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    News Round Up: Monday, July 1, 2013

    Monday, July 1st, 2013
    Edward Snowden asks 15 countries for asylum; Arizona wildfire claims the lives of 19; protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Egypt; transit workers in San Francisco go on strike; Texas lawmakers resume debate on abortion bill; Gay married man in Florida is approved for green card; and Serena Williams loses at Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx wears another Trayvon Martin shirt, Jennifer Lopez performs for the leader of Turkmenistan, Demi Lovato criticizes music about drugs, Jay-Z talks about fatherhood, and Carrie Underwood enjoys blocking Twitter trolls.
    Maura + Meron
    CRUCIAL
    Edward Snowden asking 15 countries for asylum, Russian official says, http://rtvote.com/11UsDRm
    Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked U.S. security secrets and is now a fugitive, met Monday morning with Russian diplomatic officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries for political asylum. The official did not disclose the countries that were on the list, but Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, said he believes Russia may be one of those countries.
    ‘Perfect storm’ wildfire raging in Arizona claims 19 men in elite unit, http://rtvote.com/11UvOZn
    A wildfire in Arizona took out all but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team known for its extensive training and
    demanding fitness regimen. 19 men were killed about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, near the town of Yarnell. Though they are still
    investigating, Mary Rasmussen, a spokeswoman for Prescott National Forest, said it appeared the 19 were engaged in a “direct attack” — getting close to the fire and trying to create a break to starve it of fuel.
    Egypt protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, http://rtvote.com/14IGs3Y
    Anti-government protesters in Egypt have stormed the national headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in the capital, Cairo. Officials say eight people have been killed in clashes outside since Sunday, while eight others have died elsewhere.
    Protesters across Egypt accuse the president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since being elected a year ago.
    BART workers on strike – no service Monday,  http://rtvote.com/14IHhJX
    Members of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) union are going on their first strike since 1997. There will be no service on Monday, with the transit system’s workers and management agreeing only on the fact that the two sides remain far apart in contract negotiations. Frustrated by a lack of progress, union bargaining teams had previously walked away from negotiations in the Kaiser Center, which houses BART headquarters, on Saturday afternoon, saying a strike was all but inevitable.
    Texas lawmakers resume debate Monday on abortion bill derailed by Wendy Davis filibuster, http://rtvote.com/18r1U2N
    Texas lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday to resume debate on proposed abortion restrictions. Less than a week after a Democratic filibuster killed a far-reaching abortion bill on the Senate floor, the Legislature will answer Gov. Rick Perry’s call to try again to pass the GOP-backed measure over vigorous objections from Democrats and abortion rights groups. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet high standards of surgical centers, impose new requirements on use of abortion-inducing pills and require that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
    Gay married man in Florida is approved for green card,  http://rtvote.com/11UBEKf
    An American man in Florida and his husband, who is from Bulgaria, have become the first same-sex married couple to be approved for a permanent resident visa, an immigration milestone that comes after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law against same-sex marriage. The notice of approval of a permanent visa, known as a green card, was issued by e-mail late Friday to Traian Popov, a Bulgarian immigrant who lives with his American spouse, Julian Marsh, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    Sabine Lisicki upsets Serena, http://rtvote.com/18r1idr
    Sabine LIsicki ended Serena Williams’ career-best 34-match winning streak, eliminating her from Wimbledon.It was the latest in a string of upsets that has jolted the tournament, with defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal knocked out in the first three days — along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka’s withdrawal on the women’s side. Williams gave credit to Lisicki’s dominant serve, which she said consistently reached 120 mph.
    CULTURAL
    Jamie Foxx Rocks Another Trayvon Martin T-Shirt, http://rtvote.com/14IMK3w
    Jennifer Lopez & Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow: Singer Performs For Turkmenistan Leader, http://rtvote.com/11UFeUw
    Demi Lovato: People Who Party Or Rap About Drugs Are ‘Giant P—ies’, http://rtvote.com/14IN0iW
     ’Jay-Z Blue’ Commercial Sees Rapper Talking Fatherhood, ‘Magna Carter Holy Grail’, http://rtvote.com/14IN5TU
    Carrie Underwood’s Twitter: Politics, Ag Gag And Supporting Soldiers, http://rtvote.com/11UFtz0
    meron.w@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Meron Werkneh and I am a rising senior at Duke University. I study English and Political Science, and plan to go into entertainment law as my career. I'm from Washington D.C. and love books, oldies soul music, and getting closer to God every day! I'm excited to become a part of the Rock the Vote team.

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, April 8, 2013

    Monday, April 8th, 2013

    In today’s news, the U.S. plans a potential response to North Korea’s aggressive provocations, Margaret Thatcher dies at 87, and six Americans are killed in the deadliest day for Americans in Afghanistan this year, Meanwhile, Chris Brown and Rihanna call it quits, Jay-Z and Beyonce are criticized for vacationing in Cuba, and ACM award winners celebrate victories.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    U.S. Designs a Korea Response Proportional to the Provocation, http://nyti.ms/ZcORZU
    The United States and South Korea have prepared “counterprovokation plans” to respond to any attacks from North Korea in the most limited way possible so as to prevent escalation into a broader war. Officials say the plan would call for an immediate, proportional “response in kind” to hit North Korea with similar weapons in the event that North Korea makes good on its military threats. Tensions are still on the rise as North Korea has decided to cut off any cooperation with the South and continues to provoke the United States.

    Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female PM, dead at 87, http://bit.ly/11IMyS8
    Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the only woman ever to hold the position of Prime Minister in Great Britain, died after suffering a stroke Monday morning at the age of 87. Thatcher gained the position of Prime Minister in 1979, leading for 11 years with a signature fierceness that gained her the nickname “The Iron Lady.” A stroke prompted Thatcher to retire from public life in 2002, and she had maintained a low profile in recent years as she continued to suffer strokes.

    Public phase of immigration debate set to begin as Senate negotiators finalize deal, http://wapo.st/16Hygk6
    The Senate’s “Gang of Eight” who have been working on a highly anticipated immigration bill hope to finish their work this week, opening the measures to a heated public debate. The controversial bill includes provisions to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country, and grant eventual citizenship to around 11 million immigrants currently living illegally in the U.S. The “Gang of Eight” includes Democratic Senators led by Chuck Schumer of New York and Republicans led by Arizona’s John McCain. “There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this this proposal because everybody didn’t get what they wanted,” McCain said, alluding to the long road of debate the bill is likely to face.

    Six Americans, including three civilians, killed in attacks in Afghanistan, http://wapo.st/16FZycI
    Six Americans, including three civilians and three U.S. troops were killed in two attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday, marking the deadliest day for Americans in Afghanistan this year. The attacks highlighted the continued danger in Afghanistan as the U.S. moves forward with its plan to withdraw its remaining troops within the next 20 months and leave security in the hands of the Afghani army. Among those killed was Anne Smedinghoff, the first State Department diplomat to be killed in Afghanistan since the war began. Smedinghoff, 25, was traveling to deliver books to a school when a car bomb exploded.

    Kerry Said to Revive 2002 Arab Peace Plan During Israel Talks, http://bloom.bg/Y7iUpS
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel Monday with hopes of reviving stalled 2002 peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Kerry discussed with leaders of each nation the 2002 Arab League-endoresed plan, which called to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for withdrawal from all lands occupied by the 1967 Mideast War. Kerry met with President Abbas of Palestine, who said he will not negotiate until Israel stops construction in the West Bank. Kerry is currently making his third trip to the region this month.

    China rebukes North Korea, says no state should sow chaos, http://reut.rs/10FycR5
    China’s president issued warnings this weekend to North Korea, scolding its regional neighbor for raising regional tensions with threats of nuclear attack on the U.S. and war against South Korea. “No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain,” President Xi Jinping said. The comments were China’s strongest response yet to the threats of aggression from North Korea that have marked the past month. China, North Korea’s sole financial and diplomatic backer, has expressed frustration with the nation’s positions in recent years.

    CULTURAL: 

    Chris Brown and Rihanna Call it Quits, Says Source, http://eonli.ne/XzwUJD

    Jay-Z, Beyonce Taking Heat for Cuba Trip, http://eonli.ne/Y891nF

    Kardashians Sue Former Stepmom, http://thebea.st/ZcBSay

    ACM Awards 2013: See the Winners Here, http://bit.ly/14YUrX1

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, March 15th, 2013

    Friday, March 15th, 2013

    President Obama unveils a new energy plan; Republican Senator Rob Portman reverses his stance on gay marriage; Syria and Lebanon move closer to war; a new Senate report shows JPMorgan Chase deliberately hid the bank’s wrongdoings; Mitt Romney gets the “b-list” treatment at CPAC; a grand jury is investigating Senator Robert Menendez; and more mothers say they prefer to work full-time. Meanwhile, a salt-stained violin emerges as The Titanic’s most important artifact; Judge Judy is sued over china and flatware; and Justin Bieber says he doesn’t need to go to rehab.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    JPMorgan Faulted on Controls and Disclosure in Trading Loss, http://rtvote.com/12VXmj4
    A new 300-page report from the Senate shows that JPMorgan Chase, the U.S.’s biggest bank, deliberately altered documents and ignored internal controls as they built up trading losses. The report also reveals that Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, lied to regulators in order to cover up the bank’s wrongdoings. The report was released one day before the Senate will question leading bankers and regulators at a hearing. “While we have repeatedly acknowledged significant mistakes, our senior management acted in good faith and never had any intent to mislead anyone,” said a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase.

    Mitt Romney gets B-list treatment at CPAC, http://rtvote.com/12VVzKO
    Mitt Romney will give his first public speech since the election to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday. Sources say that Romney has been receiving the “B-list” treatment at the conference. “He’s kind of last year,” said former New Hampshire state representative Laurie Pettengill. Republicans in attendance say that their snubbing of Romney is not meant as punishment, but rather a signal that the party is ready to move on.

    EU rejects Franco-British push on arms for Syrian rebels, http://rtvote.com/ZN40ls
    Syria’s foreign ministry issued a stern warning to the Lebanese government Friday, saying that they will not tolerate Lebanese rebels hiding near the border and sneaking into Syria. The foreign ministry said that these rebels have little regard for its country’s people or laws. The Syrian government has kept silent on the issue for a while, signaling that it could be ready to strike soon.

    Grand jury investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), people familiar with probe say, http://rtvote.com/15QFUdv
    A grand jury is currently investigating Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez’s relationship with his confidant and major donor Dr. Salomon Melgen. The incidents in question include a port-security contract in the Dominican Republic that Menendez may have helped Melgen secure, as well as the Senator aiding the doctor in Medicare fraud. Earlier this year, Menendez was accused of allowing Melgen to pay for his trips to the Dominican Republic, where he allegedly met with prostitutes. Sources tell The Washington Post that the grand jury has subpoenaed Melgen’s financial records.

    More Moms Say Full-Time Work Is Ideal, http://rtvote.com/15QDCLj
    A new Pew Research survey reveals that 37% of mothers would prefer to work full-time, up from 21% in 2007. The poll shows a “strong correlation” between financial security and the amount mothers would like to work, with around 47% saying they “don’t have enough to meet basic expenses.” Surveyed women who were wealthy from means other than their jobs preferred to work part-time or not at all.

    Obama Seeks $2 Billion in Research on Cleaner Fuels, http://rtvote.com/12W0203
    President Obama will reveal a “blueprint for a clean and secure energy future” on Friday. The plan would ideally be funded from $2 billion from federal oil and gas leases over the next ten years, with the money going towards research on clean-energy vehicles. White House officials say Obama will present the plan as a piece of “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” which includes increased oil and gas development, research and development for clean-energy sources, loan guarantees for new nuclear plants, and research into long-term alternatives for fossil fuels. The president will work to implement his strategy piece-by-piece instead of trying to pass climate-change legislation through Congress.

    CNN Exclusive: One conservative’s dramatic reversal on gay marriage, http://rtvote.com/12VWL0I
    Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who co-sponsored the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, told The Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday that he has had a “change of heart” on the issue of same-sex marriage. “I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, get married,” Portman said. Portman’s reversal of opinion happened when his son Will told him that he was gay. As a result, the Senator now views the topic “from the position of a father.”

    CULTURAL:

    Rafael Nadal crushes Roger Federer to make semi-finals at Indian Wells, http://rtvote.com/16xakmk

    Musician’s salt-stained violin emerges as the most important relic from the Titanic, http://rtvote.com/15QFbcb

    Lawsuit says Judge Judy conspired to buy $500,000 worth of jointly owned china and flatware for a pittance to hurt a co-worker’s estranged wife, http://rtvote.com/16xcSkv

    Justin Bieber lashes out at press, denies rehab rumors, http://rtvote.com/16xsPa8

    Jay-Z confirms Great Gatsby executive producer role, http://rtvote.com/ZNmp1v

    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, February 22, 2013

    Friday, February 22nd, 2013

    Oscar Pistorius is granted bail set at $113,000; Russia accuses the U.S. of holding double standards with Syria; U.S. troops set up a drone base in Niger; and Google introduces a touch screen laptop. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z announce the dates of their summer tour; Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose welcome their newborn son; and Prince Harry and his girlfriend come out as a couple.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Oscar Pistorius granted bail ahead of murder trial, http://nbcnews.to/VALzkz
    Oscar Pistorius was granted bail set at $113,000 on Friday, despite protests from the prosecution. Pistorius, the double amputee and former Olympic track star, is accused of “premeditated murder” of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but maintains he mistook Steenkamp for a robber in his home. Though prosecutors had worried Pistorius would flee the country if granted bail, defense lawyers maintained he is not a “flight risk.” “What kind of life would Pistorius lead if he flees, given his protheses?” questioned Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair.

    Russia accuses U.S. of double standards over Syria, http://reut.rs/W7xYnq
    Russia accused the United States of having double standards on Syria, citing that the U.S. had blocked a UN Security Council statement condemning Thursday’s car bomb attack in Damascus as terrorist action. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the U.S. was threatening international unity in the “war on terror” by blocking a statement about the “terrorist attacks”. A U.S. representative at the United Nations denied that the U.S. had blocked the statement. The U.S.’s relationship with Russia has worsened since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency last May, and new Secretary of State John Kerry will have his first meeting with Lavrov next week.

    U.S. troops arrive in Niger to set up a drone base, http://wapo.st/UR7ftz
    President Obama announced on Friday the creation of a drone base in the West African nation of Niger, where 100 American troops will be deployed to spy on members of al-Qaeda in the Sahara. The opening of the Niger drone base marks the addition of another U.S. military operation against al-Qaeda to join those in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. U.S. troops in Niger will also support the France’s military operation in Mali, where al-Qaeda members and other militants have founded a refuge. “This is purely an intelligence gathering mission,” a U.S. defense official said.

    Las Vegas Strip Shooting Launches Multi-State Manhunt, http://abcn.ws/W6Gpzj
    Three people were killed in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip on Friday, launching a multi-state manhunt for a group of men in a black Range Rover responsible for initiating the attack. Following an argument at the Aria resort and casino, the group of men shot at two people in a Maserati, prompting a multi-car crash resulting in a taxi exploding. The driver of the Maserati died from gunshot wounds, as did a driver and passenger who were inside the taxi. Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona have all put authorities on alert for the Range Rover, which is carrying an unclear number of men and is considered armed and dangerous. “Clearly the suspects in this shooting have no regard for the lives and and safety of others,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.

    FBI battling ‘rash of sexting’ among its employees, http://bit.ly/VzqYx9
    CNN obtained FBI reports detailing a variety of misconducts inside the agency including sending nude pictures, paying for sex, and a “rash of sexting cases.” The incidents were detailed in a quarterly report issued to FBI employees as a way to deter such behavior in the future. Employees were found to have used government-issued devices to send many of the lurid messages. “We’re hoping (that) getting the message out in the quarterlies is going to teach people… you can’t do this stuff,” FBI assistant director Candice Will said. “When you are given an FBI Blackberry, it’s for official use.” Between 2010 and 2012, the FBI disciplined 1,045 employees for various violations.

    Obama: Voting Rights Act Provision Should Be Kept, http://huff.to/13twcLc
    The Supreme Court is set to hear a challenge on Wednesday to a key section of the voting rights law which requires local and state governments with a history of racial discrimination to get Justice Department approval before they make changes affecting elections. The Alabama appellate will argue that such a requirement is no longer necessary because areas with histories of racism have made such progress. President Obama defends the law, holding that ending federal oversight would make it harder to help people who believe their voting rights have been violated.

    Google Introduces a Touch-Screen Laptop, http://nyti.ms/157OjJh
    Google moved further into the laptop business on Thursday with the introduction of the Pixel, the newest version of Google’s Chromebook laptops, which store everything online in the cloud. The Pixel’s trademark will be a touch screen that is brighter, taller, and of a higher resolution than most other laptop screens. Analysts say the big question for the Pixel will be whether buyers are ready to do the majority of their computing in the cloud, using Google Docs and Gmail rather than software like Microsoft Word. The introduction of the Pixel marks a major shift by Google toward competition with Apple and Microsoft to sell high-end devices.

    CULTURAL: 

    Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z Tour to Launch This Summer, http://bit.ly/W86zld

    Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose Welcome Son Sebastian Taylor, http://bit.ly/WW9Ocu

    Prince Harry Let Secret Out After Heavy Night, http://thebea.st/12VLug5

    Megan Fox, Michael Bay Team for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, http://huff.to/XunWYu

    Oscars 2013: And the Winners Will Be…?, http://bit.ly/135H6uI

     

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: July 2, 2012

    Monday, July 2nd, 2012

    The Eastern U.S. has been hit by devastating heat and storms; chimps maul a Texas man in South Africa; and four kidnapped European aid workers were freed today. Meanwhile, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are getting divorced, and Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Beyonce dominate the BET Awards.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Eastern U.S. hit by heat wave, power outages, http://bre.ad/11eawv
    It’s been a rough weekend for the eastern United States. Fatal thunderstorms have killed at least 15 people, more than 3 million have lost power, and the blistering summer heat is relentless. Several cities have hit record high temperatures and some have declared a state of emergency. Some of the hardest-hit areas, like Charlotte, N.C., reached 104 degrees this weekend, and power outages from storms could take up to a week to fix.

    Chimp Attack Victim Was Standing in Restricted Area, http://abcn.ws/N3Zp6w
    Andrew Oberle, a graduate student from Texas, was left with serious injuries to his entire body after being mauled by two chimpanzees at a South Africa chimp sanctuary. Oberle had been studying at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden near Johannesburg, and was apparently standing in a restricted zone when he was pulled under an electric fence and attacked by the two primates. After six hours of surgery, the 26-year-old is stable but suffered a broken arm and torn ligaments and muscles, and lost fingers, toes, and one testicle.

    Abducted aid workers freed in Kenya, http://bit.ly/MOXTrQ
    Four European aid workers were released today after they were kidnapped from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee complex near the Somali border last week. Two were injured and their Kenyan driver was killed. It is unclear whether their kidnappers were members of Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda–affiliated group that’s been blamed for other recent kidnappings of tourists and aid workers from Kenya. The Norwegian Refugee Council announced the release of their colleagues on their website, but have given few details about what happened.

    CULTURAL:

    Katie Holmes Afraid Tom Would Ship Suri To Radical Scientology Org, http://bre.ad/150z57

    BET Awards 2012 winners: Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce dominate, http://bit.ly/Moibeq

    Alec Baldwin & Hilaria Thomas Are Married! http://bit.ly/Ne0vOS

    Karen Klein Bullies SLAPPED With One-Year Suspension, http://bit.ly/MojB8E

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

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