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    ‘Japan’



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

    A Philadelphia high school drug ring is busted; violence escalates in South Sudan; and a man dealing fake art is arrested. Meanwhile, Lupita Nyong’o is named “Most Beautiful”; Drew Barrymore has her second child; and Justin Bieber gets in trouble for a seemingly honest mistake.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Drug ring targeting top suburban Philly schools busted: http://rtvote.com/1lEO7Jd
    18-year-old Timothy Brooks and 25-year-old Neil Scott were caught Tuesday by the police along with eight other people. The business: selling drugs to students at some of the best high schools and colleges in the area. Brooks and Scott were the two at the center of the drug ring; Brooks supervised the eight “sub-dealers” who sold the drugs at school while Scott was in charge of shipping the drugs from California to Pennsylvania. The drug ring, allegedly dubbed the “Main Line Take-Over Project” (after affluent towns near Philadelphia, where the ring targeted), was responsible for selling marijuana, hash oil, cocaine, and ecstasy (or MDMA). The schools targeted included the Haverford School, Conestoga High School, Radnor High School, Harriton High School, and Lower Merion High School: all prestigious, wealthy schools with some of the highest standardized test scores in Pennsylvania.

    UN: South Sudan rebels separate residents by ethnicity, kill hundreds: http://rtvote.com/1iL2dsZ
    Rebels stormed the oil town Bentiu last week in South Sudan, separated the terrified citizens by ethnicity, and then killed at least 400 people. 200 were killed and 400 were wounded at one mosque alone. The attackers warned certain ethnic groups to leave town and that they should no longer stay in Bentiu. Men, women, and children were killed when they did not cheer and offer support for the rebel attackers. The conflict stems from an overarching power struggle between two South Sudanese ethnic groups: the Nuers and the Dinkas. The rebel leader, Riek Machar (Nuer) was accused by the existing President, Salva Kiir (Dinka), of trying to kick him out of power through a coup. Since the coup allegations, violence between military and civilians has dominated the nation.

    Indicted art dealer, painter were ‘masters of forgery and deceit’: http://rtvote.com/1tCgv3Y
    Jose Carlos Bergatiños Diaz, his brother, and other associates are accused of making $30 million by selling fake artwork for almost 20 years. Diaz and his associates convinced wealthy people and New York art galleries that he was selling real Rothkos and Pollocks paintings. In reality, the paintings sold were made by Pei Shen Qian, a Chinese painter found by Diaz on the Manhattan streets. The brothers were arrested in Spain and have been charged with conspiracy and money laundering. Qian, who authorities believe fled to China as the scheme began to fall apart, has been charged with lying to FBI agents and other conspiracy charges.

    Gun checks miss millions of fugitives: http://rtvote.com/1l1QiYH
    Law enforcement agencies who fail to provide the FBI and national fugitive databases with information on felons could enable those felons to access, purchase, and use guns. In 5 states alone, police forces failed to give the FBI information on more than 2.5 million people with arrest warrants. A large number of those unreported people are wanted for violent offences.  A possible reason for the lack of reporting is that most states do not want to spend the money to track fugitives across state lines. Most agencies therefore see no reason to report with the FBI (a national tracking database) because they have no intention of tracking the fugitives who have left the state.

    CULTURAL

    Lupita Nyong’o named People’s “Most Beautiful”: http://rtvote.com/Qy51zv

    Daniel Franzese (Damian from Mean Girls) comes out: http://rtvote.com/Ptxcym

    Drew Barrymore has her baby! Find out her adorable name! http://rtvote.com/1noPuQa

    Rehearsals for Pitch Perfect 2 have begun! http://rtvote.com/1hj8yvl

    Justin Bieber in hot water again- although this might have been an honest mistake: http://rtvote.com/1jB3QGv

    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: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

    In today’s news, the U.S. blatantly defies China’s authority over their new air zone; Healthcare.gov is making clear progress (but it’ll still crash if everyone goes on at once…hey, they’re working on it); and three girls are rescued from being imprisoned in their own home for the past two years. Meanwhile, Zac Efron and Seth Rogen make a “Bound 4” video (LOL), and Frankie Muniz suffers another “mini stroke” at age 27 (our hearts go out to you, Frankie).

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    China says it monitored U.S. B-52s that flew through its new air zone,http://rtvote.com/IsOZSE
    After China declared a new air defense zone over a large part of the East China Sea, tensions have been running high between Japan and China. And now the U.S. too. To test how assertive China’s new foreign policy is, the U.S. flew two unarmed B-52 bombers through the air zone and ignored China’s demands to identify themselves and submit flight plans to the Chinese authorities. If we were going forsubtle defiance, well then…that didn’t happen.

    A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Sitehttp://rtvote.com/18HsOmA
    Healthcare.gov is back and better than ever (which actually doesn’t say much). Officials say the website is now able to handle 50,000 users at a time, and they’re continuing to improve the system. The White House is confident users will have a different experience by the end of the month, but they don’t want everyone to rush to the still-fragile site all at once.

    Three girls say they were imprisoned in Tucson home,http://rtvote.com/1hixgwA
    Three sisters, aged 12, 13, and 17, were imprisoned in their home for up to two years by their mother and stepfather. The couple was charged with three counts each of child abuse/emotional abuse; three counts each of child abuse/physical abuse; and three counts each of kidnapping. The stepfather is also being held on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child under 15 years of age. The two youngest girls, who eventually escaped and called for help, had not seen the third sister for almost two years. They were malnourished and living in extremely filthy conditions when police found them.

    Police: Nurse fatally stabbed while protecting patients,http://rtvote.com/1aVgfEA
    Nurse Gail Sandidge, 57, died Tuesday after being stabbed by a man who was at the hospital to visit his mother. A hospital employee and three hospital visitors were also injured in the attack by Kyron Rayshawn Templeton, 22. Templeton has been arrested and claimed that “they” were trying to kill his mother. Templeton’s mother was scheduled for a procedure that morning.

    Wind could ground Macy’s parade balloons in NYChttp://rtvote.com/1aVlQuz
    You know it’s the holiday season when the Macy’s parade is on! However, the storm that’s causing holiday mayhem and flight delays on the East Coast might cause some setbacks for the parade’s floats. If sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, the gigantic balloons won’t be taking off Thursday morning (nooooo!).
    CULTURAL 

    Alec Baldwin Blames “Fundamentalist Wing of Gay Advocacy” (and Himself, a Bit) For Killing His Talk Show, http://rtvote.com/1c8TdKT

    Shirtless Zac Efron Joins “Bound 2” Parody Fun: He and Seth Rogen Costar in “Bound 4”!, http://rtvote.com/1c8TjlB

    Lorde Backtracks After Dissing Drake and Nicki Minaj, http://rtvote.com/1cvNSvo

    Frankie Muniz Suffers Second “Mini Stroke” at the Age of 27, Tweets That He’s “Miserable”, http://rtvote.com/1er8ndV

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: November 21, 2013

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013

    Partisan gridlock continues as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a ‘nuclear option’; Congressman Radel (R-Fla) is busted for cocaine purchase but doesn’t resign; and a volcanic eruption has led to the arrival of a tiny new island in Japan. Meanwhile, Miley is at it again! as she bleaches her eyebrows & posts to Instagram; an O.C. cast member and former Gossip Girl star are set to get hitched; and Jennifer Lawrence gets teased by her Catching Fire co-stars.
    - Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL 

    Harry Reid may go ‘nuclear’ Thursday, http://rtvote.com/1h50yii
    Tension and dysfunction in Washington, D.C. continues and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is poised to do something about it. After a slew of executive nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was thwarted by Republicans, Senator Reid may move toward a historic change to the Senate rules that would eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday. If a second round of votes to choose from the nominees fails, the Senator may move to make a change of rules the Senate based on a majority vote.  Stay tuned for more as this develops.

    Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to take leave of absence after guilty plea to cocaine charge, http://rtvote.com/1ek5Anu
    On Wednesday, the 37-year-old lawmaker and freshman Congressman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug-possession charge in D.C.  Superior Court.  He was arrested last month outside of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. after purchasing cocaine from an undercover officer. In a late night press conference Wednesday, the Congressman apologized to his constituents in Florida, but will not resign from his post.

    Karzai Says Security Pack With U.S. Should Be Signed Next Year, http://rtvote.com/1dkJWT1
    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signaled that a security deal with the U.S. may not be finalized until next year, even if it is ratified by a grand council of Afghan leaders this week. He asked the council to place the agreement on hold until after his successor is elected, but was unclear on what that timeline looks like. This would put a final agreement on hold and could keep American and NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

    Volcano spawns new Japanese island, http://rtvote.com/1dkMlx3
    Japan is fired up! A recent undersea volcanic eruption has given Japan a tiny new patch of territory that currently measures about 660 feet in diameter and is located just off the coast of Nishinoshima. However, the country will put naming its newest addition on hold until they are sure that the sea will not engulf it.

    LRA leader Joseph Kony ‘in surrender talks’ with CAR, http://rtvote.com/1ixTmtZ
    A spokesperson of the Central African Republic (CAR) has said that it is in talks with Joseph Kony, the infamous Ugandan warlard. His rebellion in northern Uganda began more than 20 years ago and his fighters became known for abducting children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and the United States government has offered up $5million for any leads that result in his arrest.

    CULTURAL
    ‘Catching Fire’ stars joke about Jennifer Lawrence’s ego: ‘You can hardly talk to her’, http://rtvote.com/19KDrkq

    Lullaby time: Kelly Clarkson is expecting first baby, http://rtvote.com/1bUmY1U

    Miley Cyrus Bleaches Her Eyebrows, Parties With Miranda Kerr and Lily Allen—See the Pics!, http://rtvote.com/1aTKCab

    Leighton Meester, Adam Brody Are Engaged! Former Gossip Girl Star and O.C. Stud to Wed, http://rtvote.com/19KFepp

    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 8, 2013

    Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

    The government shutdown continues even with enough votes to end it; Higgs and Englert are awarded the Nobel Prize for the Higgs boson; a salmonella outbreak hits 18 states; and North Korea is rumored to have restarted their plutonium reactor. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead premiere approaches fast, and Prince Harry is ready to get hitched!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the willhttp://rtvote.com/1ffKvgu

    According to an ongoing CNN survey, there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean continuing resolution (CR); the minimum number of votes needed is 217. However, the 18 Republicans who would vote to pass the clean CR are not pressuring Speaker John Boehner to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. They are still hoping to use the government shutdown as a way to defund or delay Obamacare.

    Peter Higgs, Francois Englert win Nobel Prize in Physicshttp://rtvote.com/1e69LCX

    The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to Peter Higgs, 84, and Francois Englert, 80, for the discovery of the Higgs boson. Also known as the “God particle”, the Higgs boson is associated with an invisible field that is part of the basic infrastructure of the cosmos.

    Salmonella outbreak in 18 states linked to raw chickenhttp://rtvote.com/18MEfry

    Raw chicken contaminated with a strain of bacteria, called salmonella Heidelberg, has affected about 278 people 18 states. The USDA has released a public health alert, indicating three facilities operated by Foster Farms as the likely sources. An outbreak of the same strain of salmonella was also linked to Foster Farms chicken in 2012. The USDA and Foster Farms assure consumers that cooking chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees will kill any harmful bacteria.

    S. Korea spy agency says N. Korea restarts reactorhttp://rtvote.com/1e6dgcA

    North Korea is being accused of restarting a plutonium reactor at its main nuclear facility. The reactor can be weaponized to produce one or two atomic bombs a year; it already has enough plutonium to produce 4-8 crude weapons. South Korea, the U.S., and Japan are performing routine maritime drills this week; in response, North Korea’s military gave its troops an emergency order to re-examine operational plans and be ready to launch them if anything comes of these drills.

    5 Things to Know about Government Shutdown on Tuesdayhttp://rtvote.com/1fXd6Za

    As an update on the government shutdown, some Republicans are still skeptical on the dangers of not raising the debt ceiling as the October 17th deadline approaches; Pentagon employees returned to work this week, but many other federal workers remain at home; stocks are falling; and although almost everyone is mad at the White House and/or Congress, the Republicans seem to be receiving most of the blame.

     

    PUNDITS

    Richard Haass asserts that the U.S. must begin to govern properly and end the shutdown for the sake of its reputation and security in “The Real Threat to U.S. National Security”, http://rtvote.com/18MKz2i

    Mark A. Patterson explains why there is only one (difficult) solution out of the debt limit in “One way out on the debt ceiling”, http://rtvote.com/1fXeYBm

     

    CULTURAL 

    The Walking Dead Countdown: Why Norman Reedus Likes It Dirty – and Why Season Four is the “Best So Far”,http://rtvote.com/1fg1Cia 

    Miley Cyrus Is “Happiest She’s Ever Been” Without Liam Hemsworth, Says Dad Billy Ray Cyrus,http://rtvote.com/1e6gXPt

    Drew Barrymore Wants to Have Another Baby “Right Away”, http://rtvote.com/1fXfXBn

    Prince Harry Ready to Marry Cressida Bonas, http://rtvote.com/18MMlk2

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, July 18, 2011

    Monday, July 18th, 2011

    The Deputy Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police resigns, the former Chief Executive of News International is arrested, a $1.5 trillion debt deal is being considered, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Japan is set to ban Fukushima cattle shipments, and Giuliani tells the GOP to “stay out of” gay marriage. Also, groups urge feds to throw out Florida’s election laws, and nearly 180,000 South Carolina voters are affected by the state’s new voter ID law.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    Another Top Police Official Resigns in British Scandal,
    http://nyti.ms/oa9Jps
    Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered a special parliamentary session after the resignation of Deputy Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, John Yates. Yates resigned a day after the former Chief Executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks was arrested and kept in custody for 12 hours.

    Congress tees up crucial votes on debt limit,
    http://wapo.st/p4T27Y
    We’re now just two weeks away from a government default, and a few possible deals to raise the debt ceiling are starting to take shape. A $1.5 trillion deal is being pushed by Senators Reid and McConnell. The deal would include cuts to domestic programs only. President Obama is still hoping for a bigger deal with $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in taxes.

    (via National Journal N2K) CLOSE A DOOR, OPEN A WINDOW. Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren won’t get to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after President Obama announced he was giving the job to former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. But Democrats may have something else in mind for Warren: She has shown increasing interest in a Senate bid in her home state, where Sen. Scott Brown so far faces a lackluster field. Warren would have faced a tough confirmation fight, but losing a nomination bid only to serve in the Senate has happened before; just ask Sen. Jeff Sessions.

    Japan set to ban Fukushima cattle shipments after radioactive meat scare,
    http://bit.ly/r8K7lN
    The effects from Japan’s nuclear crisis continue. Potentially harmful levels of radiation have been found in the country’s food supply. Specifically, cows were fed rice straw that was harvested after the March 11 tsunami-triggered meltdown. The beef, some of which has already been processed and consumed, has high levels of radioactive cesium.

    Woman Who Groped TSA Agent’s Breast Let Out of Jail,
    http://bit.ly/qq9XjG
    61-year-old Yukari Mihamae admitted that she grabbed the left breast of a female TSA agent at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. According to police, she “squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands” after refusing to be screened. She was charged with a felony count of sexual abuse.

    Giuliani to GOP on gay marriage: ‘Stay out of it,’
    http://politi.co/o93dQ5
    Rudy Giuliani, who may run for the GOP presidential nomination, thinks that marriage should be between a man and woman; however, he has recently advocated that the states should decide about marriage equality laws. Giuliani believes that the Republican party should avoid “getting involved in people’s sexual lives.”

    Groups urge feds to throw out Florida’s election law for violating Voting Rights Act,
    http://bit.ly/qKNpWc
    Voting rights advocates in Florida are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to use its authority under the Voting Rights Act. Specifically, the groups are asking that the DOJ kill the Florida legislation that limits early voting and imposes new restrictions on voter registration.

    Nearly 180,000 SC voters affected by new voter ID law, http://bit.ly/o8L145
    Legislation passed in May leaves 7% of registered South Carolina voters without the proper ID they will need to vote. The Justice Department still needs to approve the ID law. If they do, thousands of would-be-voters “will have to take some action before their next election.”

    Tweets-per-second mark set during final,
    http://es.pn/r0UDc0
    According to Twitter’s @Twitter account, Women’s World Cup fans set a new record yesterday, tweeting 7,196 times per second during the dramatic penalty kick shootout between the US and Japan. The previous record was set last New Year’s.

    CULTURAL:

    Box Office Report: ‘Harry Potter’ Nabs a Record-Breaking $476 Mil in Worldwide Debut, http://bit.ly/nZe4KW

    Ivanka Trump Gives Birth to Baby Girl! http://bit.ly/oH3A6i

    50 Cent Sets Goal To Feed Billions of Africans, http://bit.ly/mPupZW

    Lopez, Anthony announce split, http://usat.ly/pNnIqK

    The Obamas watch the World Cup, http://bit.ly/oUkYmU

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

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