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    News Round-Up: Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014

    Almost 1,600 veterans are forced to wait for care from a doctor; a new Georgia law allows guns in school districts, bars; and lawmakers threaten to pull funding from public universities. Meanwhile, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome their new son; a teen with terminal cancer raises over $1,000,000 for charity; and a runway model criticizes thin-shaming.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list: http://rtvote.com/ROzEle
    Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix, Arizona created a scheme to hide the fact that between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans had no choice but to wait for months for doctoral care. At least 40 of those veterans suffered and died because they could not get care. What’s worse? The management at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix knew about and defended the waiting list. A former doctor at the hospital said there were two lists the hospital used: one that was shown to Washington that proves that people were getting care (the “sham” list) and the other that showed how veterans had to wait for up to a year: the “real” list. The hospital also did not preserve records and could make it seem as though a person never came in for an appointment. After the allegations came to a head, Congress has ordered all records to be preserved.

    Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches: http://rtvote.com/1k9l9lb
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Wednesday that would allow guns to be carried into previously gun-free zones: like bars, churches, school zones, airports, and government buildings. The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 (or the “guns everywhere bill” as dubbed by opponents) was lobbied for by GeorgiaCarry, a pro-gun rights organization and will go into effect on July 1st of this year. 5% of Georgia’s population has passed background checks necessary to own a gun, and Deal says that this legislation “gives added protection to those who have played by the rules.” Some people, like members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, refuse to allow guns in their sanctuary. Others regard the law as ridiculous because the state has refused to expand healthcare and accept Obamacare but allows its citizens to own guns. However, the Safe Carry Protection Act has garnered wide support from members of the NRA and other supporters of the right to carry.

    Lawmakers pressure universities with threat to pull funds: http://rtvote.com/1f7AGTC
    States are threatening to pull funding from universities based on the information they teach, the things professors say, and the organizations partnered with the schools. For example, in South Carolina, funding is threatened at two different universities because students were asked to read a book discussing homosexuality. In Kansas, lawmakers threatened to “withhold appropriations” after a professor tweeted anti-NRA rhetoric. Some states have also banned universities from sending money to organizations that support things like unionization and boycotts that the state did not support. Colleges and lawmakers are trying to work together to find common ground.

    Ukraine tense as Russia launches military drills, activists die in clashes: http://rtvote.com/ROW3yJ
    After Russian forces practiced military drills near the Russian-Ukraine border, Ukrainian officials claim that they killed five pro-Russian militant activists. The deaths occurred as the Ukrainian military attempted to remove barricades from around Slavyansk, a Ukrainian city occupied by pro-Russian activists. Russian Vladimir Putin was quick to respond, saying: “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime.” He also threatened “consequences” to the Ukrainians. Foreign nations, like the United States and countries represented in NATO, have expressed worry at the 40,000 Russian troops that have gathered at the border and have asked Russian forces to back down.

    CULTURAL

    Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome baby Otis! http://rtvote.com/1k9D1MJ

    The Bachelorette contestant Eric Hill tragically dies in freak accident: http://rtvote.com/1gUsLnK

    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, loses her brother in accident: http://rtvote.com/1hq099r

    Jodie Foster is married! Congrats! http://rtvote.com/1nscIF1

    Terminally ill teen raises over $1,000,000 for charity: http://rtvote.com/1ptSRXQ

    Runway model: “If you can feel beautiful for being big, I can feel beautiful about being small”: http://rtvote.com/1lJpkbh

    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: Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Thursday, March 6th, 2014

    Crimean lawmakers have voted to join Russia; a news anchor quits on her live show; Staples plans to close nearly 10 percent of its stores in and around the United States; and parents commit fraud for football. Meanwhile, kids recreate the 2014 Oscar’s best fashion looks; Katy Perry tries her hand at meteorology in Australia; Aaron Carter reveals lingering feelings for a Hollywood star; and see what Oscar winning actors actually do with the statue!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Breaking News: Crimea lawmakers vote to join Russia: http://rtvote.com/1dvBwGw
    Crimean lawmakers voted to leave Ukraine for Russia earlier, forcing citizens to choose if they want to remain in Ukraine or join Russia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, however, says that the referendum proposed by the Crimean lawmakers who voted for the separation has “no legal grounds at all” and is an “illegitimate decision.” Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko says that the referendum is indeed invalid because in Ukraine, referendums can only be passed by the national government. However, Crimea’s government is staunchly pro-Russia, and they do not recognize the interim, pro-West national government in Kiev.

    Anchor quits: I can’t be part of network ‘that whitewashes’ Putin’s actions: http://rtvote.com/1f1C2gy
    Russia Today news anchor Liz Wahl quit her job on-air at the end of her show on Wednesday. She said that due to her past (being a member of a family who fled Hungary to escape the Soviet Union in the 1950s), she “cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.” The network responded, calling Wahl’s actions a “self-promotional stunt.” This action follows the similar outburst from Russia Today personality Abby Martin, who split from the pro-Russian repertoire and denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

    Parents, students cheat to attend Atlanta school: http://rtvote.com/1f1GmMQ
    An Atlanta school is under fire from new cheating allegations coming to light. Parents of football players at Grady High School faked their children’s addresses solely so their children could play football at that school. Out of the 58 players on Grady High School’s football team, fourteen have faked papers. Currently, some students connected with the fraud have withdrawn from the school, and others had tuition bills sent to them. The school’s superintendent, Erroll Davis, is debating whether to press criminal or civil charges on the parents accused of fraud.

    Barbie, remove that Girl Scout tie, ad group says: http://rtvote.com/1cF9PHO
    A new ad featuring Barbie tied in with Girl Scouts has sparked controversy from consumer advocacy groups. The “Be Anything, Do Anything” patch allows Girl Scouts in kindergarten through third grade to look at different careers in a booklet with a Barbie theme. The groups believe that using Barbie as a role model for Girl Scouts “undermines the Girl Scouts vital mission.” Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, is bringing the issue to light now because the Girl Scouts of America did not agree to remove the partnership in private talks. Kelly Parisi, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts, says that using Barbie enables them to tell girls that “they can do anything.”

    Staples to close 225 stores as sales move online: http://rtvote.com/1idGUOj
    Staples plans on closing 10 percent of its North American stores by the end of 2015. The store chain says nearly 50 percent of its sales are online, and that it wants to be more monetarily efficient. A majority of their 1,846 stores are in the United States, and Staples has yet to comment on how many jobs are being cut due to store closures. However, Staples CEO Ron Sargent says that the chain will not give up on actual stores due to the service customers can receive there, and the overall convenience of stores.

    CULTURAL

    What celebrities do with their Oscars: http://rtvote.com/NXNWgP

    Kids recreating Oscar looks: http://rtvote.com/1gUZOc3

    Here’s the host of the 2014 MTV Movie Awards! http://rtvote.com/1dvUsVM

    Katy Perry’s new day job: meteorologist? http://rtvote.com/1oulQ8d

    Aaron Carter can’t get over a romance that happened over 10 years ago! http://rtvote.com/1qbNqe3

    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