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    News Round-Up: November 1, 2013

    Friday, November 1st, 2013

    Food stamp cuts set in; a super-sophisticated secret underground tunnel used for smuggling drugs from Mexico to the U.S. is discovered; and the iPad Air makes its debut. Meanwhile, Heidi Klum officially wins the Most Awesome Celebrity award for her Halloween costume, and Kristin Stewart reunites with Robert Pattinson.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Families brace as billions in food stamp cuts set inhttp://rtvote.com/1ahKIba
    Benefit cuts to food stamp recipients begin today. This comes from Congress’s decision to cut $5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in exchange for increased education funding and school nutrition programs. An increased number of needy Americans will turn to organizations that already provide meals to hungry citizens, like food pantries and the Campaign Against Hunger.

    US discovers huge hi-tech Mexican drug-smuggling tunnelhttp://rtvote.com/1hzxE8o
    Authorities have discovered one of the most sophisticated drug smuggling passages, running from warehouses in Tijuana to San Diego. The secret underground tunnel is the length of almost six football fields and is equipped with lighting, ventilation, and an electric rail system. Upon discovery, authorities found 8.5 tons of marijuana and 327 pounds of cocaine.

    Trick or treat? Canada seizes three cocaine-filled pumpkins at airporthttp://rtvote.com/1f8kcX6
    Canadian officials seized three pumpkins at the Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Cocaine-filled pumpkins, that is. Authorities found them while searching through a female traveler’s luggage. An investigation is currently underway.

    Internal notes show paltry initial enrollment in Obamacarehttp://rtvote.com/16SO7x0
    Notes from a “war room” meeting at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance revealed that only six Americans successfully enrolled in the federal health care exchange on the first day of the rollout. This number has been gradually increasing, and Joanne Peters, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman, is confident that the pace of enrollment will pick up.

    Best Deals for iPad Airhttp://rtvote.com/HsZRQG
    The new iPad Air debuts today – but before you whip out your wallet, make sure you read through this. Find out where and how to get the best deals on Apple’s latest gimmick.
     

    PUNDITS

    Senator Bernie Sanders discusses how our healthcare system could be more cost-effective without sacrificing programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in “Don’t cut the big benefit programs,”http://rtvote.com/1h614NS

    Facebook users and USA Today readers weigh in on HHS Secretary Sebelius’s apology at Wednesday’s congressional hearing in “Should Sebelius step down for Obamacare woes?” http://rtvote.com/17xwg4F

    CULTURAL

    Heidi Klum goes geriatric for Halloween, http://rtvote.com/1hzs7Pq

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Sue YouTube Cofounder Over Leaked Proposal Footage,http://rtvote.com/1bJBE1x

    Kristen Stewart Spends Time With Robert Pattinson at His House: All the Details and New Photos,http://rtvote.com/17BSr7D

    Pamela Anderson Chops Off Hair, Is Unrecognizable With New Pixie Cut, http://rtvote.com/16SVUuS

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

    Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

    A new report shows that the CIA edited Susan Rice’s talking points; Iran claims to have captured a U.S. drone; The White House rebuffs the GOP’s “fiscal cliff” proposal; Roger Ailes wanted Gen. David Petraeus to run for president; and the U.S. says there will be “consequences” if chemical weapons are used in Syria’s civil war. Meanwhile, Broadway has its strongest year in history; Obama considers Anna Wintour for an ambassadorship; and a scorned Kardashian takes to Twitter.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Report: Benghazi ‘Talking Points’ Watered Down By CIA, Not White House, http://n.pr/WGJpg4
    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Susan Rice’s infamous Benghazi talking points were actually heavily edited by the CIA and not The White House. The talking points, which Susan Rice spouted on Sunday talk shows, have become a huge point of contention as Republicans point to the incident when arguing against Rice’s potential Secretary of State nomination. Rice’s 94-word intelligence summary was compiled by two dozen CIA officials who debated for a day on how to phrase it, eventually deciding to not include any mention of al Qaeda.

    Iranian TV shows off ‘captured US ScanEagle drone,’ http://bbc.in/VsFB72
    Iranian state media announced Tuesday that the country had captured a U.S. drone quickly after it entered Iranian airspace. The U.S. Navy immediately responded that all of its drones were accounted for.

    Syrian foreign ministry spokesman ‘defects’, http://aje.me/YHILnX
    Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that Wael Merza, Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman, has defected. The violence in Syria is continuing as a recent rebel attack on a school in Damascus killed 29 students and a teacher. Meanwhile, a Turkish official has said that Russia has agreed to help convince President Bashar al-Assad to step down. On Monday, President Obama warned that there will be “consequences” if chemical weapons come into play in the country’s civil war. “The world is watching,” Obama said. In response, Syrian state media issued a statement saying the government would “never under any circumstances” use chemical weapons—“if such weapons exist.”

    GOP’s $4.6T ‘fiscal cliff’ counterproposal rebuffed, http://usat.ly/QCwtdl
    A White House spokesman has said the WH has rejected the GOP’s counteroffer for the “fiscal cliff,” saying it “does not meet the test of balance.” The proposal created by House Republicans included $800 billion in tax increases, which is half of what President Obama proposed. The plan cuts $4.6 million from the deficit over ten years and saves $600 million from Medicare and other health programs.

    CARBON MONOXIDE SICKENS 42 KIDS AT GA. SCHOOL, http://bit.ly/Vspy9b
    Forty-two students and seven teachers at an elementary school in Atlanta were hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide near a furnace in the school, which did not have detectors installed. Carbon monoxide detectors are not required by Georgia law.

    Fox News chief’s failed attempt to enlist Petraeus as presidential candidate, http://wapo.st/UCPP2a
    According to The Washington Post, in 2011, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes tried to persuade General David Petraeus to run for president. Ailes told Petraeus, who was then commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, that he should reject President Obama’s nomination for CIA director and only accept an offer to be chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. He went on to suggest that if Petraeus did not receive this appointment, then he should start a presidential campaign, which Ailes was considering stepping down from Fox to run. Rupert Murdoch was also hoping that Petraeus would consider a run for the presidency.

    Who Let This Man Die on the Subway?, http://bit.ly/TDpzoL
    There has been an uproar over today’s New York Post cover photo, which shows a man about to be hit by a subway train in New York City. A panhandler pushed Ki Suk Han, who was killed by the train, on to the tracks of the Times Square station. People are furious that the photographer took a picture of Han instead of helping him. The photographer explains, “I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash … In that moment, I just wanted to warn the train—to try and save a life.” Other witnesses say they ran to the other side of the platform to avoid the panhandler. Han’s widow said she and her husband had an argument hours before he was killed and that she tried to call him, but he never picked up.

    CULTURAL:

    Kate Middleton: Family Patterns Suggest It Could Be Twins, http://bit.ly/VjykjK

    Broadway has strongest year in history, http://bit.ly/Ysu1dT

    Obama Is Reportedly Considering Anna Wintour for Ambassadorship to UK or France, http://bit.ly/TGoHfT

    Rob Kardashian trashes ex Rita Ora in Twitter tirade, claims he got her pregnant and accuses her of cheating on him with ‘nearly 20 dudes’, http://nydn.us/SDP7RO

    Fleetwood Mac to Release New Music Before Spring Tour, http://bit.ly/R4TU0l

    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, April 24th, 2012

    Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

    A relentless North Korea will run nuclear tests for a third time; Wal-Mart faces a criminal investigation; clothing companies design gun-concealing apparel; a measure that would outlaw the death penalty makes the California ballot; Social Security will run out by 2033; and Gingrich hints at dropping out of the GOP race. Meanwhile, Kim and Kanye step out as a couple, as do Mila and Ashton; and Justin Bieber has a “Billie Jean” moment.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Exclusive: North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon,” http://reut.rs/JnCoLw
    North Korea is at it again. The reclusive country is testing its nuclear capabilities for a third time despite an embarrassing failed rocket launch last week. North Korea’s insistence on proving it’s a nuclear contender has caused hostility between it and the United States, as well as South Korea and China. Previous nuclear tests took place in 2006 and 2009.

    Wal-Mart faces federal criminal probe tied to allegations of bribery in Mexico, http://wapo.st/J75dKb
    The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into Wal-Mart after it was revealed that the store’s Mexican arm paid at least $24 million in bribes. Mexico provides a booming market for the retail chain, and Wal-Mart heads were paying bribes in return for quick building permits there. In December, Wal Mart voluntarily told the Justice Department that they believed its Mexican branch was taking part in bribery; however, that was long after the company had found out it was happening. In 2005, a whistleblower told Wal-Mart that bribes were taking place, but the company shut down the inquiry and did not inform law enforcement.

    New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun, http://nyti.ms/JvjE0u
    As more states pass concealed carry laws, clothing companies like Woolrich and Under Armour are designing clothing that will allow gun owners to discreetly carry and access their handguns. The apparel will look like everyday clothing and will not require a gun holster. “What we’ve tried to do is create a collection of garments that allows the end user to have stylish lifestyle apparel but have features in the garment that enable them to carry a weapon and draw the weapon quickly,” said the vice president of clothing company 5.11. Last year, 7 million Americans had a concealed-weapons permit, up 2 million people from 2008.

    Measure that would end death penalty in California qualifies for ballot, http://lat.ms/IOFPuJ
    A measure that would replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole has qualified for the ballot in California this November. If the measure passes, more than 700 people on death row would have their sentences commuted. California has one of the largest death rows in the United States. One of the reasons the measure has come up is that it would save the state a great deal of money. The legal process for those sentenced takes so long that most inmates die of old age before facing lethal injection. Not to mention, in the past 23 years, the 13 inmates that California executed cost taxpayers $4 billion.

    Social Security moving toward insolvency even faster; officials say, as boomers start retiring, http://wapo.st/IBHrZE
    The federal government revealed yesterday that Social Security may run out by 2033, three years earlier than previously predicted. The weak economy paired with a large number of aging baby boomers has contributed to the quickly dwindling funds, which lawmakers have not made moves to fix. Medicare will also be insolvent as early as 2024. Government officials have said that Congress must act quickly and drastically to save both Social Security and Medicare.

    Gingrich hints he may drop from race this week, http://on.msnbc.com/IeQX35
    Newt Gingrich told a crowd in Delaware yesterday that if he does not do well in the state’s primary he will “reassess” his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. Delaware is a winner-take-all state, but if Gingrich does not receive many votes in the primary he will “need to take a deep look at what [he is] doing.” Gingrich also noted that while Mitt Romney is the frontrunner “that doesn’t mean he is inevitable.”

    Katrina vanden Heuvel wants to combat new voting laws in a “Vote for Universal Registration,” http://wapo.st/I6Z5r9

    CULTURAL:

    Russell Brand Testifies on Drug Addiction, Calls It a Health Matter, http://eonli.ne/ImqzXx

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Step Out Holding Hands: Now Is It Official?, http://eonli.ne/I2X1Lz

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Spend Weekend Together, http://bit.ly/I6ZIRu

    Demi Lovato says promoters gave her drugs and alcohol, http://cbsn.ws/JnHabW

    Justin Bieber pens song about baby-claim fan Mariah Yeater, http://usat.ly/Iq2S18

    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 14, 2012

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

    In today’s news, a group of Iranians may be responsible for bombings in Bangkok; Republicans agree to payroll tax extensions; and a silver mine threatens a Mexican community’s way of life. Additionally, the trailer for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” has been released, and a Catholic group criticizes Nicki Minaj’s Grammy’s performance.

    CRUCIAL:

    Explosions in Bangkok Injure Suspected Iranian National, http://nyti.ms/AeOTSc
    There were several explosions today in Bangkok, Thailand. Witnesses say three men, who did not appear ethnically Thai, fled a house following the explosions. Two of the men escaped, but a third was unable to. When a cab refused to pick him up, he threw a grenade at it and then threw a grenade at police officers. The man checked into a hotel as an Iranian and had Iranian currency. Israel had previously warned Thailand of possible terrorist attacks which led to the arrest of a Lebanese man in January.

    House Republican leaders agree to payroll tax holiday extension without offsets, http://wapo.st/zdNooR
    Republican leaders have backed down from their demands that the payroll tax extension be offset by spending cuts. Over Christmas, the Republicans almost did not vote for the extension which would have amounted to a tax increase on most Americans. The average American will have $80 more in their pocket each month thanks to this tax holiday. In addition to this, Congress is hammering out agreements for the $50 billion needed for unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

    Huichol ‘cosmic portal’ peyote ceremonies threatened by silver mine, http://wapo.st/yGS00l
    The Huichol people of Mexico fear an existential threat from a Canadian group seeking to mine a mountain for silver. The group eats peyote as part of a religious experience to heighten introspection and insight. To them, the silver and gold under the mountain contribute to the energies of the peyote and their lifestyle. Other local Mexicans are in favor of the mine as a way to gain jobs.

    Santorum, Taking On Michigan, Wants to Talk Jobs, Not Social Issues, http://nyti.ms/xNuqoC
    After winning many primaries with the help of evangelicals and Tea Party enthusiasts, Santorum is trying to win over those concerned with the economy just as much as morality. While campaigning in Michigan, a state rife with economic issues, Santorum has tried to convince voters that he is just as capable as Mitt Romney when it comes to revitalizing the economy.

    Model Struts Path to Stardom Not on Runway, but on YouTube, http://nyti.ms/yTe8cA
    Kate Upton has followed a unique path to make the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Instead of finding success on international runways, she has become an internet sensation on YouTube. Upton was first noticed when a video of her doing “The Dougie” at an NBA game went viral. Since then, the video has garnered 3 millions views, and Upton has over 100,000 followers on Twitter.

    Backers of Iran Sanctions Make an Appeal to China, http://nyti.ms/zR8c4M
    American groups that have worked hard to isolate and impoverish Iran have reached out to China. These groups are trying to use sanctions to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. As Xi Jinping visits the United States prior to his ascension to power in China, American groups are reaching out to him. China purchases much of Iran’s petroleum and it has the unique ability to sanction Iran in meaningful ways.

    Lottery jackpots may get bigger, http://usat.ly/yfXs8q
    A resident of Rhode Island recently won a powerball lottery sum of over $300 million. Lottery officials estimate that there will soon be a total prize of over $500 Million. The new changes that have increased totals include doubling ticket costs and raising the minimum total prize to $40 million. Officials say that under the current model, there will be a prize of $1 billion every 10 years.

    CULTURAL:

    Haute Event: Perez Hilton Brings the Broken Heart Ball to the Bank, http://bit.ly/yPFNMG
    Grammy Parties: Photos From the Recording Academy, Clive Davis, Cash Money, Belvedere, Pepsi, and More, http://bit.ly/y4b0Kx
    Whitney Houston to be laid to rest Saturday in N.J., http://trib.in/zP98uN
    Las Vegas’ newest museum puts the Mafia on exhibit, http://bit.ly/wXDZSV
    “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” trailer released, http://bit.ly/xdCMaF
    Catholic League President Denounces Nicki Minaj’s “Roman Zolanski” Exorcism/Performance At Grammys, http://bit.ly/zzJ9mi
    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: Friday, November 4, 2011

    Friday, November 4th, 2011

    Unemployment dropped to 9% in October; Corzine resigns from MF Global; Boehner says the supercommittee’s deal will include tax increases; Pakistan has been hiding its nuclear weapons to avoid US raids; Cain may sue Politico; and Groupon has successfully gone public. Meanwhile, the mother of Justin Bieber’s alleged child may face rape charges, and GTL no longer? Snooki claims The Situation is broke.

    Coral + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Unemployment rate drops to 9 percent, http://goo.gl/sb2oJ
    Unemployment decreased to 9% in October; despite this, only 80,000 jobs were added in comparison to the 100,000 that were expected. The private sector added 104,000 jobs, which was in line with estimates. The number of jobs added in September was also upped from 103,000 to 158,000.

    As Regulators Pressed Changes, Corzine Pushed Back, and Won, http://goo.gl/VS3Nj
    Jon Corzine has resigned from MF Global, his brokerage firm which has now gone bankrupt. As CEO, Corzine persuaded regulators to allow MF Global to conduct risky trades that ultimately led to the company’s demise. He also pressed regulators to allow a transaction that essentially would allow MF Global to borrow money from its customers. Now officials are looking over the company’s books in order to find the $630 million missing from customers.

    Boehner: Debt deal will include new tax revenues, http://goo.gl/AD2bN
    John Boehner announced yesterday that any bi-partisan debt deal reached by the “supercommittee” will include tax hikes. The Speaker went on to say that the tax increases will only be added if serious reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are included.

    The Ally From Hell, http://goo.gl/0xGXG
    According to The Atlantic, Pakistan has been continuously shuffling its nuclear weapons between the 15 facilities that hold them in order to make it harder for India or the US to carry out a raid. The moving of the weapons has been done in normal, low-security vehicles in everyday traffic. “The Pakistani government is willing to make its nuclear weapons more vulnerable to theft by jihadists simply to hide them from the United States, the country that funds much of its military budget,” Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder write.

    Cain camp considering legal action against Politico, http://goo.gl/Rl1Y2
    An aide to Herman Cain said yesterday that the candidate is considering legal action against Politico for reporting on his past sexual harassment claims. This is likely not over with Politico from a legal perspective,” the campaign official told The Washington Post. Despite this, Politico is still reporting on the allegations, revealing new details where one of the two women claims Cain made a sexual overture to her at a group event. The woman felt her job would be at risk if she did not comply with Cain in the situation. Meanwhile, Cain’s wife, who was supposed to do her first interview today with Fox News, has since cancelled.

    Groupon shares surge 46 percent in early trading, http://goo.gl/VjUXi
    Groupon has raised $700 million since it went public today. It has sold 35 million shares at $20 each, which is above the original price of $16-$18. This is the largest IPO for an Internet company since Google went public in 2004. Groupon will begin trading on NASDAQ today under the ticket symbol GRPN.

    Judge won’t face charges in videotaped beating, http://goo.gl/rwr4F
    William Adams, the Texas family-court judge who was videotaped beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt, will not face charges because the statute of limitations has expired. Adams’ daughter, now 23, posted the video to YouTube where it caused an uproar. In a statement, Judge Adams said that his daughter posted the video because she was angry he reduced her financial allowance and took away her Mercedes. He did not apologize for the abuse and noted that the video “looks worse than it is.”

    CULTURAL: 

    Police: Bieber sexual tryst may be investigated, http://goo.gl/DodFs

    Jury to get Michael Jackson doctor manslaughter case Friday, http://goo.gl/6IX5L

    ‘Jersey Shore’ star Snooki: ‘The Situation is broke,’ http://goo.gl/eTQiT

    Drew Barrymore, Eddie Murphy Top Forbes Overpaid Actors List, http://goo.gl/uHwox

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