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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Thursday, April 10th, 2014

    A possible norovirus outbreak cripples a cruise ship; an arrest warrant is out for the man responsible for a day care center crash; new details emerge on yesterday’s Pennsylvania high school stabbing; and healthcare enrollment reaches 7.5 million. Meanwhile, Naya Rivera and Big Sean split; Jimmy Fallon performs a Tom Petty classic with a special guest; and BREAKING NEWS: Stephen Colbert has been chosen to replace David Letterman as the host of The Late Show!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Stomach illness hits 83 on cruise ship; may be norovirus: http://rtvote.com/1qkWzAd
    Princess Cruises spokeswoman Karen Candy says that 66 passengers and 17 crewmembers on the Crown Princess cruise ship came down with a “quickly-spreading digestive bug.” All of the illnesses have been isolated in their cabins, and the ship has undergone extensive sanitation procedures. Princess Cruises believe that norovirus, a quickly-spreading stomach virus that is highly contagious, is the cause. Norovirus has plagued a few cruise ships over the past few months. Norovirus affects many people on land, but is more reported via cruise ships because heath officials from cruise lines track the disease. The close quarters on a cruise ship make it easy for the disease to spread.

    Authorities issue arrest warrant in deadly Florida day care center crash: http://rtvote.com/1lMZwrf
    On Thursday, police issued an arrest warrant for Robert Corchado. Authorities believe that his SUV hit another car and cashed it into a Florida day care center, killing one child and injuring 14 others. Corchado’s car was found abandoned after he fled the scene. Police also believe that Corchado was trying to flee the area when the accident occurred. The driver of the car that crashed into the day care center due to Corchado’s actions was not injured and remained at the scene.

    After PA school stabbing, authorities and community ask: ‘Why?’: http://rtvote.com/1sGqa9i
    Although new details about yesterday’s school stabbing in Murrysville near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have emerged, authorities are still trying to determine a motive. The perpetrator, 16-year-old Alex Hribal, has been described as “quiet” and “having few friends,” but was also thought to be a “really nice kid.” Murrysville Police Chief Tom Seefeld believes that the stabbing was a random act of violence since, at this point, no one was known to be targeted. Hribal also is stated to come from a good, solid, normal family with no history of abuse or violence. Hribal is being charged with four counts of attempted murder and 21 counts of aggravated assault and is being held without bail. Four of the 21 people injured were injured seriously; one of the four’s injuries are so grave that he or she is not expected to survive.

    UConn sorority suspended for alleged hazing: http://rtvote.com/1edNkQd
    The University of Connecticut chapter of the Delta Zeta sorority has been put under an interim suspension after reports of hazing reached school officials. Among other things, members of the sorority have been accused of forcing men in a UConn fraternity to “consume alcohol and eat dog treats,” according to the reports in The Hartford Courant, a local newspaper. Both the national and UConn chapters of Delta Zeta have not commented on the alleged offences, which occurred in a UConn residence hall. This is the third Greek organization to be suspended over the last few months for hazing reports.

    Health exchange enrollment reaches 7.5 million: http://rtvote.com/1iy56JT
    As of Thursday, 7.5 million people have enrolled for health insurance. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Senate panel Thursday that since last week, 400,000 additional people have signed up for the Affordable Care Act. 11.7 million people have also been found to be eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The official closure of enrollment was on March 31st, but enrollment continues because thousands of people had started the enrollment process but hadn’t been able to finish enrolling by the deadline.

    CULTURAL

    No more wedding bells for Big Sean and Naya Rivera: http://rtvote.com/1kNZiyN

    Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique might be the next X-Men spinoff: http://rtvote.com/1lTaHkK

    Jimmy Fallon (aka Tom Petty) and Stevie Nicks perform a classic: http://rtvote.com/1lN7ErN

    DEVELOPING: David Letterman to be replaced by… Stephen Colbert! http://rtvote.com/1iAIvxv

    Kendall and Kylie Jenner react to a prank gone wrong! http://rtvote.com/1hllwsR

    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, April 9, 2014

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    A stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school leaves 20 students injured; Rep. Vance McAllister’s staffer resigns after kissing incident; Police search for a possible serial sniper in Kansas City; and a new breakthrough in paralysis research has occurred. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway put a cabaret spin on some top hip hop songs; Prince George has a play date down under; and Miley discusses her freedom without Disney or Liam Hemsworth.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers, my (Veronica’s) hometown hockey team, on clinching a NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs spot last night. Let’s go Flyers!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    DEVELOPING STORY: 20 injured in Pittsburgh-area high school stabbing: http://rtvote.com/1qqQ250
    At least 20 students have been injured at Franklin Regional Senior High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An adult is also being treated for an unspecified medical condition. Four students have been taken to the hospital via helicopter and some students’ injuries are life-threatening. A hallway and a classroom were the setting for the potentially deadly stabbing. All schools are now secure, but the district’s elementary schools are closed for the day. The suspect, a sophomore boy, is now in custody.

    Spinal cord work is unexpected shocker: ‘This is a breakthrough’: http://rtvote.com/1qiwa5T
    Neuroscientist Susan Harkema had been running a study to try to learn more about “nerve pathways” by stimulating the spinal cords of paralyzed people through electricity. However, she managed to enable her patients to move their legs. All of her patients have been able to move their toes, move their legs around, sit up on their own, and even do sit ups! Harkema says this is the first time electrical stimulation to the spine and show results. Co-founder of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Dr. Barth Green says that “This is a breakthrough. It shows you can have a living spinal cord under the layer of their injury.” Scientists hope this will open the door to the possibility of new breakthroughs.

    Staffer caught kissing Rep. McAllister resigns, while Congressman keeps his job: http://rtvote.com/1k3Q4Qr
    Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught on tape Monday kissing a staff member. The Congressman and the staffer, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, are both married. Peacock has since resigned her post as district scheduler to McAllister. McAllister, conversely, says he has “no plans to resign” and insists that he will campaign for reelection this year. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen posted a surveillance video showing the two kissing. McAllister admitted the affair and apologized to his constituents: “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was “pleased” with the apology, but he has not yet commented on whether McAllister should keep his job.

    Kansas City authorities seek perpetrator after some shootings linked: http://rtvote.com/1kKJBby
    The FBI has joined the hunt for a shooter in Kansas City, Missouri area. So far, thirteen shootings have been reported along parts of Interstate 435 and Interstate 470, most of which are near exit and interchange ramps. No one has been killed, but three people have been wounded; one was shot in the arm, the others were shot in the leg. Law enforcement believes that at least a part of the thirteen shootings are linked. The FBI and ATF have put out a $7000 reward for anyone who might know anything about the shootings or the possible shooter(s).

    UConn Women’s Basketball completes 40-0 season: http://rtvote.com/1k3Y9ED
    UConn’s women’s basketball team has completed their 40-0 season with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. They are now repeat champions and it is the fifth time the team has gone undefeated under the head coach, Geno Auriemma. Auriemma has won nine National Titles in nine tries after the win. Notre Dame finished 37-1 after the loss.

    CULTURAL

    Paul Rudd joins Billy on the Street’s Billy Eichner for some Funny or Die fun: http://rtvote.com/R2X9GB

    Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway sing Broadway versions of…rap songs? http://rtvote.com/1lKl5J3

    Prince George’s royal play date: http://rtvote.com/ODqMfM

    Miley Cyrus talks “being free”: http://rtvote.com/1eks0sJ

    Samantha Harris diagnosed with breast cancer, due to receive double mastectomy: http://rtvote.com/1hsHbR3

    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: Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Another shooting hits Fort Hood Military Base; a major aftershock in Chile causes massive evacuations; the US allegedly tried to undermine the Cuban government through the creation of a fake social media account; and a woman in Australia goes missing after being “taken” by a shark. Meanwhile, James Franco allegedly tried to meet up with a teenager via Instagram; a man arrested for trespassing on Selena Gomez’s property is sentenced; and Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” have a phone conversation.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Fort Hood shooting spree: ‘Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy’: http://rtvote.com/1otWpcb
    Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree Wednesday at Fort Hood Military Base in Killeen, Texas, wounding 16 and killing four others (including himself). All were army personnel. Lopez had had a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. After his 4-month tour in Iraq, Lopez began to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez used his own gun in the shooting; it was not registered to the base, making it against the rules to have it on the base. In contrast to the 2010 Fort Hood shooting, authorities do not suspect that terrorism was the driving force behind Lopez’s actions.

    New evacuations in Chile after major aftershock: http://rtvote.com/PmTToC
    A 7.2 magnitude aftershock rocked the northern coast of Chile Wednesday night, just days after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake caused tsunamis and six deaths. After the 7.2 aftershock, the Chilean Emergency Office issued new tsunami warnings and subsequent evacuations of the entire Chilean coast, driving 900,000 people from their homes. Fortunately, no damage, deaths, or injuries have been reported after the aftershock, which is one of over a dozen that have hit Chile over the past few days. The aftershock was felt in Peru as well, once again leaving no damage or injuries in its wake.

    Crowd beats driver who stopped after hitting boy, 11: http://rtvote.com/1lqM7Fd
    On the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, a crowd beat a driver who hit an 11-year-old boy. The child was struck by the driver of a truck while trying to cross an intersection. The driver then got out of the car to check on the boy, at which point a crowd of approximately 30 people came to assist the child. Some members of the crowd then beat the driver, who sustained serious head injuries that could be life-threatening. The boy’s condition has not been released. Both the driver and the child were taken to the hospital.

    US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest: http://rtvote.com/1k3eXhG
    US government official Joe McSpedon, a team of technology contractors, and the Agency for International Development had been planning to undermine the communist government in Cuba by creating a fake social media website. The “Cuban Twitter,” or ZunZuneo, would have breached the information restrictions and bans put in place by the Cuban government. At its peak, the account reached thousands of Cuban citizens, giving many access to information that had previously been denied to them. Due to the financing being linked to a Cayman Islands account, the United State’s name was never connected with the project’s development. Whether the program is legal or not is unclear.

    Woman ‘taken’ by large shark in Australia: http://rtvote.com/1mDUf57
    63-year-old lifeguard Christine Armstrong was swimming in Tathra, Australia with her husband and fellow lifeguards when she disappeared. She headed off to shore alone, leaving her friends in the water, but appeared to never make it. A witness told police that he saw an 11-foot shark attacking something in the water that looked like a swimmer. After an investigation, neither Armstrong nor the shark could be found. Armstrong’s husband and friends who were with her that day are being given counseling to cope.

    CULTURAL

    British Olympic diver Tom Daley discusses his sexuality: http://rtvote.com/1fOPOzE

    It’s Amanda Bynes’ birthday! Take a look back through her career: http://rtvote.com/1scN1cd 

    James Franco tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram: http://rtvote.com/1gqOpyG

    Get the latest details about the guy arrested for trespassing at Selena Gomez’s house: http://rtvote.com/1hkyi5W

    Sarah Palin and “Vladimir Putin” talk: see the video! http://rtvote.com/QIBT8Z

    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: Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Thursday, March 13th, 2014

    More people are pronounced dead after East Harlem building explosion; G.M. reveals new information about a safety defect linked to 12 deaths; and a hit and run driver kills 2 people at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley makes Jimmy Fallon blush; Emma Watson graces the cover of Elle magazine; and Harry Styles gets rescued by AAA.

    - Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Disputes report that missing plane flew on for hours,http://rtvote.com/1ihA8sK
    Sadly, little progress has been made in the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet that went off the grid nearly a week ago over the Gulf of Thailand. In response to speculation about the fate the of the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew, Malaysia’s defense minister held a press conference dismissing a series of leads. Officials are describing this incidence as an unprecedented aviation mystery, and it is still unknown whether the plane is on land or in water, east or west of the country, or far beyond.

    Building collapse kills at least 7 in Manhattan,http://rtvote.com/1nn7mvN
    Updates are emerging after a massive explosion yesterday in East Harlem, that leveled two five-story apartment buildings. At least 7 people were killed and firefighters are still searching through the rubble for survivors. More than 40 people were reported with injuries. Authorities believe a gas leak caused the explosion but are still waiting to announce the official cause. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the site, commenting that this was a “tragedy of the worst kind.”

    Hit and run driver kills 2, injures 23 at SXSW,http://rtvote.com/1m0m222
    Tragedy struck last night at one of the most anticipated festivals of the year: South by Southwest. A drunk driver, said to be fleeing from police who tried pulling him over, went the wrong way down a one-way street and drove into a crowd of people waiting outside of a popular bar and music venue. Two people were killed in the accident and 23 others are injured.

    G.M reveals that it was told of ignition defect in 01’,http://rtvote.com/1i89q5d
    In an expanded chronology of events filed with federal safety regulators about the recall of 1.6 million cars, General Motors reveals it had reports of a safety defect in its cars as early as 2001. This particular safety defect has been linked to 12 deaths and at least 31 accidents over the past decade. According to GM, in 2001 a study found that the ignition switch in the Saturn Ion could turn off easily, but the company said a design change “had resolved the problem.”

    CULTURAL

    28 Modern Proverbs for 20 Somethings, http://rtvote.com/1ftr0MB  

    Harry Styles Rescued by AAA Tow Truck After Motorcycle Breaks Down,http://rtvote.com/1m0gmoP

    Emma Watson Covers Elle Magazine, Explains Why She’s “So Jealous” of Certain Actresses, http://rtvote.com/1cV2Ikg

    Shailene Woodley Gives Jimmy Fallon a Phallic Herb—And it Makes The Tonight Show Host Blush, http://rtvote.com/1nn5GlY 

    Pharell Williams Up With Comme Des Garcons to Release New Fragrance,http://rtvote.com/1nn5WRU

    Maura
    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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

    Arizona’s governor has yet to make a decision on the latest controversial bill; secession fears emerge in Ukraine; and a California couple finds $10 million worth of Gold Rush-era coins. Meanwhile, another celebrity couple splits; more controversy emerges for Justin Bieber; and Kanye West talks music.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Arizona governor takes time on anti-gay bill: http://rtvote.com/1mHkU4T
    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has been pressured for days to take a stance on bill SB1062, that would allow businesses and restaurants to refuse to serve gays based on religious beliefs. People from all professions and belief systems have called on Brewer to veto the bill including: the LGBT community, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, religious leaders, business giants like Apple, and Arizona’s two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake. The NFL is also watching the bill’s progress; if it passes, the 2015 Super Bowl’s Arizona location might be challenged. Brewer has until Saturday at 11:59pm to make her decision, but her inaction so far has drawn criticism.

    Tensions rise in Ukraine’s pro-Russian Crimea amid secession fears: http://rtvote.com/1fHdjOg
    Pro-Russian protesters faced off with pro-Ukrainian protesters in Simferopol, a city within Ukraine’s Crimea region. Some fear that Crimea, due to its extreme loyalty to Russia, will secede from Ukraine, although parliament speaker Volodimir Konstantinov has denied that there are secession plans in the works. Currently, eastern and southern Ukraine has a heavier Russian influence, while Western Ukraine favors the majority of Europe. Currently, Ukraine is trying to create a new government in the midst of the continuing political instability throughout the country.

    No bluff: US planning possible withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan: http://rtvote.com/1gCjscp
    If no security agreement is signed, the Obama administration told Afghanistan that they would withdrawal all of the United States troops that remain by the end of the year. This comes after Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, refused to sign the security agreement, which would keep American troops in Afghanistan after combat operations end this year. A Pakistani official believes that if the United States leaves Afghanistan completely, a civil war will ensue. Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would sign the deal if elected.

    UAE Islamic affairs authority warns Muslims against a mission to Mars: http://rtvote.com/1ewcRhg
    The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) has issued a ruling telling Muslims not to travel to Mars, despite supporting space travel in general. The GAIAE is against travel to Mars because they believe people won’t come back: that they’ll die in space. This, they say, is similar to committing suicide because the traveler willingly went to Mars knowing he or she may not return. Suicide is strictly against Islamic principles. Mars One, the Dutch nonprofit planning the first tourist mission to outer space (through Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic) this year, issued a statement saying that human lives would not be at risk for tourism-based space travel and that the GAIAE should revoke the ruling.

    California couple unearths Gold Rush coins worth $10 million: http://rtvote.com/1jAakb3
    Two Californians stumbled upon 1,427 gold coins buried by a tree on their property while walking their dog. The discovery is believed to be “one of the greatest buried treasures ever unearthed in the United States” says the trade journal Coin Update. The coins worth $5, $10, and $20 were in mint condition and had never been circulated, though they have been dated from 1897 to 1894. Most of the coins are $20 coins minted between 1855 and 1894. Some experts say some coins could be auctioned for $1 million. No one has any idea who might have buried them. The couple plans to sell the majority of the coins on Amazon and plan on using the proceeds to help their community.

    CULTURAL

    Katy Perry and John Mayer hit splitsville: http://rtvote.com/1pthPUZ

    Justin Bieber’s security guard and driver arrested: http://rtvote.com/1llFOoy

    Kanye West to make “kid-friendly” music? http://rtvote.com/1khb5pg

    Miley Cyrus debunks some rumors: http://rtvote.com/N3mGgH

    Paul Rudd vs. Jimmy Fallon…at lip syncing: http://rtvote.com/1bM4aEN

    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