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    ‘murder’



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

    A Philadelphia high school drug ring is busted; violence escalates in South Sudan; and a man dealing fake art is arrested. Meanwhile, Lupita Nyong’o is named “Most Beautiful”; Drew Barrymore has her second child; and Justin Bieber gets in trouble for a seemingly honest mistake.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Drug ring targeting top suburban Philly schools busted: http://rtvote.com/1lEO7Jd
    18-year-old Timothy Brooks and 25-year-old Neil Scott were caught Tuesday by the police along with eight other people. The business: selling drugs to students at some of the best high schools and colleges in the area. Brooks and Scott were the two at the center of the drug ring; Brooks supervised the eight “sub-dealers” who sold the drugs at school while Scott was in charge of shipping the drugs from California to Pennsylvania. The drug ring, allegedly dubbed the “Main Line Take-Over Project” (after affluent towns near Philadelphia, where the ring targeted), was responsible for selling marijuana, hash oil, cocaine, and ecstasy (or MDMA). The schools targeted included the Haverford School, Conestoga High School, Radnor High School, Harriton High School, and Lower Merion High School: all prestigious, wealthy schools with some of the highest standardized test scores in Pennsylvania.

    UN: South Sudan rebels separate residents by ethnicity, kill hundreds: http://rtvote.com/1iL2dsZ
    Rebels stormed the oil town Bentiu last week in South Sudan, separated the terrified citizens by ethnicity, and then killed at least 400 people. 200 were killed and 400 were wounded at one mosque alone. The attackers warned certain ethnic groups to leave town and that they should no longer stay in Bentiu. Men, women, and children were killed when they did not cheer and offer support for the rebel attackers. The conflict stems from an overarching power struggle between two South Sudanese ethnic groups: the Nuers and the Dinkas. The rebel leader, Riek Machar (Nuer) was accused by the existing President, Salva Kiir (Dinka), of trying to kick him out of power through a coup. Since the coup allegations, violence between military and civilians has dominated the nation.

    Indicted art dealer, painter were ‘masters of forgery and deceit’: http://rtvote.com/1tCgv3Y
    Jose Carlos Bergatiños Diaz, his brother, and other associates are accused of making $30 million by selling fake artwork for almost 20 years. Diaz and his associates convinced wealthy people and New York art galleries that he was selling real Rothkos and Pollocks paintings. In reality, the paintings sold were made by Pei Shen Qian, a Chinese painter found by Diaz on the Manhattan streets. The brothers were arrested in Spain and have been charged with conspiracy and money laundering. Qian, who authorities believe fled to China as the scheme began to fall apart, has been charged with lying to FBI agents and other conspiracy charges.

    Gun checks miss millions of fugitives: http://rtvote.com/1l1QiYH
    Law enforcement agencies who fail to provide the FBI and national fugitive databases with information on felons could enable those felons to access, purchase, and use guns. In 5 states alone, police forces failed to give the FBI information on more than 2.5 million people with arrest warrants. A large number of those unreported people are wanted for violent offences.  A possible reason for the lack of reporting is that most states do not want to spend the money to track fugitives across state lines. Most agencies therefore see no reason to report with the FBI (a national tracking database) because they have no intention of tracking the fugitives who have left the state.

    CULTURAL

    Lupita Nyong’o named People’s “Most Beautiful”: http://rtvote.com/Qy51zv

    Daniel Franzese (Damian from Mean Girls) comes out: http://rtvote.com/Ptxcym

    Drew Barrymore has her baby! Find out her adorable name! http://rtvote.com/1noPuQa

    Rehearsals for Pitch Perfect 2 have begun! http://rtvote.com/1hj8yvl

    Justin Bieber in hot water again- although this might have been an honest mistake: http://rtvote.com/1jB3QGv

    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 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: 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: Friday, January 31, 2014

    Friday, January 31st, 2014

    Amanda Knox is convicted of murder in an Italian court…again; U.S. is seeking the death penalty against the Boston Marathon Bombings suspect; and Ukraine’s president signs an amnesty agreement after protests become extremely violent and deadly. Meanwhile, one of the NYC Real Housewives gets a divorce; The Amazing Spider-Man 2 teaser trailer is released; and Miley gives some advice to Bieber on getting in trouble.

    - Maura 

    CRUCIAL 

    Amanda Knox: ‘I Will Never Willingly Go Back’, http://rtvote.com/1dSsHCb
    After 11 hours of deliberation, Italian jurors came down with a guilty verdict for American Amanda Knox (26 years old) and Italian born Raffaele Sollecito (29 years old), for the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007. This is the fourth ruling in the case and the second time that the court has decided to convict them of murder. In an emotional interview Friday, Knox said that she did not expect the verdict and vowed that she would never “willingly go back” to Italy.

    U.S. Is Seeking Death Penalty in Boston Case, http://rtvote.com/1hXDNdD
    On Thursday The Justice Department announced that it would seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tzarnaev, the man accused of killing and maiming participants and spectators at the Boston Marathon last April. Citing that Tsarnaev showed no remorse for the attacks and that the youngest victim was 8 years-old, prosecutors argued that the death penalty was warranted.

    Dow Tumbles: Stock Roller Coaster in Dive Mode, http://rtvote.com/1iTViPx
    New worries about the economy emerge as stocks fall sharply on Wall Street wrapping up the month of January. For the first time since 2010 the S&P 500’s might close in the negatives—a poor start that history says could be a bad omen for the rest of the year. When the first month of the year is negative the chances of finishing the full year in the plus column drop to 50-50 according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. I guess only time will tell!

    Ukraine Activist Says He was Abducted and Tortured, http://rtvote.com/LhRbhj
    After Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych abandoned a trade deal in November with the EU in favor of closer economic ties with Russia, protests against the president spilled into the streets. But, since January 22, protests have turned violent with at least 3 protesters and 3 police officers dead and a leading Ukraine activist who says he was abducted, tortured, and left to die in the cold. Today, President Yanukovych has signed an amnesty for protestors and the repeal of harsh anti-protest-laws.
     

    CULTURAL

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Super Bowl Teaser Trailer, http://rtvote.com/1bdTVqc

    Zac Efron Was on a Six-Week Liquid Food Diet After Breaking His Jaw, http://rtvote.com/1edNlTp

    Ramona Singer Slams Jill Zarin: She’s Using My Divorce to “Try to Make Herself Relevant”, http://rtvote.com/1aMSkKi

    Miley Cyrus Gives Justin Bieber Advice: “Pay People to Make Sure You Don’t Get In Trouble”, http://rtvote.com/1kkXtd5

    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: Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Thursday, January 30th, 2014
    A 3-year-old boy falls victim to a Mafia hit in Italy; another congressman is set to retire; Amanda Knox is back on trial and awaiting a verdict; and the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a fire was laid to rest yesterday. Meanwhile, the Academy Awards committee revokes a nomination; Jerry Seinfeld might have hinted at a Seinfeld reunion; the men of Full House sing Jimmy Fallon a classic lullaby; and Justin Bieber is back in the news.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Boy, 3, executed in alleged mob hit: http://rtvote.com/1loaari
    A 3-year-old boy was shot along with his grandfather and another person in an apparent Mafia hit. The grandfather, Giuseppe Innaicelli, was believed to be the intended target. One of the most powerful Mafia syndicates in the world – ‘Ndrangheta – is believed to be responsible for the crime. The killing shocked Italy and even drew the attention of the Pope, who asked people Sunday to pray for the boy (known as Coco) and call on the members responsible to ask forgiveness.

    Democratic Representative Henry Waxman to retire at end of term: http://rtvote.com/1eiWR69
    Representative Henry Waxman of California announced today that he will not seek reelection for a 21st Congressional term this election year. He is now one of the 7 House Democrats who have announced their refusal to run for reelection; 10 Republican House members have also announced their retirement. Although Waxman has vehemently chastised Tea Party Republicans in Congress, he has denied this as the reason for his departure. “After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark…” Waxman said. 

    Verdict due in third murder trial of Amanda Knox: http://rtvote.com/1hRPcM7
    A verdict is due in the ongoing trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. The two were charged in the gruesome 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher. Knox and Sollecito have been to court twice and were found guilty in one trial and innocent in the other. The Italian Supreme Court revoked the ‘innocent’ ruling, saying that key evidence had been left out of the trial. Prosecutors want Knox and Sollecito to serve 26 years in prison. 

    Doctors try to wake Schumacher from coma: http://rtvote.com/1n1mR6R
    Michael Schumacher, the German former Formula One champion, has been in a coma since December 29th, when he sustained serious head injuries at a ski resort in France. His condition has stabilized enough that doctors are trying to wake him out of his induced coma. The family has requested privacy throughout his ordeal, but Schumacher’s manager has spoken out to clear media leaks.

    Boy who saved 6 declared honorary firefighter at funeral: http://rtvote.com/Lt29RZ
    Tyler Doohan, the 8-year-old boy who saved six of his family members in a house fire before perishing, was buried yesterday. To honor his bravery, Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebemeyer presented a fire helmet at the funeral and made Tyler an honorary firefighter. People from all over the country came to Fariport, New York to be at Tyler’s funeral to honor his heroism. 

    CULTURAL

    Oscar nomination for Best Original Song revoked: http://rtvote.com/1batGxU

    Full House cast sings a lullaby to Jimmy Fallon: http://rtvote.com/1aKtMl3

    Did Jerry Seinfeld kind of confirm a Seinfeld reunion? http://rtvote.com/1a467vr

    Justin Bieber’s horrendous 2014 start: http://rtvote.com/1hSakBN

    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