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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura


    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.


    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    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: October 7, 2013

    Monday, October 7th, 2013

    Al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi is captured by U.S. troops; bikers are charged with assault in SUV incident; Boehner won’t budge without negotiations; Indy winner Dario Franchitti suffers injuries from brutal crash; and police investigate a possible hate crime against a U.S. soldier. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus spoofs the government shutdown, and Kate Moss reunites with Topshop.

    -Sandy + Maura


    U.S. Said to Hold Qaeda Suspect On Navy Shiphttp://rtvote.com/1fUILe1

    A suspected Al Qaeda operative, Abu Anas al-Libi, was captured by American troops in Libya over the weekend. He is currently under military custody on a Navy ship rumored to be heading to New York for criminal prosecution. Abu Anas is likely to hold significant intelligence information on Al Qaeda.

    Biker who swung helmet in New York SUV attack ‘overreacted’ but didn’t beat driver, lawyer says,http://rtvote.com/18JYjuv

    On September 29, Alexian Lien accidentally bumped a biker and stopped his vehicle. Angry bikers soon surrounded his SUV, which also seated Lien’s wife and 2-year-old daughter. Lien plowed through three more bikers, which prompted the gang of motorcyclists to pursue and beat Lien. Reginald Chance, 37, is being charged with first-degree assault and gang assault after being caught on video smashing his helmet through Lien’s car window. Two other bikers were charged, and police wish to find and question two others.

    Boehner vows no deal on budget or debt limit without spending talks with Obamahttp://rtvote.com/18K4vmr

    It is Day 7 of the government shutdown, and we have ten days until a government debt default. President Obama has demanded Congress raise the debt ceiling without any conditions, but House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Sunday that there would be no such action and no end to the government shutdown unless Obama and Senate Democrats negotiate with House Republicans. Boehner wants spending cuts through entitlement reform. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns of the dangers that would result if the debt ceiling is not raised.

    Indy winner Dario Franchitti, 13 others hurt in Houston race wreckhttp://rtvote.com/1fd17pk

    Three-time Indy winner Dario Franchitti, 40, suffered a concussion and fractures to his spine and ankle after a serious crash on Sunday’s Grand Prix of Houston. Fellow driver Takuma Sato bumped Franchitti’s car, hurdling it into the protective fencing. 13 spectators were hurt; 3 of them were sent to the hospital but are listed in good condition.

    Police: Black man kills white soldier in possible hate crimehttp://rtvote.com/1e4c9tL

    Spc. Tevin A. Geike, a 20-year-old Caucasian soldier, died after being stabbed by an unidentified African-American man in his mid-20s. Geike was on his way to celebrate his upcoming discharge from the Army with two fellow soldiers when someone in a passing car directed racist comments toward them. The car stopped, and five black men engaged in a verbal confrontation with the three white soldiers. They returned to the car, but one of the black men fatally stabbed Geike before leaving. Investigators suspect this was a racially charged hate crime.



    E.J. Dionne, Jr. points to the government shutdown as the potential end of the tea party in “Shutdown: The tea party’s last stand”, http://rtvote.com/1fVcX8L

    Ruth Marcus voices concern over the potential consequences of the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case in “Eroding the checks on campaign contributions”, http://rtvote.com/1fdsXSg



    Miley Cyrus Spoofs The Government Shutdown With A Remake Of “We Can’t Stop” On SNL,http://rtvote.com/1e4np9C

    Kate Moss Teams Up With Topshop Again, http://rtvote.com/1fVejjU

    Miley Cyrus on Today: Singer Addresses Nude Picture Controversy, Sinead O’Connor Feud, and More,http://rtvote.com/18Kyomv

    Charlize Theron Recovering After Neck Surgery: Doing “Fine,” Says Source, http://rtvote.com/18KyScn


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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

    An attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya leaves four Americans dead; a Mexican drug kingpin is extradited to America; and hundreds die in Pakistani factory fires. Meanwhile, Jason Sudeikis returns to “Saturday Night Live;” and pro football player Arian Foster embarks on a rap career.

    Caitlin + David


    U.S. ambassador to Libya, 3 other Americans killed in Benghazi, http://wapo.st/Pb0D3J
    John Christopher Stevens, the United States Ambassador to Libya, as well as a Foreign Service information management officer named Sean Smith and two other individuals whose identities are being withheld pending the notification of their families, have been killed in an attack on the American consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi. Stevens and the other victims were fleeing the consulate when their automobile was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the attackers as a “small and savage group,” and stressed that “we will not turn our back” on “a free and stable Libya.” Two Marine Corps anti-terrorism security teams have been dispatched to Libya to aid security in the wake of the attack, and President Obama has said he has ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide.

    Mexico extradites Zetas founder to U.S., http://bit.ly/OguIMT
    Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, one of the founders of the Los Zetas criminal cartel, has been extradited to the United States from Mexico, where he will face charges of criminal conspiracy and drug trafficking in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Rejon Aguilar has been under investigation since 2006, and is believed to have been instrumental in the smuggling of large quantities of marijuana and cocaine into the United States as well as the laundering of the proceeds of the drug sales. He is considered a founder of the Los Zetas cartel, believed to be Mexico’s most violent organized crime group, and was described by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as “the number three in the command structure.”

    German court backs eurozone’s ESM bailout fund, http://bbc.in/RRb2Ec
    Germany’s highest court has confirmed Germany’s commitment to the permanent eurozone rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), rejecting calls by 37,000 petitioners to block the ESM and make it subject to a referendum. The Constitutional Court imposed conditions on the commitment, including a cap on Germany’s contributions, which could only be overturned by the German parliament. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called it “a good day,” and European markets made gains on the news, with the euro posting a four-month high against the dollar at $1.29. Analysts suggest that the ESM is a critical tool to combating the eurozone debt crisis, along with a plan from the European Central Bank to purchase government bonds held by struggling countries. Under this scheme, Germany is liable for 190 billion euros, out of a 500 billion euro fund.

    More Than 300 People Die in 2 Pakistan Fires, http://nyti.ms/QcYRRD
    Two separate fires, one in a shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore and one in a garment factory in the southern port city of Karachi, have claimed more than 300 lives, and “the death toll is expected to rise,” according to the commissioner of Karachi Roshan Ali Sheikh. Officials say that in the Karachi factory, panicking workers were trapped in the multistory building, which had only a single exit. The shoe factory in Lahore, according to officials, was set up illegally and disguised to look like a residential home from the outside, and burned down when a generator caught fire and ignited nearby chemicals. The deaths prompted renewed concerns about lax safety standards and inhumane working conditions in Pakistan.

    Australia to ban giant fishing trawler, http://reut.rs/OmIaV7
    Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke plans to introduce legislation giving him the power to ban a controversial Dutch “super-trawler” following protests from environmental groups including Greenpeace, who expressed concerns about over-fishing and possible detrimental effects on ocean wildlife. The trawler, 466 feet in length, is reportedly the world’s second-largest fishing vessel. Burke said that uncertainty over the environmental impact of the trawler led to the decision. The company behind the ship, Seafish Tasmania, said in an open letter written jointly with the Commonwealth Fisheries Association that the “trial by media” has undermined the credibility of Australian fisheries management, created insecurity among fishermen, and has deterred crucial investment needed to support regional jobs.


    Emma Bell Joins ‘Dallas’ As New Regular, http://bit.ly/QFFr7D

    Jason Sudeikis Returning to ‘Saturday Night Live’, http://bit.ly/OqdHFM

    Chris Brown One Ups Rihanna With New “Fly” Tattoo In The Same Place, http://bit.ly/OGJ8rh

    Houston Texans’ Arian Foster Working On Rap Career With Bun B., http://bit.ly/RIF1j4

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


    Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

    In today’s news, 20,000 surface-to-air missiles have gone missing in Libya; the Obama administration is suing over the potential release of photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse; Rick Perry’s wife may be behind his support for the HPV vaccine; and Mitt Romney meets with former Obama supporter and current JP Morgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon. In other news, Ashton Kutcher may have recently cheated on Demi Moore, and Andy Rooney is retiring from 60 Minutes.

    Coral + Caitlin


    Iranian Navy Sending Ships Near U.S. Waters, http://bit.ly/oLB8SO
    According to an Iranian newspaper, Iran plans to pull some of its warships out of the Persian Gulf and put them in the Atlantic near the maritime borders of the United States. “We’ve been pushing freedom of the seas for years and the Iranian Navy can go wherever it wants,” said Pentagon Spokesman Capt. John Kirby. However, Iranians may have a hard time refueling its ships unless it does so in Venezuela. The presidents of Venezuela and Iran have been long-time companions.

    20,000 Heat-Seeking Missiles Reportedly Feared Missing From Libyan Warehouse, http://fxn.ws/pOSduX
    20,000 heat-seeking missiles have apparently gone missing from an Army warehouse in Libya. This recent discovery magnifies the ongoing worry that weapons from Libya’s war are ending up in the wrong hands. “Matching up a terrorist with a shoulder-fired missile, that’s our worst nightmare,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has said. The U.S.has officials working with the new Libyan government to locate the missing weaponry.

    CDC confirms 13 dead in listeria cantaloupe outbreak, http://on.today.com/nokLR2
    On Tuesday, federal health officials stated that across 18, states there have been 13 dead and at least 72 people sick from the recent outbreak of Listeria in a cantaloupe crop. This is the deadliest Listeria outbreak in over a decade.

    Obama to court: Keep bin Laden photos secret, http://usat.ly/pSs2Cy
    The Obama administration is asking a court to keep photos of Bin Laden’s corpse a secret. Officials say that revealing the pictures could cause grave consequences to national defense and foreign affairs in the United States. Also, Obama told Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, “We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. We don’t need to spike the football.”

    7 Long Island Students Charged in SAT Scheme, http://nyti.ms/oEOT0k
    On Tuesday, a prosecutor said a Long Island college student was paid by at least a half-dozen high school students to take the SAT for them. The six students of Great Neck North High School are said to have paid college student Sam Eshaghoff, 19, $1,500 to $2,500 dollars to take the test for them. Eshaghoff has been arraigned on charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records.

    Protesters disagree with Pileggi’s electoral vote plan, http://bit.ly/o40LLe
    A small group of protesters gathered outside of state Sen. Dominic Pileggi’s Chester office last week to express disapproval of a plan he is proposing that will change how Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes in presidential elections. Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, wants to replace the system of awarding all of the state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the statewide election. This plan would cause the number of Pennsylvania electoral votes to shrink from 21 to 20 in the 2012 election, reflecting the loss of one U.S. House seat because of the state’s sluggish population growth.

    Florida moves toward January primary, http://wapo.st/oGyza6
    Florida state House Speaker Dean Cannon (R) says his state is likely to set its primary for Jan. 31. With Florida moving its primary up, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada are likely to move theirs up as well. In 2008, Iowa was the first to have their caucus, holding it on January 3rd.

    A Political Wife’s Influence on an Issue, http://nyti.ms/mPwdCq
    Presidential Candidate Rick Perry has been criticized for his attempt to have every sixth grade girl in Texas receive the HPV vaccine. Opposing candidates wonder if his decision was based on his relationship with pharmaceutical companies; however, Perry’s wife may have actually been the biggest influence on his support for the vaccine. His wife, Anita Thigpen Perry, a nurse, country doctor’s daughter, and career-long advocate for victims of sexual assault has been a vocal proponent of immunizations.

    Jamie Dimon, Former Obama Bromancer, Flirts With Mitt Romney, http://bit.ly/rd4s9v
    JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon met privately with Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Tuesday. Dimon was a huge supporter of the 2008 Obama campaign; however, his relationship with the President has faltered since Obama put Dimon in the category of “fat-cat bankers.” Romney has so far raised twice as much money as Obama has from Wall Street. At least 100 donors who backed the president in 2008 are claiming to switch sides.

    GOP Congressmen Propose Plan To Forcibly Deport Undocumented Domestic Abuse Victims, http://bit.ly/n2M4QY
    According to immigrant advocates, a new immigration enforcement bill being considered in Congress would undermine existing immigration law by removing prosecutorial discretion and deferred action – two components that protect undocumented victims from domestic violence.

    (via DailyBeast) Amazon Tablet Costs $199, http://bit.ly/oFWYdE: The new Amazon Fire will cost less than half of its Apple counterpart. The tablet has a 7-inch display and will run on a customized version of Google’s Android operating system.


    Suzy Geers gives us her take on, “FOX and Google’s GOP Debate,” http://bit.ly/q5x4yz

    Kal Penn says, “It’s time to ignore the paralyzing cynicism and get engaged,” http://huff.to/owuWCp

    The Chicago Tribune thinks we’re, “Selling our souls to Mark Zuckerberg,” http://trib.in/qGSPxv

    Did Ashton Kutcher cheat on wife Demi Moore during the weekend of their wedding anniversary? http://bit.ly/qkmmEH

    Heidi, Germany’s celebrity cross-eyed opossum, dies at 3 1/2, http://wapo.st/qLcL4e

    Justin Bieber Drops ‘How To Love’ Acoustic Remix, http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1671648/justin-bieber-how-to-love-remix.jhtml

    Andy Rooney Retiring from 60 Minutes, http://bit.ly/mU1Qrc

    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

    LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn wins a House seat, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry receives a Medal of Honor, Senator Mitch McConnell proposes a controversial debt plan, France says Gadhafi will most likely step down, and Pakistan threatens to withdraw troops from its border. Also, Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have raised a combined $86 million since April, Mitt Romney has rejected the Family Leader’s ‘Marriage Vow’ Pledge, the youth unemployment rate is more than 17%, and Netflix is raising its prices.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry


    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, a Democrat, has won the special election to represent a Southern California House seat, the Associated Press reported. Hahn beat Republican Craig Huey 54.56 percent to 45.44 percent, according to the Los Angeles County clerk’s office.

    Army Ranger receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics,
    Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry is the second living soldier from the Iraq and Afghan wars to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Petry was shot in both legs and lost a hand after throwing an enemy grenade away from his fellow soldiers. “To be singled out is very humbling. I consider every one of our men and women in uniform to be our heroes,” he said.

    Debt Talk Mired, Leader for G.O.P. Proposes Option,
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has angered Conservatives with his new debt proposal. McConnell wants Congress to allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling without its prior approval of spending cuts. While some Conservatives think this plan will place any potential blame on Obama and benefit the GOP, others find it a panicked retreat.

    France Says Gadhafi Aides Hinted at His Exit,
    Negotiations to end Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s 41-year regime in Libya have not yet began; however, emissaries suggest that the leader is “ready to go.” France and other NATO allies are currently conducting airstrikes against his forces. US State Dept. officials are less optimistic about the development, calling the messages “contradictory.”

    Pakistan might withdraw border troops, defense minister says,
    The US announced earlier this week that it would suspend US military aid to Pakistan. In response, Pakistan’s Defense Minister has threatened to withdraw thousands of troops from the country’s border, which would “undermine Washington interests” in the area.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News)
    President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $86 million between April and June, blowing past the combined $60 million goal set by both groups at the start of the fundraising quarter. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina announced the total in a video released before dawn Wednesday, touting the 552,462 donors who contributed as “more grassroots support at this point in the process than any campaign in political history.” Of the $86 million raised, Messina said over $47 million went into the coffers of Obama for America and more than $38 million went to the DNC.

    Mitt Romney Rejects The Family Leader’s ‘Marriage Vow’ Pledge,
    After rival presidential candidates, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed a controversial Conservative pledge, Romney has decided to reject it. The pledge denounces gay marriage, pornography, gays in the military, and Islamic law.

    The Glum and the Restless,
    More than 17 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds looking for work cannot find a job. Youth unemployment is not only a big issue for the economy, but also for the President as he looks for youth support in 2012

    Netflix raises DVD, streaming plan price by 60 percent,
    Netflix might be best known for its DVD mail service, but the company sees video streaming as its future. New subscribers will have to pay extra for a DVD-only plan, and the streaming plans are now sold separately. Many Netflix users are outraged at the 60% price increases.


    Breaking: Ted Danson takes over ‘CSI,’ http://bit.ly/o2oVMQ

    Struggling Oprah Network to Name New CEO: Oprah, http://on.wsj.com/q6AZ9U

    Terrafugia Transition: Flying Car Approved For Road Use By NHTSA, http://huff.to/pNmwI5

    ‘X Factor’ Preview Signals Return Of Simon And Paula, http://on.mtv.com/pJqAsx

    Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to finally marry? http://bit.ly/n1pQVN

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

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