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    ‘J.K. Rowling’



    News Round-Up: Monday, February 3, 2014

    Monday, February 3rd, 2014

    A man was arrested for threatening a former President; a Super Bowl commercial sparks controversy; a convicted murderer escapes a Michigan prison, a man lost at sea for over a year is found; and a new report sheds light on the controversial Keystone Pipeline. Meanwhile, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his NYC apartment; J.K. Rowling drops a Harry Potter bombshell; and the Super Bowl spawned some decent commercials and social media moments.

    - Veronica + Maura 

    CRUCIAL

    Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill George W. Bush: http://rtvote.com/LrGlW4
    A New York man threatened to kill former President George W. Bush on Friday. Allegedly, the man, Benjamin Smith, had an interest in one of Bush’s daughters, Barbara. Smith’s mother alerted police after she found a note discussing his plans and discovered that a rifle was missing from their home. Police found Smith in Manhattan with a loaded rifle, ammunition boxes, gasoline, and a machete and arrested him.

    Coca-Cola “America” ad sparks strong reactions: http://rtvote.com/1gGGPqa
    The Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in eight different languages has sparked controversy around the Internet. People took to Twitter and Facebook to express their opinions. Some criticized the linguistic diversity, saying basically that “in America, we speak English.” Others, however, praised the commercial, saying it was an accurate portrayal of American diversity. Coca-Cola plans to air a longer version of the commercial during the Sochi Olympics. 

    Killer escapes Michigan prison, briefly abducts woman: http://rtvote.com/1ekLPPv
    A search that began in Michigan has become nationwide after a Michigan prisoner had escaped on Sunday. The man, 40-year-old Michael David Elliot allegedly escaped from Iona Correctional Facility by escaping through a hole in the fence. He then kidnapped a woman; she escaped and called police when he stopped to buy gas.

    Marshall Islands castaway details fishing trip gone awry: http://rtvote.com/1nIT1as
    Jose Salvador Alvarenga was found on the Marshall Islands a year after his disappearance. He said after his rescue that he and his traveling partner were blown off course when the fishing boat they were in lost engine power. His traveling companion starved to death after four months, but Alvarenga survived on fish, rainwater, and turtles, among other things. Police are trying to confirm his story while he seeks medical attention.

    Report: Keystone pipeline would have minimal environmental impact: http://rtvote.com/1lx7B6x
    According to a new State Department report, the highly controversial Keystone Pipeline will not have significant environmental effects. This could cause more pressure for President Obama to approve it. Republicans and moderate Democrats are excited, calling on the President to approve the pipeline for the jobs it could create. Environmentalists and Democrats, however, say that the report has failed to recognize the environmental impact of the initial oil extraction. If President Obama approves the pipeline, he could garner more support from the GOP House.

    CULTURAL

    The 10 best social media moments from Super Bowl XLVIII: http://rtvote.com/1dmjzpl

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, dead at age 46: http://rtvote.com/1eN7FpJ

    J.K. Rowling drops a Harry Potter bombshell: http://rtvote.com/1esTf1A

    Super Bowl recap- see the best commercials here: http://rtvote.com/1k49yWi

    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: Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

    The US adds forces in the Persian Gulf; Chief Justice Roberts reportedly switched his view to uphold the individual mandate; and Microsoft takes $6.2 billion in losses in its fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Andy Griffith dies at 86, and J.K. Rowling reveals the cover for ‘The Casual Vacancy.’

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran, http://nyti.ms/MRnSNY
    The United States has deployed military reinforcements in the Persian Gulf. This move, meant to keep Iran from shutting down the Strait of Hormuz and moving forward with its nuclear ambitions, has apparently been in the U.S.’s plans for a while. The move is also meant to signal to Israel that the U.S. is on top of its enemy. There is a risk, though. Increased military presence in the Persian Gulf could agitate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, especially since the U.S. and other allies are planning to embargo Iranian oil exports.

    Roberts switched views to uphold health care law, http://cbsn.ws/MRm8UQ
    Sources reveal that Chief Justice John Roberts initially intended to overturn the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with the court’s four liberal justices. After learning that he was going to uphold the law, the court’s four conservative justices tried for a month to change his mind. Justice Anthony Kennedy—the one conservative judge that many assumed would defect to the court’s liberals—was reportedly “relentless” in trying to get Roberts to side with the conservative justices. The conservatives refused to join any aspect of Roberts’ opinion and drafted an unusual joint dissent.

    Microsoft takes $6.2B hit to account for ad woes, http://bit.ly/N5DCLA
    Microsoft Corp. will take a $6.2 billion hit, mainly due to its ill-advised purchase of aQuantive, an online advertising business. The charge will cut a hole in the company’s fourth quarter, which ended in June, with analysts predicting the company’s earnings to be about $5.3 billion. Microsoft has been criticized recently for some of its acquisitions, including paying too much for aQuantive in 2007 and its risky 2011 Skype undertaking.

    CULTURAL:

    Andy Griffith Dead at 86, http://bit.ly/MT1q8E

    Anderson Cooper: “I’m gay, always have been, always will be,” http://bre.ad/12dpaz

    See the cover for ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling, http://bre.ad/1c3opt

    Marvel unveils top-secret ‘Avengers’ short film ‘Item 47,’ http://bre.ad/1aawuw

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

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

    The House has passed a conservative deficit reduction plan, Cameron tells Parliament he would have never hired Andy Coulson, Obama endorses the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a great white shark is released after jumping onto a boat, Republican candidates will debate on Facebook, and Apple launches Mac OS X Lion.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    On a largely party line vote, the House has passed a conservative deficit reduction plan known as “Cut, Cap and Balance” on a 234-190 vote. The bill includes caps on spending and a balanced budget amendment, but it has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate and faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

    Phone hacking: Cameron’s ‘regret’ over hiring Coulson,
    http://bbc.in/qGZ0Qc
    Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that in hindsight, “I would not have offered [Andy Coulson] the [Head of Communications] job and I expect that he wouldn’t have taken it.” Cameron added that “If it turns out I have been lied to that would be a moment for a profound apology, and in that event I can tell you I will not fall short.”

    Obama Endorses Feinstein’s Bill To Repeal The Defense Of Marriage Act,
    http://bit.ly/o3Pgye
    President Obama still has not come out in support of same-sex marriage; however, his administration continues to fight anti-gay legislation, most recently DOMA. Specifically, Obama has endorsed a bill that would give federal protections and benefits, like joint-income tax filing and spousal Social Security benefits, to same-sex couples.

    Young Democrats will register voters despite strict new rules by Republicans,
    http://bit.ly/puMRG1
    The Florida legislature has tightened the rules of third party voter registration drives, but young Democrats say they will not be discouraged. The state has a new requirement that volunteers turn voter registrations into elections offices within 48 hours, or else they will face fines. The law also shortens early voting from 14 days to eight, and voters who have moved from one county to another since registering to vote can no longer cast a regular ballot.

    NAACP opposes new voter ID law,
    http://bit.ly/nRWVpM
    The NAACP says that the new voter ID law in South Carolina, signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley, discriminates against voter turnout. Reverend Nelson Rivers stated that “In America, we should be trying to include people in the voting process. This law excludes people.”

    Reporter Accosted After Bachmann Comments on Migraines,
    http://ti.me/n6gbiE
    ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross ran into some trouble at a Bachmann rally in South Carolina. When Bachmann left without taking questions, Ross ran after her, asking if she had ever missed a vote due to a migraine. Bachmann’s bodyguards “pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times.”

    Facebook and Republican party team for debates. Do you ‘like’ this?
    http://bit.ly/r01Tx9
    The Republican Party announced that it will be holding its first-ever Facebook debate sometime next year before the New Hampshire primary. It will be moderated by Meet the Press’ David Gregory and streamed live on Facebook so that users will be able to give instant feedback.

    Apple launches Mac OS X Lion in Mac App Store,
    http://cnet.co/pqZyCY
    It’s been a good week for Apple. Yesterday the company announced a record $7.31 billion in profit (a 183% increase in profit from last year). And today the company unleashes Lion, the newest version of its OS X operating system with over 250 new features.

    CULTURAL:

    Comic-Con kicks off with fans, flicks, costumes, http://bit.ly/oN0oLL

    Kim K Suing Old Navy — You Can’t COPY Me!!!!! http://bit.ly/ovKF7G

    It’s A Boy For Maya Rudolph, http://bit.ly/rtskpQ

    ‘Harry Potter’ Author Scores Multi-Million $$ Thank You, http://bit.ly/qypzQO

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

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, July 8, 2011

    Friday, July 8th, 2011

    The unemployment rate rose to 9.2% in June, the space shuttle Atlantis is set to launch, British Prime Minister Cameron orders two inquiries into the News of the World scandal, seven people have been killed in a shooting spree in Michigan, southern Sudan gains independence, and a cancer patient has been saved by the first ever synthetic windpipe transplant.

    Also, The Miami Herald discusses how new voter id laws affect young voters.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent in June, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. The economy added 18,000 jobs last month, the report says.

    Space shuttle Atlantis ready for launch; weather may not be, http://bit.ly/pebii8

    Space shuttle Atlantis is set to launch for the 33rd time today. The shuttle is scheduled to take off at 11:26 AM with a year’s worth of supplies for the International Space Station. Poor weather in Florida could delay the launch until tomorrow.

    Cameron Orders Two Inquiries Into Hacking Scandal as Former Aide Is Arrested, http://nyti.ms/qC6GxG

    Andy Coulson, the former editor of The News of the World (the tabloid being charged with phone hacking and corruption) was arrested by British police on Friday.  Coulson was once a senior aide to Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr. Cameron is ordering two separate inquiries into the tabloid scandal.

    “No sense” to ex-con’s shooting spree in Mich., http://bit.ly/pTrFyW

    Police are still trying to understand the motives that led Rodrick Dantzler of Grand Rapids, MI, to kill not only seven people, but also himself. Two of his victims were his ex-girlfriend and daughter. He took a houseful of strangers hostage before turning his gun on himself.

    South Sudan secedes amid tensions,
    http://wapo.st/qEwNsH

    Southern Sudan is celebrating its independence after a peace process made possible by successive U.S. presidents.  North and South Sudan are divided over issues including how to delineate the countries’ border, divide the oil revenue, and determine control over the region of Abyei.

    Mexican Citizen Is Executed as Justices Refuse to Step In,
    http://nyti.ms/qA1aCw

    The Supreme Court voted 5-4 against the Obama administration’s request to stay the execution of a Mexican citizen who raped and killed a 16-year-old girl. The man was not informed of his right to contact his consulate, which is against international law. Despite worries about the execution’s effect on world diplomacy, the man was executed an hour after the court made its ruling.

    New voter ID legislation sparks debate among young voters, http://bit.ly/qMWgK9

    The Miami Herald reports on the backlash new voter ID laws have caused many young voters. Former President Bill Clinton spoke out against the “pervasive political movement” that discourages young Americans and minorities from voting.

    Florida GOP leaders push for early primary date, despite threat from RNC, http://politi.co/ndC5qG

    Only a few states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, are allowed to hold their primaries before “Super Tuesday;” Florida Republicans are hoping to join the ranks of these states. Even with the RNC threatening to cut its delegates in half, FL GOP leaders hope to have more influence on the nomination with an earlier date. Florida Democrats tried the same in 2008, only to lose all of their delegates.

    Patient Saved By Synthetic Windpipe Transplant in Medical First, http://fxn.ws/n2Ea3T

    Swedish surgeons successfully transplanted a synthetic windpipe into a man diagnosed with cancer. The surgery was the first transplant of a synthetic organ. The artificial organ was grown from stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow.

    CULTURAL:

    J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson in Tears at Harry Potter Premiere, http://bit.ly/pqT6Dp

    Meet Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s Son, Egypt! http://eonli.ne/n5eKU7

    Jay-Z Has Started Next Solo Album, http://bit.ly/rfpJ66

    ‘Modern Family’ recasting baby Lily, http://on-msn.com/nZiKLB

    Big Sean Is ‘The Next Generation Of Hip-Hop,’ http://on.mtv.com/pBHwIA

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

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

    President Barack Obama will bring home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, global oil reserves have been tapped in an effort to cut gas prices, and the majority of babies born in the United States are minorities.

    Also, Huntsman will target independents, lawmakers will introduce a bill to legalize marijuana, and the Winklevoss twins end their feud with Facebook.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) President Barack Obama on Wednesday night told the nation that he will bring home 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and reverse the full 33,000-troop surge by the end of next summer. The president’s plan is a more rapid drawdown than what top Pentagon officials had favored, reflecting growing fiscal and political pressures at home. Obama believes the accelerated drawdown is possible because of military gains by U.S. and coalition forces since he launched the surge in December 2009. About 68,000 U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan after the withdrawals.

    Karzai Welcomes Withdrawal, but Many Afghans Are Wary, http://nyti.ms/kHJXtg

    Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai praised the 30,000 troop reduction President Obama announced last night, saying it was the “right decision for the interest of both countries.” Some other politicians, however, are worried that the country’s security forces needs more time and training from Americans.

    Va. man charged in 2010 DC-area military shootings,
    http://yhoo.it/ldMvBV

    The man who was arrested near the Pentagon last week, a Marine Corps reservist, has been charged in a series of shootings from 2010.  Bomb materials were found in his backpack when he was detained at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. Officials have since discovered a video that he took of himself firing shots outside the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

    Global Oil Reserves Tapped in Effort to Cut Cost at Pump, http://nyti.ms/jEAxVH

    The United States is partnering with 28 other nations to release 60 million barrels of world oil reserves. Half of the barrels will come from the US, after weeks of secret negotiations. The oil will replace what was lost in production due to the conflict in Libya.

    Census shows whites lose US majority among babies, http://bit.ly/lvJA8X

    According to the latest government data from the 2010 Census, the majority of American babies are minorities. This newest generation is vastly different from the predominately white group of older Americans.

    Jon Huntsman sees independents as key,
    http://politi.co/lfCMLq

    Jon Huntsman plans to obtain the Republican nomination by utilizing the election laws in New Hampshire and South Carolina that allow independent voters to cast ballots in the GOP primary.  John Weaver, Huntsman’s chief strategist, said that “the fact that a candidate can attract independent votes is a good indication that they can be more viable in a general election.”

    Lawmakers to introduce bill to legalize marijuana, http://yhoo.it/jz03Bg

    Congressmen Barney Frank (D) and Ron Paul (R) are going to introduce a bill legalizing marijuana today. The bill, the first ever of its kind, will leave marijuana legislation up to the states. Sixteen states allow medical marijuana, but the plant is still illegal under federal law.

    Winklevoss twins end appeal of Facebook settlement, http://reut.rs/kfRC4s

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg paid Harvard classmates Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss $65 million in a settlement over who thought of the idea for the social networking site. After agreeing to the settlement, the brothers tried to undo it and ask for more money. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled against them, they have decided not to appeal the decision.

    CULTURAL:

    NCAA sends UNC official notice of allegations in football investigation, http://bit.ly/kgy7z6

    Missy Elliott Diagnosed With Incurable Graves Disease, http://bit.ly/kHo93O

    Pottermore Unveiled! J.K. Rowling Launches New Web Site, http://bit.ly/kVCrfk

    Jackass Stars Pay Their Respects at Memorial Service for Ryan Dunn, http://eonli.ne/j03x9M

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

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