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    News Round-Up: Thursday, February 27, 2014

    Thursday, February 27th, 2014

    Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoes SB 1062; Michelle Obama supports the FDA’s new rules for food labels; President Obama unveils “My Brother’s Keeper”; and NASA discovers 715 new planets. Meanwhile, Seth Rogan goes to Washington; Fast & Furious 7 resumes production soon; and it’s almost Oscar Night: see the nominees one more time!

    - Veronica + Maura

     CRUCIAL

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes anti-gay bill: http://rtvote.com/1hshIoc
    Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, the highly controversial Arizona bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to or turn away members of the LGBT community based on religious beliefs. Brewer said in a statement: “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.” Opponents to the bill praised Brewer, while supporters of the bill believed the veto was a shot to religious freedom.

    Obama to detail program to help minority youth: http://rtvote.com/1fLN6xW
    President Obama will announce details on his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative on Thursday. The initiative is a partnership between businesses, organizations, and the government that will hopefully help “high risk” minority men stay out of jail through skills training. Several philanthropic groups have already pledged to funnel $200 million over the next five years into the program. The Obama administration and the organizations involved will analyze the effectiveness of existing programs that have similar aims as “My Brother’s Keeper” does and figure out how they can be reformed or maintained to improve effectiveness.

    Nutrition labels getting a makeover: http://rtvote.com/1ccfA5d
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed changing the nutrition labels found on every packaged food and drink. New labels would put a heavier focus on calories per serving and percent daily value, and the serving sizes will be changed to reflect the average amount of the product people consume. First Lady Michelle Obama is vehemently supporting the changes, saying in a press release that the new labels will “make a big difference for families all across the country.”

    Seoul: N. Korea fired short-range missiles into sea: http://rtvote.com/1ftGjum
    South Korean officials report that North Korea fired four short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday in an apparent protest of military exercises occurring between the United States and South Korea. Pyongyang believes that these exercises are a “rehearsal for invasion”. The launch could also be a plea for international attention in order to obtain more aid negotiations from foreign countries.

    NASA discovers 715 new planets: http://rtvote.com/1gEUNE6
    NASA announced Wednesday that they have found 715 new planets, making it the largest planetary discovery in history. To put this in perspective, before the announcement, there had been 1,000 planets discovered in the Milky Way galaxy. Four of these planets, scientists believe, have the potential to support life. The four are each about twice the size of Earth, and one orbits a star half the size of the sun every 30 days. The planets were discovered using the Kepler space observatory’s telescope. Launched in 2009, these 715 planets are only from Kepler’s first two years in space, meaning there could be more to come.

    CULTURAL

    Watch Seth Rogan in Congress! http://rtvote.com/1jDz3v7

    More Bieber drama after police release footage: http://rtvote.com/1jDzrKf

    Are Matthew Bellamy and Kate Hudson breaking up? http://rtvote.com/1cq4nZk 

    Fast & Furious 7 scheduled to resume production in April: http://rtvote.com/1eqa9OS

    Quick refresher before Oscars Sunday: see the nominees! http://rtvote.com/1mIZq7C

    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: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Uganda’s Anti-Gay christian mafia has American ties; a Virginia Senator called pregnant women “hosts” to unborn children; and Governor Bobby Jindal was rather rude at a recent White House Press Conference. Meanwhile, Paula Patton and Robin Thicke are separating; Lena Dunham will host SNL for the first time; and Ellen Pompeo killed her Charlie Sheen impression.

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Hillary, ‘The Family,’ and Uganda’s Anti-Gay Christian Mafia: http://rtvote.com/1et5x5
    The President of Uganda recently signed into law anti-gay legislation that establishes a crime of “aggravated homosexuality” which includes acts where one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders,” and sex with minors. The maximum sentence for “Aggravated Homosexuality” is life in prison. The legislation was crafted by David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament and core member of the American Evangelical Christians called “The Family”. “The Family” proudly calls itself the “Christian Mafia” and for over 75 years “The Family”s main goal has been to consecrate America to God.

    Virginia senator under fire after calling pregnant women ‘hosts’ to unborn babies: http://rtvote.com/1mvWXty
    Virginia Senator Steve Martin is under fire after his Facebook response to a letter from a pro-choice coalition. The letter from the coalition reportedly stated, “All women deserve access to their full range of reproductive health options — including preventing unintentional pregnancies, raising healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion.” Senator Martin responded to the letter by saying, “Once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.” Needless to say, Senator Martin received various hate mail, nasty grams, vile comments and death threats after his very controversial Facebook post.

    Bobby Jindal rips Obama at bipartisan White House event: http://rtvote.com/1cLJ8nU
    After the National Governors Association’s annual meeting, the governors held a press conference and many spoke on the need to emphasize areas of common agreement, the concern about the recent defense spending cuts, increasing transportation and their shared contempt of Washington. Governor Pete Shumlin of Vermont said it best, “We governors actually have to get things done. It’s not like Congress down here.” But, despite positive remarks, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana stirred controversy with comments about President Obama’s leadership in the White House. He remarked that “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy” and also accused President Obama of “ waving the white flag of surrender job growth.”

    Amid the coverage of Ukraine, is a crisis in Venezuela being ignored?: http://rtvote.com/1fQMwLJ
    Unless you’ve been completely absent from TV, Social Media or The Internet, then there’s a 99 percent chance that you’ve heard about the crisis in Ukraine. However, as the crisis in Venezuela continues to grow, many are wondering why it hasn’t received equal media attention in comparison to the extensive coverage on Ukraine. A Venezuelan-born journalist, Mariana Atencio, made a remark that shed light on the situation for the media: “The domestic media blackout imposed by President Nicolas Maduro makes coverage by international outlets all the more crucial.” We’ll have to keep an eye out as this story develops, but the Venezuelan crisis is crucial and definitely should be a big news story.

    CULTURAL 

    Ellen Pompeo Does a Killer Charlie Sheen Impression: http://rtvote.com/OyP8YK

    Lena Dunham Set to Host Saturday Night Live For the First Time: http://rtvote.com/1fnifU0

    Reese Witherspon and Usher Play Catch Phrase on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon—Watch Now!: http://rtvote.com/1fnirm1

    Late Night With Seth Meyers Premiere: 10 Things to Know About Amy Poehler, Joe Biden and the Big Night: http://rtvote.com/1jxlGMZ

    Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Split: Inside Their Roller Coaster Past Year Together: http://rtvote.com/1etlvgv

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

    Hundreds are announced dead in South Sudan violence; two people have won the Mega Millions jackpot; and a retired Microsoft executive is set to oversee healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, Christina and Gaga perform together as The Voice crowns a new champion (spoiler alert!); Pippa Middleton is engaged (sorry guys!); and Jonah Hill talks about working with DiCaprio inThe Wolf of Wall Street.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Jackpot grows: Two winners to split $648Mhttp://rtvote.com/1bQc2l7
    Well it looks like the hope of winning the big bucks are over for most of us. Two winners have been identified: one in San Jose, California and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners will be splitting the second-largest jackpot of all time with the odds of winning at 1 in 259 million. The Virginia Lottery Executive Director said that this 22-drawing run generated more than $300 million in profits for programs in the states that participate. In case you missed the numbers, here they are: 8, 20, 14, 17, 39 and 7 (Mega Ball).

    Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov,http://rtvote.com/1fENQ6S
    President Obama continues to seek advice from high-tech executives in response to the rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov. The administration announced Tuesday that Kurt DelBene who recently retired from Microsoft, will serve as an unpaid senior advisor on the website. This is a response to the concerns of several lawmakers that the administration needed outside experts in order to overcome the difficulties of the launch. Many people have given a positive endorsement of DelBene, including Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

    UN Told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes: diplomats, http://rtvote.com/1eowHkI
    For the second day in a row, violence has rippled through South Sudan. Local sources and diplomats reported an estimate of 800 wounded and 400-500 killed, though the numbers have not been officially confirmed. The government in the capitol of Juba announced that they captured 10 major political figures and are searching for its former vice president who they believe led this failed coup. Despite its rich oil reserves, South Sudan remains one of the poorest & least developed countries in Africa. The U.S. is urging its citizens to leave the country and will proceed to suspend normal operations at the embassy.

    Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogationshttp://rtvote.com/19SRe9i
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested one of the C.I.A.’s internal studies regarding U.S. interrogations. Last year, the C.I.A. completed a report about the interrogation program that was one of the most controversial policies of the post-Septemer 11th era. The Senate report totaled more than 6,000 pages and has yet to be declassified. Those who have read the study disclose that the report does not hold back on criticism of the now-defunct interrogation program whose brutal methods led to little valuable intelligence.

    Obama, Biden, Top U.S. Officials To Stay Away From Sochi Olympics,http://rtvote.com/18RsvlI
    The 2014 Winter Olympics games will be held in Sochi, Russia, but with no representation from top United States officials. Instead, a former federal official, Janet Napolitano will be leading the U.S. delegation, along with two LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. This announcement comes just two months before the opening ceremony and is a signal of U.S. disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws among other human rights concerns.

    CULTURAL

    Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco Welcomes a Baby Boy, http://rtvote.com/1cbn4nK

    Pippa Middleton Engaged to Boyfriend Nico Jackson, http://rtvote.com/19SDHPl

    Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga Perform on The Voice, Effectively Putting Feud Rumors to Rest,http://rtvote.com/1fmOsgw

    Jonah Hill Talks Making Leonardo DiCaprio Throw Up and Why Loving Leo Made The Wolf of Wall Street Better, http://rtvote.com/1i1u8ph

    The 9 Brand New Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, http://rtvote.com/1i1uCvy

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Thursday, March 17th, 2011

    We hope you’ve got your green on; we wouldn’t want you to get pinched! On this Saint Patrick’s Day, the GOP quietly begins rolling back financial reform, Twitter maniac and former CNN-er Rick Sanchez launches his comeback, Hillary Clinton is snubbed by young Egyptian leaders and also tells CNN that she will not seek a second term as Secretary of State (nor will she take another shot at POTUS), the Capitol’s great Styrofoam debate makes its way to the front page of the New York Times; Congress does have other things to do, though, including tackling discussions surrounding NPR’s funding fate and teaching the House to Skype. Meanwhile Michelle Obama is all set to ink a book on the White House garden and healthy eating, and somebody put a ring on it (!) Joe Jonas is single once again.

    CRUCIAL:

    GOP Begins Rollback of Wall St. Reforms, http://politi.co/dZ1nj9

    Republicans are making a move to reform banking without heavily favoring Wall St. The bills that were introduced are intended to repeal parts of the Dodd-Frank Law.

    House to Consider Bill to Defund National Public Radiohttp://aol.it/fY2RTh

    A House Rules Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to determine the fate of NPRs government funding. “Lamborn said his bill would cut all federal money to NPR, but NPR affiliate stations could still use federal dollars for administrative expenses associated with day-to-day operations.”

    Hillary Clinton Snubbed by Young Leaders of Egypt Revolt, http://bit.ly/gKYaH8

    The Revolution Youth Coalition refused to meet with Hillary Clinton during her trip to Egypt due to her outspoken alliance with Mubarak with positive statements about the former leader made as late as 2009.

    Fight Waged With Forks is Rejoined in Congress, http://nyti.ms/ex24R0

    Democrats and Republicans remain in a battle over compostable cups and forks in the capitol, with the New York times even running the great styrofoam debate on the front page. Dems continue to argue that the program started by Pelosi to green the capitol is forward moving and cuts down on waste, while Republicans find the program cost inefficient, and have plans to green the capitol in other ways.

    Put to Rest, And Moving Forward: The Redemption of Rick Sanchezhttp://bit.ly/dXYxGc

    After controversial antisemitic comments Sanchez made on CNN his apology has been accepted by Abe Foxman, who said “in my view, this…should put the matter to rest…I hope that you will now be able to move on with your life.”

    Clinton Say ‘No’ to Second Term, http://bit.ly/fYGIiy

    Secretary of State Clinton won’t be serving a second term in her current job, and she has no current intention of running for president in 2012 or ever.

    NBA star Grant Hill reacts to Jalen Rose and the Fab Five in biting NYT oped: http://nyti.ms/i3CNfX

    Michelle Obama writing a book on healthy eating habits: http://aol.it/gxnQIl

    CULTURAL:

    St. Patrick’s Day fact vs. fiction: http://bit.ly/i7LnMy

    Joe Jonas and Ashely Greene split: http://bit.ly/etgngO

    Malaysia edits ‘Born this Way’ for LGBT content: http://huff.to/gFoECO

    Luck of the Irish brings Rihanna together with Colin Farrell: http://bit.ly/i4teGI

    New makeup brand launches first un-retouched ads: http://bit.ly/eAxKgT

    Royal wedding souvenir makes a major gaffe: http://yhoo.it/ihNLSA

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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



    News Round-Up: Friday, February 18, 2011

    Friday, February 18th, 2011

    Obama backs protests in the Badger State, Congress continues the fiscal fights, and Glee takes down the King of Rock-n-Roll.

    CRUCIAL

    Obama Joins Wisconsin Budget Battle, Opposing Republican Anti-Union Bill, http://wapo.st/ft99OT

    The President backs protesters in Wisconsin after Republicans planned to cut public worker benefits, among other things, saying that the Governor “assulted” unions.

    Popular Rage is Met With Violence in Mideast, http://nyti.ms/e8sCw3

    Governments try to put a stop to the protests that have errupted across the Middle East have become more and more violent.

    Facebook Adds LGBT-Friendly Relationship Status Options, http://on.mash.to/dZfILp

    Civil Union and Domestic Partnership are now two of the options for US Facebook users relationship status.

    Is Social Search the Future of the Internet?, http://bit.ly/ezz9Ea

    Google will allow users to connect their YouTube, Twitter and Flickr accounts in order to personalize search results, adding a social element.

    Totes Votes: Targeting Chicago’s Young Voters, http://bit.ly/e43bcP

    Although young voters make up a large percentage of the eligible voting population, they still do not feel as though candidates are addressing them or their issues of concern. In Chicago, Rock the Vote and Rockit Bar and Grill hosted a Mayoral Debate after party   to bring candidates and young voters together.

    BP Says Spill Settlement Terms Are Too Generous, http://nyti.ms/idttTF

    Many of those filing for reimbursements after the BP disaster don’t feel as though they are getting enough, however, BP feels differently, arguing that too much compensation is being given.

    Meet Their Backyard Backstabbers, http://politi.co/eUxUvw

    Politicians from the same state attack each other shamelessly in hopes of destroying presidential hopefuls.

    Congress Finally Earns its Pay, http://on.wsj.com/gHXfH1

    The debating over the 2011 budget this week has shown democracy at its finest, allowing for the minority to be heard and for each member of the parties to assert their own opinions.

    CULTURAL:

    Seyfried and Phillippe officially over: http://bit.ly/gmgEWh\

    Former TV star and father of 8, working on the rooftops: http://bit.ly/fqVANc

    A new beer named after princess-to-be: http://bit.ly/fbxf9I

    Elvis Presley toppled by Glee: http://bit.ly/h6R2zN

    Vick not ready to talk to Oprah: http://yhoo.it/i4W9Fj

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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