even though the damage to stocks in the first seven days of the shutdown were limited, investors are beginning to become anxious. Many believe a default is avoidable, but the market will continue to fall unless a decision to raise the debt ceiling is made sooner rather than later.

    Official: Off-duty officer allegedly seen pounding SUV in video of attackhttp://rtvote.com/1fgMj9a

    An undercover police officer, who was riding with the motorcyclist gang from the infamous September 29th incident, may have been involved in Alexian Lien’s attack. The officer did not come forward for three days for fear that his cover would be blown. He has been assigned to desk duty, and it remains unclear whether or not he partook in Lien’s vicious beating.

    Taser use on 8-year-old justified, police in S.D. sayhttp://rtvote.com/1e92h23

    An unnamed police officer deployed his Taser at an 8-year-old girl, who was holding a knife to her chest, threatening suicide. Police Chief Bob Grandpre defends the officer’s action as something that may very well have saved the girl’s life. However, her parents are furious, claiming that tasering a young child is unjustifiable. The Taser company’s website describes the shock as mild to moderately painful. The child was not seriously injured.


    Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, David Letterman, and Jay Leno poke some fun at our government’s functionality (or lack thereof) in “Punchlines: Debt ceiling? Shutdown? One comic says bring it on”, http://rtvote.com/18Pu8Cj

    Eric Liu has some words of advice for Obama in “Four ways for Obama to lead U.S. out of crisis”,http://rtvote.com/1g0826q


    Sinead O’Connor Slams Miley Cyrus in Fourth Letter to Pop Star, http://rtvote.com/18NmyYJ

    Kanye West Ordered to Stay Away from Photographer, No Anger Management Classes Required,http://rtvote.com/18NmNTD

    Snooki Talks Anorexia Struggle During High School on Dancing with the Stars: “It Got Really, Really Bad”,http://rtvote.com/18NmUyE

    Tom Hanks Reveals Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis to David Letterman, http://rtvote.com/1fgKjxC


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

    News Round-Up: October 2, 2013

    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

    Obamacare’s online market experiences setbacks; the government shutdown continues as Republican hardliners and Senate avoid compromise; and Treasury discusses taking ‘final extraordinary measures’. Meanwhile, famed author Tom Clancy passes away; Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting are engaged; and Jodie Foster dates Ellen DeGeneres’ ex-girlfriend.

    -Sandy + Maura


    Internal Server Error: Scenes from Obamacare’s Glitchy Rollouthttp://rtvote.com/1dUH8Zj Almost as soon as Obamacare’s online marketplace opened, shoppers started encountering technical errors. Glitches within the system were predicted, but nobody thought they would be so widespread. Federal and state governments are working to improve the newly launched system, so patience and understanding from shoppers are much appreciated.

    Jacksonville airport evacuated for ‘suspicious packages’http://rtvote.com/1dW7NF8 Zeljko Causevic, 39, was arrested early Wednesday morning after forcing the shutdown of Jacksonville International Airport for several hours Tuesday morning. Causevic refused to be screened by airport security, and he falsely claimed he had a bomb in his backpack. Two mysterious packages were also found in the airport’s terminal and parking garage. The terminal closed as the bomb squad investigated.

    Collision Course: CR and Debt Ceilinghttp://rtvote.com/1eZR6LS As the October 17th deadline to raise the $16.7 trillion national debt ceiling approaches, the two policy disputes of keeping the government funded and raising the debt ceiling become increasingly connected. If House Republicans don’t accept a Senate plan of reopening the government until mid-November, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to accept any budget deal that does not raise the debt ceiling. Obama and Reid remain firm on rejecting any Republican budget bill that will defund or delay Obamacare.

    Treasury Begins ‘Final Extraordinary Measures’ As Debt Ceiling Deadline Loomshttp://rtvote.com/18t8PWS In anticipation of the October 17 deadline, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, informing him that the Treasury Department has begun using final extraordinary measures. Lew’s letter emphasized the urgency surrounding the proposed increase of the debt ceiling, but he also stated that the government shutdown will probably have little effect when the government hits the debt ceiling. The measures Lew cites are fairly technical.

    Staunch Group of Republicans Outflanks House Leadershttp://rtvote.com/1eZSFcH The government shutdown does not seem like it will be ending anytime soon. The Republican hardliners in the House believe they can end Obamacare, and they have no intention of compromising until they can defund or delay the Affordable Care Act. This group of two dozen or so far right Republicans are angering their fellow moderate and institutional party members. The latter group is pressuring Speaker John Boehner to stand up to hardliners so they can reopen the government and reach bipartisan accommodations.



    Senators Chris Murphy and Brian Schatz talk about bold reform of federal higher education policy in “Making College Affordable”, http://rtvote.com/1fJagXS

    Cecile Richards discusses House Republicans’ stance against Obamacare and women’s preventive healthcare in “The House’s War on Women”, http://rtvote.com/1fJaTk9

    Thomas Friedman voices concern over the government shutdown and the power of a small minority in Congress in “Our Democracy is at Stake”, http://rtvote.com/1f043Wb



    Tom Clancy Dies at 66 – Author Remembered for Best-Selling Jack Ryan Novels, Thrillers, http://rtvote.com/1f04Syg

    Jodie Foster Dating Ellen DeGeneres’ Ex-Girlfriend Alexandra Hedison, http://rtvote.com/1dWklwc

    Katie Holmes: “Excited” to Shoot The Giver with Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, and More, http://rtvote.com/1f05Ydj

    Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Step Out Separately After Announcing Engagement, http://rtvote.com/1f07b4m


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

    News Round-Up: October 1, 2013

    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

    The U.S. government shuts down; Obamacare’s online market officially opens; and Wall Street worries about the U.S. defaulting on debt. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus’s album reviews are in, and Bruce Jenner talks about his skin cancer surgery.

    -Sandy + Maura


    U.S. Government Shuts Down in Budget Impassehttp://rtvote.com/18oN0aU After Congress failed to compromise on a new budget Monday night, the U.S. government has shut down. Federal workers will be furloughed or forced to work without pay. National parks and monuments have also been closed for the time being. The Senate rejected the House’s proposal to begin conference committee negotiations, and Congress’s next steps remain uncertain.

    White House shows off Web site to buy health insurance under Obamacarehttp://rtvote.com/18oSXF1 As of today, Americans are able to buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act on the federal website,www.Healthcare.gov. Those looking to purchase health insurance can log on and see if they qualify for government assistance; search and compare plans by price and coverage level; view each plan’s network doctors; and purchase directly from the insurance company. The plans will take effect January 1, when every American is required to have health insurance or be fined.

    Wall Street Firm Despite U.S. Shutdownhttp://rtvote.com/1fFX4CR Despite the government shutdown, Wall Street carried on calmly and opened its stocks slightly higher today. However, investors and analysts are concerned that the government shutdown will lead to the U.S. defaulting on its debt when it reaches its borrowing limit in about two weeks. If the Treasury Department does not get authorization from Congress on October 17, it will no longer be able to issue new bonds.

    Senate Cancels First Hearing on Navy Yard Shootinghttp://rtvote.com/18p5RTl Because of the government shutdown, the first Congressional hearing related to the Washington Navy Yard shooting on September 16 has been postponed indefinitely. During the hearing, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs was supposed to evaluate how the government grants clearance and conducts background checks.


    The New York Times’ Editorial Board discusses the unfair difficulties voter ID laws impose on eligible voters in “The Dishonesty of Voter ID Laws”, http://rtvote.com/1eX6dpz

    Daniel Alpert talks about the economic policy mistakes the U.S. has made in “The Rut We Can’t Get Out Of”,http://rtvote.com/1dUid8i


    Miley Cyrus’ First Bangerz Reviews Are In… And They’re Not Great, http://rtvote.com/1dUoalz

    Bruce Jenner on Skin Cancer Scare, http://rtvote.com/1fGhJH6

    Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes Confirm their Coupledom, http://rtvote.com/1dUqhWt

    Whitney Houston’s Death: Detective Accused of Inappropriate Treatment of Singer’s Corpse,http://rtvote.com/1fGiUGr


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

    News Round-Up: Monday, June 24, 2013

    Monday, June 24th, 2013

    A Pakistani actress suffers an acid attack; Nelson Mandela is now in critical condition; Edward Snowden goes missing; Twinkies are set to make a comeback July 15; a transgender first-grader from Colorado wins a civil rights case allowing him to use the girls’ bathroom at school; Nik Wallenda successfully crosses the Grand Canyon on a tight rope; and the Texas House tentatively passes an abortion bill. Meanwhile, Earth, Wind and Fire are set to release a new album in September, and Monsters University tops the box office at $82 million.

    Maura + Alexis


    Pakistani actress burned in acid attack, http://aje.me/17v5zx2
    An 18-year-old Pakistani actress was attacked Saturday while sleeping in her home. The actress, who goes by the name Bushra, is popular in the northwest for her film, television, and theatre appearances. Bushra was immediately taken to Lady Reading Hospital after the incident. Bushra’s brother claims the man who threw the acid on his sister is a local TV drama producer who was upset over Bushra’s decision not to marry him.

    Nelson Mandela in Critical Condition, http://on.wsj.com/12bHNB6
    Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former leader and hero, is in critical condition after spending over two weeks in the hospital treating a lung infection. The 94-year-old transitioned from serious but stable to critical condition within the past 24 hours.

    Edward Snowden missing after failing to fly to Cuba, http://bit.ly/12Z4tXo
    Edward Snowden was expected to be on a flight from Moscow to Havana today, but was nowhere to be seen. Although the US has been trying to keep other nations from providing him asylum, everyone has the right to seek political asylum by UN rules.

    ‘Sweetest comeback’: Twinkies to hit shelves July 15, http://nbcnews.to/14RG9FX
    Hostess has decided to restock store shelves with the American favorite – Twinkies – July 15. Although the company went bankrupt last year as a result of a fight with its unionized workers, new owners have taken the reins and its sweets are set to be back on shelves by mid-July.

    Colorado transgender first-grader Coy Mathis wins civil rights case, http://bit.ly/16sJr1L
    The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of a 6-year-old transgender boy who was once barred from using the girls’ bathroom at school. Coy Mathis, born a boy, had been using the girls’ bathroom at school every day until holiday break. At that time, her parents received a notice from the school saying that Coy would not be able to return to using the girls’ bathroom following the holiday break. Her very supportive parents were furious, and filed a civil rights complaint in February. Finally, four months later, the Mathis family can rest at ease.

    Daredevil Nik Wallenda completes high-wire walk across Grand Canyon, http://reut.rs/15wUwwb
    U.S. daredevil Nik Wallenda completed his second historic high-wire walk yesterday over the Grand Canyon. He walked 1,400 feet over the Colorado River in 22 minutes and 54 seconds. He is the first person to ever cross teh canyon on a 2-inch steel cable with neither a tether nor a safety net. Last year Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of a family of acrobats, completed a similar high-wire walk over the Niagara Falls with the same cable.

    Texas House tentatively passes abortion bill, 97-33, http://bit.ly/17xlPNT
    With a vote of 97-33, the Texas House of Representatives tentatively passed the Senate’s catch-all abortion bill. While some cheered as the legislation was passed, others shouted “Shame” claiming the war on women had begun. Of the 19 not present for the vote, 18 of them were Democrats, which could have had a large impact on the vote.


    Earth, Wind & Fire Album, ‘Now, Then & Forever,’ Set For Sept. 10, http://huff.to/144SMfH

    Adrian Grenier, ‘How To Make Money Selling Drugs’ Producer, On Obama: ‘I’d Like To See Him Be A Little Bolder’, http://huff.to/19ku4xB

    ‘Mad Men’ Finale: Shocking Revelations And Oh My, That Dress!, http://huff.to/19vFpqZ

    Elton John’s ‘The Diving Board’ Album To Arrive In September, http://huff.to/10NGpGR

    ‘MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’: Pixar stays perfect as ‘Monsters’ prequel ($82M) tops box office, http://wapo.st/14rd5D7

    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