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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers continue to escalate; a NJ student suing her parents loses first court battle; Pope Francis says that he could potentially accept civil unions; and a 10-year-old boy is suspended after pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. Meanwhile, John Travolta speaks out about his Idina Menzel flub on Oscar Night; an emoji version of “Drunk in Love” is taking over the web; and you can see the Oscar selfie that broke Twitter and has the Twitter record for the most retweets ever! 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia: http://rtvote.com/1ga99e8
    Western governmental powers have begun to threaten Russia with sanctions if their military presence in Ukraine does not decrease. In retaliation, Russia has begun drafting a law that “would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to the U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow.” The European Union will meet Thursday in Brussels, and US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian equivalent to Kerry’s position, in Paris. This conflict stems from the removal of the Russian-allied government and the increase in tension in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, where a heavy Russian population resides.

    Student’s lawsuit against parents for support loses first round in court: http://rtvote.com/1lyMnEg
    18-year-old New Jersey resident Rachel Canning made news this week for suing her own parents to make them pay for varying expenses: her final semester at her private high school, her living expenses, her legal fees, and her college tuition. Canning says her parents forced her out of her home and made her live on her own and was subject to mental and physical abuse, while her parents say she left of her own accord because she “didn’t want to obey their rules.” A judge refused to hear the request of payment for both the high school and living expenses, but in April, another hearing will be held for other issues presented in the lawsuit.

    Ohio student points finger like gun, is suspended: http://rtvote.com/1fHONbj
    A 10-year-old boy who pointed his finger like a gun and pointed it at another student’s head was suspended by his principal. The other student didn’t see it, but a teacher did and reported it to the school’s administration. The boy, who said he was “just playing around,” had been warned before by the school, Devonshire Alternative Elementary, about pretending to play with guns, as have all the other students; they were also told of potential consequences if they were caught participating in this behavior. 

    Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions: http://rtvote.com/1hMh1X0
    On Wednesday, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage (“marriage is between a man and a woman”), but also hinted at the possible acceptance of civil unions. Pope Francis is the first Pope to even hint at an acceptance of civil unions and is one of the most “gay-friendly” popes in history. Possible changes to the church regarding the women’s role and the contraception ban could also be in the works as the Pope’s first year comes to a close.

    Three children pulled to safety after woman drives van into ocean: http://rtvote.com/1kyfwiB
    A pregnant South Carolina woman, driving a minivan with three children inside, drove into the ocean in Florida. Rescuers said that they heard the children screaming that their mother was trying to kill them. People worked frantically to remove the children and the mother from the waterlogged vehicle. The children, aged 3, 9, and 10, were carried to shore and examined at a hospital before being declared “okay”. The mother walked to shore, dazed, and has refused to talk about the incident.

    CULTURAL

    See the now-infamous selfie that broke Twitter on Oscar Night! http://rtvote.com/1hLqDBZ

    John Travolta’s response to his Idina Menzel flub: http://rtvote.com/1cuhUoa

    The best and worst moments from the Oscars are in! http://rtvote.com/1gakNpt

    An emoji version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”? http://rtvote.com/1e1MWP0

    Dancing with the Stars just announced its latest cast: http://rtvote.com/1l14Y8T

    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: November 22, 2013

    Friday, November 22nd, 2013

    We honor President JFK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination; 3 San Jose State students engage in an appalling hate crime; and the Swedish embassy in North Korea is working to get an 85-year-old American war vet out of North Korean detention. Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman gets a spot of skin cancer removed (feel better, Hugh!), and, in a rare appearance, Adele is spotted with her baby boy.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    3 San Jose State students charged with hate crime against black roommate,http://rtvote.com/1bIxWnq
    Three San Jose State University students – Logan Beaschler, 18; Joseph Bomgardner, 19; Colin Warren, 18 – have been suspended and charged with misdemeanor hate crime and battery. They racially bullied their black roommate by nicknaming him “Three-fifths” (a reference to a constitutional provision that counted slaves as 3/5 of a person) and clamping a bicycle lock on his neck. They also decorated their shared apartment suite with Nazi symbols, a Confederate flag, and photos of Adolf Hitler. The 17-year-old victim suffered minor injuries when fighting off the bike lock from his neck.

    ‘Solemn’ event to honor JFK at Dallas’ Dealey Plaza,http://rtvote.com/1h7c9gL
    In honor of President John F. Kennedy, a commemoration ceremony will be held today in Dealey Plaza – the site of JFK’s assassination. JFK was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald exactly 50 years ago from today. You will never be forgotten, Mr. President. Thank you for all you have done for our country.

    U.S. to Consider Cellphone Use on Planeshttp://rtvote.com/1ca5A7t
    The Federal Communications Commission will soon propose allowing customers to use their cellphones on airplanes. Cellphone use would still be restricted during takeoff and landing, but passengers would be allowed to resume use after reaching 10,000 feet. The FAA said recently that cellphones pose no safety threat to aircrafts. It would ultimately be up to the airlines to allow this policy or not, and it looks like many customers may object.

    3 men, including 2 ex-cops, charged in 1994 slayings of Kentucky prostitutes,http://rtvote.com/1doyNR8
    In Kentucky, the murders of two prostitutes, Candace Belt, 22, and Gloria Ross, 18, remained unsolved since 1994. In 1997, the brothel’s madam accused two former cops of participating in the killings, but investigations had been thwarted by tampered evidence. A seven-year state police investigation has finally charged the two former cops, Leslie Duncan, 50, and Edward T. Carter, 43, and a third man, Frank J. Black, Jr., 39. The case remains opened, and Kentucky State Police believe this may “just be the tip of the iceberg.”

    Kerry: N Korea’s detention of veteran a “dangerous step”,http://rtvote.com/I8ZhYU
    Korean War veteran Merrill Newman, 85, was removed from his flight home and detained last month after visiting North Korea on a tourist visa. Newman is a grandfather from Palo Alto, California, and his family wants him home. The U.S. and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations, so the Embassy of Sweden in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, is representing the interests of U.S. citizens and is working to resolve the issue.

     

    CULTURAL 

    Hugh Jackman Has Skin Cancer Removed, Reminds Us to Wear Sunscreen,http://rtvote.com/1aVO8AF

    Jennifer Lawrence Explains ER Trip: “You Can Only S–t Your Pants So Many Times” Before Admitting You Need a Hospital, http://rtvote.com/1aMyY4n

    Liam Hemsworth “Much Happier” After Miley Cyrus Breakup: “I’m More Centered and Grounded,” http://rtvote.com/I93k7I

    The Girls Season 3 Trailer Is Here: See the 10 Most Relatable & Incredible Quotes, http://rtvote.com/1iBu5zg

    Adele Steps Out with Son Angelo, 13 months, Goes Without Makeup, http://rtvote.com/1g2IYZ1

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: September 27, 2013

    Friday, September 27th, 2013

    The U.N. Security Council passes a resolution on Syria; U.S.-Iran relations reach highest point since 1979 during nuclear program talks; Senate passes spending bill; and Obama explains the new online health insurance market, which opens on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt nails a lip-sync battle with Jimmy Fallon; Miley graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine; and Jimmy Kimmel addresses Kanye West twitter rant on his show.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    U.N. Deal on Syrian Arms is Milestone after Years of Inertia, http://rtvote.com/1fv3kxr The U.N. makes the most significant move thus far on the Syrian civil war. As a compromise between the U.S. and Russia, the permanent five members of the Security Council have passed a resolution, forcing Syria to eliminate their chemical arms program. Failure to do so would allow the Security Council to take measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which could mean imposing economic sanctions or using military action against Syria.

    $300 Million in Detroit Aid, but No Bailout, http://rtvote.com/1avJBr9 The Obama administration offers Detroit $300 million in federal and private aid. The financial package, which has been a divisive topic between the GOP and Democrats, will go toward Detroit’s transportation systems, the police force, and property redevelopment. However, the aid money from Obama’s administration is far from being enough to bail Detroit out of bankruptcy, and Congress is unlikely to pass such legislation due to Republican opposition to Obama’s spending initiatives.

    Suddenly, Great Expectations for U.S.-Iran Relations, http://rtvote.com/1avLV16 Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as the foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. Although the U.S. has doubted Iran’s assertion that their nuclear program stood for peaceful purposes, this meeting marks the highest-level talks between the U.S. and Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

    Senate votes to move ahead on spending bill that House Republics vow to reject, http://rtvote.com/1avS9hN To avoid a federal government shutdown, the Senate passes a short-term spending bill to restore funding for Obamacare. However, House Republicans refuse to support further funding Obama’s healthcare law, as evidenced by their determination to block Speaker John A. Boehner’s attempts at holding a series of deadlines to prevent the nation’s first default. Tensions remain high as the spending bill passes with 54 Democrats voting in favor and 44 Republicans voting against.

    Years after signing it into law, Obama explains Obamacare to the public , http://rtvote.com/1fvoYl8 Obama explains how uninsured Americans can find, compare, and purchase affordable healthcare plans online once the six-month enrollment period opens Tuesday. Although there are still a few glitches in the online system, like small businesses’ inability to apply online until November, the administration is determined to fix these issues as they come. Despite House Republicans’ criticisms and Americans’ weariness of the new system, Obama hopes the wide selection of plans with subsidies and lower premiums will garner support.

    CULTURAL

    The First ‘Glee’ without Cory Monteith Was Blissfully Joyous, http://rtvote.com/1eMQCc2

    This Week in Photos: September 27, 2013, http://rtvote.com/1fv1VH4

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s lip-syncing will put yours to shame, http://rtvote.com/1fv2ctD

    Miley Cyrus Doesn’t Like Cocaine, Thinks “Weed Is the Best Drug On Earth”, http://rtvote.com/1fv2II1

    Jimmy Kimmel Talks Kanye West Twitter Rant: “Finally, I’m in a Rap Feud”, http://rtvote.com/1fv3bd7

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Thursday, August 1st, 2013

    US set to resume negotiations with Pakistan; Snowden finds a new home; fast-food workers demand higher pay; and Uruguay in line to becoming first country to regulate the Marijuana market. Meanwhile, is Michelle Obama is no longer best dressed?; Simon Cowell to become a dad; and Jimmy McMillan endorses Weiner for NYC mayor.

    - Ally + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Ariel Castro apologizes to victims at sentencing hearing, http://rtvote.com/19zGukq
    Castro entered the courtroom Thursday morning, beginning with an apology to his victims. Until today, Castro had justified his actions, recalling mental illness, and personal history as a sexual assault victim, but had never expressed feelings of remorse.

    US, Pakistan To Resume High-Level Negotiations, http://rtvote.com/19zwacq
    US and Pakistani Secretaries of State will resume negotiations over security issues, including border control and counterterrorism. Negotiations between the two countries were hindered by the U.S. raid to kill Osama bin Laden, and by the accidental shooting of two Pakistanis by a CIA worker. The resumption indicates that the relationship between the countries is improving.

    Uruguay MPs back marijuana legalization, http://rtvote.com/13pBZW4
    Uruguay’s House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize marijuana, backed by the country’s President. If the Senate also passes the bill, marijuana sales would be conducted solely by the government, making it the first country to regulate sales of the substance.  Supporters are hopeful that the measure will reduce the tens of thousands of deaths caused by drug trafficking in the country.

    Edward Snowden receives temporary asylum in Russia, leaves Moscow airport, http://rtvote.com/19zxxaQ
    After over a month in the airport’s transit zone, and nearly a week after false reports of asylum in the country, Edward Snowden has been granted a 1 year asylum in Russia. His destination and plans in the country are unknown.

    A Day’s Strike Seeks to Raise Fast-Food Pay, http://rtvote.com/13pBo6G
    Fast–food employees nationwide are conducting one-day strikes to demand higher pay. The strikers are demanding a $15 hourly wage. Meanwhile, restaurant officials say this demand is unreasonable, and would drive restaurant owners to higher fewer workers or turn to automation. The events are part of a larger movement to increase the federal minimum wage.

    House passes student loan rate fix, http://rtvote.com/19zyPTi
    Since loan rates were doubled on July 1, the Senate, and now the House have passed a new bill to tie interest rates on federal student loans to the 10-year Treasury note.  Once President Obama signs the bill, which is expected, rates will be set at 3.86 percent for undergraduates. The rates, however, can fluctuate with the market, but are capped at 8.25 percent.

     

    CULTURAL

    MLB prepared to ban A-Rod for life, suspend eight others, http://rtvote.com/13pClMq

    Michelle Obama Snubbed From Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List, http://rtvote.com/16aCGBd

    Simon Cowell Expecting a Baby With Friend’s Wife Lauren Silverman, http://rtvote.com/16aGPFl

    Jimmy McMillan: Anthony Weiner for mayor, http://rtvote.com/16aGfar

    Try Out Facebook’s Fun ‘On This Day’ Feature—But You May Not Like What You See, http://rtvote.com/16aI4UW

    Ally.f@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 27, 2013

    Thursday, June 27th, 2013

    Hernandez heads back to court; John Kerry visits Middle East for peace talks; Obama is not worried about catching Snowden; Obama travels to Senegal for democracy tour; Governor Perry calls for special session; two brothers found dead in grandparents’ home in Ohio; and Prop. 8 ruling requires more work. Meanwhile, Michele Obama joins Instagram, and Cameron Diaz joins the cast of Annie.

    Maura + Alexis

    CRUCIAL:

    Hernandez Headed Back to Court Day After Arrest, http://rtvote.com/14zxsyb
    A series of texts could be a major piece of evidence in the Hernandez murder case. Just minutes before Odin Lloyd was shot to death, he texted his sister “Did you see who I was with?” to which she asked “Who?” and he replied “NFL. Just so you know.” At 3:23 a.m. Lloyd was shot to death in an execution-style shooting by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Apparently Lloyd was talking to people in a nightclub that Hernandez did not like, and Hernandez reacted by shooting him to death. Hernandez was charged Wednesday with murder and could potentially land himself in prison for life.

    Kerry resumes tough Israeli-Palestinian peace drive, http://rtvote.com/14zyBFZ
    U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry is visiting the Middle East for the fifth time to hold peace talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry arrived Wednesday in Amman, the same day Israel officially approved 69 new housing units in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

    Obama: not ‘scrambling jets’ to get NSA leaker Snowden, http://rtvote.com/14zzjTF
    President Obama said he will not be “scrambling jets” to bring Edward Snowden back to the U.S. He said he should not have to speak personally to the leaders of Russia and China about finding the 29-year-old hacker. Snowden is thought to be hiding in a Moscow airport awaiting a ruling on his request for asylum from Ecuador.

    Obama Begins Africa Tour in Senegal, http://rtvote.com/18iqRNI
    As President Obama heads to Senegal today on a trip to highlight achievements in democracy, his trip is expected to be overshadowed by the fate of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, who remains in critical condition, has been battling his health since contracting a lung infection three weeks ago. President Obama plans to travel to South Africa on Friday as part of his three-nation visit.

    Gov. Perry Calls Special Session to Begin July 1, http://rtvote.com/14zAJ0b
    Governor Rick Perry announced today that a Special Session of the Texas Legislature would be held Monday, July 1 at 2 p.m. Among the important issues at hand to discuss are: legislation regarding the regulation of abortion, legislation regarding transportation funding for infrastructure projects, and legislation regarding a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.

    Police: Ohio brothers, 9 and 12, found shot to death at grandparents’ house, http://rtvote.com/18isDyk
    Police in Ohio are investigating the deaths of two brothers, 9 and 12 years old, found dead in their grandparents’ home. The boys were found shot to death in an upstairs bedroom of their grandparents’ home on Wednesday. It is still unclear whether or not there was anyone home at the time of the murders.

    What’s next for California after Prop. 8 case dismissedhttp://rtvote.com/14zC6fv
    There is still more work to be done regarding Proposition 8. Andy Pugno of the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund said Wednesday that “We remain committed to the continued enforcement of Proposition 8 until there is a statewide order saying otherwise.” Instead of ruling directly on the constitutional right to marry, the Supreme Court ruled narrowly, dismissing the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Proposition 8 supporters have 25 days to ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case.

    CULTURAL:

    Michelle Obama Joins Instagram!, http://rtvote.com/18ivCH3

    Tony Parker Engaged to Axelle Francine? Eva Longoria’s Ex Mentions “Fiancée” in Twitter Chat, http://rtvote.com/18ivKGA

    Cameron Diaz Joins Cast of Annie Movie as Miss Hannigan, http://rtvote.com/14zEUJD

    James Gandolfini’s Friends and Family Gather to Remember Late Star, Broadway Dims Their Lights, http://rtvote.com/14zF1Vi

    Kristen Bell, Russell Brand and Other Celebs Who Wear Support for Gay Marriage, http://rtvote.com/18iw9sB

    alexis.m@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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