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    News Round-Up: Thursday, February 6th, 2014

    Thursday, February 6th, 2014

    An All-Star pitcher is diagnosed with cancer; NYC schools undergo some holiday changes; outrage erupts after a trial’s conclusion; another murder trial begins; and Sochi officials fire back at critics. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber makes headlines yet again; Kevin Jonas posts an adorable picture of his daughter; Jon Gosselin has some serious things to say; and Emma Watson’s Wonderland interview is out!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer: http://rtvote.com/1fKY2vI
    47-year-old pitching legend Curt Schilling shocked the sports community yesterday when he revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Boston Red Sox, winning three World Series Championships. Schilling was due to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this MLB season.

    NYC Schools to Get Islamic, Lunar Holidays Off: http://rtvote.com/1jiuyIO
    New York City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio has begun instigating some new schooling policies. Soon, NYC public schools will close for various Muslim holidays (including Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two Islamic holy days) and the Chinese New Year. De Blasio says he wants to take time to adjust school calendars to make these new changes.

    No jail for ‘affluenza’ teen in fatal car crash draws outrage: http://rtvote.com/1byx3SA
    The Texas boy responsible for hitting a group of people (killing four and injuring nine) due to driving under the influence will not receive jail time. Instead, 17-year-old Ethan Couch will be on probation for ten years and will attend rehab for an unspecified amount of time. His defense team used the ‘affluenza’ defense; this stated that Couch had been spoiled by his wealthy family and felt entitled and lacked good judgment. Psychologists believe that the future use of the affluenza defense could almost reinforce recklessness and bad judgment.

    ‘Loud music’ murder trial begins: http://rtvote.com/1eBp5t2
    The trial for the Florida man accused of shooting and killing a 17-year-old in late 2012 is being put on trial. The man, Michael Dunn, noticed an SUV was playing loud music at a gas station and asked the people inside to turn it down. Allegedly, one occupant withdrew a shotgun, prompting Dunn to grab his own gun and shoot eight times into the car, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn waited before calling police, who did not find a weapon in the SUV. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. The trial should not last until February 14th.

    Russian Officials Fire Back at Olympic Critics: http://rtvote.com/1ndDX1C
    Dmitry Kozak, the top person responsible for the Sochi Olympic preparations, has been firing back at critics, saying they have surveillance video of people purposely trying to sabotage their hotel rooms. Kozak also said they’ve only received 103 complaints after housing over 100,000 guests. Olympic athletes like American speed skater Sugar Todd say that their hotel rooms do not have any problems. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson says that Sochi’s organizers are almost definitely working to solve the problems.

    CULTURAL

    The truth behind Justin Bieber’s “Pot Plane” scandal: http://rtvote.com/1fWnDRK

    Cute pic of Kevin Jonas’s daughter! http://rtvote.com/1fL6dYS 

    Jon Gosselin spouts off some serious stuff about Kate: http://rtvote.com/1khikAc

    See parts of Emma Watson’s Wonderland interview: http://rtvote.com/N8WRfD    

    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, February 10, 2012

    Friday, February 10th, 2012

    In today’s news, the $25 billion housing settlement may harm more homeowners than help them; The White House will announce a compromise on its contraceptive rule; 25 more are dead in Syria after bombings in Aleppo last night; the Muslim Brotherhood wants the Egyptian military government to step down; and $4 billion worth of meth has been seized in western Mexico. Meanwhile, in LA, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, and others attended the launch for Rock the Vote’s new apparel line with Original Retrobrand (see the line here: http://bit.ly/w4E4yv); President Obama joins Spotify; Naomi Watts will play Princess Diana in a new biopic; and the 2011 World Press Photo of the Year has been announced.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Foreclosure Deal to Spur U.S. Home Seizures, http://bloom.bg/zxDDzC
    Bloomberg is reporting that the $25 billion mortgage crisis settlement reached between states and the U.S.’s five biggest banks will actually speed up the rate of home seizures. Although the settlement allows for a long-term housing recovery, homeowners who were fighting banks in court may soon have their houses taken as the settlement brings an end to legal battles. Many Americans owing more than the cost of their homes will be forced to foreclose. Despite this, as many as 2 million Americans will receive money from the settlement, which is the largest civil-action suit against the housing industry in history.

    (via POLITICO) The White House plans to announce a compromise on its new rule requiring employers to provide contraceptives as part of health insurance coverage, aimed at allaying the concerns of religious organizations, a senior administration official confirmed to POLITICO. The announcement is expected as early as Friday.

    ‘Scores killed’ in shelling of Syria’s Homs, http://aje.me/xeDSeh
    Human-rights activists have reported that 110 people were killed from government shelling and snipers in Homs yesterday. In between attacks, civilians used loudspeakers to ask for medical supplies as hospitals have been overcrowded with civilian casualties. Today, 25 were killed in the previously unaffected city of Aleppo after bombs went off near two security compounds. The UN is considering an Arab League proposal that would include a joint monitoring of the Syrian government while the U.S., Turkey, and others are creating “Friends of Democratic Syria” in support of the opposition. Senator John McCain has found these responses to the Syrian government’s shelling of its people inadequate. He has called for foreign countries to arm Syrian rebels instead.

    Muslim Brotherhood Demands Military Cede Power in Egypt, http://nyti.ms/xhYAf7
    Due to the increased violence and protesting in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has demanded that the country’s military government step down and hand over power to a civilian prime minister. The group, a once outlawed Islamist organization that now holds the majority of Egypt’s parliament, had said that it would wait for the planned government transition in June. However, the group has since changed its mind as protests in Egypt have become more frequent and violent, an economic crisis is looming, and the U.S. has threatened to withdraw financial aid after criminal charges were filed against 16 American NGOs working on the country’s government transition.

    Mexican Army Finds 15 Tons of Pure Methamphetamine, http://abcn.ws/xCUjD6
    The Mexican Army found and confiscated 15 tons, or $4 billion worth, of meth in western Mexico yesterday. Many are speculating that the meth is from the infamous Sinaloa cartel as it usually deals with large quantities of drugs. Experts are now saying that Mexico has become a prime meth source worldwide and not just in the United States.

    Santorum, Romney in Dead Heat in Pennsylvania, http://on.wsj.com/xlRnvu
    After winning Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado, Rick Santorum is now in dead heat with Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania according to the The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV poll. Despite the tight race in the state where Santorum was once Senator, 55% of Pennsylvanians polled believed Romney could beat President Obama while only 9% said Santorum had the makings of a president. In a national Gallup Poll, Santorum is tied with New Gingrich with 20% of the vote while Romney has 36%.

    Steve Jobs’ FBI File Released, http://gaw.kr/zOn7VH
    The FBI has released a 191-page document on Steve Jobs that was compiled when he was considered for an appointment to President George Bush’s Export Council. Those interviewed for the report say that Jobs is the type of person who “will twist the truth” as he’s a “deceptive individual” who will only do well “if he gets his way.” Once source told the FBI that Jobs’ “moral character is questionable,” and several people brought up his past drug use. The document also has information on a 1985 bomb threat made against the now deceased Apple CEO.

    CULTURAL:

    Joe & Kevin Jonas Rock The Vote, http://bit.ly/AolBA6

    What Obama’s Playlist Says About His Re-Election Campaign, http://bit.ly/wPauk1

    Princess Diana biopic to capture final two years of life, http://bit.ly/zmkJeI

    Chelsea Handler Discusses Her Teenage Pregnancy And Decision To Have An Abortion, On ‘The Rosie Show,’ http://huff.to/wxagwH

    The 2011 World Press Photo of the Year, http://ti.me/wWHy4h

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