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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

    The SCOTUS comes to a decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case; a powerful earthquake strikes off the coast of Chile; Muriel Bowser defeats incumbent in DC mayoral primary; and bombings hit Cairo University in Egypt. Meanwhile, the Broadway cast of The Lion King does an epic rendition of the “Circle of Life” in an unexpected place; Michael Strahan shares some big news with the TV world; and Anna Kendrick preps for her SNL appearance.

    -Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    DEVELOPING STORY: Justices strike down political donor limits: http://rtvote.com/1dN6htc
    The Supreme Court of the United States has determined the outcome of the McCutcheon v. FEC case.  With a vote of 5-4, individuals are no longer faced with a limit on how much they can donate to political campaigns. The winning argument determined that individual donor limits and regulations violated the First Amendment rights of the donor.

    Powerful earthquake strikes off Chile, triggers tsunami: http://rtvote.com/1pL0c20
    A massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck directly off the coast of Chile on Tuesday. Fortunately, damage was minimal; landslides wiped out roads in some places and phone and power lines were also knocked out. Tsunami warnings were also in effect as tsunamis hit at various beaches, generating 6 to 7 foot waves. Five people died: two had heart attacks while the others were crushed by debris. People fled to higher ground as soon as the quake was felt, creating some traffic jams. Some are still without any source of power or phones, not knowing if they are able to return to their homes. There is no danger for the United States coastline.

    Muriel Bowser defeats Gray in DC mayoral primary: http://rtvote.com/1hhuFO7
    DC Councilmember Muriel Bowser defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in yesterday’s mayoral primary. Gray had been hit with scandals and a federal investigation relating to potential monetary felonies that helped him get elected in 2010. The Democratic primary winner has won every official election in Washington because 75% of registered voters in the district are Democrats; however, the Republican challenger, David Catania, is a definite contender. Despite Bowser’s win, many voters were discouraged with the candidates running and the election experienced a low voter turnout.

    Regulators did not properly track complaints on GM switches, inspector general says: http://rtvote.com/1oqcDTM
    According to the Department of Transportation’s inspector general Calvin L. Scovel III, “federal auto safety regulators lacked effective procedures for tracking consumer complaints” about the flaw in the ignition: the issue that has spurred the recall and resulted in thirteen deaths. General Motors’ Chief Executive, Mary T. Barra, says she was unaware of the issue until this year and did not answer questions relating to GM’s failure to fix the flaw. GM has recalled 2.6 million Chevy Cobalts deemed at risk for the ignition switch flaw. According to lawmakers, the ignition switch problem could have been solved by GM for a cost of .57 cents per vehicle.

    Bombings rock area near Cairo University: http://rtvote.com/1mKyRhw
    Two bombs planted outside of Cairo University in Egypt exploded, killing an Egyptian police officer and wounding five other security officers. Violence like this has been prevalent since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi last year, and is expected to escalate as Election Day grows closer. The current Egyptian leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is expected to win with almost no contest, as the Muslim Brotherhood, the political party behind Morsi, and Egypt’s most organized party, have been banned. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack, although people speculate that Islamic militants are responsible. 

    CULTURAL

    The Lion King Broadway cast gives an impromptu performance: watch the awesome video! http://rtvote.com/1ft6eRL

    Anna Kendrick’s SNL promos are a thing of beauty & hilarity: http://rtvote.com/1mKFekZ  

    Michael Strahan has some big news: http://rtvote.com/1pQYSc5

    Miley Cyrus grieving over dog’s death: http://rtvote.com/1go46Xp

    Two people debate the How I Met Your Mother finale: http://rtvote.com/1oqkwbV

    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: Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

    Protests kill 7 in Cairo; Mexican drug cartel leader captured; Juror from Zimmerman trial discusses verdict; freight trains to the U.S. border are more closely examined; Senate reaches tentative deal to avoid party-line vote; Virginia state officials move forward in restoring voting rights to nonviolent felons. Meanwhile, we can now find Carmen Sandiego, Prince Harry look-alike sneaks in to see Kate, and Carly Rae Jepsen proves no hand-eye coordination is necessary to sing.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL
    Egypt turmoil: Seven killed in Cairo clashes, http://rtvote.com/15ioEwQ

    Seven people have been killed in Cairo in overnight clashes between security forces and supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The clashes came as a senior US envoy visited Egypt and remarked that it had been given a “second chance” at democracy.

    Leader of Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel captured, http://rtvote.com/12D5y5X
    Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the notoriously brutal leader of the feared Zetas drug cartel was captured on Monday by Mexican Marines who intercepted a pickup truck with $2 million in cash. Trevino Morales was taken into custody along with a bodyguard, an accountant, and 8 guns. He is now charged with the kidnapping and killing of 265 migrants.

    Juror: ‘No doubt’ that George Zimmerman feared for his life, http://rtvote.com/15ipZnr
    One of the female jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman, identified in CNN’s interview as Juror B37, is the first juror to speak publically about the case. She said she believes Zimmerman’s “heart was in the right place” the night he shot Trayvon Martin, but that he didn’t use “good judgment” in confronting the Florida teen.

    In Mexico, rails are risky crossing for a new wave of Central American migrants, http://rtvote.com/12D7hYZ
    Central Americans have been catching freight trains to the U.S. border for years, risking injury or worse for a free ride and a path clear of Mexican government checkpoints. Although illegal immigration to the U.S. is at its lowest point in four decades, the number of Central Americans going north has soared, placing new attention on the rail system taking thousands to the boarder each year.

    Senate reaches tentative deal on nuclear option, http://rtvote.com/15iDTWy
    Senators have reached a tentative deal to avert the “nuclear option” on filibuster rules. The proposal is not yet agreed upon by the White House but Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said, “ it is a compromise.”

    In VA, Bid to Restore Rights to Nonviolent Felons, http://rtvote.com/15irQIX
    “For past offenders, our goal is to grant civil rights back to as many as possible” said Governor Bob McDonnell. On Monday, state officials in VA outlined steps for thousands of nonviolent felons to regain their right to vote.  Myrna Perez, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center for Justice, said the move by VA is part of a national trend as states recognize that the denial of basic rights to offenders serves little societal good.

    CULTURAL

    Carly Rae Jepsen’s Hilariously Bad First Pitch- Watch!, http://rtvote.com/15iBuvd

    Prince Harry Look-Alike (and a Bear!) Visit Kate Middleton’s Hospital Ahead of Royal Baby’s Birth, http://rtvote.com/12Djddp

    ‘Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?’ Returning To PBS?, http://rtvote.com/15iD14d

    Tom Cruise’s upcoming sci-fi film gets a Comic-Com panel and a new title, http://rtvote.com/190Qkf1

    Dave Matthews hitchhikes to his own concert, http://rtvote.com/190QsuR

     

    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: July 11, 2013

    Thursday, July 11th, 2013

    Judge in the Zimmerman case holds hearing to decide if jurors should consider lesser charges; Mohamed Morsi is still in an unknown location; Pope Francis responds to UN on child abuse; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty in Boston Marathon bombings; missing people presumed dead in Canada train crash; and House Republicans are resistant to immigrating reform legislation. Meanwhile, the media is already setting up for Kate Middleton to give birth; Randy Travis is out of surgery; Adam Lambert does Glee; and John Mayer buys guitar for a fan.

    -Maura

    CRUCIAL
    Judge Considers lesser charges in Zimmerman case
    , http://rtvote.com/12oNnB7
    This Thursday morning, state prosecutors are asking the judge in the Trayvon Martin murder case to instruct jurors to consider lesser charges, like aggravated assault or manslaughter, when they begin deliberations. Zimmerman is currently being tried for second-degree murder.  Zimmerman’s attorneys have objected and the judge is holding a hearing to decide.

    A week after the coup, Egyptians ask: ‘Where is Morsi?’, http://rtvote.com/18PImp4
    It has been one week and nobody knows where former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is located. Authorities promise he is in a “safe place” and have also issued warrants for hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters. The warrants target Senior Islamist officials accused of provoking the violence that led to the fatal shooting of more than 50 pro-Morsi demonstrators on Monday.
    Pope Expands Sex Abuse Laws in Response to U.N. Criticisms, http://rtvote.com/155qgKd
    Pope Francis is finally complying with the United Nation’s Commission for the Rights of the Child about the Vatican’s poor record on child abuse.  The Holy See was given until January to submit a detailed report to the United Nations that answers specific questions and hands over confidential files about the movement of “predatory priests” between dioceses.

    Boston bomb suspect pleads not guilty, http://rtvote.com/12oYzxB
    Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faced more than 2 dozen survivors of that attack Wednesday as he pleaded not guilty to killing four people and wounding more than 200. He is charged with 30 federal counts stemming from the April 15 attack.

    Body count rises in Canada train crash, http://rtvote.com/155um53

    The official death toll from Saturday’s train crash in Quebec has reached 50. On Wednesday evening officials said that 20 bodies were found in the area following a crash of a runway oil train in Canada’s deadliest railway tragedy in almost 150 years. Authorities informed grieving families that the dozens of people still missing are now presumed dead.

    ISSUES
    Immigration

    Republicans in House Resist Overhaul for Immigration, http://rtvote.com/18PIrc6

    On Wednesday, House Republicans came down overwhelmingly against a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, putting in jeopardy the future of sweeping legislation that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  Speaker Boehner warned about the consequences if they do nothing to answer the immigration measure passed by the Senate last month.
    CULTURAL

    Cameras Line Up Weeks Early at Kate Middleton’s Hospital, http://rtvote.com/155wiKV

    Randy Travis Out of Surgery, Remains in Critical Condition, http://rtvote.com/12p0zpx

    ‘Glee’: Adam Lambert to Appear in Season 5, http://rtvote.com/12p0O3S

    John Mayer Buys Guitar for Girl, Makes Her Biggest Fan Ever, http://rtvote.com/155xfmo

    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: Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
    Bolivian President’s plane rerouted under suspicions; Mohamed Morsi remains defiant ahead of deadline; Zimmerman’s wounds deemed ‘insignificant’; Obamacare employer-madate postponed; firefighter memorial draws thousands; a Tiffany & Co. exec gets sticky fingers; and Boston patients HIV-free after marrow transplant. Meanwhile, movie White House Down slammed as ‘liberal propaganda’ and Miley Cyrus says she was Lil’ Kim in past life.

    Maura + Meron

    CRUCIAL

    Bolivian President’s plane leaves Austria after diplomatic scramble, http://rtvote.com/120vUic
    The plane carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales was rerouted to Austria, after the president made an offhand remark that he might be happy to host fugitive American former security contractor Edward Snowden. The plane was rerouted due to suspicions that Mr. Snowden was aboard.

    Egypt’s Morsi defiant under pressure as deadline looms, http://rtvote.com/14NBtiA
    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was defiant Tuesday amid growing pressure to back down as the deadline for a military-imposed ultimatum approached. Morsi’s supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to not leave quietly if their president is forced out.

    George Zimmerman jury told his injuries were ‘insignificant’, http://rtvote.com/18vMOJh
    Dr. Valerie Rao testified that Zimmerman was struck as few as three times by Martin during the fight the night of Martin’s death, though Zimmerman claims Martin repeatedly slammed his head on the concrete. Rao’s testimony could contradict Zimmerman’s assertion that he was involved in a potentially life-threatening struggle with the Florida teenager.

    Obama delays enforcing health-law employer mandate to 2015, http://rtvote.com/120Ce9p
    The Obama administration will postpone enforcement of the employer mandate, the requirement that businesses provide their workers with insurance, until 2015, after the congressional elections. Under this crucial provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don’t offer affordable insurance.

    Thousands gather to remember Ariz. firefighters, http://rtvote.com/14NCqqY
    An evening memorial for the 19 firefighters killed in an Arizona wildfire brought thousands of mourners to a high school football stadium. It was the first opportunity for the community to gather since the men died in the line of duty.

    Tiffany executive nabbed for allegedly stealing jewels, http://rtvote.com/18vKqlJ
    An executive at Tiffany & Co has been accused of stealing over $1 million in jewelry, according to the FBI. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun is a vice president of product development, and has been working at the upscale jeweler for over 20 years.

    Post-transplant and off drugs, H.I.V. patients are apparently virus-free, http://rtvote.com/14NDL1a
    Two H.I.V.-infected patients who had bone-marrow transplants for blood cancers have been virus-free for weeks since their antiretroviral drugs were stopped. Though the cases are of no practical use to H.I.V. infected people who do not have blood cancer or access to premier cancer-treatment hospitals, AIDS experts are still excited by the Boston cases, seeing them as another step in the search for a cure.

    CULTURAL

    ‘White House Down’: Conservative pundits slam film as ‘unrelenting liberal propaganda’, http://rtvote.com/18vQbjq

    Miley Cyris on Lil’ Kim: ‘In my past life, I feel like that was me’, http://rtvote.com/120Gu8F

    Steven Spielberg in talks to grab ‘Grapes of Wrath’ rights, will produce new film, http://rtvote.com/14NHhZt

    ‘Gravity’ at venice film festival” Alfonso Cuaron movie kicks off prestigious fest, http://rtvote.com/18vQriq

    Motorhead’s European tour canceled while frontman Lemmy recovers from health problems, http://rtvote.com/14NHVG9

    meron.w@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Meron Werkneh and I am a rising senior at Duke University. I study English and Political Science, and plan to go into entertainment law as my career. I'm from Washington D.C. and love books, oldies soul music, and getting closer to God every day! I'm excited to become a part of the Rock the Vote team.

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

    Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

    Egypt’s Defense Minister warns of a government collapse; the White House will resume its nomination of Gen. John Allen; the U.S. will expand its role in Mali; President Obama will announce his plan for immigration reform; and Google reveals its map of North Korea. Meanwhile, a Miami clinic is busted for supplying drugs to sports stars; Surfer Garrett McNamara rides a world record 100 foot wave; and Frank Ocean may press charges against Chris Brown.

    Caitlin
    CRUCIAL:
    Egyptians Defy Curfew as Army Warns of ‘Collapse,’ http://rtvote.com/TS5TQ7
    Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi posted on Facebook  that there will be “grave repercussions if the political forces do not act” in Egypt. “The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations,” wrote Sisi. His warning comes after five days of clashes  that left 52 people dead and hundreds wounded. President Mohamed Morsi issued a state-sanctioned curfew in response to the protests, causing thousands to demonstrate and chant on Monday, “Down, down with Mohamed Morsi.”

    Obama proceeds with Allen nomination as NATO commander in Europe, http://rtvote.com/Xe0X4p
    The White House will go ahead as planned and nominate Gen. John Allen for Europe’s NATO commander. Officials decided to resubmit the nomination to Congress after the Pentagon cleared Allen of any misconduct with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. In other White House news, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that he will leave his cabinet post.

    Delhi Gang Rape Trial Will Be Held in Delhi, Supreme Court Rules, http://rtvote.com/Xe50Ob
    India’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it will not move the trial of five men convicted of gang-rape and murder out of Dehli. An advocate for the suspects said that the trial should take place in a new location as the media around the case has created a bias. The case, which has caused public outrage in India, charges five men with the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus. The men could face the death penalty. The court made its ruling based on the decision that the advocate who filed the claim, M.L. Sharma, did not have the authority to represent the suspects — not because his claim was invalid.

    U.S. to Expand Role in Africa, http://rtvote.com/Xe6acq
    On Monday, the U.S. signed an agreement with Niger that allows American military to be stationed on its border with Mali. Mali is currently fighting off Islamist rebels with the help of the French military. The U.S. will create an intelligence-gathering hub in Niger, as well as use drones to monitor militants, in an attempt to help France.

    President Obama, John McCain, Marco Rubio begin immigration dance, http://rtvote.com/Xe1ZgI
    President Obama will reveal his plan for immigration reform today in Las Vegas. On Monday, John McCain and Marco Rubio announced their own bipartisan plan for reform. White House officials say that Obama’s plan will address more of the details relating to immigration form rather than the larger principals found in the Senators’ bipartisan plan.
    Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing, http://rtvote.com/Xe2Y0y
    Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old Newtown shooting victim, was heckled while testifying at the Connecticut State Legislature on Tuesday. Heslin asked during his testimony why Bushmaster assault-style weapons, like the one shooter Adam Lanza used, were legal in Connecticut, prompting pro-gun advocates to shout “the Second Amendment!.”  Close to 1,500 people — both pro and anti-gun advocates — attended the hearings at the Connecticut capitol.
    Google rolls out detailed map of North Korea – with gulags, http://rtvote.com/14s6MAV
    On Monday, Google announced detailed maps of North Korea. Previously, Google was not able to map North Korea due to limited information. Specifically, North Korean officials would not provide the proper information due to the country’s notorious penchant for secrecy and the fact that only hundreds of citizens have access to the Internet. Google’s map of the country shows hospitals, subways, and schools in the capital of Pyongyang. Maps of the countryside are harder to decipher and some parts show gray zones where 200,000 people are imprisoned in reeducation camps.
    CULTURAL:
    A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports’ Biggest Names, http://rtvote.com/Xe3OKG
    Surfer Garrett McNamara ‘rides world record 100ft wave’ in Portugal, http://rtvote.com/Xe49x3

    Singer Frank Ocean wants Chris Brown charged over brawl, http://rtvote.com/TSbAO1

    Girl Meets World Casts Its Star, Cory and Topanga’s Daughter, http://rtvote.com/TSbLJg

    Rick Ross Advised To Increase Security After Escaping Drive-By Shooting, http://rtvote.com/Xe9wwf

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