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    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Thursday, March 6th, 2014

    Crimean lawmakers have voted to join Russia; a news anchor quits on her live show; Staples plans to close nearly 10 percent of its stores in and around the United States; and parents commit fraud for football. Meanwhile, kids recreate the 2014 Oscar’s best fashion looks; Katy Perry tries her hand at meteorology in Australia; Aaron Carter reveals lingering feelings for a Hollywood star; and see what Oscar winning actors actually do with the statue!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Breaking News: Crimea lawmakers vote to join Russia: http://rtvote.com/1dvBwGw
    Crimean lawmakers voted to leave Ukraine for Russia earlier, forcing citizens to choose if they want to remain in Ukraine or join Russia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, however, says that the referendum proposed by the Crimean lawmakers who voted for the separation has “no legal grounds at all” and is an “illegitimate decision.” Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko says that the referendum is indeed invalid because in Ukraine, referendums can only be passed by the national government. However, Crimea’s government is staunchly pro-Russia, and they do not recognize the interim, pro-West national government in Kiev.

    Anchor quits: I can’t be part of network ‘that whitewashes’ Putin’s actions: http://rtvote.com/1f1C2gy
    Russia Today news anchor Liz Wahl quit her job on-air at the end of her show on Wednesday. She said that due to her past (being a member of a family who fled Hungary to escape the Soviet Union in the 1950s), she “cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.” The network responded, calling Wahl’s actions a “self-promotional stunt.” This action follows the similar outburst from Russia Today personality Abby Martin, who split from the pro-Russian repertoire and denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

    Parents, students cheat to attend Atlanta school: http://rtvote.com/1f1GmMQ
    An Atlanta school is under fire from new cheating allegations coming to light. Parents of football players at Grady High School faked their children’s addresses solely so their children could play football at that school. Out of the 58 players on Grady High School’s football team, fourteen have faked papers. Currently, some students connected with the fraud have withdrawn from the school, and others had tuition bills sent to them. The school’s superintendent, Erroll Davis, is debating whether to press criminal or civil charges on the parents accused of fraud.

    Barbie, remove that Girl Scout tie, ad group says: http://rtvote.com/1cF9PHO
    A new ad featuring Barbie tied in with Girl Scouts has sparked controversy from consumer advocacy groups. The “Be Anything, Do Anything” patch allows Girl Scouts in kindergarten through third grade to look at different careers in a booklet with a Barbie theme. The groups believe that using Barbie as a role model for Girl Scouts “undermines the Girl Scouts vital mission.” Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, is bringing the issue to light now because the Girl Scouts of America did not agree to remove the partnership in private talks. Kelly Parisi, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts, says that using Barbie enables them to tell girls that “they can do anything.”

    Staples to close 225 stores as sales move online: http://rtvote.com/1idGUOj
    Staples plans on closing 10 percent of its North American stores by the end of 2015. The store chain says nearly 50 percent of its sales are online, and that it wants to be more monetarily efficient. A majority of their 1,846 stores are in the United States, and Staples has yet to comment on how many jobs are being cut due to store closures. However, Staples CEO Ron Sargent says that the chain will not give up on actual stores due to the service customers can receive there, and the overall convenience of stores.

    CULTURAL

    What celebrities do with their Oscars: http://rtvote.com/NXNWgP

    Kids recreating Oscar looks: http://rtvote.com/1gUZOc3

    Here’s the host of the 2014 MTV Movie Awards! http://rtvote.com/1dvUsVM

    Katy Perry’s new day job: meteorologist? http://rtvote.com/1oulQ8d

    Aaron Carter can’t get over a romance that happened over 10 years ago! http://rtvote.com/1qbNqe3

    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, 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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 

    CULTURAL

    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB

     

    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: December 11, 2013

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

    The Nevada family that never returned from playing in the snow has been found and rescued; Senator Ted Cruz walks out on Cuban President Raul Castro’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service; and a family struggles to get people to help those with mental illnesses. Meanwhile, Demi Lovato talks about her struggles with cocaine addiction, and Kate Winslet gives birth to her first child!

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Meteor explodes over Arizona; big meteor shower begins,http://rtvote.com/IPLo1k
    A tremendous boom rattled the houses of residents in Tucson, Arizona. The largest meteor shower of the year, Geminid, seemed to be giving them a sneak preview. A dash cam caught the spectacular meteor on video. The Geminid meter shower officially starts Thursday.

    Senator’s chief of staff under investigation involving child porn allegations,http://rtvote.com/1jOt0od
    Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Tuesday that law enforcement officials were searching the home of his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, regarding allegations involving child pornography. The Senator has placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. His office is fully cooperating with the investigation.

    Lost Nevada family warmed rocks by fire to survive snow for 2 days,http://rtvote.com/18C9iV8
    The Nevada family that went out to play in the snow and never returned has finally been found and rescued. James Glanton, 34, and his girlfriend, Christina McIntee, remained calm after their jeep overturned and slid down an embankment, trapping them in the cold weather. Glanton and McIntee cleverly warmed rocks to start a fire to keep the children, 3 to 10, warm at night. The hospital says they are stable with no frostbite, just some exposure issues.

    Sen. Cruz walks out on Castro speech at Mandela memorial,http://rtvote.com/18mkKcz
    Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, part of a Congressional delegation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, walked out of the service when Cuban President Raul Castro took to the stage and delivered his speech. A spokesperson for Cruz stated they he hopes that Castro can learn from the lessons of Mandela by releasing his political prisoners and holding free elections for the Cuban people. Before eulogizing Mandela, President Obama shook Raul Castro’s hand – a remarkable gesture between the leaders of two nations that have not shared diplomacy in over half a century.

    ‘My Son is Mentally Ill’ So Listen Uphttp://rtvote.com/1iXk16p
    Stephanie Escamilla and her 14-year-old son tell their powerful story of having a family member who has a mental illness. They urge this nation and its people to stop neglecting those who are mentally ill. 1 in 4 American adults suffer from mental illness; 1 in 5 children have a mental disorder. Something has to be done for those who are oftentimes bullied, ignored, and marginalized in society for their condition.

     

    CULTURAL

    LeAnn Rimes Breaks Down in Tears Singing at American Country Awards,http://rtvote.com/1iXmKwx

    Demi Lovato Talks Past Drug Use: “I Couldn’t Go 30 Minutes to an Hour Without Cocaine,” http://rtvote.com/1gpHuev

    Kate Winslet Gives Birth to a Baby Boy, Her First child With Husband Ned Rocknroll, http://rtvote.com/1h0kjot

    Katy Perry: Russell Brand Wanted Me to Have Children as a Way of Control,http://rtvote.com/18mnd6H

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Thursday, June 21st, 2012

    The Supreme Court may rule on the individual mandate today; a refugee boat has capsized off Australia; and closing arguments begin in the Sandusky trial. In other news, Katy Perry will open her own record label, and ‘The Today Show’ prepares to drop Ann Curry.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Supreme Court Health Care Ruling: Individual Mandate Decision May Be Announced Thursday, http://huff.to/LiHP4o
    After much anticipation, the Supreme Court is expected to reach its decision on whether the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is constitutional by the end of the month. If no ruling is issued today, the decision could come next Monday. In arguments in March, the five Republican-appointed justices seemed to lean strongly toward invalidating the individual health-insurance mandate, while the four Democratic-appointed justices supported the law.

    Asylum-seeker boat carrying 200 capsizes off Australia, http://bit.ly/PA7TGh
    A refugee boat carrying an estimated 200 people capsized today off the Australian coast, near Christmas Island. Authorities said that they did not yet know how many survived the accident. Indonesian authorities said that two Indonesian naval ships were headed to the site to aid in the rescue, which is said to have involved refugees seeking asylum in Australia.

    Judge tosses 3 of 51 counts against Sandusky, http://usat.ly/KB0dEl
    Judge John Cleland has dismissed three of the 51 charges of child sex-abuse that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces.  Cleland found insufficient evidence in one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count of aggravated indecent assault involving the accuser known as Victim 4. Another charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse involving another boy was dismissed because Cleland said it duplicated another count. Attorneys are now beginning closing arguments in the high-profile case that led to the firing of longtime head coach Joe Paterno.

    CULTURAL:

    Katy Perry to Launch Her Own Record Label, http://bit.ly/NcQu3n

    ‘Today’ preparing to drop Ann Curry, http://bit.ly/MxqRuY

    ‘Monsters University’ debuts four new trailers — each with a slight mutation – VIDEO, bit.ly/LiBDte

    Gisele Bündchen Shows Off Small Baby Bump in Brazil, http://bit.ly/MBUzgk

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

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