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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    President Obama advocates for bipartisanship and economic reforms in his State of the Union speech; Marco Rubio responds with a now infamous swig of water; Christopher Dorner is presumed dead from a fire; the pope gives his last public mass before his retirement; the Senate Armed Services Committee approves Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense; and a New York Times reporter finds that calorie listings on foods can be highly inaccurate. Meanwhile, a rare Affenpinscher named Banana Joe wins the Westminster Dog Show; Justin Bieber says The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney should be ‘slapped around;’ and more revealing pictures of Kate Middleton are set to be released.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Obama Pivots Left on Economy in State of the Union Speech, http://rtvote.com/11GAtzA
    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama advocated for bipartisanship within the government and economic reforms. “It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth,” he said. Obama went on to call for an increased minimum wage, a reformed pre-school education system, carbon regulation, immigration reform, and stricter gun laws.

    Did the police start fire that killed Christopher Dorner?, http://rtvote.com/15cBX3i
    The search for Christopher Dorner is over as a cabin he barricaded himself in was burned to the ground last night. Unconfirmed audio for a police scanner points to police starting the fire, which most likely killed Dorner. The ex-LAPD officer stole a car and shot two officers, killing one, during a shootout where he escaped into the cabin.

    Marco Rubio Winsome in Response to Obama, Rand Paul Mostly Feisty, http://rtvote.com/YdwJz2
    On Tuesday night, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio responded to President Obama’s State of the Union speech on behalf of the Republican party. Rubio attacked the president for his stance on taxes and government spending. A particularly memorable moment was when Rubio paused to drink from a water bottle in the middle of speaking. The moment immediately went viral on the Internet. On Good Morning America, Rubio said in regard to the sip, “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human.”

    Pope Says Exit Is for ‘Good of the Church’, http://rtvote.com/11GF7O3
    In what is most likely his last public Mass as pope, Benedict XVI said that he is resigning for the “good of the church.” He also went on to thank his followers for their “love and support.” He cited his health as the reason for his retirement, explaining that he could no longer carry out his responsibilities effectively. The pope’s resignation will take effect February 28.

    Senate Armed Services Committee approves Hagel 14 to 11, http://rtvote.com/YdxW9u
    The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Chuck Hagel as the president’s Secretary of Defense. Hagel was barely approved with the committee voting 14 to 11 to have his nomination go to a vote in the Senate.

    Thai insurgents attack army base, troops kill 16, http://rtvote.com/11GE0Ol
    Sixteen Muslim insurgents were killed by Thai troops in a raid on Wednesday morning. The insurgents were trying to invade a military base in northern Thailand when Thai marines opened fire. The attack indicates the increased number of Muslim insurgents entering Thailand, which is a Buddhist-controlled country.

    Casey Neistat finds that calorie listings on foods can be highly inaccurate in “Calorie Detective,” http://rtvote.com/15cHxTz

    CULTURAL:

    “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin expecting child with new wife, http://rtvote.com/11GDMa3

    Lady Gaga suffers ‘show injury,’ postpones tour for a week, http://rtvote.com/XLmUZl

    Want a Dog Like Banana Joe? There Are 7 For Sale in America, http://rtvote.com/11GG1tU

    Chi Magazine Defends Kate Middleton Baby Pics: U.K. Channel ITV Apologizes for Showing Unblurred Cover,http://rtvote.com/11GG6he

    Justin Bieber Responds to Black Keys’ Drummer Grammy Diss, http://rtvote.com/11GG8Wg

    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: Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Obama will announce the withdrawal of 34K troops from Afghanistan in his State of the Union address; North Korea conducts its most powerful nuclear test yet; a new report reveals that Pope Benedict XVI had secret heart surgery; a blast on Turkey and Syria’s border kills 14; ex-LAPD cop Steve Dorner may have had an accomplice; the Philippines hope for Asia’s first pope; and Twitter and Amex allow customers to buy items via hashtags. Meanwhile, wrestling will no longer be an Olympic sport; Adele’s Grammy crasher is arrested; and Rihanna takes a sad bath in her new music video.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    AP SOURCE: OBAMA TO ANNOUNCE THAT 34K US TROOPS TO BE HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN A YEAR FROM TODAY,http://rtvote.com/Y9S0cV
    According to the Associated Press, President Obama will announce the withdrawal of 34,000 troops from Afghanistan one year from today. He is set to reveal these plans during tonight’s State of the Union address. Yesterday, Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha, who fought to save his fellow soliders during an insurgent attack orchestrated by al Qaeda. During the State of the Union, President Obama will most likely address the economy, the middle class, and his presidency. The address begins at 9:00 PM E.T.

    North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test, http://rtvote.com/XGxbGa
    North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet last night, defying U.N resolutions. The test has caused strong condemnation from other countries, including China which is the country’s only major ally. President Obama called the detonation “highly provocative” and said that it “undermines regional stability.”  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the test as a “clear and grave violation” of the U.N.’s resolutions. North Korea is working to enhance its nuclear systems, yet it is a long time away from miniaturizing devices for missiles.

    Pope Benedict Had Heart Surgery Three Months Ago, Il Sole Says, http://rtvote.com/XGE6Pw
    The newspaper Il Sole is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his retirement yesterday, had heart surgery and a new pacemaker put in three months ago. The Vatican confirmed that the pope has been using a pacemaker for a long time, but that he is in good health. The surgery, which was kept secret, had no complications but made the pope reconsider whether he is well enough for the post.

    Deadly bus blast hits Turkey’s Syria border, http://rtvote.com/159elNc
    At least 14 were killed and 26 wounded after a minibus exploded near Turkey and Syria’s border Tuesday. The explosion took place at a popular crossing for Syrian refugees. A spokesman for the Turkish government said that Syrian forces were behind the “powerful explosion.”  He went on to add that, “The information that we have for now is that a minibus with Syrian number plates coming from the other side exploded.”

    Dorner may have had help in trying to flee to Mexico, http://rtvote.com/XGySn2
    Authorities are considering the possibility that Steve Dorner, the ex-LAPD cop who is wanted for the murder of three, may have had an accomplice that helped him escape to Mexico. A report detailing Dorner’s path after the murders was released in court records Monday. It highlights Dorner’s efforts to steal a boat and subdue its captain in San Diego. There is a $1 million reward for Dorner’s capture. Murder and attempted-murder charges have already been filed against him.

    Busted toilets, hot rooms, headaches after fire strands cruise ship in Gulf, http://rtvote.com/159az6t
    A Carnival cruise ship is currently stranded off of the Gulf of Mexico with 3,143 passengers on board. An engine fire caused the ship to become immobile on Sunday. Passengers are facing a shortage of running water, electricity, and food. One passenger reported “sewage running down the walls and floors” and that those on board were being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers. Lines for food surpass 3.5 hours, and many passengers are sleeping outside due to the lack of air conditioning.

    Philippines Catholics hope, pray for Asia’s first pope, http://rtvote.com/11E1eog
    The Philippines’ Catholics, the largest Christian community in Asia, are hoping that their own Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will replace Pope Benedict XVI when he resigns on February 28th. “The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell,” said Tagle regarding the pope’s retirement. While his election is far from certain, Tagle has a reputation as a lively Vatican insider and former adviser to the pope.

    Twitter and Amex to let you pay with a hashtag, http://rtvote.com/11DYuY5
    Twitter and American Express have teamed up to allow customers to purchase items via a hashtag. Users who sign up to buy items will be able to tweet an Amex related hashtag when ready to purchase. The customers will know their purchase has gone through once they’ve received a confirmation hashtag from Amex. The new initiative will begin Wednesday morning.

    CULTURAL:

    IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics, http://rtvote.com/11DYpne

    Adele’s Grammy Speech Crasher Arrested After Getting Stink-Eye From Jennifer Lopez, http://rtvote.com/Ya2MQh

    Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ Video, Featuring Mikky Echo: The Saddest Bath In The World, http://rtvote.com/11E3Ja7

    ABC, Univision unveil joint venture’s name: Fusion, http://rtvote.com/XGJdiN

    Justin Timberlake Calls New Album ‘The Best Stuff I’ve Ever Done’, http://rtvote.com/XGJhiy

    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, February 11, 2013

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign since 1415, the search for an ex-cop at the center of an LAPD revenge plot widens, and sources predict an aggressive State of the Union address from Obama. Meanwhile, Grammy winners celebrate their awards, Justin Timberlake makes his musical return with a retro Grammy performance, and Tiger Woods may be dating Lindsay Vonn.

    CRUCIAL: 

    Pope Benedict XVI To Resign, http://huff.to/VPiqiC
    Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign the papacy on February 28, citing health concerns and old age. The pope, who is 85, will the be the first pope to resign since 1415. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to a certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” said Pope Benedict. Benedict had already been the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years when he was elected in 2005 at age 78. Since there will be no need for the mourning period that traditionally follows the death of a pope, the Vatican will hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March.

    Search for ex-cop at center of LAPD revenge plot widens, http://bit.ly/Y4Icz7
    Authorities are entering the second week of a manhunt for former LAPD cop Christopher Dorner, who released an online manifesto targeting police officers and their families. Dorner says he is seeking revenge for being fired from the police department and is so far accused of killing three, including the daughter of a former LAPD police chief and another former cop. The search for Dorner has widened to become one of the largest in the history of Southern California. Los Angeles announced a $1 million reward on Sunday for help in catching Dorner.

    Obama’s State of the Union 2013: Aggressive, http://politi.co/WEATlU
    Democrats close to Obama hint that the president plans to use his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to challenge the Republican Party and put his opposition on the defensive. West Wing leaks suggest viewers should expect an address much more aggressive than his 2009 SOTU, in which he called for peaceful, bipartisan collaboration. The address is likely to build upon Obama’s progressive Inauguration speech and supposedly will center on jobs creation, the middle class, and infrastructure projects, all key areas for partisan debate. The speech will also mark the debut of Cody Keenan, who wrote for Ted Kennedy, as Obama’s new chief speechwriter. Florida Senator and rising Republican star Marco Rubio will likely generate buzz when he delivers the GOP’s rebuttal speech.

    Graham on Brennan, Hagel: ‘No confirmation without information,’ http://bit.ly/12mIT9R
    Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he would hold up Obama’s nominees to head the CIA and Defense department until he gets more information about the administration’s response to September’s Benghazi attack. “No confirmation without information,” Graham said, addressing whether he would allow the nominations of John Brennan and Chuck Hagel to go forward. Graham specifically asked whether Obama had called Libyan officials and asked them to allow a rescue team to go to the consulate that night, saying he believes American lives could have been saved had the president called the government. ” I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed secretary of defense until the White House gives us an accounting,” he said.

    Tornado tears through southern Mississippi, http://bit.ly/Wc6ZDM
    At least 12 were injured when a tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Sunday, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in four counties. The University of Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg, received significant damage to several buildings as a result of the storm, though none were injured there. No one has been killed so far, authorities reported, though many town structures were impacted. “If there is a good thing about this, it happened on a Sunday when most of these structures were vacant,” mayor of Hattiesburg John DuPree said.

    Local Students Want “Traditional Prom”, Gays Banned, http://bit.ly/Y4iRHc
    A group of students, parents, and at least one teacher at a high school in Sullivan, Indiana are advocating for a “traditional” prom that would ban gay students. Sullivan High School insisted that they cannot legally allow such a prom, inspiring the group to organize at a church on Sunday and discuss options for holding a separate prom. “We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” one high school student said. Though the movement has garnered support from several local pastors, not all in the community agree with it. “The feeling of being loved and belonging is universal,” said local Jim Davis.

    CULTURAL: 

    Grammy Awards 2013: Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ Wins Album of the Year, http://lat.ms/YktKnp

    Justin Timberlake Makes Musical Return With Retro Performance, http://bit.ly/Z4kdGS

    Grammy Dresses: The Bold and the Beautiful, http://bit.ly/14MGQ21

    Tiger Woods Dating Lindsay Vonn; Source Says Relationship is New, http://bit.ly/151O43b

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, February 8, 2013

    Friday, February 8th, 2013

    Authorities hunt down a former LAPD cop accused of killing three; the Northeast braces for a record-breaking blizzard; and a hacker breaks in to the Bush family’s emails and photos. Meanwhile, New York Fashion Week gets under way and Frank Ocean plans to move to Shanghai.

    Caitlin + Liza

    CRUCIAL: 

    Authorities say ex-LAPD cop accused of killing 3 ‘could be anywhere’ as manhunt spans the West, http://fxn.ws/TS9aO6
    Los Angeles police are hunting down a fugitive former LAPD officer accused of killing three. Christopher Jordan Dorner, who is likely armed and dangerous, posted a Facebook manifesto detailing his plans to wage war against LAPD officers and their families. Dorner is suspected of killing the daughter of a former LAPD police chief and her fiance as well as another officer this week. He also sent a package to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper including a note and memento with a bullet-hole. Authorities believe Dorner’s actions are a retaliation for his 2008 termination from LAPD for making false statements. Police found Dorner’s burning truck on a mountain east of Los Angeles, but Dorner himself is still at large. “He could be anywhere at this point,” said San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon.

    Northeast braces for massive winter wallop, http://cbsn.ws/WV3XC9
    The Northeast is preparing for what meteorologists are calling a record-breaking blizzard. “Nemo” will hit throughout Friday and Saturday. New England is expecting three feet of snow while New York City predicts about a foot. Blizzard warnings have been issued from Long Island through Maine and more than 3,700 flights have been cancelled in preparation for the storm. Hurricane force winds, power outages, and coastal area flooding threaten the Northeast as the storm approaches. For New England, the blizzard could rank as one of the top ten snowstorms in history. “This storm has the potential to be one of those events that you remember for a lifetime,” said CBS meteorologist Terry Eliasen.

    Bush Family Emails, Photos Apparently Hacked, http://huff.to/12yErth
    A cybercriminal going by the name of “Guccifer” gained access to emails, photos, telephone numbers, and addresses of Bush family members and friends, including emails sent between both former presidents. Some of the emails detailed the elder Bush’s health conditions. The hacker released photos of Bush during his recent stay in a Houston hospital where he was treated for bronchial infection complications. The website “The Smoking Gun” has published some of the photos, over which the name “Guccifer” was plastered in neon blue. A Bush family spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation.

    Daniel Winslow in for GOP Primary: State rep pledges to be on ballot to replace Kerry, http://bit.ly/11ud9oH
    Massachusetts state representative Daniel Winslow officially declared his candidacy for the Senate on Friday, becoming the first Republican to enter the special election race to replace John Kerry. Republicans have struggled to find a viable candidate for the race since former senator Scott Brown’s decision not to run. U.S. representatives Stephen Lynch and Edward Markey have each declared their candidacy on the Democratic side. Candidates must collect 10,000 signatures from Massachusetts citizens before February 27th to officially get on the ballot. “I’m going to give this everything I’ve got, with all that I have, because the crisis confronting our country demands nothing less. I am confident I am going to be on the Republican ballot,” Winslow said.

    North Dakota Personhood Measure Passes State Senate, http://huff.to/XY7WNu
    Lawmakers in North Dakota passed two bills that would make it harder for women to gain access to abortion care in what is considered the worst state in the nation for women. The Personhood Constitution Amendment Initiative would amend the state’s constitution to grant human embryos legal rights and protections, and would be voted on by North Dakota residents in 2014 should it pass in the House. “We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since Scalia said the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case,” said Margaret Sitte, Republican state senator and sponsor of the bill. A second proposed bill would shut down North Dakota’s single abortion clinic. Sarah Stoesz of Planned Parenthood claimed the organization would fight against the legislation and defense of “concerned North Dakotans who do not want to see politicians inserting themselves into the private medical decision-making of women and families in our state.

    Todd Hughes Nomination: Obama Picks Openly Gay Judge for Court of Appeals, http://huff.to/127MdFY
    President Obama nominated Todd Hughes, an openly gay Justice Department attorney, to the U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday in a decision that aligns with his open support for the LGBT community. If his appointment is confirmed by the Senate, Hughes will be the first openly gay judge to sit on the federal court of appeals in the nation’s history. LGBT groups praised Obama’s decision. “Todd Hughes’ nomination is a testament to the expanding opportunities for openly LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, and to the president’s respect for the depth of talent and experience within the LGBT community,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute.

    CULTURAL: 

    Stargazing: New York Fashion Week Day 1, http://nyti.ms/VJ5sD6

    Frank Ocean Moving to Shanghai, http://nyti.ms/XT9Twz

    Kim Kardashian Seeks Speedy Divorce for Baby’s Sake, http://bit.ly/XQvzt9

    Kristin Wiig in ‘Anchorman 2′”, http://huff.to/12pUmKf

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Thursday, July 28th, 2011

    The Republicans want big cuts to environmental laws, the LAPD sets up a ‘mobile jail’ to handle a rowdy crowd, Butch Davis has been fired as UNC’s football coach, and 67 have died from landslides and flash floods in South Korea. Also, the North Carolina House has failed to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the voter-ID law, Judge Royce Lamberth upholds the federal embryonic stem cell funds, and Apple is rumored to be testing a new, ultra-thin MacBook Pro.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    In Both Houses, Fortifying Support for Rival Plans,
    http://nyti.ms/r9v8Vw
    Republicans will vote on Boehner’s budget plan, which after being reworked, would cut the deficit by $917 billion over ten years and raise the debt ceiling for six months. A letter signed by all 51 Senate Democrats and two independents assured Speaker Boehner that his bill will not pass in the Senate.

    Republicans Seek Big Cuts in Environmental Rules,
    http://nyti.ms/qp3UFa
    Just as all eyes are on the debt-ceiling drama, some House Republicans are “loading up” an appropriations bill that has 39 new rules to “significantly curtail environmental regulation.” The rules would prohibit new wilderness preservation and allow uranium near the Grand Canyon. One rule would have forbade the government to list any new species as endangered, but 37 Republicans removed this clause. The Senate will likely reject the bill.

    Electric Daisy Carnival premiere: LAPD sets up ‘mobile jail’ to handle crowd,
    http://lat.ms/qO8BEa
    Los Angeles police needed a “mobile field jail” to handle all the people they had to arrest in Hollywood yesterday. An “unruly crowd” crashed the screening of a documentary about the nation’s largest electronic music festival. Witnesses said people taunted police by throwing bottles at them, dancing on police cars, and “planking” in the street.

    Butch Davis fired as North Carolina football coach,
    http://es.pn/qVpRDj
    UNC’s Butch Davis seemed locked down to keep his job this season. After all, he wasn’t fired last season, “even as embarrassing allegations kept surfacing,” including misconduct by his associate head coach and players. However, the school surprised everyone when it dismissed the Tar Heels’ coach yesterday.

    Mudslides spark S. Korea landmine fears; 67 dead,
    http://on.msnbc.com/ppMTsR
    67 people have died from landslides and flash floods after heavy rainfalls in the Seoul region of South Korea. The Defense Ministry has said that 10 landmines buried near an air defense artillery in southern Seoul have not been recovered after being buried during the 1950-53 Korean War.  South Koreans have been cautioned about these landmines and other explosives.

    Perdue’s veto to block voter ID mandate remains,
    http://bit.ly/qPwWux
    The North Carolina House failed to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the voter-ID law. The House voted 67-52 in favor of overriding the law that requires voters to show photo-ID before casting a ballot. The vote will not move on to the Senate.

    US judge upholds federal embryonic stem cell funds,
    http://reut.rs/ocPWw8
    Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the NIH guidelines on stem cell research do not violate federal law, dismissing a legal challenge to the Obama Administration’s actions. Just after taking office in 2009, President Obama expanded federal funding for the research, which scientists believe could lead to treatments for spinal cord injuries, cancer, diabetes and diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

    Apple rumored to be testing new, ultra-thin MacBook Pro,
    http://lat.ms/olLcPp
    Apple may be testing a MacBook Pro Air, a MacBook Pro laptop that would be as thin as a MacBook Air. Rumors suggest that Apple will probably introduce the laptop late this year.

    CULTURAL:

    Mariners end 17-game skid with rout of Yankees, http://es.pn/r4NuEN

    Trebek puts himself in jeopardy, chases down burglar, http://bit.ly/p4a8No

    Bam Hospitalized After ‘Tackling’ His Neighbor, http://bit.ly/pgA0y5

    Lee DeWyze Pops The Question, Gets Engaged To Girlfriend, http://bit.ly/pmRqVd

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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