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    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: Monday, Apri 29, 2013

    Monday, April 29th, 2013
    Up to 55 people are injured after a gas explosion at a Prague school; a student shoots himself in an Ohio classroom; The New York Times reports that the C.I.A. has been delivering millions of dollars to Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Russian officials reveal Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother discussed jihad in 2011; and the Syrian Prime Minister escapes an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Jason Collins is the first professional athlete to come out as gay; the Jets release Tim Tebow; and Kristen Wiig will host SNL.
    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Dozens hurt in Prague building blast, http://rtvote.com/187QNcR
    Close to 55 people were injured after a reported gas explosion at a film and TV school in Prague. Rescuers have started sifting through debris, looking for at least two people that are unaccounted for. The explosion caused the first floor of the school to collapse and shattered windows in nearby buildings.

    Student shoots self in classroom at La Salle, http://rtvote.com/11wPYoP
    A student at La Salle High School in Hamilton County, Ohio shot himself in a classroom Monday morning. The student has not been identified and is currently hospitalized.

    With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan, http://rtvote.com/ZZ29IV
    According to The New York Times, the C.I.A. has been secretly delivering large sums of cash to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for over ten years. The tens of millions of dollars has been delivered in suitcases, backpacks, and plastic bags. The C.I.A. has been using the money to pay off warlords and politicians, many of whom are connected to the drug trade. The pay offs have not exactly worked, however, as corruption is still rampant. “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” an American official told the Times, “was the United States.”

    Russians to US: Boston bombing suspect, mother discussed jihad in 2011, http://rtvote.com/187RFhJ
    Russian authorities have told U.S. officials that they suspected Tamerlan Tsarnaev was linked to radical Islam after they recorded a telephone conversation between him and his mother where they discussed jihad and a trip to Palestine. Counterterrorism experts say that the phone call is suspicious but does not provide enough indication that the suspected Boston bomber was plotting an attack. Authorities are more concerned about Tamerlan’s trip to Dagestan in 2012, and whether he and his brother had any help in planning the Boston marathon attacks.

    Syrian Prime Minister Escapes Assassination Bid, http://rtvote.com/187RXW1
    Syria’s Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi has evaded an assassination attempt that took place in a wealthy Damascus neighborhood.  The car bomb was detonated near the prime minister’s convoy, killing one of his bodyguards. As Syria’s civil war continues, there have been numerous assassination attempts on high-ranking officials. Last week, an official was killed with a silenced gun in a restaurant.

    Lawyers, public chant “hang him” as Bangladesh building owner led to court, http://rtvote.com/ZZ6iMS
    The death toll from the collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory has risen to 381. There is little chance of finding more survivors after a fire erupted Sunday night at the building site. 3,000, mostly female, workers were employed at the factory which made clothing for Western brands. The building’s owner was arrested Sunday as he was trying to flee the country. Officials say the factory was structurally unsafe and built in a swampy area without the right permits.
    In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites, http://rtvote.com/11wRx6l
    According to a new analysis from the Brookings Institution and the Associated Press, the rate of African-American voters surpassed that of whites for the first time ever in 2012. African-Americans also voted in larger margins than any other minority group.
    CULTURAL:
    Jets waive Tim Tebow after one season, http://rtvote.com/11wSk7e

    Michael Jackson wrongful death trial to open, http://rtvote.com/187T8Vp

    Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now, http://rtvote.com/187WfwC

    Kristen Wiig coming back to host ‘SNL’: What we do and don’t want to see again!, http://rtvote.com/ZLrLP0

    ‘Jersey Shore’ star hospitalized in Florida, http://rtvote.com/ZLrVWr

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