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    News Round-Up: Thursday, February 14th, 2013

    Thursday, February 14th, 2013

    American Airlines and US Airways announce an $11 billion merger; Oscar Pistorius is arrested after allegedly shooting his girlfriend; a Clinton donor says Hillary will run in 2016; the Carnival Triumph finally docks in Mobile, AL; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans plan to block Chuck Hagel’s nomination; and Gen. John Allen may retire. Meanwhile, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, love letters between LBJ and Ladybird are released; a new report says the ‘The Bachelor’ is celibate; and celebrities and environmentalists are arrested protesting the Keystone pipeline.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    AMERICAN, US AIRWAYS ANNOUNCE $11 BILLION MERGER, http://rtvote.com/15feZsB
    US Airways and AMR, the owner of American Airlines, will take part in an $11 billion merger that will combine the two companies into the largest airline in the world. The company will keep the American Airlines name and be headed up US Airways CEO Doug Parker. In a statement Thursday Parker said, “The combined airline will have the scale, breadth, and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.” 72% of ownership will go to AMR creditors with the rest going to US Airways shareholders.

    PISTORIUS ARRESTED AFTER WOMAN SHOT AT HIS HOME, http://rtvote.com/XOV525
    South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius was arrested Thursday after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in his home. Pistorius, who is a double-amputee, had reportedly mistaken Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her with a 9 mm. The athlete, known as Blade Runner, will appear in court later today.

    Big donor claims Bill Clinton told him Hillary’s running for prez in 2016, http://rtvote.com/XOWvKf
    Angelo Tsakopoulos, a Greek-American real-estate mogul, said Thursday that Bill Clinton had revealed to him in a private conversation that Hillary would run for president in 2016. Tsakopoulos alleges a close relationship with the couple and has been one of the biggest donors to Clinton’s political campaigns.

    Passengers count hours on ‘floating petri dish’ of a cruise ship as it limps to port, http://rtvote.com/15fjrax
    The Carnival Triumph will dock in Mobile, AL today after an engine fire caused its systems to go down five days ago. The ship became a “floating petri dish” after electricity failure caused sanitary systems to go down and sewage to seep down the walls. Passengers were forced to defecate in bags and urinate in showers, as well as wait close to four hours for food. Carnival will refund passengers for the trip and compensate them an extra $500. The ship will no longer be in service moving forward.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that Republicans are planning to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense, and aides said Democrats don’t yet have the 60 votes to break a GOP filibuster on the nomination. That would leave the nomination in limbo as the Senate heads into a week-long recess.

    Source: Gen. Allen may retire, http://rtvote.com/15flgEq
    Rumors are circulating that Marine Gen. John Allen may retire as he feels he’s “being pushed out for a variety of reasons,” primarily the e-mail scandal between him and Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Although Allen was cleared of wrongdoing in the situation that entwined him with General David Petraeus’ own scandal, he fears that it will taint his new post as NATO’s supreme allied commander in Brussels.

    5.8M women have used ‘morning after’ pill, http://rtvote.com/Ygstib
    The National Center for Health Statistics has conducted a survey of 12,279 women between 2006 and 2010 that shows 11% or 5.8 million American women ages 15 to 44 have used emergency contraception or “the morning after pill.” Half of the women used the pill because they feared their method of birth-control had failed, while the rest of the women surveyed had unprotected sex. 23% of women ages 20 to 24 said they had used the pill, while only 5% of women ages 30 to 44 fell into the same category.

    CULTURAL:

    LBJ AND LADY BIRD COURTSHIP LOVE LETTERS RELEASED, http://rtvote.com/15fk5Vw

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West touch off security breach at JFK Airport, http://rtvote.com/15fkcAv

    ‘The Bachelor’ star Sean Lowe is celibate, report says, http://rtvote.com/XP49nC

    ‘Die Hard’ lives on in fifth installment released Valentine’s Day, http://rtvote.com/11IIuUE

    Celebs, enviros arrested at WH pipeline protest, http://rtvote.com/11IIyDO

    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: Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

    Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

    Egypt’s Defense Minister warns of a government collapse; the White House will resume its nomination of Gen. John Allen; the U.S. will expand its role in Mali; President Obama will announce his plan for immigration reform; and Google reveals its map of North Korea. Meanwhile, a Miami clinic is busted for supplying drugs to sports stars; Surfer Garrett McNamara rides a world record 100 foot wave; and Frank Ocean may press charges against Chris Brown.

    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Egyptians Defy Curfew as Army Warns of ‘Collapse,’ http://rtvote.com/TS5TQ7
    Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi posted on Facebook  that there will be “grave repercussions if the political forces do not act” in Egypt. “The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations,” wrote Sisi. His warning comes after five days of clashes  that left 52 people dead and hundreds wounded. President Mohamed Morsi issued a state-sanctioned curfew in response to the protests, causing thousands to demonstrate and chant on Monday, “Down, down with Mohamed Morsi.”

    Obama proceeds with Allen nomination as NATO commander in Europe, http://rtvote.com/Xe0X4p
    The White House will go ahead as planned and nominate Gen. John Allen for Europe’s NATO commander. Officials decided to resubmit the nomination to Congress after the Pentagon cleared Allen of any misconduct with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. In other White House news, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that he will leave his cabinet post.

    Delhi Gang Rape Trial Will Be Held in Delhi, Supreme Court Rules, http://rtvote.com/Xe50Ob
    India’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it will not move the trial of five men convicted of gang-rape and murder out of Dehli. An advocate for the suspects said that the trial should take place in a new location as the media around the case has created a bias. The case, which has caused public outrage in India, charges five men with the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus. The men could face the death penalty. The court made its ruling based on the decision that the advocate who filed the claim, M.L. Sharma, did not have the authority to represent the suspects — not because his claim was invalid.

    U.S. to Expand Role in Africa, http://rtvote.com/Xe6acq
    On Monday, the U.S. signed an agreement with Niger that allows American military to be stationed on its border with Mali. Mali is currently fighting off Islamist rebels with the help of the French military. The U.S. will create an intelligence-gathering hub in Niger, as well as use drones to monitor militants, in an attempt to help France.

    President Obama, John McCain, Marco Rubio begin immigration dance, http://rtvote.com/Xe1ZgI
    President Obama will reveal his plan for immigration reform today in Las Vegas. On Monday, John McCain and Marco Rubio announced their own bipartisan plan for reform. White House officials say that Obama’s plan will address more of the details relating to immigration form rather than the larger principals found in the Senators’ bipartisan plan.
    Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing, http://rtvote.com/Xe2Y0y
    Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old Newtown shooting victim, was heckled while testifying at the Connecticut State Legislature on Tuesday. Heslin asked during his testimony why Bushmaster assault-style weapons, like the one shooter Adam Lanza used, were legal in Connecticut, prompting pro-gun advocates to shout “the Second Amendment!.”  Close to 1,500 people — both pro and anti-gun advocates — attended the hearings at the Connecticut capitol.
    Google rolls out detailed map of North Korea – with gulags, http://rtvote.com/14s6MAV
    On Monday, Google announced detailed maps of North Korea. Previously, Google was not able to map North Korea due to limited information. Specifically, North Korean officials would not provide the proper information due to the country’s notorious penchant for secrecy and the fact that only hundreds of citizens have access to the Internet. Google’s map of the country shows hospitals, subways, and schools in the capital of Pyongyang. Maps of the countryside are harder to decipher and some parts show gray zones where 200,000 people are imprisoned in reeducation camps.
    CULTURAL:
    A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports’ Biggest Names, http://rtvote.com/Xe3OKG
    Surfer Garrett McNamara ‘rides world record 100ft wave’ in Portugal, http://rtvote.com/Xe49x3

    Singer Frank Ocean wants Chris Brown charged over brawl, http://rtvote.com/TSbAO1

    Girl Meets World Casts Its Star, Cory and Topanga’s Daughter, http://rtvote.com/TSbLJg

    Rick Ross Advised To Increase Security After Escaping Drive-By Shooting, http://rtvote.com/Xe9wwf

    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, January 23rd, 2013

    Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
    David Cameron says he will let the British people decide whether or not to remain in the EU; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before congress on Benghazi; a student opens fire at Lone Star College; Gen. John Allen is cleared of any misconduct; and President Obama says he will not oppose suspending the debt limit until May. Meanwhile, Kelly Osborne is engaged; lip readers weigh in on what caused Michelle Obama’s eye roll; and “Mad Men” will return in April.
    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    David Cameron: I will settle the Europe question with EU referendum, http://rtvote.com/SBIekY
    British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that he will let the British people decide whether or not Britain should remain in the European Union. “It is time to settle this European question in British politics,” Cameron said. “I say to the British people: this is your decision.” While Cameron would personally prefer that the country stay in the EU, he has decided it’s best to bring the decision to a referendum. He also called on Britain to improve its relationship with Brussels. EU members are unhappy with his decision, saying Britain cannot “cherry-pick” EU membership.Suspect charged in Lone Star College shooting, http://rtvote.com/SBJAMO
    Lone Star College student Carlton Berry, 22, has been charged with aggravated assault after opening fire on his Houston campus. Berry injured a student with whom he had an altercation as well as a janitor. He is also being treated for injuries after mishandling the gun and shooting himself.

    Clinton testifies on Benghazi attack, http://rtvote.com/SBKw3O
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before Congress on the Benghazi attack Wednesday. Clinton took responsibility for the attack and choked up while saying, “For me, this is not just a matter of policy, this is personal.” Clinton said that when she was told of the attack she, “instructed our senior department officials and diplomatic security to consider every option—to break down the doors to the Libyan officials to get as much security support as we could.” She has since recommended that future Secretary of States participate in meetings regarding additional security and also suggested that heightened security has been installed at the Benghazi site.

    Israel coalition talks begin after election deadlock, http://rtvote.com/144ZKSq
    Tuesday’s early results from Israel’s election show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing party losing a quarter of its seats in government. In a surprising twist, Netanyahu will now have to create a coalition government with the new Yesh Atid party, which won 19 seats. There will have to be a great deal of compromise as Yesh Atid, led by former TV presenter Yair Lapid, has called for overturning the law that exempts ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students from serving in the military. Lapid has also demanded that the government commit to a peace plan with Palestine.

    Gen. John Allen cleared in misconduct inquiry, http://rtvote.com/XzNXoO
    General John Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has been cleared of wrongdoing regarding an allegedly inappropriate e-mail exchange with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Kelley, who was blackmailed by General Petraeus’ mistress, has recently publicly denied any inappropriate contact with Allen.

    Obama ‘will not oppose’ House GOP plan to suspend debt limit until May, http://rtvote.com/1451ATk
    The House GOP has proposed suspending the implementation of the federal debt limit until May 19. The measure would help delay or avoid another confrontation between President Obama and congress regarding the debt limit. President Obama has responded that he will not oppose the proposal, which would cause the government’s legal borrowing limit of $16.4 trillion to remain the same until May.

    CULTURAL:
    The Mystery of Michelle Obama’s Eye Roll Has (Possibly) Been Solved, http://rtvote.com/SBPcXt
    Shakira Gives Birth to Baby Boy Milan, http://rtvote.com/XzOWFl“Mad Men” to return in April with a two-hour premiere, http://rtvote.com/WLnNQI

    Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Lopez defend Beyonce in lip sync scandal, http://rtvote.com/WLnTI4

    Kelly Osbourne Engaged to Marry Matthew Mosshart, http://rtvote.com/1455xqX

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