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    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