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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: Friday, June 22, 2012

    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    Taliban siege a resort hotel, killing 20; the DOJ sues polygamous towns in Arizona and Utah; and a park ranger falls to his death on Mt. Rainier. In other news, Twitter faced outages yesterday, and LeBron James and the Heat win the NBA finals.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Taliban Attack at Resort Hotel Near Kabul Kills 20, http://nyti.ms/Nh0jgx
    Seven Taliban militants killed 20 people in their 11-hour raid of the popular resort destination of Qargha Lake, which is on the outskirts of Kabul. The Taliban killed at least 15 civilians and took scores of hostages during the siege. The Taliban said that Afghans drank alcohol at the resort and partook in prostitution and dancing—acts that “are illegal and strictly prohibited in Islam,” according to a Taliban spokesperson. All of the Taliban gunmen were shot dead.

    Justice Dept. Sues Arizona, Utah Polygamous Towns, http://abcn.ws/LFSaUs
    The U.S. Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit against authorities in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. The DOJ says these towns have ignored the rights of residents who aren’t followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The feds accused city leaders and law enforcement of denying housing and municipal services to residents, as well as allowing members of the dominant religious sect to destroy their crops and property.

    Ranger plunges to death on Mount Rainier, http://bit.ly/MbzKh3
    Nick Hall, a park ranger in Mount Rainier National Park, fell to his death yesterday when he tried to rescue four injured climbers. Hall fell about 3,700 feet down the northeast side of the mountain as he was helping to prepare the other climbers for a helicopter to lift them to safety. The climbers from Waco, Texas, slipped down the Emmons Glacier; two were left dangling in a crevasse. They called for help with a cell phone. None of their injuries were life-threatening.

    Twitter suffers sustained outage in hacker attack, http://reut.rs/MopnCV
    Twitter suffered two service outages within a few hours of each other yesterday. UgNazi, a hacker organization, has claimed responsibility for the disruptions. The service first went down between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. PST. Then, about an hour later, the site went down again. The site also faced slow connection for much of the day.

    CULTURAL:

    LeBron James and Miami Heat Throttle OKC Thunder to Win 2012 NBA Championship, http://bit.ly/LGAnuG

    Travolta sued for libel as gay claims resurface, http://reut.rs/MOJqct

    ‘Today Show’ Meredith Vieira REJECTS NBC Offer to Replace Ann, http://bit.ly/KZldkS

    Justin Bieber has no idea what the Sistine Chapel is, http://bit.ly/MzzZkG

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

    Greeks panic over political leaders’ inability to form a government; Ratko Mladic’s war crimes trial begins; Syrian rebels receive weapons from outside countries; and the GOP creates a super PAC that targets the youth vote. Meanwhile, Indonesians protest after the government bans Lady Gaga from performing, and Aaaron Sorkin will direct the new Steve Jobs film.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Judge to lead Greece to fateful June 17 vote, http://reut.rs/JqUKOJ
    Panicked Greeks are withdrawing euros out of the bank for fear of their devaluation if Greece changes its currrency. Central bank head George Provopoulos said Greeks had withdrawn at least €700 million ($894 million) on Monday. During talks amongst Greek political leaders, President Karolos Papoulias spoke of a  “fear that could develop into panic” if a government was not formed.

    Ratko Mladic war crimes trial begins, http://bit.ly/JjtKwb 
    The trial of Ratko Mladic, the man accused of the most rampant genocide since World War II, began at The Hague today. Mladic is accused of 11 counts, two of which pertain to genocide. During the Bosnian conflict, Mladic allegedly killed 8,000 Muslims. Family members of Mladic’s victims and survivors filled the courtroom to see him. In response to the crowd, he gave a sarcastic clap and a wave and then slid his finger across his throat to signal that he had to go to the bathroom. Mladic, who is 70-years-old, was captured one year ago.

    Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination, http://wapo.st/KfDZS7
    The Syrian rebels have received an influx of weapons and funds from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Gulf states with coordination by the United States. The U.S. has stated that it would not provide the Syrian opposition any weapons and that it’s increasing its “nonlethal assistance” instead.

    (via The Washington Post) Crossroads Generation: New super PAC targets youth vote, http://wapo.st/IY6zYI
    A new super PAC linked to a Karl Rove-founded group aims to target young voters. Crossroads Generation is a joint venture of American Crossroads, the College Republican National Committee, the Young Republican National Federation and the Republican State Leadership Committee. The PAC has $750,000 in startup money and will be run by Iowa’s Derek Flowers.

    (via Reuters) Facebook boosts IPO size by 25 percent, could top $16 billion, http://reut.rs/Jr5FrS
    Facebook Inc increased the size of its initial public offering by almost 25 percent, and could raise as much as $16 billion as strong investor demand for a share of the No.1 social network trumps debate about its long-term potential to make money. Facebook, founded eight years ago by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room, said on Wednesday it will add about 84 million shares to its IPO, floating about 421 million shares in an offering expected to be priced on Thursday.

    Obama Campaign Announces Raising $43.6 Million in April, http://nyti.ms/L6qHrY
    In a new video, Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina announces that the campaign raised $43.6 million in April. While this is less than what the campaign raised in March, it is still more than what the Romney campaign has taken in. The $43.6 million does not include what was raised from George Clooney’s fundraiser as well as recent donations from same-sex marriage supporters.

    Moscow police clear occupied park, http://wapo.st/KteylT
    Russian police invaded a Moscow campsite for OccupyAbai early Wednesday morning. The police arrived at 5:30 AM even though they said they wouldn’t oust the protestors until noon. Police said they were forced to clear out the area due to complaints from neighbors. The protestors did not resist, and 23 were arrested for public intoxication. Demonstrators have since moved to a smaller park.

    CULTURAL:

    Chris Christie jokes about VP talk in ‘I Got This,’ http://yhoo.it/K77wQ6

    Indonesian organisers fight for Lady Gaga gig, http://bit.ly/JTeLgM

    Obama to accept on night of MTV awards, http://bit.ly/KmkBF4

    Gloria Allred representing massage therapist in Travolta sex assault case, http://goo.gl/hcENz

    ‘Social Network’ writer Aaron Sorkin to direct Steve Jobs film, http://goo.gl/kfdQQ

    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, May 9th, 2012

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

    A Russian plane has disappeared in Indonesia; North Carolina voters pass Amendment One; Senate Republicans block the Democratic student loan bill; a prison inmate captures 40% of the West Virginia Democratic primary vote; Senator Lugar is defeated in Indiana’s GOP primary; and a doctor in Houston live tweets brain surgery. Meanwhile, Pippa Middleton will be moving to NYC; Tom Gabel of Against Me! comes out as transgender; two male masseurs have accused John Travolta of sexual assault; and Delta pulls its ads from “The Daily Show.”

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Qaeda bomber adept at breaching aviation security, http://reut.rs/KLZfQL
    Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, formerly one of the most dangerous militants in al Qaeda, has been arrested after making a non-metallic underwear bomb that could pass through airport security undetected. Asiri, who survived a drone attack last year, created the bomb for an attack that was supposed to take place on the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The plot was foiled after Asiri handed the bomb over to a CIA double-agent posing as the would-be bomber.

    Syriza’s Tsipras to meet Greece’s pro-bailout parties, http://bbc.in/Km7YM5
    Alex Tspiras, Greece’s far-left leader who is responsible for forming the country’s government, has said that although he finds the EU’s bailout terms “barbaric,” he will still meet with pro-bailout parties Wednesday. If the two sides cannot negotiate terms then Greece may have new elections in a few weeks. Tspiras has said that he would consider refusing the EU’s bailout in order to avoid its austerity regulations. In response, Germany stated that if Greece refuses the bailout then it will receive absolutely no aid. Tspiras has received support from Greece’s small left-wing party, the Democratic Left, as well as the country’s center-right party.

    (via CNN) Russian plane disappears in demonstration flight in Indonesia, http://bit.ly/Jx2Dj7 
    Russia’s newest civilian airliner disappeared Wednesday from radar screens during a half-hour demonstration flight in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, state-run RIA Novosti news service reported. There were 44 passengers on board. The plane went missing at about 2 p.m. in the area of Bogor, West Java, Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told Metro TV. The pilots requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, air traffic controllers said. After that, all radio contact was lost. The plane began making its descent but vanished from radar screens at 6,200 feet in a mountainous area. By the time the plane was due to return it should have burned up its fuel, RIA Novosti said.

    Obama ‘disappointed’ over N.C. marriage ban, http://politi.co/KaD6zV
    President Obama issued a statement saying that he was “disappointed” in North Carolina voters’ decision to pass an amendment to their state’s constitution that would only legally recognize a marriage between a man and a woman. Amendment One passed 61% to 39% after a heavy outpouring of religious voters and support from Billy Graham. The vote saw North Carolina’s largest primary turnout in years. Gay-rights groups will protest the law starting today, and same-sex couples will seek marriage licenses in Wilson and Durham before the law goes into effect in January 2013. Two protestors were arrested in Asheville last night.

    (via Reuters) US Senate Republicans block Democratic student loan bill, http://reut.rs/JeqHrX
    U.S. Senate Republicans blocked on Tuesday a White House-backed bill that would end a tax break for the wealthy in order to pay for an extension of low-interest loan rates for federal student loans. On a mostly party-line vote of 52-45, Democratic backers of the measure fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to clear a Republican procedural roadblock. Regardless, both sides are expected to reach a compromise to prevent a doubling on July 1 of the 3.4 percent interest rate on undergraduate Stafford loans for more than 7 million students.

    A Texas prison inmate gets votes in Democratic primary in West Virginia, http://wapo.st/JZkFwQ
    President Obama lost about 40% of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic Primary yesterday. The votes went to a prison inmate, Keith Judd, who is incarcerated for making threats at the University of New Mexico over a decade ago. Judd paid $2,500 and filled out a form to get on the state’s ballot, although a Democratic Party spokeswoman says he does not a have a delegate for the Democratic National Convention. Meanwhile, Obama lost 18% of the vote in Oklahoma to Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist.

    (via The New York Times) Before Primary Win, Mourdock Sought to Block Chrysler’s Bailout, http://nyti.ms/IIEC7m
    Richard Mourdock set the political world abuzz late on Tuesday when he defeated the incumbent Senator Richard G. Lugar in Indiana’s Republican primary, reflecting the power of his conservative and Tea Party backers by ousting a fixture of the Senate…. Mr. Mourdock [is known] for his most notable endeavor in his tenure as Indiana state treasurer: unsuccessfully trying to block Chrysler‘s government-sponsored bankruptcy in the summer of 2009. Such was the fervor of his case that he took his fight all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court.

    Houston Hospital to Live Tweet Brain Surgery, http://bit.ly/Jf67Hz
    Houston neurosurgeon Dr. Dong Kim is live tweeting a brain surgery today starting at 8:30 am. A colleague of Kim’s will live tweet from the operating room, a video camera will  take overview shots, and a photographer will be taking pictures. Kim is removing a tumor from a 21-year-old patient who experiences seizures. He is live tweeting as part of a teaching experience. The photos and information can be found on Twitter, YouTube, TwitPic, CoverItLive, and Pinterest.

    CULTURAL:

    Delta pulls ‘Daily Show’ ads over ‘vagina manger’ skit, http://bit.ly/KaGL0G

    Tom Gabel of Against Me! Comes Out as Transgender, http://bit.ly/Lcx1AF

    Pippa Planning New York Move, http://bit.ly/JfDhW2

    Lawyer for John Travolta Accusers — More Masseurs Will Sue, http://bit.ly/IQeOd9

    Brad Pitt Is the New Face of Chanel No. 5, http://bit.ly/IQf5gg

    ‘The Voice’ champion checks in the morning after winning, http://usat.ly/IY31fa

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