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    News Round-Up: Monday, April 14th, 2014

    Monday, April 14th, 2014

    The man responsible for yesterday’s shooting in Kansas has been arrested; a Utah mom has been arrested after authorities found seven dead babies in her garage; a bus blast in Nigeria kills over 70 people; and President Obama gives his opinion on voter ID laws. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio busts a move at Coachella; the top 5 moments from the MTV Movie Awards have been selected; and a college student’s mispronunciation costs him big time!

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Police arrest ‘raging anti-Semite’ in Kansas Jewish center shootings: http://rtvote.com/Rikm7U
    Three people were shot and killed yesterday at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement community in Kansas. The shooter, Frazier Glenn Miller (or Frazier Glenn Cross) is in custody. Miller is a life-long anti-Semitist and both the founder and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan party called the Carolina Knights and the White Patriot Party. He also had an online presence and advocated for the killing of Jews. The 73-year-old perpetrator is being charged with premeditated first degree murder. The victims were an elderly woman at the retirement community and a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather. The boy, Reat Griffin Underwood, was going to the community center to audition for a singing competition. His grandfather, Dr. William Lewis Corporon, was driving him there.

    7 dead babies found in Utah mom’s garage: http://rtvote.com/1eqe14n
    The estranged husband of 39-year-old Megan Huntsman was cleaning out his garage when he found the remains of a baby. The police investigated and found the remains of six more, deposited in cardboard boxes. The children had been born between 1996 and 2006. However, no one knew Huntsman was pregnant, despite living with three daughters. The husband also appeared to not know anything about the killings and is not a person of interest. Neighbors never suspected anything, allowing Huntsman to babysit their children and describing her and her family as an average family. One neighbor said “We enjoyed having them as a neighbor. This has just blown us away.” Huntsman is being charged with six counts of murder.

    Nigeria violence: More than 70 killed in Abuja bus blast: http://rtvote.com/1iNlIgW
    A massive explosion occurred at a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, as passengers began to board busses and taxis to get to their jobs in the city. Authorities believe that the attack was carried out by the Boko Haram Islamist militant group. It has staged attacks in Abuja before, but most of its attacks have been in the northeastern part of the country, where poverty is rampant. The Abuja Emergency Relief Agency has confirmed that 71 people are dead and 124 are injured. More than 30 vehicles were destroyed and a 4-foot crater was left in the ground. The bomb is suspected to have been located in a vehicle. The police are on “red alert” and are increasing surveillance at possible targets. Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack; if they do, the Nigerian government worries that it means that the militants are expanding their areas of operation.

    Obama says voter rights threatened from ID laws: http://rtvote.com/1gwdxIQ
    On Friday, President Obama addressed voting rights in a speech to a rights group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton called the National Action Network. The president said that the right to vote is threatened by increased legislation making it difficult for people to vote, particularly through the voter ID requirement states are passing. The Justice Department has sued both Texas and North Carolina for their voter ID laws, saying that they are discriminatory towards people who don’t have ID’s, particularly minorities. The increase in voting laws are a direct consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Currently, a bipartisan measure is being passed through the House and Senate that would require states who want to change their voting laws to have their new laws approved by the federal government.

    CULTURAL

    Celeb Coachella sightings! http://rtvote.com/1iND11p

    Watch Leonardo DiCaprio bust a move at Coachella: http://rtvote.com/1hO29nI

    The biggest televised epic fail ever…Wheel of Fortune-style: http://rtvote.com/1iOkFyH

    The top 5 moments from the MTV Movie Awards: http://rtvote.com/1t0OxP8

    The Red Carpet arrivals from the MTV Movie Awards: http://rtvote.com/P0zRPK

    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, May 29th, 2012

    Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

    A second earthquake in nine days hits northern Italy; international pressure on Syria increases after 108 are killed; the infamous Dewey & LeBoeuf files for bankruptcy; radioactive bluefin tuna is found on the coast of California; and Mitt Romney will more than likely clinch the GOP nomination tonight. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber has been accused of assaulting a paparazzo; Anthony Bourdain leaves the Travel Channel for CNN; and Keira Knightley is engaged.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    NATO airstrike kills al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader in Afghanistan, http://wapo.st/JKMk7r 
    Sakr al-Taifi, al-Qaeda’s second in command, was killed Sunday in a NATO airstrike. NATO confirmed the death and stated that no civilians were harmed in the attacks. Al-Taifi is responsible for leading foreign insurgents in Afghanistan and attacking NATO and Afghan forces. Meanwhile in Pakistan, where most of Al Qaeda is believed to be located, the vehicle of two suicide bombers blew up before the insurgents could carry out their attacks.

    Second big quake hits northern Italy, 15 dead, http://reut.rs/KE1VSU
    A 5.8 earthquake hit northern Italy Tuesday morning, leaving 15 dead. This is the second earthquake to hit the region in nine days. Thousands of people were sleeping in tents due to the previous earthquake when Tuesday’s hit. The series of quakes have created a panic in the area.

    International Pressure on Syria Grows After Killings, http://nyti.ms/LE9pCE
    United Nations Envoy Kofi Annan will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today to negotiate a peace plan for the country. The meeting was scheduled before 108 Syrians were killed in Houla this weekend. The killings have created a great deal of urgency for Annan and Assad’s meeting. “I urge the government to take bold steps to signal that it is serious in its intention to resolve this crisis peacefully, and for everyone involved to help create the right context for a credible political process,” Annan said. Russia, one of Syria’s allies, has admitted that the Syrian government is mostly to blame for the Houla massacre. Meanwhile, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said he has planned military options for intervening in Syria. Australia, Canada, and Italy have expelled all Syrian diplomats.

    (via The New York Times) Dewey & LeBoeuf Files for Bankruptcy, http://nyti.ms/KZQveo
    Dewey & LeBoeuf, the law firm crippled by financial miscues and partner defections, filed for bankruptcy on Monday night, punctuating the largest law firm collapse in United States history.The filing, made in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan, is the final chapter in a turbulent period for Dewey, which came apart after disappointing profits and prodigious debt forced it to slash partners’ salaries. The partners, already owed millions from previous years, grew concerned over the firm’s finances and their ability to get paid. A partner exodus destroyed the firm.

    Radioactive bluefin tuna crossed the Pacific to US, http://cbsn.ws/LEaE4O
    Scientists have discovered bluefin tuna containing radioactivity off the coast of California. The radioactivity had been contracted 6,000 miles away in Japanese waters contaminated from the country’s nuclear crisis. “We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers in the National Academy of Scientists who reported the findings. The levels of radioactivity were ten times higher than what’s normally found in bluefin tuna near the California coast. Despite this, the levels are still low enough so that the tunas are safe to eat. Pacific bluefin tuna can grow up to ten feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They are born off the coast of Japan and swim at a breakneck pace to California.

    (via The New York Times) U.S. Winds Down Longer Benefits for the Unemployed, http://nyti.ms/L19wK9
    Hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans are receiving their final unemployment checks sooner than they expected, even though Congress renewed extended benefits until the end of the year. The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work: the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year. Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended to tide over the unemployed until the job market improved. In February, when the program was set to expire, Congress renewed it, but also phased in a reduction of the number of weeks of extended aid and effectively made it more difficult for states to qualify for the maximum aid. Since then, the jobless in 23 states have lost up to five months’ worth of benefits. Next month, an additional 70,000 people will lose benefits earlier than they presumed, bringing the number of people cut off prematurely this year to close to half a million, according to the National Employment Law Project.

    Romney to meet with Adelson, http://bit.ly/JyvhE7
    Mitt Romney will meet with former Newt Gingrich-backer and casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson while campaigning in Las Vegas today. Adelson is expected to support Romney now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee. Romney will also appear at a fundraiser with Donald Trump while in Vegas. The Obama campaign has criticized the former Massachusetts governor for not standing up to Trump for his insistence that President Obama was born in Kenya.

    CULTURAL:

    Justin Bieber to “Focus on the Music” After Paparazzi Encounter, Releases New Single, “Die in Your Arms,”http://eonli.ne/KXPsro

    Anthony Bourdain Exits Travel Channel for CNN, http://bit.ly/LC88Ac

    Keira Knightley Spotted Wearing Engagement Ring, http://bit.ly/K9IeFQ

    MTV Movie Awards: Black Keys, Martin Solveig to perform, http://cbsn.ws/M2qvRe

    Live Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal Goes Viral, http://ti.me/L1c2A6

     

    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: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

    Greeks panic over political leaders’ inability to form a government; Ratko Mladic’s war crimes trial begins; Syrian rebels receive weapons from outside countries; and the GOP creates a super PAC that targets the youth vote. Meanwhile, Indonesians protest after the government bans Lady Gaga from performing, and Aaaron Sorkin will direct the new Steve Jobs film.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Judge to lead Greece to fateful June 17 vote, http://reut.rs/JqUKOJ
    Panicked Greeks are withdrawing euros out of the bank for fear of their devaluation if Greece changes its currrency. Central bank head George Provopoulos said Greeks had withdrawn at least €700 million ($894 million) on Monday. During talks amongst Greek political leaders, President Karolos Papoulias spoke of a  “fear that could develop into panic” if a government was not formed.

    Ratko Mladic war crimes trial begins, http://bit.ly/JjtKwb 
    The trial of Ratko Mladic, the man accused of the most rampant genocide since World War II, began at The Hague today. Mladic is accused of 11 counts, two of which pertain to genocide. During the Bosnian conflict, Mladic allegedly killed 8,000 Muslims. Family members of Mladic’s victims and survivors filled the courtroom to see him. In response to the crowd, he gave a sarcastic clap and a wave and then slid his finger across his throat to signal that he had to go to the bathroom. Mladic, who is 70-years-old, was captured one year ago.

    Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination, http://wapo.st/KfDZS7
    The Syrian rebels have received an influx of weapons and funds from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Gulf states with coordination by the United States. The U.S. has stated that it would not provide the Syrian opposition any weapons and that it’s increasing its “nonlethal assistance” instead.

    (via The Washington Post) Crossroads Generation: New super PAC targets youth vote, http://wapo.st/IY6zYI
    A new super PAC linked to a Karl Rove-founded group aims to target young voters. Crossroads Generation is a joint venture of American Crossroads, the College Republican National Committee, the Young Republican National Federation and the Republican State Leadership Committee. The PAC has $750,000 in startup money and will be run by Iowa’s Derek Flowers.

    (via Reuters) Facebook boosts IPO size by 25 percent, could top $16 billion, http://reut.rs/Jr5FrS
    Facebook Inc increased the size of its initial public offering by almost 25 percent, and could raise as much as $16 billion as strong investor demand for a share of the No.1 social network trumps debate about its long-term potential to make money. Facebook, founded eight years ago by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room, said on Wednesday it will add about 84 million shares to its IPO, floating about 421 million shares in an offering expected to be priced on Thursday.

    Obama Campaign Announces Raising $43.6 Million in April, http://nyti.ms/L6qHrY
    In a new video, Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina announces that the campaign raised $43.6 million in April. While this is less than what the campaign raised in March, it is still more than what the Romney campaign has taken in. The $43.6 million does not include what was raised from George Clooney’s fundraiser as well as recent donations from same-sex marriage supporters.

    Moscow police clear occupied park, http://wapo.st/KteylT
    Russian police invaded a Moscow campsite for OccupyAbai early Wednesday morning. The police arrived at 5:30 AM even though they said they wouldn’t oust the protestors until noon. Police said they were forced to clear out the area due to complaints from neighbors. The protestors did not resist, and 23 were arrested for public intoxication. Demonstrators have since moved to a smaller park.

    CULTURAL:

    Chris Christie jokes about VP talk in ‘I Got This,’ http://yhoo.it/K77wQ6

    Indonesian organisers fight for Lady Gaga gig, http://bit.ly/JTeLgM

    Obama to accept on night of MTV awards, http://bit.ly/KmkBF4

    Gloria Allred representing massage therapist in Travolta sex assault case, http://goo.gl/hcENz

    ‘Social Network’ writer Aaron Sorkin to direct Steve Jobs film, http://goo.gl/kfdQQ

    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, May 11th, 2012

    Friday, May 11th, 2012

    An egregious mistake creates huge losses for JPMorgan; Russia’s Foreign Minister says outside countries are responsible for yesterday’s blasts in Damascus; a shoe-thrower interrupts Anders Breivik’s trial; more details are revealed about the double-agent who foiled the Yemeni bomb plot; Mitt Romney tries to side-step gay rights and shift the nation’s focus back to the economy; and President Obama raises $15 million at George Clooney’s fundraiser. Meanwhile, NBC makes some big changes to its line-up; Russell Brand will host the MTV Movie Awards; and Serena Williams has a new rap song.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    JP Morgan sends Wall Street lower, http://reut.rs/Kf9DF6
    Stock index futures are down today after JPMorgan called an emergency conference call with investors to reveal a trading loss of $2 billion due to “egregious mistakes” on a hedging strategy. As a result, the biggest U.S. bank by assets will most likely post a loss of $800 million this quarter; before this error, it was due to post a $200 million profit. The mistake was from a trader called the “London Whale,” who amassed a outsized position that hedge funds bet against.

    Opposition: Syrian regime orchestrated bombings, http://bit.ly/JIB32d
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Beijing on Friday that “outside forces” executed the twin blasts that killed at least 40 in Damascus yesterday. “Some countries are inciting outside forces to interfere into the Syrian situation, which is unacceptable,” Lavrov said, although he would not specify the countries he believed responsible. The Syrian government has blamed “terrorists” for the attacks, while the opposition says the government is responsible.

    (via USA Today) Shoe-thrower interrupts Norway killing trial, http://usat.ly/KMIGJS
    The trial of Anders Behring Breivik was interrupted briefly Friday when the brother of one of his 77 victims hurled a shoe at the confessed mass killer and yelled, “Go to hell,” before being escorted from the court room, police and witnesses said. It was the first outburst from the normally subdued crowd watching the terror trial in Oslo’s district court since the proceedings began in mid-April. Breivik — a self-styled, anti-Muslim militant — has been charged with terrorism, admitting he carried out a bomb-and-shooting rampage that stunned Norway on July 22

    Saudi agent in bomb plot held UK passport, source says, http://bit.ly/Jj705T
    More details have been revealed about the CIA double-agent who foiled the Yemeni underwear bomb plot. The agent is Arabic with a British passport and has lived in the UK for many years. He was recruited by Saudi antiterrorist agencies after he had become involved with a group of jihadists and had the ability to pass for a terrorist.

    (via The Seattle Times) NAACP launches voter registration push in Georgia, http://bit.ly/JjajXZ 
    Saying it won’t let recently enacted voter ID laws suppress turnout, the NAACP on Wednesday launched a nationwide drive to register thousands of mostly minority, student and elderly voters before the Nov. 6 elections. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says these groups could be the ones most affected by laws requiring them to show identification before they can exercise their right to vote.

    Los Angeles event brings $15 million to Obama campaign, http://lat.ms/K6igR4
    In what may be the largest campaign haul to come from one night, George Clooney’s soiree at his Hollywood home garnered the Obama campaign $15 million. For $40,000 a plate, the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Robert Downey Jr, and James Brolin were able to rub shoulders with the president and listen to him speak.  ”Obviously yesterday we made some news,” Obama told the crowd.  ”But the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be.”

    Romney to shift focus from gay rights to economy, http://apne.ws/INV8CV 
    Mitt Romney is trying to shift the nation’s focus back to the economy after President Obama historically endorsed same-sex marriage. Romney has his work cut out for him as his next campaign stop is in North Carolina, where voters recently decided to ban gay marriage in their state’s constitution. He also will be delivering the commencement address at Liberty University, which was founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, a strong opposer of gay rights.

    CULTURAL:

    NBC Announces Renewal of Parenthood, 30 Rock, http://bit.ly/JpeT6r

    “Milk” screenwriter warms to Obama after gay marriage announcement, http://trib.in/J5hdMY

    Russell Brand To Host 2012 MTV Movie Awards, http://on.mtv.com/K6wMrR

    Reese Witherspoon’s mom sues her father for bigamy, http://on.msnbc.com/IQMusj

    Serena Williams Make Her Rap Debut With New Song, http://on.mtv.com/KQpQMr

    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: Monday, June 6, 2011

    Monday, June 6th, 2011

    Some War on Voting updates: as early as this week, Pennsylvania could pass legislation requiring voters to show photo ids at the polls, http://bit.ly/lWc05S. Also, The New York Times has published an editorial addressing the recent wave of restrictive voting legislation, http://bit.ly/kbNk5b.

    Today, the turmoil in Syria heightens; John Edwards was almost a jail bird; Rick Santorum wants to be your president; Katie Couric has gone from NBC to CBS and now to ABC. In tech news, anti-matter matters when studying the universe, and Apple unveils a whole new bunch of shiny, irresistible, Mac stuff.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Syria Says 40 Police Dead in Ambush in Tense North, http://yhoo.it/ljUj1k

    On their way to aid hurt civilians, 40 Syrian police officers were killed in an ambush by armed groups.

    Prison Sentence Doomed Edwards Plea Deal, http://bit.ly/jhEjlZ

    John Edwards was offered a plea deal of six months in prison for using campaign money to cover up his affair and secret child with Rielle Hunter. Edwards and his team negotiated and considered the deal until turning it down a mere few minutes before his indictment.

    Rick Santorum Will Run for President: ‘We’re in it to Win it,” http://abcn.ws/muzWbP

    Former Pennsylvania Senator, Republican Rick Santorum announced on Good Morning America that he will run for president in 2012. Santorum currently lags behind Romney and Palin in Republican nominee polls.

    For Couric, ABC’s Pitch Proved Best, http://nyti.ms/kwcuEa

    An in demand Katie Couric announced today that she will join the ABC network and host her own syndicated talk show. Couric will be a co-owner of the show and share in part of its profits.

    Scientists Trap and Study Elusive ‘Anti-Matter,’ http://bit.ly/j8rCC7

    In an effort to study the origins of the universe, scientists have used an accelerator to trap and store anti-matter for 16 minutes.

    Apple’s Jobs Takes to WWDC Stage, Unveils iCloud, http://cnet.co/jMeomK

    Steve Jobs announced the content of this year’s WWDC. Jobs unveiled the new Apple syncing program iCloud, its updated desktop operating system: Mac OS X Lion, and a new mobile operating system: iOS5.

    Peter A. Diamond on “When a Nobel Prize Isn’t Enough,” http://nyti.ms/ijd7AC

    CULTURAL:

    MTV Movie Awards 2011: The Complete Winners List, http://bit.ly/iCtQxI

    Facebook Party Spins out of Control, http://apne.ws/mujzWi

    (via POLITICO Playbook) “William and Kate to live in Diana palace” – AFP/London: “Prince William and new bride Catherine will within the coming months move into Kensington Palace, the London residence once shared by the prince and his late mother Diana, St James’s Palace said Sunday. The newly-titled Duke of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry lived in the palace after Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996, but the newlywed couple will move into a different property within the grounds. A spokesman from St James’s Palace said: … ‘A number of options for longer term solutions are still being considered. The couple’s main home will continue to be their house on Anglesey, and their Household Office will continue to be based at St James’s Palace’ … The duke and duchess currently live on the north Wales island of Anglesey, where the prince works as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.”

    (via Cynopsis) The cast of Jersey Shore traveled to Florence, Italy to film its fourth season now slated to premiere on MTV August 4 at 10p.  Even before the fourth season opens, Jersey Shore begins production on season five this month going back to where it all began, on the beach at Seaside Heights. MTV also airs a one-hour Jersey Shore special on July 28 at 10p documenting the rise of the show and its cast into a pop culture phenomenon.

    (via Cynopsis) After some back and forth, it now appears Cheryl Cole will be joining the cast of The X Factor here in the US.  It was reported just a week ago she was dropped from the show – reasons included her accent may be difficult for Americans to understand, and that she would be returning to the UK version of the show. None of those reports were officially confirmed. Simon Cowell’s camp told the BBC News website he was in talks with the US producers Fox and FremantleMedia to bring Cole back. She is expected to return to the show later this week, joining her fellow judges in New Jersey for auditions.

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