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    ‘Joe Biden’



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

    Hundreds are announced dead in South Sudan violence; two people have won the Mega Millions jackpot; and a retired Microsoft executive is set to oversee healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, Christina and Gaga perform together as The Voice crowns a new champion (spoiler alert!); Pippa Middleton is engaged (sorry guys!); and Jonah Hill talks about working with DiCaprio inThe Wolf of Wall Street.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Jackpot grows: Two winners to split $648Mhttp://rtvote.com/1bQc2l7
    Well it looks like the hope of winning the big bucks are over for most of us. Two winners have been identified: one in San Jose, California and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners will be splitting the second-largest jackpot of all time with the odds of winning at 1 in 259 million. The Virginia Lottery Executive Director said that this 22-drawing run generated more than $300 million in profits for programs in the states that participate. In case you missed the numbers, here they are: 8, 20, 14, 17, 39 and 7 (Mega Ball).

    Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov,http://rtvote.com/1fENQ6S
    President Obama continues to seek advice from high-tech executives in response to the rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov. The administration announced Tuesday that Kurt DelBene who recently retired from Microsoft, will serve as an unpaid senior advisor on the website. This is a response to the concerns of several lawmakers that the administration needed outside experts in order to overcome the difficulties of the launch. Many people have given a positive endorsement of DelBene, including Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

    UN Told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes: diplomats, http://rtvote.com/1eowHkI
    For the second day in a row, violence has rippled through South Sudan. Local sources and diplomats reported an estimate of 800 wounded and 400-500 killed, though the numbers have not been officially confirmed. The government in the capitol of Juba announced that they captured 10 major political figures and are searching for its former vice president who they believe led this failed coup. Despite its rich oil reserves, South Sudan remains one of the poorest & least developed countries in Africa. The U.S. is urging its citizens to leave the country and will proceed to suspend normal operations at the embassy.

    Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogationshttp://rtvote.com/19SRe9i
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested one of the C.I.A.’s internal studies regarding U.S. interrogations. Last year, the C.I.A. completed a report about the interrogation program that was one of the most controversial policies of the post-Septemer 11th era. The Senate report totaled more than 6,000 pages and has yet to be declassified. Those who have read the study disclose that the report does not hold back on criticism of the now-defunct interrogation program whose brutal methods led to little valuable intelligence.

    Obama, Biden, Top U.S. Officials To Stay Away From Sochi Olympics,http://rtvote.com/18RsvlI
    The 2014 Winter Olympics games will be held in Sochi, Russia, but with no representation from top United States officials. Instead, a former federal official, Janet Napolitano will be leading the U.S. delegation, along with two LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. This announcement comes just two months before the opening ceremony and is a signal of U.S. disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws among other human rights concerns.

    CULTURAL

    Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco Welcomes a Baby Boy, http://rtvote.com/1cbn4nK

    Pippa Middleton Engaged to Boyfriend Nico Jackson, http://rtvote.com/19SDHPl

    Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga Perform on The Voice, Effectively Putting Feud Rumors to Rest,http://rtvote.com/1fmOsgw

    Jonah Hill Talks Making Leonardo DiCaprio Throw Up and Why Loving Leo Made The Wolf of Wall Street Better, http://rtvote.com/1i1u8ph

    The 9 Brand New Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, http://rtvote.com/1i1uCvy

    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: December 9, 2013

    Monday, December 9th, 2013

    Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War vet, has been released from North Korea after six weeks; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Yahoo have joined forces to fight the NSA; and local police agencies have started copying the NSA’s spying habits. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez throws a hissy fit on stage, and the mystery surrounding Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles’ relationship remains ongoing.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Merrill Newman has been deported from North Korea: reporthttp://rtvote.com/1gSBDfd
    The 85-year-old Korean War veteran, Merrill Newman, has finally been released after being detained in North Korea for six weeks. Newman had been held on charges of “hostile acts” against the state for his role in the war. North Korea released him because Newman apologized and also because of his age and medical condition. VP Joe Biden met Newman in Beijing to welcome him on his way home.

    Tech giants band together in anti-snooping coalitionhttp://rtvote.com/19c6WA0
    Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo have come together to form what is essentially an anti-NSA coalition. Dubbed the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, these popular tech companies are determined to limit the federal government’s authority to collect user information. The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google have written an open letter to the federal government.

    Meet Mort Crim: The inspiration for Will Ferrell’s ‘Anchorman’http://rtvote.com/19wbw8G
    As theaters prepare for ‘Anchorman 2’, Ron Burgundy has been popping up on talk shows and sports events around the country. Even though the hilarious news anchor is a fictional character, he is based on someone very real. Meet the man who inspired Will Ferrell’s perfectly mustached character.

    Cellphone data spying: It’s not just the NSAhttp://rtvote.com/1dhAdbx
    The NSA is not the only one spying on people. Local police are now using new technologies to secretly collect data from people’s cellphones. About 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a “tower dump”, and at least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a device that acts as a fake cell tower. 36 other police agencies refuse to say whether they’ve used either tactic.

    ‘127 Hours’ author arrested in Denverhttp://rtvote.com/1gSNw4F
    The man who James Franco portrayed in ‘127 Hours’ was arrested for assault and wrongs to minors in Denver on Saturday night. Aron Lee Ralston, 38, is due in court this afternoon. Ralston is best known for amputating his own arm with a dull blade after being trapped by a boulder for five days in a Utah canyon.

     

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Curses During Performance, Walks Off Stage After Technical Difficulties, http://rtvote.com/1jEeZJQ

    Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles Leave NYC Hotel Together, http://rtvote.com/J7kByw

    One Direction Joins Paul Rudd and His Anchorman 2 Costars on SNL, Debut “Through the Dark,”http://rtvote.com/IXIWGn

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Attend Her Brother’s Wedding, http://rtvote.com/1cwnaVd

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, March 8th, 2013

    Friday, March 8th, 2013

    February’s jobs numbers has unemployment at a 4-year-low; North Korea ends its peace treaty with South Korea; Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law is arraigned in New York City; flight attendants and pilots resist a new TSA policy that would allow small knives on planes; political leaders head to Venezuela for Hugo Chavez’s funeral; John Brennan has been confirmed as CIA Director; the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would impose stricter laws on gun trafficking; and Information Week tells us the five coolest changes to Facebook’s news feed. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber is making headlines after being hospitalized AND attacking a paparazzo; Joy Behar will leave ‘The View’; and Kelly Osborne suffers a seizure on-set.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    After Sanctions Vote, 2 Koreas Ratchet Up Attack Threats, http://rtvote.com/Zx5SP3
    In response to new UN Security Council sanctions, North Korea has ended its peace treaty with South Korea. The country has threatened nuclear attacks on the United States, saying it will send Washington into a “sea of fire.” A top general has confirmed that Pyongyang has nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles that are ready to be fired at any time. South Korea has warned North Korea about its nuclear ambitions, saying that if the country does attack then Kim Jong-un’s regime “will be erased from the earth.”

    Homeland Chair: Osama bin Laden’s Son-in-Law ‘Cooperating’, http://rtvote.com/Y0ixe9
    Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, has been indicted and will be arraigned in New York City on Friday. Abu Ghaith has appeared in al Qaeda videos after 9/11 and is being charged with conspiring to kill Americans. He is one of the highest ranked al Qaeda officials to stand trial in New York.

    NEW TSA POLICY ON KNIVES, BATS SPARKS BACKLASH, http://rtvote.com/Zx7JDH
    The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which is made up of five unions and 90,000 flight attendants, has created a petition demanding to reverse the TSA’s new policy that small knives, golf clubs, and baseball bats be allowed on planes. “Our nation’s aviation system is the safest in the world thanks to multilayered security measures that include prohibition on many items that could pose a threat to the integrity of the aircraft cabin,” said the coalition. The pilots association has also denounced the measures, saying terrorism is still a “real threat.” If the policy is not overturned it will go into effect on April 25th.

    (via The New York Times) Unemployment at 4-Year-Low as U.S. Hiring Gains Steam,http://rtvote.com/XXRDVf
    Bolstered by a healthier private sector, the United States economy gained 236,000 jobs in February, well above what had been expected, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level since December 2008. The gains were broad-based, the Labor Department said Friday, with sectors ranging from manufacturing to business services turning in healthy results. Construction was especially strong, adding 48,000 jobs, a sign that the recovery in the housing market is beginning to translate into new jobs.

    A FUNERAL, AND A SWEARING IN, FOR VENEZUELA, http://rtvote.com/Y0hquU
    At least 30 political leaders have traveled to Venezuela for Hugo Chavez’s funeral. Cuban President Raul Castro, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks, former Massachusetts congressman William Delahunt, and many others will be in attendance as Chavez’s week of mourning continues. Vice President Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez chose as a replacement, will be sworn in today as well.

    (via The Washington Post) With Brennan as CIA chief, Obama puts in place 3rd key member of his national security team, http://rtvote.com/Y0p60h
    John Brennan took over Friday as director of the CIA, the finishing touch on President Barack Obama’s national security team for his second term.The White House said Vice President Joe Biden swore Brennan in during a private ceremony in the Roosevelt Room, the morning after he won Senate confirmation amid a contentious debate. Republicans had blocked his nomination but lifted their delay after the administration bowed to their requests for clarification about the president’s power in using drones.

    (via Information Week) Facebook News Feed: 5 Coolest Changes, http://rtvote.com/XXS2ah

    CULTURAL:

    JUSTIN BIEBER COLLAPSES IN LONDON, HOSPITALIZED, http://rtvote.com/Zx9EI9

    Joy Behar Departing ‘The View’, http://rtvote.com/Y0pCeV

    Justin Bieber Lunges at Paparazzi, Gets Restrained by His Own Bodyguard, http://rtvote.com/XXSeX5

    Kelly Osbourne recovering after on-set seizure, http://rtvote.com/XXShSH

     

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



    Last Night’s State of the Union Address

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    John Boehner’s attempts to look enthused, the many faces of Joe Biden, and a plethora of awkward bipartisan interactions were not the only highlights from last night’s State of the Union. President Obama took a more aggressive stance than usual in his annual address. He asserted that the public had voted in favor of his agenda and hinted that he would not be as willing to compromise in his second term.

    The president promised to wind down – by next year — a conflict that has defined my generation. He announced an end to the war in Afghanistan as his headline issue. This spring, he promised, American forces would draw back into a support role and allow Afghan security teams to take over the brunt of the effort. “Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change,” the president said. Beyond the war’s end, he claimed, the administration will work with the Afghan government to train its forces, as well as to allow Americans to proceed with counterterrorist efforts focused on al Qaeda.

    As was to be expected, the president allotted much of the hour to speaking about his economic agenda. Most notably, he addressed the subject of minimum wage, an issue frequently neglected over the past few years.  You may see a little extra cash in your pocket at your summer job, as the president plans to advocate for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour “so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on”.

    As a college sophomore, I am all too familiar with the seemingly unreasonable price tag stuck on a university education and was glad to hear the president address the importance of bringing down higher education costs. Obama highlighted how his administration had used tax credits, grants, and better loans to make college affordable, but noted that taxpayers could no longer bear the burden of “subsidizing higher and higher costs for higher education.” He called upon Congress to improve the Higher Education Act, altering it to account for college affordability and value. Universities would then receive federal aid based on their ratio of affordability to value.

    The president also found time to touch briefly upon reforms that could ease your voting experience come the next election. He announced the creation of a non-partisan presidential Voting Commission designated to improve the American voting process. The Commission would be chaired by top attorneys from both the Obama and Romney campaigns. “When any Americans–no matter where they live or what their party—are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying out ideals,” Obama said on the right to vote.

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, January 18, 2013

    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    Algerian special forces have freed 650 of the hostages seized by Islamists; Lance Armstrong admits to doping in an interview with Oprah; and speculation surrounds Notre Dame football star Manti Te’O and his fake girlfriend. Meanwhile, the Onion will release an “autobiography” on Vice President Biden, and Michelle Obama debuts a new haircut.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    650 hostages freed by Algerian special forces, http://bit.ly/Xhf5In
    Algerian special forces have freed 650 hostages taken by Islamists after attacking a gas field in eastern Algeria on Wednesday. Over half of the 132 foreign workers taken hostage have been freed. 10 to 20 Americans are being evacuated, while some remain unaccounted for. U.S. officials have not specified the exact number of Americans involved in the attack. “This incident will be resolved–we hope–with a minimum loss of life. But when you deal with these relentless terrorists, life is not in any way precious to them,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

    Lance Armstrong Confession: Cyclist Admits Doping During Oprah Interview, http://huff.to/13Kj8CW
    Lance Armstrong opened up about doping Thursday night in the first installment of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong openly admitted to using banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories. Earlier on Thursday, he was stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics. Armstrong noted that he was committed to restoring his reputation. “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and trying to apologize to people…for the rest of my life,” he said.

    Behind Manti Te’O hoax about girlfriend lies a deep desire to believe, http://wapo.st/XinJqA
    Following a Deadspin.com report published Wednesday, questions are circulating about the dead girlfriend of Manti Te’O, the star linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up who helped lead Notre Dame to the BCS Champion Bowl. Te’O's supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who was said to have died of leukemia, was a media fixation central to his personal story. Te’O claims the pair carried out their relationship online, and now says he was the victim of an online prank. However, controversy remains over whether the fake girlfriend may have been a publicity stunt created by Te’O himself.

    ‘Obama for America’ to morph into ‘Organizing for Action’, http://bit.ly/13LRSFd
    President Obama’s “Obama for America” re-election campaign will be relaunched as “Organizing for Action”, a non-profit organization with a mission to advocate for his second-term agenda. Organizing for Action will push for agreements on the president’s priority issues by using powerful tools from the re-election campaign including grassroots organization, social media outreach, and a large voter database. Jim Messina, who directed the 2012 campaign, will chair Organizing for Action.

    One to beam up: NASA uses a laser to send Mona Lisa to the moon, http://nbcnews.to/XimYxX
    NASA will use a laser-tracking system to make the Mona Lisa the first digital image to be transmitted via laser to the moon. NASA has previously sent laser pulses and strings of numbers to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the laser-tracking system that has been circling the moon for the past three and a half years, but this is the first time they will transmit a far more visual painting. NASA said this type of laser communication could serve in the future as a backup for the radio communication currently used by satellites, potentially allowing higher data rates of communication.

    CULTURAL 

    Biden Getting an Autobiography From the Onion (Whether He Wants It or Not), http://nyti.ms/WL5Tfh

    New ‘Do Alert: Michelle Obama Debuts Bangs, http://bit.ly/XeucCi

    Selena Gomez Talks Justin Bieber Pre-Split and Taylor Swift Friendship, http://eonli.ne/XjhJ0j

    “Django Unchained” Slave Toys Discontinued, http://tmz.me/VOHz0m

    Jennifer Lawrence: I Should Have Been in “Zero Dark Thirty”!, http://eonli.ne/SJmBAC 

     

     

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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