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    News Round-Up: Friday, March 28, 2014

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    A new CDC study underscores major increases in cases of Autism; appeals court upholds challenged parts of major TX abortion law; Microsoft releases Office products for iPad…finally; and voting rights activists are noticing some positive changes in 2014. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez is allegedly served legal papers in regards to Bieber’s recent troubles; The Colbert Report is under fire on Twitter with a #CancelColbert hashtag; and James Van Der Beek admits to doing something illegal for Justin Timberlake.

    Shameless Plug Alert: Congratulations to the Dayton Flyers (my alma mater) on making it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament! First time in 30 years. Way to go Flyers!

    -Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Autism rates soar, now affects 1 in 68 children, http://rtvote.com/1myqmpv
    Between 2008 and 2010, Autism rates have climbed nearly 30 percent and have more than doubles since the turn of the century according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new study. The study also points out that Autism is now believed to affect 1 of every 68 eight-year-olds—a dramatic increase. What is driving this increase still remains unknown. Some believe it’s a rise in awareness of the disease while other speculate on environmental reasons.

    Appeals court upholds challenged parts of Texas abortion law, http://rtvote.com/1gJFJtd
    On Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld parts of a Texas abortion law which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away. Planned Parenthood, which led the lawsuit against the bill, claims the law will cause clinics to shut down because hospitals would refuse doctors admitting privileges. This particular legislation, House Bill No.2, first garnered national attention when Senator Wendy Davis (now gubernatorial candidate), led a 13 hour filibuster to try and prevent the bill’s passage. The ruling of this appeal is considered a victory for anti-abortion activists.

    Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence, http://rtvote.com/1pBw6vO
    Continuing on with his diplomatic duties, President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia to reassure Arab allies that despite troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and greater energy independence, the United States is not abandoning the Arab world. On his overnight trip there are only two items on his public schedule: a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah at his desert camp.

    Microsoft to Offer Office for iPad, Maybe a Bit Late, http://rtvote.com/QnF8CJ
    It’s finally here! Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications to the iPad which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced a commitment to make the software work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors. Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of development and debate inside the company over implications that could occur against their own technology developments.

    VOTING RIGHTS

    Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction, http://rtvote.com/P1u5hq
    The primary election season is just around the corner, and voting rights activists are identifying some notable changes in relation to laws and restrictions around voting.  Although there have been a flurry of new rules, like the party-line vote for the elimination of a week of early voting in Ohio last month, some activists are noticing fewer restrictions and even some bipartisanship progress. Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University remarked that there has been “a lot of real momentum in 2014, thus far, towards improving our elections both at the states and nationally.” On that note, don’t forget to register to vote ! 

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Served With Legal Papers, http://rtvote.com/1rKLNVD

    The Colbert Report Tweets Racist Joke, Twitter Users Rally to #CancelColbert, http://rtvote.com/1jYCXy1

    Beyoncé Breaks Down in Tears During Final Carter Show Concert: “I’m Giving Y’all an Ugly Cry!”, http://rtvote.com/1maROGX

    Lady Gaga Celebrates 28th Birthday With Macabre “27 Club” Joke, http://rtvote.com/1pijgVc

    James Van Der Beek Let Underage Justin Timberlake Use His ID in the 90’s, http://rtvote.com/1fsBKfb

    Seth Meyers: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, http://rtvote.com/P1jwLm

    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: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    The race for the marriage equality in Virginia continues; Web companies release secret government data requests; a new winter storm is looming; and a restaurant’s customer leaves a $15,000 tip. Meanwhile, Olivia Newton John will be headlining a Vegas show; and Taylor Swift talks love.

    -Gianna + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Race on same-sex marriage cases runs through Virginia,http://rtvote.com/1ev4K8A
    The race for marriage equality is beginning to take a sharp turn in the commonwealth of Virginia. As lawsuits are filed on both sides on the issue, many are beginning to wonder if the Virginia fight for equal rights will land in the hands of the Supreme Court. Virginia’s new Attorney General, Mark R. Herring said recently that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage, which was voted on and approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional and cannot be defended. Although, many marriage equality cases in Virginia are moving quickly, none of the cases will reach a federal court during the current term and the cases have yet to reach an appellate court.

    Web companies give first look at secret government data requests,http://rtvote.com/1jbG7RW
    As of Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have all released reports publishing details of government requested data. Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said on Monday that the information requested by the government is not as vast as many citizens have feared. “We have not received the type of bulk data requests that are commonly discussed publicly regarding telephone records,” Smith said. Smith goes on to cite media reports in regards to Snowden’s leaked documents and finishes his remarks by saying, “Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies; We believe the Constitution requires that our government seek information from American companies within the rule of law.”

    Restaurant customer leaves $15K for three waitresses, http://rtvote.com/1ipw60F
    Three waitresses were discussing student loans and dreams of completing school when one of their customers walked over and asked for their names. The customer was a God send: she gave each young woman $5,000 dollars. The unnamed customer told the waitresses,“I want you girls to take these to help with school and everything else in life.You put that in your pocket. God sent me here to help you.” What an amazing story and act of kindness!

    Bundle Up: Another Blast of Snow, Nasty Weather Moves In,  http://rtvote.com/1ipOmHd
    Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog was not kidding: there really will be more winter! Another storm is heading in this week after cold weather already caused a few issues on Monday. More than 100 million people in 24 states could be impacted by this week’s looming winter storm. The forecast is said to stretch from the Great Plains to southern New England blanketing parts of the Midwest with up to a foot of snow on Wednesday. Stay warm everyone! 

     

    CULTURAL

    Olivia Newton-John headlining Vegas show, http://rtvote.com/1aZlPbM

    William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke Dead: Lead Singer Of Third World Dies At Age 65, http://rtvote.com/1jbTr8V

    Barbara Walters Defends Woody Allen, Fights With Sherri Shepherd on The View, http://rtvote.com/MXpYlR

    Taylor Swift Talks Love: “Never Give Anyone An Excuse to Say You’re Crazy, http://rtvote.com/1bnwwQ0

    Outkast, Soundgarden to play Sasquatch! Music Festival,http://rtvote.com/1jbVfPh

    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: December 9, 2013

    Monday, December 9th, 2013

    Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War vet, has been released from North Korea after six weeks; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Yahoo have joined forces to fight the NSA; and local police agencies have started copying the NSA’s spying habits. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez throws a hissy fit on stage, and the mystery surrounding Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles’ relationship remains ongoing.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    Merrill Newman has been deported from North Korea: reporthttp://rtvote.com/1gSBDfd
    The 85-year-old Korean War veteran, Merrill Newman, has finally been released after being detained in North Korea for six weeks. Newman had been held on charges of “hostile acts” against the state for his role in the war. North Korea released him because Newman apologized and also because of his age and medical condition. VP Joe Biden met Newman in Beijing to welcome him on his way home.

    Tech giants band together in anti-snooping coalitionhttp://rtvote.com/19c6WA0
    Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo have come together to form what is essentially an anti-NSA coalition. Dubbed the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, these popular tech companies are determined to limit the federal government’s authority to collect user information. The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google have written an open letter to the federal government.

    Meet Mort Crim: The inspiration for Will Ferrell’s ‘Anchorman’http://rtvote.com/19wbw8G
    As theaters prepare for ‘Anchorman 2’, Ron Burgundy has been popping up on talk shows and sports events around the country. Even though the hilarious news anchor is a fictional character, he is based on someone very real. Meet the man who inspired Will Ferrell’s perfectly mustached character.

    Cellphone data spying: It’s not just the NSAhttp://rtvote.com/1dhAdbx
    The NSA is not the only one spying on people. Local police are now using new technologies to secretly collect data from people’s cellphones. About 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a “tower dump”, and at least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a device that acts as a fake cell tower. 36 other police agencies refuse to say whether they’ve used either tactic.

    ‘127 Hours’ author arrested in Denverhttp://rtvote.com/1gSNw4F
    The man who James Franco portrayed in ‘127 Hours’ was arrested for assault and wrongs to minors in Denver on Saturday night. Aron Lee Ralston, 38, is due in court this afternoon. Ralston is best known for amputating his own arm with a dull blade after being trapped by a boulder for five days in a Utah canyon.

     

    CULTURAL

    Selena Gomez Curses During Performance, Walks Off Stage After Technical Difficulties, http://rtvote.com/1jEeZJQ

    Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles Leave NYC Hotel Together, http://rtvote.com/J7kByw

    One Direction Joins Paul Rudd and His Anchorman 2 Costars on SNL, Debut “Through the Dark,”http://rtvote.com/IXIWGn

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Attend Her Brother’s Wedding, http://rtvote.com/1cwnaVd

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

    The US adds forces in the Persian Gulf; Chief Justice Roberts reportedly switched his view to uphold the individual mandate; and Microsoft takes $6.2 billion in losses in its fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Andy Griffith dies at 86, and J.K. Rowling reveals the cover for ‘The Casual Vacancy.’

    Maureen + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran, http://nyti.ms/MRnSNY
    The United States has deployed military reinforcements in the Persian Gulf. This move, meant to keep Iran from shutting down the Strait of Hormuz and moving forward with its nuclear ambitions, has apparently been in the U.S.’s plans for a while. The move is also meant to signal to Israel that the U.S. is on top of its enemy. There is a risk, though. Increased military presence in the Persian Gulf could agitate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, especially since the U.S. and other allies are planning to embargo Iranian oil exports.

    Roberts switched views to uphold health care law, http://cbsn.ws/MRm8UQ
    Sources reveal that Chief Justice John Roberts initially intended to overturn the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with the court’s four liberal justices. After learning that he was going to uphold the law, the court’s four conservative justices tried for a month to change his mind. Justice Anthony Kennedy—the one conservative judge that many assumed would defect to the court’s liberals—was reportedly “relentless” in trying to get Roberts to side with the conservative justices. The conservatives refused to join any aspect of Roberts’ opinion and drafted an unusual joint dissent.

    Microsoft takes $6.2B hit to account for ad woes, http://bit.ly/N5DCLA
    Microsoft Corp. will take a $6.2 billion hit, mainly due to its ill-advised purchase of aQuantive, an online advertising business. The charge will cut a hole in the company’s fourth quarter, which ended in June, with analysts predicting the company’s earnings to be about $5.3 billion. Microsoft has been criticized recently for some of its acquisitions, including paying too much for aQuantive in 2007 and its risky 2011 Skype undertaking.

    CULTURAL:

    Andy Griffith Dead at 86, http://bit.ly/MT1q8E

    Anderson Cooper: “I’m gay, always have been, always will be,” http://bre.ad/12dpaz

    See the cover for ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling, http://bre.ad/1c3opt

    Marvel unveils top-secret ‘Avengers’ short film ‘Item 47,’ http://bre.ad/1aawuw

    Maureen Dolan
    Bio: Maureen is the Marketing & Communications intern for Rock the Vote.

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