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    News Round-Up: Friday, January 18, 2013

    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    Algerian special forces have freed 650 of the hostages seized by Islamists; Lance Armstrong admits to doping in an interview with Oprah; and speculation surrounds Notre Dame football star Manti Te’O and his fake girlfriend. Meanwhile, the Onion will release an “autobiography” on Vice President Biden, and Michelle Obama debuts a new haircut.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    650 hostages freed by Algerian special forces, http://bit.ly/Xhf5In
    Algerian special forces have freed 650 hostages taken by Islamists after attacking a gas field in eastern Algeria on Wednesday. Over half of the 132 foreign workers taken hostage have been freed. 10 to 20 Americans are being evacuated, while some remain unaccounted for. U.S. officials have not specified the exact number of Americans involved in the attack. “This incident will be resolved–we hope–with a minimum loss of life. But when you deal with these relentless terrorists, life is not in any way precious to them,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

    Lance Armstrong Confession: Cyclist Admits Doping During Oprah Interview, http://huff.to/13Kj8CW
    Lance Armstrong opened up about doping Thursday night in the first installment of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong openly admitted to using banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories. Earlier on Thursday, he was stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics. Armstrong noted that he was committed to restoring his reputation. “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and trying to apologize to people…for the rest of my life,” he said.

    Behind Manti Te’O hoax about girlfriend lies a deep desire to believe, http://wapo.st/XinJqA
    Following a Deadspin.com report published Wednesday, questions are circulating about the dead girlfriend of Manti Te’O, the star linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up who helped lead Notre Dame to the BCS Champion Bowl. Te’O's supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who was said to have died of leukemia, was a media fixation central to his personal story. Te’O claims the pair carried out their relationship online, and now says he was the victim of an online prank. However, controversy remains over whether the fake girlfriend may have been a publicity stunt created by Te’O himself.

    ‘Obama for America’ to morph into ‘Organizing for Action’, http://bit.ly/13LRSFd
    President Obama’s “Obama for America” re-election campaign will be relaunched as “Organizing for Action”, a non-profit organization with a mission to advocate for his second-term agenda. Organizing for Action will push for agreements on the president’s priority issues by using powerful tools from the re-election campaign including grassroots organization, social media outreach, and a large voter database. Jim Messina, who directed the 2012 campaign, will chair Organizing for Action.

    One to beam up: NASA uses a laser to send Mona Lisa to the moon, http://nbcnews.to/XimYxX
    NASA will use a laser-tracking system to make the Mona Lisa the first digital image to be transmitted via laser to the moon. NASA has previously sent laser pulses and strings of numbers to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the laser-tracking system that has been circling the moon for the past three and a half years, but this is the first time they will transmit a far more visual painting. NASA said this type of laser communication could serve in the future as a backup for the radio communication currently used by satellites, potentially allowing higher data rates of communication.

    CULTURAL 

    Biden Getting an Autobiography From the Onion (Whether He Wants It or Not), http://nyti.ms/WL5Tfh

    New ‘Do Alert: Michelle Obama Debuts Bangs, http://bit.ly/XeucCi

    Selena Gomez Talks Justin Bieber Pre-Split and Taylor Swift Friendship, http://eonli.ne/XjhJ0j

    “Django Unchained” Slave Toys Discontinued, http://tmz.me/VOHz0m

    Jennifer Lawrence: I Should Have Been in “Zero Dark Thirty”!, http://eonli.ne/SJmBAC 

     

     

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

    Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

    Lance Armstrong admits to doping; Pakistan’s Supreme Court orders the arrest of the prime minister; a woman crashes a stolen train into a Swedish apartment building; New York passes a deal for stricter gun laws; and Wal-Mart announces a veteran hiring program. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga’s bus tour starts today, and Kim Kardashian talks struggling with infertility.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Armstrong Admits Doping, and Says He Will Testify, http://rtvote.com/13zjGwu
    In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Monday, Lance Armstrong admitted to doping. “We were mesmerized and riveted” said Winfrey about Armstrong’s answers. “He did not come clean in the manner I was expecting.” The former champion cyclist will testify against cycling officials who were aware of his doping. Armstrong also told Winfrey that he admitted his drug use to staff of his charity, Livestrong, and personally called other cyclists to apologize. The interview will air in two parts this Thursday and Friday.

    Pakistan top court orders PM arrest, http://rtvote.com/13zlMMF
    Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the country’s Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, on Tuesday. The court alleges that Ashraf “violated the principle of transparency” when working on contracts for the purchase of power plants for the government as a federal minister. Authorities have 24 hours to arrest Ashraf and 16 others in connection with the case. In Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, populist cleric Muhammad Tahirul Qadri organized protests calling for reforms.

    France steps up Mali operation, Africans try to catch up, http://rtvote.com/13zowd1
    French forces bombed the Mali town of Diabaly, which is believed to be under Islamic militant control, on Monday night. French President Francois Hollande said the bomb attacks “hit their targets” and the “deployment of forces on the ground and in the air” will continue. West African defense chiefs will meet in Bamako on Tuesday to quickly deploy 3,300 African troops to Mali. Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Guinea have offered to send troops to defend the Mali government, although Nigeria has cautioned about deploying troops too quickly. The U.S. has also pledged to support the Mali government.

    STOLEN TRAIN CRASHES INTO BUILDING IN SWEDEN, http://rtvote.com/13zqQAH
    A Swedish woman stole a four-car commuter train in Stockholm Tuesday morning, driving and crashing it into an apartment building in the suburbs. Police say the woman has been seriously injured, while no one in the apartment building was hurt. Police spokesman Lars Bystrom said the woman is being held for endangering the public and that her motives are unknown. The suspect was born in 1990 and worked for a company contracted to clean for the train operator.

    Wal-Mart Plans to Hire Any Veteran Who Wants a Job, http://rtvote.com/13zrQov
    Wal-Mart will announce Tuesday that it will hire any veteran who needs a job as long as they left the military the year before and were not dishonorably discharged. The program will launch on Memorial Day and will be one of the nation’s biggest hiring commitments for veterans in history. First Lady Michelle Obama has called the superstore’s new program “historic” and that she will work to persuade other corporations to implement something similar. Wal-mart says the commitment will create 100,000 new jobs for veterans in the next five years.

    Gun bill: Ball takes shot at Cuomo, Assembly goes home, http://rtvote.com/W8q6wV
    New York state legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have reached a deal regarding gun control, including expanding the state’s assault weapons ban and further restrictions that keep guns away from the mentally ill. New York’s Senate, which has a Republican majority, passed the deal Monday night. The support came from legislators from New York City and Long Island. No Republicans from upstate New York voted for the deal, which will go to the Assembly Tuesday. Nationally, President Obama will most likely support an executive order to expand background checks on gun purchasers.

    Alex Williams explores the difficulty of Millennials transitioning from a technology-fuled “hook-up-culture” in “The End of Courtship,” http://rtvote.com/13zvWNp

    CULTURAL:

    Anna Kendrick’s Ryan Gosling Tweet Should Flatter The Actor, We Think, http://rtvote.com/W8A1m5

    Lady Gaga Pulls Born This Way Ball Into Tacoma For First U.S. Tour Stop, http://rtvote.com/W8GrSd

    Pregnant Kim Kardashian Struggled With Infertility, Talks Kris Humphries Divorce and Marrying Kanye West,http://rtvote.com/W8GzBf

    Bradley Cooper denies dating J. Law: I could be her father, http://rtvote.com/13zxzuA

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    President Obama is expected to nominate Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary; Syrian rebels release Iranian hostages in exchange for prisoners; 57 are injured in an NYC ferry crash; the U.S. may remove all troops from Afghanistan come 2014; the National Cathedral will host same-sex weddings; and Joe Biden will meet with the NRA today. Meanwhile, “Lincoln” leads the BAFTA nominations; Kate Middleton turns 31; and Glenn Beck will relaunch his media company.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Iranians held by Syria rebels released, http://bbc.in/UAbHbH
    The Free Syrian Army will release 48 Iranian hostages in exchange for 2,130 rebel prisoners being held by the Syrian government. Syrian rebels say the hostages were carrying out a mission for the Syrian government, which is closely allied with Iran. Iranian authorities admit that some of the hostages were former members of the armed forces, but claim that they were only in Syria to visit a shrine. The deal was brokered by Turkey and Qatar, which have both supported the Free Syrian Army.

    Obama Said to Name Jack Lew to Replace Geithner at Treasury, http://bloom.bg/13iqM7s
    President Obama is expected to nominate his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Geithner recently announced that he plans to leave the position at the end of the month. Lew will have to hit the ground running as his next task is working with congress on the debt ceiling.

    More than 50 injured after Seastreak ferry crashes into Pier 11, http://bit.ly/WteCTq
    At least 57 people are reportedly injured after a ferry crashed into a pier near Wall Street early Wednesday morning. The Coast Guard, NYPD, and FDNY rushed to the scene. The extent of the injuries is not yet known.

    U.S. does not rule out removing all troops from Afghanistan, http://reut.rs/XKyV5f
    The White House announced Tuesday that it would consider removing all troops from Afghanistan instead of keeping the recommended 15,000 in the country. The “zero-option” is one “we would consider,” said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes. There are currently 66,000 troops in Afghanistan with this number being gradually reduced through 2014 when the NATO combat mission ends. The amount of troops removed from the country will depend on whether or not Afghanistan becomes a place to house al Qaeda and if Afghan troops can be successfully trained for defense measures.

    Amid protests, China’s communist censors say their control over media is ‘unshakable’, http://wapo.st/13e1Ajp
    Anti-censorship protests in China’s region of Guangzhou have caused the government to issue an “urgent memo” stating that the Communist Party’s control over the media is “unshakable.” “The party has absolute control over the media,” the Propaganda Department insisted in the memo. The protests in Guangzhou resulted in clashes between “new leftists,” or government supporters who carried photos of Mao Zedong, and anti-censorship demonstrators. The memo also ordered that all media publications and websites “prominently republish” an editorial that reinforces the government’s censorship policies.

    NATIONAL CATHEDRAL TO HOST 1ST SAME-SEX WEDDINGS, http://bit.ly/11eBPzU
    The National Cathedral will become one of the first Episcopal congregations to host same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage is legal in both Washington, DC and Maryland. “I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do,” the cathedral’s dean Rev. Gary Hall said. “And my reading of the Bible leads me to want me to do this because I think it’s being faithful to the kind of community Jesus would have us be.”

    Biden, NRA to meet on guns, http://bit.ly/11chICE
    As leader of the White House’s newly created gun violence task force, Joe Biden will meet with the NRA Wednesday to discuss stricter gun laws. Biden’s task force has been working on significant changes to current gun laws and will send them to President Obama at the end of the month. The NRA has consistently rejected creating stricter gun laws, but said it would send a representative to the task force’s meeting “to hear what they have to say.”

    CULTURAL:

    Armstrong Set to Appear on Oprah Next Week, as New Allegation Surfaces, http://nyti.ms/10dyQIV

    Singer Amy Winehouse died watching YouTube videos of herself after vodka binge, inquest hears, http://bit.ly/VQeE8n

    Kate Middleton Turns 31: How She’s Celebrating Her Birthday, http://usm.ag/RG18XC

    EE British Academy Film Awards Nominations in 2013, http://bit.ly/ZpeTJ6

    Glenn Beck Relaunching The Blaze As Global Libertarian News Network, http://bit.ly/REGdnJ

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, July 9, 2012

    Monday, July 9th, 2012

    A French television station is under investigation for broadcasting footage of terrorist Mohamed Merah; thousands may lose Internet due to FBI shutdowns; and the Marine Corps Combat Endurance Test will allow female participants for the first time. Meanwhile, Usher’s stepson has been declared brain dead after a jet ski accident, and Lance Armstrong has filed a lawsuit to block his USADA hearing.

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Fury as Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah’s words broadcast, http://bbc.in/MV0LFO
    French police have launched an investigation after a TV station publicly released recordings of conversations between Islamist killer Mohamed Merah and the police during Merah’s killing spree. The station, TF1, has been condemned by France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls. Victims are outraged and considering legal injunctions to prevent further broadcasting of the recordings.

    Thousands face internet loss as FBI shuts off servershttp://bit.ly/L3Kzg4
    300,000 people, many from the US and UK, will lose internet connection today when the FBI shuts off servers that are believed to be controlled by cyber thieves. The FBI seized the servers in November 2011 and has since whittled down the infected servers from 4 million to 300 thousand. The victims’ web searches were routed through these servers where they saw advertisements. These ads generated nearly $14 million to a cyber gang. The impact from shutting off the servers is expected to be “minimal” because many of the systems are no longer in use.

    A Grueling Course for Training Marine Officers Will Open Its Doors to Women, http://nyti.ms/OpGbtn
    Beginning this September, female Marines will be able to participate in the Combat Endurance Test, the opening exercise in the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course. Women volunteers will be studied as they take the test in order to gauge the feasibility of allowing female Marines to serve in more extensive combat roles. Currently, females make up only 6% of the Marines, so a huge influx of volunteers is not expected, especially with the grueling nature of the course. The 86-day course begins with the Combat Endurance Test, which involves running to different stations, often miles apart. During the last session, of the 96 male officers who had started the endurance test, 76 passed, 7 quit, 7 were injured and 6 failed.

    CULTURAL:

    Ernest Borgnine, Oscar winner, has died at 95, http://lat.ms/N9Qkxn

    Lance Armstrong lawsuit tries to block USADA hearing, http://usat.ly/NUNF6x

    Scientologist Leader Urges Censorship of Media: ‘Stand Up and Defend Our Religion,’ http://gaw.kr/RO38de

    Usher’s Stepson Declared Brain Dead by Doctors, http://bit.ly/PG2n8G

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

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

    A civil war in Yemen is seeming more and more likely; 55 pounds of Sarah Palin’s e-mails are going straight to the media; Google messed up; and Coachella will bring more music to more ears. Also, if you’re going to the dentist soon, make sure your insurance covers Foreign Accent Syndrome.

    Maegan + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Tribesmen Seize Government Buildings in Sanaa, http://bit.ly/kO6pCj

    Rebellious tribesmen captured a number of Yemeni government buildings yesterday, including the headquarters of the party in power. 41 people died in yesterday’s fighting.

    State Prepares to Release Palin Emails, http://bit.ly/mizbsE

    At the request of several news organizations, Alaska will release 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin’s e-mails from when she was governor.

    A Curious Case of Foreign Accent Syndrome, http://n.pr/jBCU5w

    A woman, who may have suffered a small stroke after receiving anesthesia at a routine dentist appointment, has developed the incredibly rare “Foreign Accent Syndrome.” The syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to involuntarily speak with an accent. The woman likes her new accent, which she says is sort of British, Irish, and Eastern European. Another reported case notes a British woman who developed a Chinese accent after a migraine.

    Google Missed ‘Friend’ Thing, http://on.wsj.com/mfFfOP

    Former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt admitted yesterday that it was his fault Google missed the boat on utilizing social media.

    Barack Obama ’12: Not Such a Boys’ Club, http://politi.co/lkuwAk

    President Obama’s 2012 campaign has hired Juliana Smoot and Jen O’Malley Dillon to be its deputy campaign managers. Obama’s 2008 campaign consisted of mostly men, and some are decrying the two women’s hire as a stunt to make up for 2008′s gender gap. Others are saying that Smoot and O’Malley Dillon are merely the best in the campaign and fundraising games.

    Pentagon to Consider Cyberattacks Acts of War, http://nyti.ms/jfxZQy

    The Pentagon will reveal a plan for retaliation for cyberattacks. So far, the plan notes that cyberattacks from foreign countries can be considered “acts of war.” Larger details from the strategy have yet to be revealed.

    Twitter E-mails Congress Safety Tips, http://politi.co/kUhMsx

    Twitter’s Adam Sharp e-mailed congress some tips on how to keep Twitter accounts safe from hackers. Sharp’s e-mails comes four days after Rep. Anthony Weiner claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked, causing what some are now calling “Weinergate.”

    CULTURAL:

    Armstrong’s Lawyers Want Apology from ’60 Minutes,’ http://apne.ws/k4Dj1E

    Steve Martin Caught in $130,000 Art Forgery Flap over “Landscape with Horses” Painting, http://nyp.st/iqsosq

    Mitt Romney Admits that He’s a Twihard, http://bit.ly/iy1KoZ

    Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” Highest Selling Album in 6 Years, http://bit.ly/mJtDmY

    It’s a Boy for Real Housewife Kim Zolciak, http://bit.ly/lxVOJ5

    Coachella Expanding to Two Weekends in 2012, http://bit.ly/lGoyFO

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