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    News Round-Up: Monday, April 21, 2014

    Monday, April 21st, 2014

    Repercussions for the captain and crew of the sunken Sewol ferry continue; a massive drone strike allegedly takes out 30 al Qaeda militants in Yemen; and a teen survives a flight to Hawaii in an airplane’s wheel well. Meanwhile, the White House responds to the petition to deport Justin Bieber; Lindsay Lohan reveals shocking news; and the White House Easter Egg Roll is under way!

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Breaking News: Boston Marathon Updates: Kenyan Rita Jeptoo is the Women’s Champion; American Meb Keflezighi is the Men’s Champion.

    South Korean President: Actions of sunken ferry captain ‘akin to murder’: http://rtvote.com/1lvRxSM
    President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, said that some of the actions of the captain and crew of the sinking ferry Sewol to murder. Four arrests of crew members have already been made, although the captain of the ship, Lee Joon-seok, is defending his actions. He delayed the order to evacuate because he felt that people would drift too far away from the wreck to be rescued and might perish due to the frigid water temperature. Lee is being charged with the following: “abandoning his boat, negligence, causing bodily injury, not seeking rescue form other ships, and violating ‘seaman’s law’”. The death toll has climbed to 87, and 215 others are still missing. Most of the passengers were students and staff from a nearby high school on a field trip; they make up a majority of the dead and missing.

    Source: ‘Massive and unprecedented’ attack targets al Qaeda in Yemen: http://rtvote.com/1mrZQvX
    At least 30 members of the highly dangerous al-Qaeda sect in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, have been killed in drone strikes in Yemen. A few of the dead are believed to be high-value targets and “foreign nationals”. The massive strikes that began on Saturday are a direct response to the video of the unnerving AQAP gathering in Yemen that surfaced last week. An official has said that the drone strikes were part of a joint operation between the United States and the Yemeni government. DNA analysis of the dead will confirm their identities, which will then help the Yemeni government determine if any of the dead are civilians or if the strikes managed to kill a top AQAP official.

    ‘Incredible’ – teen apparently survives flight to Hawaii in landing gear: http://rtvote.com/1jqYDkp
    A 16-year-old boy hopped a fence at the Mineta San Jose International Airport and stowed away in a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 landing gear chamber. The FBI has been called in to investigate the seemingly unbelievable story. The boy, who had no form of identification on him, allegedly survived a 5 hour flight in the cramped compartment at a 38,000 foot altitude with limited oxygen and temperatures reaching -80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the story has not just created awe. People are now seeing that there could be major security breaches at airports. Although footage of the boy was caught on a security camera, he still managed to get past all security personnel. There was also risk for the people on board: the wheel well is filled with cables and wires and other technology, and the stowaway could have easily damaged something inside the plane, putting those aboard the flight at risk.

    Biden in Ukraine to show support as tensions rise: http://rtvote.com/PnthmK
    On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden began a visit to Ukraine to show the United State’s continued support of Ukrainian independence. He will meet with the government leaders that took over after pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office in February. Biden plans to announce new technological and economic reforms that could be implemented in the country. He will also discuss other means of United States support.

    CULTURAL

    Lindsay Lohan reveals shocking news: http://rtvote.com/1rfwOja

    The petition calling for Justin Bieber’s deportation gets a response: http://rtvote.com/1r9f0Ix

    Country singer Kevin Sharp passes away at 43: http://rtvote.com/1rfAJN6

    Mindy Kaling and Kate Middleton have similar tastes! http://rtvote.com/1gNAIuI

    Get the scoop on the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll: http://rtvote.com/1msgDiw

    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: 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: Monday, April 7, 2014

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    The latest lead for missing flight might be the most credible one yet; more major Ukrainian cities fall to Russian protesters; the Ebola virus in Africa has some concern for a worldwide outbreak; and diseases previously eradicated in the United States are making a deadly comeback. Meanwhile, legendary actor Mickey Rooney dies at age 93; the royal family lands “down under”; and Hillary Clinton’s photo with Pussy Riot dominates the web.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Malaysia Flight 370: New signal sounds ‘just like’ one from a plane’s beacon: http://rtvote.com/1hTMVls
    The Ocean Shield, an Australian naval vessel containing a United States pinger locator, found signals in the Indian Ocean that appear to be from an airplane on Sunday. The signals are ones specially designed to be picked up by recorders and are not natural sounds. They were located in a part of the Indian Ocean that’s 14,800 feet deep. Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said that investigators also have a “visual locator on a screen” as well as the sound data. However, he says searching in deep marine waters could take days, but that “we are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be.” As of Monday, the search for Flight 370 has lasted 31 days.

    Russia trying to ‘dismember’ Ukraine through protests, Kiev says: http://rtvote.com/1jnRfcq
    Pro-Russian protesters have broken into and seized several important government buildings in Ukrainian cities this weekend, prompting Kiev to accuse Russia of attempting to ‘dismember’ Ukraine and replicate its actions in Crimea. Police said that some of the protesters had seized weapons while invading the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Donetsk People’s Republic, a new self-proclaimed legislative branch, said it would vote May 11th to join Russia. Current Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia was starting a “second wave of a special operation against Ukraine intended to overthrow the Kiev government.” Moscow has yet to offer its opinion or rebuttal.

    Anti-vaccine movement is giving diseases a 2nd life: http://rtvote.com/1lFPpoa
    As vaccination rates drop in the United States, diseases once deemed eradicated by the United States government-like whooping cough and measles-are now making a comeback. Measles outbreaks have recently been reported in New York, California, and Texas. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and has a reputation for being a ruthless killer. Although vaccination rates hold at 90%, some states-like Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, and Vermont-have noted that almost 5% of kindergartners have gone completely unvaccinated. The anti-vaccine movement has gained popularity as some celebrities have publicly denounced vaccinating their children. Some people still believe the now-debunked idea that vaccines cause autism, while others feel as though the government and pharmaceutical companies are not “trustworthy.”

    As Ebola spreads in Africa, how worried should West be? http://rtvote.com/1gDy9L1
    The Ebola virus, a deadly, easily contracted virus resulting in widespread outbreaks, has begun to spread throughout Africa. Ebola is almost always fatal, killing about 90% of people infected, and there are no vaccines or treatments. This current outbreak of the virus began in Guinea’s rainforests, moved to its capital city, and has now crossed over into Liberia. Workers in the area, however, have been able to answer definitely that, due to the extreme close contact needed to contract the disease, the likelihood of a worldwide epidemic is slim-to-none. Most people infected are health workers caring for the sick. Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids like blood, sweat, or saliva, and can incubate in people for up to 21 days before symptoms are revealed.

    Bus hits student near High Point High School: http://rtvote.com/1h8nX1R
    A bus drifted across a road, hit an 8-year-old boy, and landed in a ditch. The boy was waiting for the bus to come when he was hit. Witnesses reacted quickly and were able to pull the boy out from underneath the bus. For an unknown reason, the bus driver left the bus with nine children on board and apparently did not set the emergency brake. He stayed at the scene of the accident as investigators attempted to determine the reason he left the bus, and is expected to face reckless endangerment charges. Five of the 9 students on the bus, along with the boy who was hit, were transported to the hospital. All children are in stable condition and will recover fully.

    CULTURAL

    Acting legend Mickey Rooney dies at 93: http://rtvote.com/1ikFbFq

    Hillary Clinton’s picture with Pussy Riot takes over the web: http://rtvote.com/OrXosE

    The Royals rock New Zealand and Australia: http://rtvote.com/1kjvv56

    The ACM’s were last night: see the arrival pictures! http://rtvote.com/PG7NlG

    Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere crashed HBO’s online stream: http://rtvote.com/QXynrC

    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