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    News Round-Up: Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Thursday, September 12th, 2013

    Vladimir Putin writes NY Times Op-ed; CIA delivers weapons to Syrian rebels; Colorado flash floods kill 2 people; and a secret Koch brother’s group is revealed to the public. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks has jury duty issues; Lady Gaga talks Miley; JT and Jessica Biel caught smooching; and Prince William leaves the military to be full-time royal.



    U.S weapons reaching Syrian rebels, http://rtvote.com/17Z1gG3
    A flow of materials from the U.S. to Syrian rebels now marks what is being viewed as a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war. The CIA began delivering weapons to rebels ending months of delay in lethal aid promised by the Obama Administration. Other types of aid that includes vehicles, communications equipment, and advanced combat medical kits are also being delivered.

    Vladimir Putin’s comments on American exceptionalism, Syria cause fusshttp://rtvote.com/17Z2jpq
    Vladimir Putin has caught the attention of Americans by writing an opinion piece in today’s New York Times op-ed column, causing a flurry of reactions. Putin says he wrote the article to “speak directly to American people and their political leaders.”

    Flash floods wash away homes, kill at least 2 near Boulder Colorado, http://rtvote.com/17Z3Fk3
    Torrential rains caused at least 2 deaths Thursday in Boulder, Colorado. The National Weather Service described the conditions as “life threatening” in an emergency message issued just after midnight local time for areas around Boulder where 6.5 inches of rain fell in the last 24 hours.

    Exclusive: The Koch brothers’ secret bank, http://rtvote.com/17Z4p8R
    An Arlington, Virginia based conservative group called Freedom Partners, that raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape the political and policy debate nationwide, has been revealed. The group served as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.


    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Share Rare PDA at U.S. Open, http://rtvote.com/15mUaMX

    Lady Gaga Talks Miley Cyrus at the VMAs On ‘WWHL’: ‘Lighten Up and Leave Her Alone’, http://rtvote.com/15mS3Jh

    ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff: ‘Better Call Saul’ Prequel Happening at AMC, http://rtvote.com/15mT1VU

    Prince William to Leave the Military and Become Full-Time Royal, http://rtvote.com/17YWSH5

    Tom Hanks’ jury duty service leads to misconduct allegation, http://rtvote.com/17Z0Tv6

    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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


    Monday, April 9th, 2012

    The world braces for North Korea’s upcoming missile test; two shooting suspects in Tulsa have been arraigned; the U.S. Navy will deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf; and President Obama is doing well amongst swing-state Independent voters; meanwhile, Jessica Biel goes wedding dress shopping; Clint Eastwood sues a furniture company; and Mattel develops a ‘Hunger Games’ Barbie.

    Kelly H. + Caitlin


    Tulsa Shooting Suspects Set For Arraignment, http://n.pr/Hvwad1
    Two men were arrested Sunday in connection with a Tulsa shooting spree that killed three black residents and wounded two others. The two men, who are also roommates, are expected to be arraigned this morning. They face possible charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and firearms possession. Speculation is increasing whether or not the shooting was racially-motivated, with investigations into the suspects’ Facebook accounts being conducted.

    U.S. Navy deploys second aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran, http://bit.ly/IijmIh
    The U.S. navy has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region. After failed negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program in January and amid proposed talks with world leaders from the United Nations, the deployment is the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has operated two aircraft carriers in that region. The USS Enterprise, which is nuclear powered, will help support military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts off of Somali’s coast. U.S. Navy commanders commented that the deployment does not signify a response to any threat.

    South Korea says North preparing for nuclear test, http://bit.ly/HtUgGD
    Satellite images have revealed a new underground tunnel in North Korea, which appears to be for nuclear testing. The excavation in northeast North Korea, where nuclear tests were previously conducted in 2006 and 2009, looks almost complete. The possibility of further nuclear testing and exploration is now being taken into account as North Korea has also announced its plans to launch a long-range rocket over South Korea and Japan. Major world powers and neighboring countries have urged North Korea to cancel its launch plans, observing that the new evidence of testing indicates possible plans to fire missiles on other countries.

    President Obama leads among ‘swing independents,’ http://politi.co/HsOMOL
    In a poll conducted amongst 1,000 “swing independents,”  who voted in the 2008 presidential election, and who do not list Obama nor Romney as strongly favorable or unfavorable, Obama outranks Romney 57 percent to 41 percent. Overall, the independents polled in about a dozen battleground states prefer Obama but identify ideologically closer to Romney. About 15 percent of the electorate, roughly 40 percent of independents, authentically swing between parties. The independent pollers were also asked what issues they were angriest about. They listed in order that they were most frustrated with congressional gridlock, the national debt and the Wall Street bailouts.


    Jessica Biel Power Shops in Paris, http://bit.ly/HrQ1gJ

    ‘Hunger Games’ Barbie: Mattel Debuts Katniss Everdeen Doll, http://bit.ly/Huma5s

    Clint Eastwood sues furniture company, http://thedc.com/HXb8Ef

    Whitney Houston funeral cost NJ taxpayers $187k, http://thedc.com/Iv2DRK

    Photos: Bubba Watson Wins The Masters 2012, http://bit.ly/HuucwW

    The Titanic sinks again, on TV and movie screens, http://bit.ly/HBvzXW

    Kelly Holleran

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

    News Round-Up: Friday, March 9, 2012

    Friday, March 9th, 2012

    Syrian opposition rejects talks with President Bashar al Assad; the Taliban has threatened attacks if Pakistan does not release Osama bin Laden’s widows; and the Obama administration comes out in support of Invisible Children’s Kony bill. Meanwhile, Rock the Vote will debut its “Scan to Vote” QR t-shirts at SXSW. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Rockthevote and at Facebook.com/rockthevote for updates from the festival.



    Syria opposition chief rejects talks, http://bit.ly/wgryD4
    Burhan Ghalioun, the head of the rebel Syrian National Council, has refused Kofi Annan’s suggestion that the opposition hold talks with Syrian president Bashar al Assad. In an interview with the Associated Press, Ghalioun said the request was unrealistic and that Annan had failed the Syrian people. Annan will meet with Assad this weekend.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) The economy added 227,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.

    Pakistan Taliban demand release of bin Laden’s widows, threaten attacks, http://reut.rs/wHwQjm
    The Taliban has vowed to carry out suicide attacks if the Pakistani government, police, and military do not release Osama bin Laden’s three widows from their custody. On Thursday, Pakistan’s government charged the women with entering the country illegally. Pakistan has been interviewing them to find out how bin Laden managed to stay in the country without being discovered. The Tehrik-e-Taliban, the branch of the Taliban that has promised attacks, has executed major assaults against an American consulate and an American naval base.

    U.S. and Afghanistan Agree on Handover of Prisoners, http://nyti.ms/A3rlSB
    The United States has agreed to hand over 3,200 Afghan prisoners, most of them Taliban insurgents, to the Afghan government far sooner than expected. In what some think is an effort to make up for the NATO burning of Q’rans, the United States will allow for a six-month transition period for the prisoners as opposed to releasing them in 2014 as originally planned.

    Kony 2012 campaign gets support of Obama, others, http://wapo.st/A6LKRb
    The Obama administration has come out in support of an online film aimed at drawing attention to Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord Resistance’s Army, a violent and child-kidnapping militaristic group. The film, released by charity Invisible Children, has gone viral, garnering 48 million views on YouTube and Vimeo. Invisible Children has also created a bill to bring aid and peace to Uganda, and The White House has confirmed its support of the bill. Despite this, Invisible Children has been criticized for oversimplifying the situation in Uganda and for also being factually incorrect.

    (via POLITICO) At SXSW, register to vote QR codes, http://politi.co/x6EIp9
    At this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, Warby Parker, a hip eyeglass company based out of New York, and Rock the Vote are teaming up on “Scan to Vote” QR code t-shirts that will allow users to register to vote directly from whatever smartphone they use to scan the QR code…. The shirts can be found from March 12 to March 14 at Warby Parker’s Citizen Circus at SXSW, an annual conference that focuses on music, technology, and film.


    Facebook Co-Founder Buys The New Republic, http://bit.ly/AvNqyu

    Smacketology: a tournament to determine The Wire’s greatest character, http://es.pn/xghfsJ

    Jessica Biel Finally Shows Off Her Massive Engagement Ring With Justin Timberlake, http://eonli.ne/yxCb9v

    South by Southwest: Five Things to Know About the Texan Film Festival, http://eonli.ne/yVupNU

    ‘Disco Inferno’ singer Jimmy Ellis dies at age 74, http://bit.ly/x55Fxx

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

    In today’s news, corporations pay more in CEO salaries than in taxes; at least 88 have been tortured and killed in Syrian detention centers; an unemployed man finds $150,000 in his garden; and the U.S. is suing to block an AT&T and T-Mobile merger. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr.’s wife is pregnant and T.I has been released to a halfway house.



    Where Pay for Chiefs Outstrips U.S. Taxes, http://nyti.ms/r86uaB
    According to the Institute for Policy Studies, at least 25 corporations, such as Verizon, General Electric, Boeing, and eBay, paid more to their CEOs than they paid in federal taxes. In fact, these corporations paid their CEOs an average of $16.8 million when the government paid the companies hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds. For example, the CEO of Verizon received $18 million while Verizon itself received a $705 million tax refund.

    Dozens ‘Tortured and Killed in Syria Detention Centres,’ http://aje.me/nOWRwD
    At least 88 people in Syrian detention centers have been tortured and killed; 10 of the 88 were children. According to an Amnesty International report, the torture included “broken necks, cigarette burns to the chest and face, electrocution to genitalia, fractures and whipping slashes.” The Syrian government currently has 12,000 to 15,000 people in detention centers.

    Unemployed Illinois Man Finds $150,000 in His Backyard, http://huff.to/qxaXr9
    Wayne Sabaj, an unemployed carpenter, went to look for broccoli in his garden when he found two duffel bags filled with $150,000. Sabaj and his father called the police who took the bags into custody. The police left a phone number where the bags were found. If no one claims the money, the police will work with Sabaj to claim it for himself.

    Judge Strikes Down Key Parts of Texas Sonogram Law, http://bit.ly/qmqutN
    A federal judge in Texas has rejected a provision of a Texas anti-abortion law that would require patients to see a sonogram of their baby before an abortion. The judge also struck down a provision where patients would have to sign an agreement saying they do not want to see a sonogram because they have been impregnated from sexual assault or incest. The judge said that the provisions violated the First Amendment rights of doctors and patients, and that patients should not have to disclose information that they would not even tell the police.

    (via POLITICO Playbook) REP. MICHELE BACHMANN MEMOIR OUT NOV. 21 – Publisher’s release: “The book [is] currently untitled … Bachmann will share previously untold stories about her life outside of politics, including her roles as a tax attorney, a wife, a mother of five and a foster mother of 23. … Bachmann will not receive an advance against royalties, in compliance with the rules of the House … Bachmann said, ‘People are the most important ingredient in life. I love people, and I care deeply that our nation’s economy turns around so they can realize their American dream. This book will help to share my enthusiasm for an energized, pro-growth economy, and the life experiences that inform my optimism for the American people and for American greatness.’”

    U.S. Files Antitrust Complaint to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger, http://bloom.bg/nG6B9M
    The U.S. government is suing to block AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile, claiming the merger will violate U.S. antitrust law. The U.S. is also asking for a court order to stop any implementation of the deal.


    Justin Bieber Fine After Minor Collision, http://bit.ly/oHvzy0

    Robert Downey Jr.’s Wife Is Pregnant, http://bit.ly/pmzBtk

    T.I. Released to Halfway House, http://on.mtv.com/qdX2MN

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Back Together, http://bit.ly/oo8ULM

    ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Pairs Revealed, http://eonli.ne/mZWZZB

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

    News Round-Up: Friday, March 11, 2011

    Friday, March 11th, 2011

    Many are left many dead and missing after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the Japan, Secretary of State Clinton will meet with rebel leaders in Libya, the race to develop the best group chat is on, and after Timberlake and Biel split could our dreams of Britney and Justin live on?

    Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead on Sunday!


    Huge Quake and Tsunami Hit Japan, http://nyti.ms/eKCPkf

    An earthquake measuring 8.9 hit Japan today, marking the worst earthquake in the countries history. 200-300 have been found dead, with many more missing. The quake triggered tsunamis which cause warnings as far the west coast of the United States.

    U.S. to Send Aid Team to Eastern Libya; Clinton to Meet Rebel Representatives, http://wapo.st/fSvs3S

    While the U.S. still does not recognize the rebel group in Libya as a legitimate government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with rebel leaders in order to get a better idea of what is happening in the country.

    Giffords to Attend Shuttle Launch Next Month, http://nyti.ms/hg2oBT

    Representative Giffords will see her husband off into space next month, taking a break from her rehabilitation. She has not been seen in public since the shooting.

    What’s So Wrong With Young Voters, http://huff.to/gLMARL

    David D. Burstein of Generation18 speaks out about why denying young people their right to vote because they are not as experienced is not a good argument.

    Start-Ups Are in a Rush to Bring the Chatroom to the Smartphone, http://nyti.ms/fQwAi6

    An assortment of new group text messaging companies have popped up in preparation for SXSW.

    Charlie Sheen’s Death Hoax Spreads Malware Through Facebook, http://on.mash.to/eyzJBy

    Rumors that Charlie Sheen has died is the newest scam to attack your computer. Clicking on a link about the rumor will take you to a fake youtube page that will then attack your facebook.

    Lynn Sweet on presents for the president, http://aol.it/fN5Dv3

    Paul Krugman breaks down the deficit, http://nyti.ms/eBitaF


    Is there hope for Justin and Britney?: http://bit.ly/hTMXKz

    The top 5 wealthiest hip hop stars: http://bit.ly/hB9ddb

    Martha Stewart is a grandma: http://eonli.ne/e2Fmk9

    Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin: http://bit.ly/fmQ7jF

    Kelsey Grammer’s daughter pregnant: http://huff.to/gAYwaK

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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