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    News Round-Up: November 21, 2013

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013

    Partisan gridlock continues as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a ‘nuclear option’; Congressman Radel (R-Fla) is busted for cocaine purchase but doesn’t resign; and a volcanic eruption has led to the arrival of a tiny new island in Japan. Meanwhile, Miley is at it again! as she bleaches her eyebrows & posts to Instagram; an O.C. cast member and former Gossip Girl star are set to get hitched; and Jennifer Lawrence gets teased by her Catching Fire co-stars.
    - Maura + Veronica

    CRUCIAL 

    Harry Reid may go ‘nuclear’ Thursday, http://rtvote.com/1h50yii
    Tension and dysfunction in Washington, D.C. continues and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is poised to do something about it. After a slew of executive nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was thwarted by Republicans, Senator Reid may move toward a historic change to the Senate rules that would eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday. If a second round of votes to choose from the nominees fails, the Senator may move to make a change of rules the Senate based on a majority vote.  Stay tuned for more as this develops.

    Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to take leave of absence after guilty plea to cocaine charge, http://rtvote.com/1ek5Anu
    On Wednesday, the 37-year-old lawmaker and freshman Congressman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug-possession charge in D.C.  Superior Court.  He was arrested last month outside of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. after purchasing cocaine from an undercover officer. In a late night press conference Wednesday, the Congressman apologized to his constituents in Florida, but will not resign from his post.

    Karzai Says Security Pack With U.S. Should Be Signed Next Year, http://rtvote.com/1dkJWT1
    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signaled that a security deal with the U.S. may not be finalized until next year, even if it is ratified by a grand council of Afghan leaders this week. He asked the council to place the agreement on hold until after his successor is elected, but was unclear on what that timeline looks like. This would put a final agreement on hold and could keep American and NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

    Volcano spawns new Japanese island, http://rtvote.com/1dkMlx3
    Japan is fired up! A recent undersea volcanic eruption has given Japan a tiny new patch of territory that currently measures about 660 feet in diameter and is located just off the coast of Nishinoshima. However, the country will put naming its newest addition on hold until they are sure that the sea will not engulf it.

    LRA leader Joseph Kony ‘in surrender talks’ with CAR, http://rtvote.com/1ixTmtZ
    A spokesperson of the Central African Republic (CAR) has said that it is in talks with Joseph Kony, the infamous Ugandan warlard. His rebellion in northern Uganda began more than 20 years ago and his fighters became known for abducting children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and the United States government has offered up $5million for any leads that result in his arrest.

    CULTURAL
    ‘Catching Fire’ stars joke about Jennifer Lawrence’s ego: ‘You can hardly talk to her’, http://rtvote.com/19KDrkq

    Lullaby time: Kelly Clarkson is expecting first baby, http://rtvote.com/1bUmY1U

    Miley Cyrus Bleaches Her Eyebrows, Parties With Miranda Kerr and Lily Allen—See the Pics!, http://rtvote.com/1aTKCab

    Leighton Meester, Adam Brody Are Engaged! Former Gossip Girl Star and O.C. Stud to Wed, http://rtvote.com/19KFepp

    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, March 9, 2012

    Friday, March 9th, 2012

    Syrian opposition rejects talks with President Bashar al Assad; the Taliban has threatened attacks if Pakistan does not release Osama bin Laden’s widows; and the Obama administration comes out in support of Invisible Children’s Kony bill. Meanwhile, Rock the Vote will debut its “Scan to Vote” QR t-shirts at SXSW. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Rockthevote and at Facebook.com/rockthevote for updates from the festival.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Syria opposition chief rejects talks, http://bit.ly/wgryD4
    Burhan Ghalioun, the head of the rebel Syrian National Council, has refused Kofi Annan’s suggestion that the opposition hold talks with Syrian president Bashar al Assad. In an interview with the Associated Press, Ghalioun said the request was unrealistic and that Annan had failed the Syrian people. Annan will meet with Assad this weekend.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) The economy added 227,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.

    Pakistan Taliban demand release of bin Laden’s widows, threaten attacks, http://reut.rs/wHwQjm
    The Taliban has vowed to carry out suicide attacks if the Pakistani government, police, and military do not release Osama bin Laden’s three widows from their custody. On Thursday, Pakistan’s government charged the women with entering the country illegally. Pakistan has been interviewing them to find out how bin Laden managed to stay in the country without being discovered. The Tehrik-e-Taliban, the branch of the Taliban that has promised attacks, has executed major assaults against an American consulate and an American naval base.

    U.S. and Afghanistan Agree on Handover of Prisoners, http://nyti.ms/A3rlSB
    The United States has agreed to hand over 3,200 Afghan prisoners, most of them Taliban insurgents, to the Afghan government far sooner than expected. In what some think is an effort to make up for the NATO burning of Q’rans, the United States will allow for a six-month transition period for the prisoners as opposed to releasing them in 2014 as originally planned.

    Kony 2012 campaign gets support of Obama, others, http://wapo.st/A6LKRb
    The Obama administration has come out in support of an online film aimed at drawing attention to Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord Resistance’s Army, a violent and child-kidnapping militaristic group. The film, released by charity Invisible Children, has gone viral, garnering 48 million views on YouTube and Vimeo. Invisible Children has also created a bill to bring aid and peace to Uganda, and The White House has confirmed its support of the bill. Despite this, Invisible Children has been criticized for oversimplifying the situation in Uganda and for also being factually incorrect.

    (via POLITICO) At SXSW, register to vote QR codes, http://politi.co/x6EIp9
    At this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, Warby Parker, a hip eyeglass company based out of New York, and Rock the Vote are teaming up on “Scan to Vote” QR code t-shirts that will allow users to register to vote directly from whatever smartphone they use to scan the QR code…. The shirts can be found from March 12 to March 14 at Warby Parker’s Citizen Circus at SXSW, an annual conference that focuses on music, technology, and film.

    CULTURAL:

    Facebook Co-Founder Buys The New Republic, http://bit.ly/AvNqyu

    Smacketology: a tournament to determine The Wire’s greatest character, http://es.pn/xghfsJ

    Jessica Biel Finally Shows Off Her Massive Engagement Ring With Justin Timberlake, http://eonli.ne/yxCb9v

    South by Southwest: Five Things to Know About the Texan Film Festival, http://eonli.ne/yVupNU

    ‘Disco Inferno’ singer Jimmy Ellis dies at age 74, http://bit.ly/x55Fxx

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