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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    A shipwreck in South Korea leaves nearly 300 missing; a large al Qaeda meeting video surfaces and unsettles United States intelligence; a cold case has been solved after over 40 years; and two backpacks wreak havoc at the Boston Marathon Commemorative Ceremonies. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital; Paul Walker’s brothers will help finish filming Fast & Furious 7; and Pharrell shares a “Happy” moment with Oprah despite some tears.

    - Veronica + Maura

     CRUCIAL

    Rescuers search dark, cold sea for survivors of shipwreck off South Korea: http://rtvote.com/1t9Riha
    300 people are still missing after a ferry, charged with taking passengers to a South Korean resort, capsized and sank Wednesday. Rescue teams are still searching the Yellow Sea for potential survivors. Out of the 459 people on board, four people (three men and one woman) are known to be dead and 164 have been rescued. Most of the passengers were students and teachers from a high school in Seoul, who were on a four-day field trip to an island resort nearby. A loud bang was heard before the ship began to rapidly take on water. The crew told the passengers to put on lifejackets and jump into the ocean. Some survivors said they tried to help people get out, but were not able to in time. The cause of the accident remains a mystery.

    Unsettling video shows large al Qaeda meeting in Yemen: http://rtvote.com/1qJdDjo
    A video deemed authentic by the US government shows what has been considered the largest gathering of al Qaeda militants in years. What’s more, either the CIA or the Pentagon did not know the gathering was occurring or they could not get a drone there in time. US officials have yet to comment on their lack of action, but the video is being heavily analyzed by US intelligence. Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the group’s second in command leader worldwide, is depicted to be standing in the open greeting followers, completely unconcerned that he could be hit by a drone strike. He said in his speech: “We must eliminate the cross…. The bearer of the cross is America.” Experts say there is cause for worry, stating that the recent video means that a new round of plotting is at hand. The al Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the most dangerous sect of the terrorist organization.

    Case of missing South Dakota girls solved after 40 years: http://rtvote.com/1mcP4th
    Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller were on their way to a party in 1971 when they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Authorities originally believed it was homicide, but were forced to drop the charges against the accused man due to false evidence. Since then, the case was considered a cold case. Last September, a car was found in a creek near the girls’ destinations. Inside were skeletal remains found in the cab of the car and Miller’s driver’s license, as well as personal items like notes and photographs. DNA analysis of the remains confirmed the identities of Jackson and Miller. There was no sign of alcohol, the keys were in the car’s ignition, the car was in gear, and a tire was damaged. 40 years later, the police are finally able to provide the families with a definitive answer: the girls’ deaths were an accident.

    Man with ‘hoax device’ frays nerves at Boston Marathon site: http://rtvote.com/1gANfSa
    Commemorative ceremonies for the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing had just ended when police found two backpacks and a suspicious person, forcing them to evacuate the area. The man was lurking with a backpack near the Boylston Street finish line and was “acting peculiarly”. The Boston Police Department called in the bomb squad and blew up both backpacks as a precaution. Police also arrested the man, the owner of only one of the bags, who said the bag contained a rice cooker. The contents of the other bag are unknown. The man was arrested and charged with possession of a hoax device, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.

    Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes: http://rtvote.com/Qpuue1
    A study published in a neuroscience journal found that recreation marijuana use (as in, using a few times a week) is “enough to physically alter crucial brain structures”. Since there is little research on the effects of casual marijuana smoking, this study shed some light on the subject. Hans Breiter, the leader of the study, analyzed the brains of 20 light marijuana users and 20 nonsmokers. The brains of the smokers began to change in two major areas- the areas linked with emotion, motivation, and mental illnesses. The study parallels with the study of Staci Gruber, who focused on a batch of heavier marijuana smokers but found similar results. She said that the studies show that marijuana “is not quite the benign substance people thought it was.”

    CULTURAL

    Miley Cyrus lands in the hospital: http://rtvote.com/P5h4TE

    Paul Walker’s brothers to complete Fast & Furious 7 scenes: http://rtvote.com/1qJx0sP

    After a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, Valerie Harper says she is cancer-free! http://rtvote.com/1qJy3Ji

    Pharrell sheds tears with Oprah: watch the video! http://rtvote.com/1gGITfR

    Get the inside scoop on how Mila stays fit and healthy during her pregnancy: http://rtvote.com/1qJF0tD

    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: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    President Obama holds his first meeting with Pope Francis; at least 90 people are missing as a result of the Washington mudslide; POTUS says that the government should stop holding phone data; and Northwestern University athletes are legally allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Psych ended its 8-season run last night; the trailer for Jupiter Ascending has been released; and Joan Rivers has some harsh criticism for Lena Dunham.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Obama has first audience with Pope Francis: http://rtvote.com/1jyS19L
    President Obama and Pope Francis had their first meeting with one another on Thursday in Italy. The meeting was cordial and people hoped that the meeting would bring attention to important issues both leaders support. Much of the meeting was about the church’s role in current issues in the United States, international conflict, and human rights protection according to a statement from the Vatican. President Obama extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the United States in 2015.

    Ukraine military dolphins to switch nationalities, join Russian navy: http://rtvote.com/1j9eoQt
    Russia is planning on taking control of Ukraine’s military dolphins. These dolphins are highly trained and specialize in detecting hazards to Ukraine like sea mines or enemy scuba divers trying to enter the country’s waters. Dolphins can detect noises and objects in the ocean that humans can’t, making them effective for security. A Russian news agency reported Thursday that “the combat dolphin program in the Crimean city of Sevastopol will be preserved and redirected toward the interests of the Russian navy.”

    Obama says government should stop collecting, holding bulk phone data: http://rtvote.com/1pcb9JM
    The United States expressed outrage when former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government collected data from people’s telephones. President Obama said Thursday that the government is trying to stop collecting phone records and wants to leave that up to phone carriers, who would then provide suspicious activity to counterterrorism agencies. Other changes include the requirement that a federal judge give its approval before the government can collect phone data.

    Mudslide recovery brings tears to searchers: http://rtvote.com/OY2H42
    Firefighters and volunteer rescuers in Washington are coming to the grim reality that some people missing in the mudslide might never be found. In the beginning, there was a list of people thought to be missing after the massive mudslide leveled Oso, Washington six days ago. 140 people have since been eliminated from that list, leaving 90 people missing and 35 others who were not confirmed to be in the area when the mudslide occurred. 25 bodies have been discovered, but searchers expect that number to increase. However, due to dangerous conditions like quicksand-like mud 30-40 feet deep, ice, rain, fallen trees, and other hazards, many bodies may never be found.

    Northwestern University football players can unionize: http://rtvote.com/1g4cxai
    Athletes at Northwestern University won the right to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago recognized the athletes as employees of the university. Northwestern plans to appeal the decision, saying that the athletes are students, not employees. However, the board saw enough evidence to believe that the students were employees; they work between 20 and 50 hours a week, get paid through scholarships, and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the university. The students filed the petition to “get a seat at the bargaining table in college sports,” receive better medical coverage and concussion tests, be offered full four-year scholarships, and potentially get paid.

    CULTURAL

     Get the scoop on the Psych series finale: http://rtvote.com/1g4fs2O

    Zac Efron punched in the face during a fight: http://rtvote.com/1pA3pPY

    Joan Rivers attacks Lena Dunham’s weight: is a celebrity feud brewing? http://rtvote.com/1rFLueK

    The reviews for Noah are in! See what the critics are saying: http://rtvote.com/1o4x5cI 

    Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum steal the show in their Jupiter Ascending trailer: http://rtvote.com/1jRq3BL

    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: Monday, March 24, 2014

    Monday, March 24th, 2014

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces where they think Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is; a Chicago train derailment injures over 30 people; Ukraine orders troop removal from Crimea; dozens are still missing in Washington; and over 500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been sentenced to death in Egypt. Meanwhile; That ‘70s Show engaged costars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have some exciting news; a Disney fan theory rocks the internet; and Jimmy Kimmel creates another awesome selfie with political help.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Flight 370 passenger’s relative: ‘All lives are lost’: http://rtvote.com/1diyqYr
    On Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that missing Flight 370 has gone down over the southern part of the Indian Ocean, ending all hopes that some people on the flight might have survived. The prime minister has asked reporters to give the families their privacy. British satellites analyzed the data captured over the southern Indian Ocean that led to this conclusion. Both Australian and Chinese officials had spotted debris earlier Monday in the same area. Satellites and searches continued to be trained in that area until more leads to the missing flight are found.

    Chicago train derailment at O’Hare Airport injures at least 32: http://rtvote.com/1iupZbO
    At around 2:55am this morning, a, eight-car passenger train derailed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The train was pulling into the station and apparently failed to stop because it was going faster than it should have been; it then jumped off of the rails and hit the escalator. Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, said that six people were seriously injured and twenty-six other passengers suffered lesser injuries.  

    Dozens remain missing in Washington mudslide: http://rtvote.com/NKbzsS
    Eight people have been confirmed to have been killed in the mudslide that hit Snohmish County, a rural county in Washington State, on Saturday. Dozens more are missing as the chance of rescue crews pulling more survivors has dwindled. 30 homes have been destroyed and the numbers of critically injured people are also increasing. Rescuers had hope Saturday night when they heard voices coming from the debris field, but darkness coupled with dangerous conditions forced rescue workers to forfeit efforts; the next morning, the voices had stopped. Searches will continue until all missing people are accounted for.

    Ukraine orders Crimea troop withdrawal as Russia seizes naval base: http://rtvote.com/1h1BKXv
    Oleksndr Turchynov, the temporary interim Ukrainian president, ordered Ukrainian military forces to leave the Crimea region, believing that Russian forces in the region could potentially harm or threaten Ukrainian troops and their relatives. Russia has conquered most of the military bases in the region after annexing Crimea last week. Military personnel and their families will be evacuated. NATO is beginning to express concern over the growth of Russian military presence on the boarder of Ukraine, believing it could threaten other areas in the region.

    528 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death in Egypt: http://rtvote.com/1hg3zYj
    On Monday, 528 (or 529, as reported by some Egyptian media) Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been sentenced to death by an Egyptian court. The charges include violent riots in Minya, a city in Egypt, that occurred in August 2013 and included the death of a police officer. Ousted President Mohammed Morsey’s supporters had staged sit-ins that turned into riots after security forces got involved. These death sentences make up the most death sentences handed out in one set in modern Egyptian history according to the news site Ahram Online.

    CULTURAL

    Jackie and Kelso (I mean, Mila and Ashton) are PREGNANT! http://rtvote.com/1dHc2D4

    To Disney fans and fan theorists: check this out! http://rtvote.com/1roickA

    The Good Wife shocker that no one saw coming (spoilers): http://rtvote.com/Q7MWZg

    A political take on the Oscars’ infamous selfie: Kimmel/Clinton style! http://rtvote.com/1gRO5cc

    Either it’s a new iconic picture or a disgrace to a legend- your choice: http://rtvote.com/1hgdo8F

    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 Roundup: Friday, February 28th, 2014

    Friday, February 28th, 2014
    Masked gunmen wearing Russian uniforms seize a Ukrainian airport; the daughter of Sen. Robert Kennedy is acquitted after driving under the influence of drugs on a New York highway; Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy after hackers steal half a billion dollars worth of stock; and the Egyptian military claims to have the cure for–not one–but TWO deadly global diseases. Meanwhile Seth Rogen manages to make a CSPAN video go viral; and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are apparently engaged?!

    - Austin + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Gunmen in Russian Uniforms Sieze Airport in Ukraine http://rtvote.com/1eG8ksC
    Days after violence settled in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev, masked gunmen in Russian military attire have seized an airport in the Eastern Crimean region of Ukraine. The gunmen refused to respond when questioned about their authority and military status. It is yet unclear if there is any organized force behind the occupation. Though Kiev recently outed pro-Russian President Yanukovich, the Eastern Crimean region has historically been sympathetic to Russian interests.

    Kerry Kennedy Acquitted of Drugged Driving http://rtvote.com/1mKFK3i
    The 54-year old daughter of Senator Robert Kennedy was acquitted after a July 2012 incident in which she mistakenly took a fast-acting sleeping pill before driving along interstate 684. The pill, which she mistook for her thyroid medicine, caused her to speed, swerve dangerously, and hit a tractor trailer. Kennedy’s acquittal means she joins 21 other people (.2% of all cases) who were acquitted of misdemeanor charges in 2012.

    Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Files for Bankruptcy http://rtvote.com/1fwgk5q
    After a concerning period of silence, Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox announced it is filing for bankruptcy after hackers stole $480 million worth of its stock. Bitcoin is a newly developed currency available exclusively online. While part of Bitcoin’s appeal is that the currency is not regulated by a central bank, this also leaves the currency vulnerable. Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy has shaken the nascent industry, but users still think there is a future for Bitcoin.

    Day After Governor’s Veto, Arizona Moves Forward with Legislation Targeting Abortion Clinics
    http://bitly.com/1fYNLIM
    Just a day after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill said to permit discriminatory policies against gay Americans, the Arizona legislature has taken up a new bill to regulate abortion clinics in the state. The bill would permit unannounced inspections which, under current law, require a warrant. In the past, Gov Brewer has both supported and opposed conservative policies from the Republican arm of the state legislature; it is unclear whether or not she would support such a bill.

    Egyptian Military Claims to Have Cure for HIV http://rtvote.com/1lpiYw7
    In a surprise announcement yesterday, the Egyptian military claimed to have developed a cure for HIV and Hepatitis C after 22 years of “secret research.” If true, this could be very good news for Egypt, which has the highest global prevalence of Hepatitis C and a 1% infection rate for HIV. However, the international community is highly skeptical that Egypt could have the cure for two deadly epidemics when decades of research across the globe has failed to do so.

    CULTURAL

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are Engaged: A Timeline of the That’s 70′s Show Romance, http://rtvote.com/1dJf35s

    Justin Timberlake Gets His Butt Grabbed During a Philadelphia Concert, http://rtvote.com/1cfLkGD

    Kerry Washington Dresses Baby Bump in Chic Blue Sheath at Essence Lunch, http://rtvote.com/MBxHF9

    Seth Rogen Gives Heartfelt, Yet Hilarious, Speech Before Senate About Alzheimer’s Research, His Mother-in-Law, http://rtvote.com/1dJgoJB

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    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