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    News Round-Up: November 25, 2013

    Monday, November 25th, 2013

    A nasty storm is headed East, just in time for Thanksgiving; the US deal with Iran still remains in a delicate balance; and Amazon is under fire for their working conditions. Meanwhile, Miley mocks Gaga, and Catching Fire is actually on fire at the box office!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Nasty winter storm could snarl holiday traffic in East,http://rtvote.com/17MOsov
    A strong blast of Arctic air, blamed for eight deaths in the West, will reach the East coast in time for Thanksgiving. The storm has already closed hundreds of flights out of Dallas, and it is expected to reach the mid-Atlantic and New England regions by Tuesday. Heavy rain is to be expected, and snow is likely in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

    Most of Amtrak train jumps tracks in S.C.http://rtvote.com/1c4PLkl
    Seven cars of a nine-car Amtrak train derailed near Spartanburg County, South Carolina, early this morning. 207 passengers and 11 crew members were on board the train going from New Orleans to New York; no serious injuries were reported, although two people were hospitalized. The seven derailed cars remained upright, and heat and light were quickly restored.

    Pitfall of working for Amazon: Mental illness?http://rtvote.com/17U5oM7
    Who doesn’t love Amazon?! Apparently, some of their workers. BBC launched an investigation into Amazon employees’ working conditions, wherein one of their undercover reporters worked the night shift in a U.K. Amazon warehouse. The reporter said he walked 11 miles in one shift, and an expert claims that such working conditions increase the risk of mental illness.

    After Iran nuclear deal, tough challenges aheadhttp://rtvote.com/182tY8g
    A historic nuclear agreement with Iran has been signed, but don’t celebrate just yet! The situation is still as fragile as ever, as evidenced by the parties’ clash on Sunday over a key element of the deal and congressional skeptics’ threat to strike down the deal. The accord’s conditions include a six-month freeze on Iran’s nuclear program, daily monitoring by international inspectors, and a promise to not finish construction of a heavy-water reactor that could provide Iran with a source of plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

    Rajesh and Nupur Talwar guilty of Aarushi and Hemraj murders,http://rtvote.com/18jsLPD
    In 2008, Aarushi Talwar, 14, and Hemraj, a domestic servant for the Talwar family, were found dead. Aarushi’s throat was slit, and she had also suffered a fatal head injury; Hemraj’s dead body was found on the roof of the Talwar house. After a five-and-a-half-year investigation, the parents of Aarushi have been convicted of the murders. Although Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are still denying guilt, prosecutors claimed the parents killed their child when they found her in a “compromising situation” with Hemraj.

     

    CULTURAL 

    Miley Cyrus Mocks Lady Gaga’s White Horse Entrance at American Music Awards, http://rtvote.com/1c4YLpA

    2013 American Music Awards: 5 Things You Didn’t See on TV,http://rtvote.com/1i8Zrzn

    Macklemore References Trayvon Martin, Racial Profiling in American Music Awards Acceptance Speech, http://rtvote.com/18jzrxs

    Catching Fire Box Office: Hunger Games Sequel Opens to Hot $25.3 Million,http://rtvote.com/19WwFb8

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 13, 2013

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

    A popular Washington Post columnist and India’s top policeman find themselves in boiling hot water after making some controversial remarks (on separate topics); Haiyan’s survivors are struggling to get food and water, despite international aid; and Healthcare.gov will probably not reach its November 30th deadline. Meanwhile, Zac Efron broke his jaw (ouch), and a Beyonce fan dishes on trying out one of Queen Bey’s scary-intense diets.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL 

    India’s Top Policeman Draws Fire With Rape Remarkhttp://rtvote.com/HTOr97
    Someone please nominate this man for the Stupidest Comment of the Year award. At a conference about illegal sports betting and gambling, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha said that if the state could not stop gambling, then it could at least make some revenue by legalizing it. He then proceeded to say, ‘If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.” Activists are outraged, seeing as this man is in charge of several rape investigations and that protests in India have grown rapidly since the fatal gang rape of a student this past year.

    Controversy over Richard Cohen’s comments on the de Blasio family,http://rtvote.com/HY7r5z
    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, 72, has been under intense scrutiny for his Tuesday column, which sounds a lot like Cohen has something against interracial marriages and homosexuals. Cohen insists that he was not expressing his personal views, but those of Tea Party conservatives. As news outlets continue to condemn him, Cohen’s boss at the Post defends one of his most popular columnists.

    Lawlessness, damage leave Filipinos strugglinghttp://rtvote.com/19kpb1l
    Food and water are still struggling to reach the typhoon’s survivors as roads and ports are destroyed, and trucks have no fuel to run on. Mobs of people have begun looting warehouses for food. Even though massive amounts of supplies have arrived on nearby islands and parts of Leyte, they cannot be moved into the city in large amounts. Most Filipinos have been left homeless, and the city of Tacloban will be without power for three months.

    Troubled HeathCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November,http://rtvote.com/1buISII
    It doesn’t look like HeathCare.gov will be ready by the end of November, like the Obama administration has promised. Software problems seem to be more difficult to resolve than expected. Government workers and technical contractors have advised people to use other means to enroll in healthcare plans so the website is not overburdened.

    Ryan Ferguson Update: Mo. man jailed for nearly 10 years released,http://rtvote.com/HRksyj
    Ryan Ferguson, 29, was released from custody after being jailed for almost ten years for a crime he claims he did not commit. Originally convicted in 2005 for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, an appeals court threw out the conviction last week because Boone County prosecutors violated federal law by failing to share several pieces of evidence that pointed to Ferguson’s innocence in 2005.

     

    CULTURAL

    Zac Efron’s Broken Jaw: “He’s Going to Be OK,” Says Pal Michael B. Jordan,http://rtvote.com/1hG0t5U

    Demi Lovato: People Would Be “Shocked” to Hear My Drug and Alcohol Abuse Stories, http://rtvote.com/1dqhDhQ

    Beyonce Fan Tries Singer’s Diet, Loses 10 Pounds in 10 Days,http://rtvote.com/1bDQAP0

    Alec Baldwin’s Alleged Stalker Genevieve Sabourin Gets 30 Days in Jail for Courtroom Interruptions, http://rtvote.com/1aTEYe2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, July 18, 2013

    Thursday, July 18th, 2013

    Indian police search for principal after 22 children die; dispute between U.S. military and Afghanistan halts custom procedures; Nelson Mandela’s health improves; Tom Perez is the new Labor Secretary. Meanwhile, the 2013 Emmy Award Nominations are announced; Neil Patrick Harris agrees to host the Emmys; Jane Lynch has emotional talk with Ellen; and Adam Levine gets engaged.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Tom Perez Confirmed as Labor Secretary, http://rtvote.com/12L8eyt
    The Senate confirmed Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez as the next secretary of labor Thursday with a vote of 54-46, making him the only Latino in President Obama’s cabinet.

    Police can’t find Indian principal after school lunches deaths, http://rtvote.com/19548VK
    At an Indian school where 22 children were poisoned to death after eating school lunches and police now say the headmistress of the school is nowhere to be found. Authorities say the students were between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and began vomiting Tuesday soon after their first bite of rice. The Bihar state Education Minister P.K. Shahi said the children were poisoned by an insecticide that was in the food.

    Flow of the U.S. military gear across Afghan borders halts amid dispute, http://rtvote.com/1954Nqb
    An escalating dispute between the Afghan government and the United States over customs procedures has halted the flow of U.S. military equipment across Afghanistan’s borders.

    Mandela ‘steadily improving’ on 95th birthday, http://rtvote.com/15pqWKz
    South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on Thursday, a milestone capped by news that the former president’s health was improving. Zindzi, one of Mandela’s daughters, remarked that he is making “remarkable progress.”

    Senators reach deal on student loan interest rates, http://rtvote.com/1953szN
    A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal Wednesday evening to offer college students better rates on loans this fall but higher rates in future years. The Senate deal would offer students lower interest rates through the 2015 academic year.  In the debate Democrats won a protection for students that rates would never climb higher than 8.2% for undergraduate students.
    CULTURAL

    2013 Emmy Nominations: 6 Biggest Surprises and Snubs, http://rtvote.com/1951lfm

    Jane Lynch Talks Cory Monteith Death: “We’ve Lost a Really Great Guy”, http://rtvote.com/1951NdA

    Adam Levine’s Fiancée Behati Prinsloo: 5 Things to Know About the Victoria’s Secret Angel, http://rtvote.com/15pkYJK

    Queen Elizabeth II Hopes Royal Baby Arrives Soon, http://rtvote.com/1952l2Y

    Neil Patrick Harris steps in to host for Emmy noms, http://rtvote.com/1bLpszh

    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, June 26, 2013

    Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

    The Supreme Court deems DOMA unconstitutional and dismisses Prop 8; 20 bodies are found after a rescue helicopter crashes in India; Edward Markey wins Senate seat for Massachusetts; Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups are supposedly changing modes of communication after NSA leaks; Paula Deen appears on the ‘Today’ show to discuss racial slurs she has been accused of using; and Texas renders strict abortion bill moot. Meanwhile, Stacey Dash tweets support for Paula Deen, and Kim Kardashian claims she got baby name idea from brother Rob.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, http://rtvote.com/14xjMDH
    DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act that once barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by state, was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court this morning. The act was deemed a “violation of the Fifth Amendment” according to Justice Anthony Kennedy who delivered the court’s opinion.

    Prop. 8: Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California, http://rtvote.com/18gehOU
    In another ruling today, the Supreme Court dismissed Proposition 8, allowing for same-sex marriages to resume in California. The ruling will send the case back to California.

    20 Bodies Found in India Rescue Helicopter Crash, http://rtvote.com/18geJwS
    20 bodies were recovered today in northern India after a helicopter crashed on a rescue mission to save people stranded in monsoon floods. The helicopter crashed late Tuesday after its rotor blades hit the side of a hill. Using ropes, soldiers pulled 20 bodies, including five air force crew members, from the wreckage.

    Markey looks to build ‘bold and bright future’, http://rtvote.com/14xngGl
    Democratic U.S. Representative ,Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, won a seat in the U.S. Senate today. Markey beat out competitor Gabriel E. Gomez, claiming 55 percent of the votes. He will fill the seat John F. Kerry left when President Obama appointed him Secretary of State.

    Al-Qaida Said to be Changing its Ways After Leaks, http://rtvote.com/11IfbzP
    Al-Qaida claims to be changing its methods of communication after finding out about NSA spying programs. U.S. intelligence officials are trying to figure out a way to maintain surveillance of Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

    Paula Deen on “Today”: I’m not a racist, http://rtvote.com/18ggNVz
    Paula Deen sat down with co-host of the “Today” show Matt Lauer this morning to talk about racial slurs she threw over the past week. When Lauer asked her “Are you a racist?” Deen replied, “No, I am not [...] the day I used that word was a world ago [...] it was 30 years ago.” After a little prying, Deen opened up that she had once uttered the word when a customer entered her office and held a gun to her head.

    Texas Vote Passing Abortion Bill Is Rendered Moot, http://rtvote.com/14xlepx
    An abortion bill, one of the strictest presented in the country, was voted on last night by the State Senate of Texas. The vote came shortly after midnight Tuesday, but at 3 a.m. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the presiding officer of the Senate and a supporter of the bill, claimed that although the bill passed on a 19-to-10 vote, the bill was unable to be signed and was thus “dead,” blaming the unruly mob in the gallery.

    CULTURAL:

    Celebrities On DOMA & Prop 8: Stars Tweet Reactions During Final Ruling, http://rtvote.com/18ghUV8

    Jennifer Lawrence In ‘Devil You Know’: Lost 2007 Movie Resurrected After Oscar Win, http://rtvote.com/14xqyta

    Stacey Dash Tweets Support For Paula Deen: ‘Only God Can Judge’, http://rtvote.com/14xqF89

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Got Baby-Naming Advice From Rob Kardashian, http://rtvote.com/18giGS5

    Prince Jackson “Ready and Confident” to Take the Stand in Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial, http://rtvote.com/14xrA8r

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    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: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

    The Turkish deputy PM seeks to appease citizens; the U.N. human rights team believes Syria has used chemical weapons; the GOP threatens to restrict funding for the IRS; floods continue in Germany; Oscar Pistorius’s hearing is postponed until August 19; an American tourist is gang-raped in India; China censors the big yellow duck; and David Barton warns Christians not to drink Starbucks coffee.  Meanwhile, Channing and Jenna Tatum reveal their baby girl’s name, and Coldplay drummer makes a cameo in Game of Thrones.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Turkish deputy PM seeks to calm anti-government protests, http://reut.rs/19EmmvR
    Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister attempted to appease anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday with an apology for police crackdown on a peaceful protest. Bulent Arinc’s words carried a much different tone than Erdogan’s, who leftMonday on a visit to North Africa. Arinc told a news conference in Ankara that “the excessive violence that was used in the first instance against those who were behaving with respect for the environment is wrong and unfair. I apologize to those citizens.”

    U.N. rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria, http://reut.rs/19EBUQb
    Human rights investigators from the U.N. said Tuesday that they had “reasonable grounds” to believe that at least small amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria. Now, more so than ever, a sense of urgency has been instilled in the West to end the war. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the use of chemical weapons was unacceptable. The U.N. commission examined four reported toxic attacks in the months of March and April, but there is no information as to which side was behind the attacks.

    GOP threatens IRS purse strings, http://bit.ly/18NZR8E
    GOP appropriators said Monday that they were willing and able to pull on the IRS’s ‘purse strings’ to elicit answers regarding accusations that the IRS has been targeting conservative groups. In other words, the House Appropriations Committee would restrict IRS funding, a power only Congress has, in order to get to the truth. The acting IRS chief said he is prepared to defend President Obama’s budget, which aims for a $1 billion increase in funding for the IRS.

    Floods threaten Dresden as Prague river levels fall, http://bbc.in/1309bjF
    Cities in southern and eastern Germany are on high alert, and Dresden prepares for water levels 5m higher than average. Thankfully, river levels in Prague are falling, and floodwaters are moving north. The city of Regensburg has declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, in the state state of Saxony, which includes the city of Dresden, officials warn that water levels have the chance of rising higher than those of the record floods of 2002. Eleven people have died so far throughout the countries affected; only six fewer than in 2002.

    Oscar Pistorius’ hearing postponed until Aug. 19, http://usat.ly/15BPcds
    Oscar Pistorius stood throughout the entirety of his 15-minute court hearing Tuesday, portraying very little emotion. It was a very different look compared to the very emotional presentation he gave during his bail hearing in February. Magistrate Daniel Thulare decided to postpone the case until August 19, 2013, allowing police more time for investigations.

    US Tourist Gang-raped in Northern India: Police, http://yhoo.it/18QhJ2V
    An American female tourist was gang-raped by a truck driver and two accomplices Tuesday in Northern India. The 30-year-old woman was raped following her decision to accept an offer for a ride from a truck driver in Manali. Medical tests prove that she was indeed raped, and police continue to hunt down the criminals. Every truck driver in Manali has been ordered to report to the local police station in an effort to track down the three men.

    Censored in China: ‘Today,’ ‘Tonight’ and ‘Big Yellow Duck’, http://nyti.ms/12qwdFj
    China has banned the phrases “today,” tonight,” “June 4,” and “big yellow duck” on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, today due to a picture posted on the internet that quickly became an internet sensation. In an attempt to resurrect a banned image of a Chinese man blocking a line of tanks in Tianenman Square, a photoshopped version of the iconic image was posted on Weibo replacing the tanks with big yellow ducks. The images were almost immediately removed by censors, but only after making their way all across cyberspace.

    Christians Can’t Drink Starbucks Because Company Supports Gay Marriage, Evangelical Says (VIDEO), http://huff.to/16Exgmo
    According to former evangelical pastor and conservative activist David Barton, there is “no way” a truly righteous Christian can drink coffee from a cup with a little green straw – from Starbucks, that is. Because Starbucks donates money to support gay marriage and has publicly supported Washington state’s same-sex marriage bill, Barton argues that to support the company would be supporting “what is attacking God.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Miguel’s Leg Drop Victim May Have Suffered Brain Damage, Might Sue, http://huff.to/1b0xFfL

    Jonah Hill In ‘Arrested Development’ Movie? Mitch Hurwitz Reveals He Could Have Played George Michael In Elaborate Hoax, http://huff.to/18R74oH

    Penelope Cruz As Bond Girl? Rumor Has Oscar Winner Heading To Next 007 Film, http://huff.to/18Ls4d

    Will Champion On ‘Game Of Thrones’: Coldplay Drummer Makes Cameo Appearance As Drummer, http://huff.to/16FhWWK

    Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Reveal New Daughter’s Name!, http://eonli.ne/15xx3Ne

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    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