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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.

    CULTURAL

    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: Thursday, June 27, 2013

    Thursday, June 27th, 2013

    Hernandez heads back to court; John Kerry visits Middle East for peace talks; Obama is not worried about catching Snowden; Obama travels to Senegal for democracy tour; Governor Perry calls for special session; two brothers found dead in grandparents’ home in Ohio; and Prop. 8 ruling requires more work. Meanwhile, Michele Obama joins Instagram, and Cameron Diaz joins the cast of Annie.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Hernandez Headed Back to Court Day After Arrest, http://rtvote.com/14zxsyb
    A series of texts could be a major piece of evidence in the Hernandez murder case. Just minutes before Odin Lloyd was shot to death, he texted his sister “Did you see who I was with?” to which she asked “Who?” and he replied “NFL. Just so you know.” At 3:23 a.m. Lloyd was shot to death in an execution-style shooting by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Apparently Lloyd was talking to people in a nightclub that Hernandez did not like, and Hernandez reacted by shooting him to death. Hernandez was charged Wednesday with murder and could potentially land himself in prison for life.

    Kerry resumes tough Israeli-Palestinian peace drive, http://rtvote.com/14zyBFZ
    U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry is visiting the Middle East for the fifth time to hold peace talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry arrived Wednesday in Amman, the same day Israel officially approved 69 new housing units in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

    Obama: not ‘scrambling jets’ to get NSA leaker Snowden, http://rtvote.com/14zzjTF
    President Obama said he will not be “scrambling jets” to bring Edward Snowden back to the U.S. He said he should not have to speak personally to the leaders of Russia and China about finding the 29-year-old hacker. Snowden is thought to be hiding in a Moscow airport awaiting a ruling on his request for asylum from Ecuador.

    Obama Begins Africa Tour in Senegal, http://rtvote.com/18iqRNI
    As President Obama heads to Senegal today on a trip to highlight achievements in democracy, his trip is expected to be overshadowed by the fate of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, who remains in critical condition, has been battling his health since contracting a lung infection three weeks ago. President Obama plans to travel to South Africa on Friday as part of his three-nation visit.

    Gov. Perry Calls Special Session to Begin July 1, http://rtvote.com/14zAJ0b
    Governor Rick Perry announced today that a Special Session of the Texas Legislature would be held Monday, July 1 at 2 p.m. Among the important issues at hand to discuss are: legislation regarding the regulation of abortion, legislation regarding transportation funding for infrastructure projects, and legislation regarding a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.

    Police: Ohio brothers, 9 and 12, found shot to death at grandparents’ house, http://rtvote.com/18isDyk
    Police in Ohio are investigating the deaths of two brothers, 9 and 12 years old, found dead in their grandparents’ home. The boys were found shot to death in an upstairs bedroom of their grandparents’ home on Wednesday. It is still unclear whether or not there was anyone home at the time of the murders.

    What’s next for California after Prop. 8 case dismissedhttp://rtvote.com/14zC6fv
    There is still more work to be done regarding Proposition 8. Andy Pugno of the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund said Wednesday that “We remain committed to the continued enforcement of Proposition 8 until there is a statewide order saying otherwise.” Instead of ruling directly on the constitutional right to marry, the Supreme Court ruled narrowly, dismissing the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Proposition 8 supporters have 25 days to ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case.

    CULTURAL:

    Michelle Obama Joins Instagram!, http://rtvote.com/18ivCH3

    Tony Parker Engaged to Axelle Francine? Eva Longoria’s Ex Mentions “Fiancée” in Twitter Chat, http://rtvote.com/18ivKGA

    Cameron Diaz Joins Cast of Annie Movie as Miss Hannigan, http://rtvote.com/14zEUJD

    James Gandolfini’s Friends and Family Gather to Remember Late Star, Broadway Dims Their Lights, http://rtvote.com/14zF1Vi

    Kristen Bell, Russell Brand and Other Celebs Who Wear Support for Gay Marriage, http://rtvote.com/18iw9sB

    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: Friday, May 10th, 2013

    Friday, May 10th, 2013
    Prosecutors may seek the death penalty for Ariel Castro; the death toll reaches 1,034 in the Bangladesh factory collapse; British police deny aiding Jimmy Savile; North Korea explains Kenneth Bae’s crimes; a British Olympic sailor dies in a capsize in the San Francisco Bay; and cyberthieves stole 45 million from ATMs in February.  Meanwhile, Randy Jackson is leaving ‘American Idol,’ and Kiefer Sutherland may return to ’24.’
    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Prosecutor may seek death penalty for Cleveland kidnap, rape suspect Ariel Castro, http://rtvote.com/18yGOO7
    Ohio prosecutors said Friday that they may seek the death penalty for Ariel Castro, who has been accused of raping and holding three women captive for over a decade.  “The horrific brutality that the victims endured is beyond comprehension,” said prosecutor Timothy McGinty. “The law of Ohio calls for the death penalty for those most depraved criminals who commit aggravated murder during the course of a kidnapping,” he continued.  Castro currently faces four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.  A police report revealing that he forced miscarriages in one of the victims may lead to more charges.

    Bangladesh factory collapse death toll hits 1,034, http://rtvote.com/11pY08s
    A woman has been rescued alive from the rubble caused by a collapsed garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  The factory collapsed two weeks ago, killing 1,034 factory workers.  It’s currently the worst disaster the garment industry has ever seen.  There was a fire at another factory in Dhaka this week, further underscoring the factories’ dangerous conditions.

    British Police Force Denies Protecting Savile From Abuse Allegations, http://rtvote.com/11YfRhy
    British police deny covering up sexual abuse claims made against former TV personality Jimmy Savile.  However, an internal report shows that Savile had a close relationship with the West Yorkshire police and promoted crime-prevention campaigns on air for them.  “It seems to me that West Yorkshire Police over the years failed to join up the dots,” said lawyer Alan Collins, who represents 40 of the 500 who have stepped forward with sexual abuse allegations since Savile’s death in 2011.   “There seems to be a collective myopia,” Collins said. “Savile was able to run rings around the police for decades. He used police officers. He was ingrained with them, dovetailed with them.”

    North Korea Lays Out Case Against Jailed American, http://rtvote.com/11YgiZc
    North Korea claims that Korean-American Kenneth Bae has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor due to past missionary work in China and an anti-regime mission he planned to spread in Rason City, North Korea.  North Korea has considered missionary work a threat in the past and has insisted that Bae’s arrest is not a bargaining chip in talks with the U.S.

    British Olympic sailor killed in capsize in San Francisco Bay, http://rtvote.com/11pZUpq
    British Olympic sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson was killed after his sailboat capsized when training for the America’s Cup with Swedish Artemis Racing team.  All 10 of Simpson’s crew members survived the capsize in the San Francisco Bay, but attempts to revive him did not work.   “The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” Artemis’s chief executive said. “Our prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates. It’s a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well being.”

    In Hours, Thieves Took $45 Million in A.T.M. Scheme, http://rtvote.com/11YhYSG
    According to an indictment made public on Thursday, cyberthieves made off with $45 million from thousands of ATMs in a matter of hours in February.  The thieves’ suspected leader, Alberto Lajud-Peña, was found dead in the Dominican Republic on April 27th.  Seven other people, who are all American citizens, have been charged with conspiracy to commit  “access device fraud.”

    CULTURAL:

    Palestinians chose a new president — on reality TV, http://rtvote.com/18yGJtQ

    8 Obnoxious Trends on Instagram, http://rtvote.com/14acHcf

    Randy Jackson confirms exit: I’ve decided to leave ‘American Idol’ after 12 years, http://rtvote.com/14aiYEZ

    McCain proposes ‘a la carte’ cable bill, http://rtvote.com/14aj4MN

    Kiefer Sutherland mulling return to ‘24’ after cancellation of ‘Touch’: reports, http://rtvote.com/11q4Avx

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Friday, April 19th, 2013

    Friday, April 19th, 2013

    More information about Chechen brothers Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev surfaces as they’re named the Boston marathon bombers; Boston is on lockdown after Tamerlan dies in a shootout and Dzokhar is still at large; Anzor Tsarnaev claims his sons are innocent; Chechnya’s president blames the suspects’ American upbringing for the Boston bombings; at least 35 are killed and 60 unaccounted for after the fertilizer-plant explosion in West, TX; The Boy Scouts may lift their ban on gay youth members; Pakistan police arrest ex-President Musharraf; and the United Nations calls Syria’s civil war a “humanitarian catastrophe.” Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts defies the lockdown and stays open in Watertown, MA; “Time” names its 100 most influential people; and Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries reach a divorce settlement.

    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Boston Bombing Suspects: What We Know About the Tsarnaev Brothers, http://rtvote.com/11LeGDk
    A plethora of new information about the Boston marathon bombers, brothers named Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has surfaced after a police shootout with the suspects took place early this morning. Dzokhar is 19-years-old and attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he had received scholarship money, was on the wrestling team, and was described as a nice, normal guy with an active social life; many of his classmates told the media they couldn’t believe he would be a terrorist. The brothers, who are Chechen, may have been living in the U.S. for ten years, coming to the states from Kyrgyzstan. Reports show that Tamerlan, who was 26 and an avid boxer, had recently flown from JFK to Russia, where he stayed for six months. Both identified with Islam on their social media, with their uncle speculating that somebody may have radicalized them.

    Terror manhunt shuts down parts of Boston after shootings, chase, http://rtvote.com/11L9vTX
    After an early morning shootout between police and the Boston marathon bombers, parts of Boston is on complete lockdown. Tamerlan, the elder Tsarnaev brother, was killed in the shootout while officials believe Dzokhar is at large in the Watertown area of Boston. Before the shootout, the suspects shot and killed an MIT campus police officer, robbed a 7-11, and carjacked a Mercedes SUV before letting the driver go free. Tamerlan was found dead with an explosive device attached to him. There has been a no-fly zone issued over Watertown, and mass transit has been shutdown throughout the entire city. Residents have been strongly encouraged to stay indoors as officials continue to search for Dzokhar and potentially a third suspect.

    Boston Bomb Suspect’s Dad Tells Him to Surrender, Warns ‘ Hell Will Break Loose’ if Son Dies, http://rtvote.com/117LxRb
    Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the Boston marathon bombers, urged his younger son, Dzokhar, to “give up” and surrender himself to authorities.  He also maintained his sons’ innocence and threatened that if Dzokhar is killed by police, then “all hell will break loose.” Anzor said that he spoke to his sons on the phone this week after the bombings because he was worried about their safety.

    Report: As many as 35 killed in Texas plant explosionhttp://rtvote.com/17LIjrS
    As many as 35 people have been killed from a fertilizer-plant explosion in West, TX. Officials refuse to give an exact death toll as they are still searching through rubble for survivors. More than 160 were injured in the blast. Doctors have been treating mostly blast injuries instead of chemical ones. Police warned that the scene is still dangerous as ammonium nitrate is present in the air.

    On Instagram, Chechnya’s president criticizes America’s handling of the Boston manhunt, http://rtvote.com/11L6MtP
    Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov took to Instagram today to proclaim that the Chechen ethnicity of the Boston marathon bombers did not motivate their killings.  “Any attempt to link Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if indeed they are guilty, are futile,” he wrote. “They grew up in the USA, their viewpoints and beliefs were formed there. You must look for the roots of [their] evil in American.” Evan Kohlmann, an American terrorism consultant, furthered Kadyrov’s sentiments tweeting, “The official media arm of the Chechen mujahideen has rejected allegations that two Chechen men were responsible for the Boston Bombing.”

    Boy Scouts to consider lifting ban on openly gay youths, http://rtvote.com/XLgCeO
    In May, the National Council of The Boy Scouts will vote on allowing gay members in the organization as long as none of the adult leaders are openly homosexual. “Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting,” a report says.

    Pakistan police arrest ex-President Musharraf, http://rtvote.com/11Li558
    Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf was arrested and put under house arrest Thursday for his alleged dismissal of senior judges, including the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. In two days, Musharraf will go to anti-terrorism court. “These allegations are politically motivated, and I will fight them in the trial court, where the truth will prevail,” Musharraf said.

    United Nations says Syria conflict a humanitarian catastrophe, http://rtvote.com/17LGKKp
    United Nations aid chief Valerie Amos has declared the civil war in Syria a “humanitarian catastrophe” as 22 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes and 1.3 million have fled to neighboring companies. The United Nations has not been able to take action in Syria as China and Russia, allies to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, have vetoed any plans that may jeopardize Assad’s government. “I do not have an answer for those Syrians I have spoken to who asked me why the world has abandoned them,” Amos said.

    POLL: PUBLIC PESSIMISM ON ECONOMY IS INCREASING, http://rtvote.com/XLjzvC
    According to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, only one in four Americans are optimistic about the future of their finances. 46% of those surveyed said they approve of how President Obama is handling the economy, while 52% said they disapprove. Only 7% said they trust Washington to do the right thing “just about always,” while 66% said they trust the federal government “some of the time;” 11% said they never trust the federal government.

    60 Oklahoma Dental Patients Test Positive for Hepatitis, HIV, http://rtvote.com/XLmHaV
    At least 60 patients of Oklahoma dentist W. Scott Harrington have tested positive for HIV or hepatitis after a surprise investigation of the dentist’s facilities found used needles, dirty tools, and other unsanitary conditions. Over 7,000 people who have been treated by Harrington were notified of potential infection. So far 3,122 have been tested for HIV and hepatitis with 57 testing positive for hepatitis C, 3 for hepatitis B, and at least 1 for HIV.

    CULTURAL:
    Time: The 100 Most Influential People in the World, http://time100.time.com/

    BOSTON BOMBING: THE MEANING OF DUNKIN’ DONUTS, http://rtvote.com/11LlwJa

    Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries finally reach settlement in divorce case, http://rtvote.com/XLk6hg

    Fame may ‘lead to a shorter life,’  http://rtvote.com/XLk8FN

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

    Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

    President Obama will have VP Biden lead the charge on gun control; an independent panel finds security flaws during the Benghazi attack; eight vaccination workers have been killed in Pakistan; Judge Robert Bork dies at 84; and Instagram tries to clarify its new policy. Meanwhile, TIME’s person of the year is President Obama, and Buzzfeed nostalgically lists 50 things you will never get for Christmas again.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Biden to head gun policy push after Newtown shootings, http://reut.rs/U88OBf
    President Obama will have Vice President Biden lead the push for stricter gun control. The White House has decided to take action on the issue after the mass shooting in Newtown, CT, which left twenty children, seven adults, and the shooter, Adam Lanza, dead. At a vigil for the massacre, President Obama spoke to the people of Newtown saying he would “use whatever power this office” has to end gun-related tragedies. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president supports a ban on assault weapons and closing the “gun show” loophole.

    BENGHAZI REVIEW FINDS SYSTEMATIC SECURITY FAULTS, http://bit.ly/VOB20Y
    An independent panel has found that security was “grossly inadequate” during the September 11th attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi. “Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” in the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affair caused security officials to not be equipped for the type of attack that took place. The report also showed that no employee violated their responsibilities and no one should receive disciplinary action.

    Three more polio workers shot in Pakistan; eight dead in 48 hours, http://reut.rs/U7Ndsz
    The United Nations has pulled its vaccination workers from Pakistan’s streets after three more people administering polio vaccines were shot, two of them fatally. In total, eight vaccination workers have been killed in Pakistan in the past 48 hours. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, although the Taliban has issued threats against vaccination drives before. In this case, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban says they did not carry out these particular attacks. Pakistan is one of three countries in the world where polio is rampant.

    Judge Bork Has Died, http://bit.ly/T7xDgU
    Robert Bork, the conservative judge whose Supreme Court nomination was rejected during Reagan’s presidency, died Wednesday of heart complications. He was 84. Bork was a law professor at Yale who taught Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Robert Reich, and John Bolton. In 1987, President Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court; however, the nomination was famously shot down by Senate Democrats who went to great lengths to stop it, even leaking his video rental records. After the failed nomination, Bork went on to work at conservative think tanks and write books.

    Astronomers find possibly livable planet, http://bit.ly/T6OAYK
    Astronomers said on Tuesday that they have found a potentially livable planet twelve light-years from Earth. The star, Tau Ceti, has five planets orbiting it. One of the planets is located in the “habitable zone” where water could live on its surface. “This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many potentially habitable planets,” said Steven Vogt, the U.C. Santa Cruz astronomer on the international team.

    Instagram co-founder: “It is not our intention to sell your photos”, http://tnw.co/ZL5JLm
    Earlier this week, Instagram announced a new terms of services that implied the photo-sharing service could sell users’ photos to advertisers. The new policy created an uproar amongst users, causing Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom to issue a statement saying it is not the company’s “intention” to sell photos for a profit, and that it was Instagram’s fault for making the terms of service language “confusing.” Systrom added that the purpose of the new policy is to “create meaningful ways to help [users] discover new and interesting accounts, while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.”

    CULTURAL:

    TIME Person of the Year is President Obama, http://on.today.com/T7hkze

    50 Things You Will Never Get For Christmas Again, http://bit.ly/YgQ8mC

    Eagle on video snatches kid in park — or does it?, http://usat.ly/UDw73T

    African-American Cowboys In Film: The Groundbreaking History Of Black Westerns, http://huff.to/TyVHry

    WATCH: Anne Hathaway & Samuel L. Jackson Have a ‘Funny or Die’ “Sad Off,” http://bit.ly/12phYNs

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com