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    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: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

    Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

    Egyptian protests of President Morsi continue; GOP Senators criticize Susan Rice after meeting with her; Cyber Monday brings in a record $1.5 billion in sales; scientists and doctors exhume Yasser Arafat’s body; House and Senate Republicans are split on how to handle the “fiscal cliff”; and NJ Governor Chris Christie will run for re-election. Meanwhile, China’s Communist paper publishes an ‘Onion’ story; Angus T. Jones says ‘Two and a Half Men’ is “filth”; and Gabriel Aubry publishes photos of himself post-altercation with Halle Berry’s fiance.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Mursi opponents clash with police in Cairo, http://reut.rs/QHM8Js
    Hundreds of Egyptians are protesting in Tahrir Square for the fifth straight day. The protests are in response to President Mohamed Morsi’s elimination of a legal check on his presidency, although he recently announced that he would scale back his power. Hundreds have been wounded and one has died in the demonstrations. “We don’t want a dictatorship again,” said one protester, Ahmed Hussein, 32.

    (via USA Today) GOP senators criticize Susan Rice after meeting, http://usat.ly/UZsiVo
    After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Tuesday, three GOP lawmakers say their concerns have only grown about the diplomat’s misleading statements she made about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that left the ambassador and three other Americans dead. The meeting with Sens. John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Kelly Ayotte on Capitol Hill came as the White House has signaled it may nominate Rice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of State. McCain, R-Ariz., has said he may oppose her nomination because she should have known her statements on the Sept. 11 attack were false.

    Cyber Monday bargains click with shoppers, http://nydn.us/TqdyTv
    According to Internet analytical firm comScore, this year’s Cyber Monday sales were up 20% from 2011, bringing in a record $1.5 billion. The number of shoppers on Thanksgiving was also up with 32% more people hitting the stores this holiday. Many retailers started their Cyber Monday sales early, causing Black Friday’s e-commerce shopping to top $1 billion for the first time.

    Yasser Arafat’s body exhumed in Ramallah, http://aje.me/Reonss
    Former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat’s body was exhumed Tuesday. Arafat died of a stroke in 2004; although, many believe that he was poisoned. Palestinian doctors, with with help from scientists from France, Switzerland, and Russia, are collecting samples from Arafat’s body in order to find a more conclusive cause of death. According to Al Jazeera, Arafat’s body was reburied right after exhumation and Palestinians will not be able to hold a full military funeral.

    House, Senate Republicans split over next moves on ‘fiscal cliff’, http://bit.ly/U99J2u
    According to The Hill, House and Senate Republicans cannot agree on how to handle the “fiscal cliff.” Some GOP Senators want to strike a compromise before the January deadline, while House Republicans prefer to wait in order to revise the tax-code and implement entitlement cuts. Republican Senator Bob Corker has gone on record saying that he has already drafted legislation for the “fiscal cliff” and “it’s only a matter of doing it.” However, House GOP members say that five weeks is not enough time to make the legislative changes they want, especially regarding Medicare.

    NJ Gov. Christie’s Focus: Rebuilding, Re-electionhttp://bit.ly/VaF4X1
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced Monday that he will seek reelection in 2013. Christie, who wants more time to rebuild New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, said “We have a job to do. This job won’t be finished by next year.” The governor has been considered a presidential candidate for the 2016 election, although some Republicans blame Mitt Romney’s loss on his embrace of President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

    DR Congo rebels set conditions before pullout,
     http://aje.me/Upbpaq
    Congolese rebels, known as M23, refuted reports that they’ve retreated from Goma, stating that they will not leave until their demands are met. Congo’s government said they will not entertain peace talks with the rebels until they leave Goma. 500,000 people have fled Goma, Congo’s largest city, due to its current violence. The United Nations has accused Rwanda and Uganda of backing M23, noting that Rwanda’s government and the rebels are ethnic Tutsi. Both countries have denied the claims.

    CULTURAL:

    People’s Daily Quotes the Onion: Kim Jong Eun ‘Sexiest Man Alive’, http://on.wsj.com/ToeXXi

    Angus T. Jones blasts ‘Two and a Half Men,’ calls the hit series ‘filth’, http://nydn.us/TgUFyv

    Chris Brown returns from his Twitter timeout, declaring victory, http://lat.ms/TfJfuT

    Gabriel Aubry says he was badly beaten at Halle Berry’s home, http://lat.ms/Y0kM4f

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the New Batman After All?, http://bit.ly/VaMwS6

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