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    News Round-Up: Thursday, February 14th, 2013

    Thursday, February 14th, 2013

    American Airlines and US Airways announce an $11 billion merger; Oscar Pistorius is arrested after allegedly shooting his girlfriend; a Clinton donor says Hillary will run in 2016; the Carnival Triumph finally docks in Mobile, AL; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans plan to block Chuck Hagel’s nomination; and Gen. John Allen may retire. Meanwhile, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, love letters between LBJ and Ladybird are released; a new report says the ‘The Bachelor’ is celibate; and celebrities and environmentalists are arrested protesting the Keystone pipeline.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    AMERICAN, US AIRWAYS ANNOUNCE $11 BILLION MERGER, http://rtvote.com/15feZsB
    US Airways and AMR, the owner of American Airlines, will take part in an $11 billion merger that will combine the two companies into the largest airline in the world. The company will keep the American Airlines name and be headed up US Airways CEO Doug Parker. In a statement Thursday Parker said, “The combined airline will have the scale, breadth, and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.” 72% of ownership will go to AMR creditors with the rest going to US Airways shareholders.

    PISTORIUS ARRESTED AFTER WOMAN SHOT AT HIS HOME, http://rtvote.com/XOV525
    South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius was arrested Thursday after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in his home. Pistorius, who is a double-amputee, had reportedly mistaken Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her with a 9 mm. The athlete, known as Blade Runner, will appear in court later today.

    Big donor claims Bill Clinton told him Hillary’s running for prez in 2016, http://rtvote.com/XOWvKf
    Angelo Tsakopoulos, a Greek-American real-estate mogul, said Thursday that Bill Clinton had revealed to him in a private conversation that Hillary would run for president in 2016. Tsakopoulos alleges a close relationship with the couple and has been one of the biggest donors to Clinton’s political campaigns.

    Passengers count hours on ‘floating petri dish’ of a cruise ship as it limps to port, http://rtvote.com/15fjrax
    The Carnival Triumph will dock in Mobile, AL today after an engine fire caused its systems to go down five days ago. The ship became a “floating petri dish” after electricity failure caused sanitary systems to go down and sewage to seep down the walls. Passengers were forced to defecate in bags and urinate in showers, as well as wait close to four hours for food. Carnival will refund passengers for the trip and compensate them an extra $500. The ship will no longer be in service moving forward.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that Republicans are planning to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense, and aides said Democrats don’t yet have the 60 votes to break a GOP filibuster on the nomination. That would leave the nomination in limbo as the Senate heads into a week-long recess.

    Source: Gen. Allen may retire, http://rtvote.com/15flgEq
    Rumors are circulating that Marine Gen. John Allen may retire as he feels he’s “being pushed out for a variety of reasons,” primarily the e-mail scandal between him and Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Although Allen was cleared of wrongdoing in the situation that entwined him with General David Petraeus’ own scandal, he fears that it will taint his new post as NATO’s supreme allied commander in Brussels.

    5.8M women have used ‘morning after’ pill, http://rtvote.com/Ygstib
    The National Center for Health Statistics has conducted a survey of 12,279 women between 2006 and 2010 that shows 11% or 5.8 million American women ages 15 to 44 have used emergency contraception or “the morning after pill.” Half of the women used the pill because they feared their method of birth-control had failed, while the rest of the women surveyed had unprotected sex. 23% of women ages 20 to 24 said they had used the pill, while only 5% of women ages 30 to 44 fell into the same category.

    CULTURAL:

    LBJ AND LADY BIRD COURTSHIP LOVE LETTERS RELEASED, http://rtvote.com/15fk5Vw

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West touch off security breach at JFK Airport, http://rtvote.com/15fkcAv

    ‘The Bachelor’ star Sean Lowe is celibate, report says, http://rtvote.com/XP49nC

    ‘Die Hard’ lives on in fifth installment released Valentine’s Day, http://rtvote.com/11IIuUE

    Celebs, enviros arrested at WH pipeline protest, http://rtvote.com/11IIyDO

    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: Thursday, October 4th, 2012

    Thursday, October 4th, 2012

    Pundits and voters are abuzz as Romney is named the victor of last night’s debate; Turkish parliament launches an attack on Syria; sensitive documents may have been left behind in Benghazi; 18 schoolchildren are buried by a landslide in China; two suspects are arrested in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent; and Facebook registers its one billionth user. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown; Chris Brown and Rihanna are spotted together at the Jay-Z concert; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reveals its latest nominees.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Turkish Parliament authorizes military operations in Syria, http://wapo.st/QJ94pc
    Turkey’s parliament has approved an emergency bill that allows the country to attack Syria for what is now the second day in a row. The military action is in response to a shell fired in Syria that toppled a house in a Turkish village, causing the death of two women and three children. Turkey immediately responded after the attack, firing artillery deep into Syria. The country’s retaliation is not an official declaration of war; however, the Turkish parliament has shown no sign of withdrawing their offense. NATO has since condemned Syria’s attack calling it a “flagrant violation of international law.”

    Sensitive documents left behind at U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, http://wapo.st/QK8m8e
    U.S. personnel fled Benghazi, leaving behind what seems to be some sensitive documents after the September 11th attacks that killed four Americans. A Washington Post reporter has since found the documents that detail the consulate’s security plans amongst the rubble at the bombing site. The U.S. consulate building was locked up a few days after the attack; however, during the days prior, anyone was able to access the site. As a result, it seems some of the sensitive documents have gone missing.

    Bodies found after landslide buries 18 schoolchildren in China, http://bit.ly/OEE3o1
    18 schoolchildren, who were attending a make-up class on a public holiday, have been buried in a landslide brought on by recent earthquakes in China. One villager was also killed in the disaster while a family of three managed to escape. Four bodies have since been recovered. The earthquakes struck the area on September 7th, killing 80 people.

    Mexican troops arrest two in killing of U.S. border agent: officials, http://reut.rs/QH46cK
    A Mexican Army officer says that two suspects in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent have been arrested and are now in a Mexican military facility. Three Border Patrol agents responded to an alert from a ground sensor when they were believed the be ambushed, leaving one dead, one injured, and the other to have escaped.

    Poll: Uncommitted voters say Romney wins debate, http://cbsn.ws/SyXsFW
    According to a CBS flash poll, 46% of 500 uncommitted voters surveyed immediately after last night’s presidential debate said that Romney was the winner; 32% said that the two candidates tied while 22% said that President Obama won. 56% of those polled said that the debate caused them to have a more favorable view of Romney while 11% claimed to have a less favorable opinion; 32% said their impression of the former governor remains unchanged.

    Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy, http://wapo.st/QJ94pc
    During last night’s debate, President Obama and Mitt Romney went head-to-head over the economy. Romney called Obama’s economic plan from the past four years “trickle-down government” while Obama said Romney had “top-down economic policies.” Romney has widely been named as the winner of the debate, speaking clearly and aggressively about Obama’s economic plans. Obama, instead, looked down at his lectern seemingly taking notes and responded with hesitancy at some points during the discussion.

    Facebook’s ‘Next Billion’: A Q&A With Mark Zuckerberg, http://buswk.co/SH855O
    In an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, published today, the Facebook founder said that the social media platform registered its one billionth user on September 14th. The news was not immediately made public as it took some time to pinpoint this milestone user.  “It’s really humbling to get a billion people to do anything,” Zuckerberg told Businessweek, going on to say that the Facebook team watched the countdown together in their office. He also noted that Facebook has only 1,000 engineers, meaning each engineer is responsible for one million users.

    CULTURAL:

    Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown, http://es.pn/Re1row

    Chris Brown and Rihanna Hit Up Jay-Z Concert Together a Day After Club Hookup, http://eonli.ne/Uhg0h1

    ‘American Idol’ Feud: Keith Urban Weighs in on Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s Fight, http://bit.ly/QTpzQ4

    Julianne Moore, Victim in Jewelry Heist?, http://tmz.me/PcwRPI

    N.W.A, Rush, Donna Summer among new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, http://bit.ly/PAjHqv

    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: 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: Friday, March 9, 2012

    Friday, March 9th, 2012

    Syrian opposition rejects talks with President Bashar al Assad; the Taliban has threatened attacks if Pakistan does not release Osama bin Laden’s widows; and the Obama administration comes out in support of Invisible Children’s Kony bill. Meanwhile, Rock the Vote will debut its “Scan to Vote” QR t-shirts at SXSW. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Rockthevote and at Facebook.com/rockthevote for updates from the festival.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Syria opposition chief rejects talks, http://bit.ly/wgryD4
    Burhan Ghalioun, the head of the rebel Syrian National Council, has refused Kofi Annan’s suggestion that the opposition hold talks with Syrian president Bashar al Assad. In an interview with the Associated Press, Ghalioun said the request was unrealistic and that Annan had failed the Syrian people. Annan will meet with Assad this weekend.

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) The economy added 227,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.

    Pakistan Taliban demand release of bin Laden’s widows, threaten attacks, http://reut.rs/wHwQjm
    The Taliban has vowed to carry out suicide attacks if the Pakistani government, police, and military do not release Osama bin Laden’s three widows from their custody. On Thursday, Pakistan’s government charged the women with entering the country illegally. Pakistan has been interviewing them to find out how bin Laden managed to stay in the country without being discovered. The Tehrik-e-Taliban, the branch of the Taliban that has promised attacks, has executed major assaults against an American consulate and an American naval base.

    U.S. and Afghanistan Agree on Handover of Prisoners, http://nyti.ms/A3rlSB
    The United States has agreed to hand over 3,200 Afghan prisoners, most of them Taliban insurgents, to the Afghan government far sooner than expected. In what some think is an effort to make up for the NATO burning of Q’rans, the United States will allow for a six-month transition period for the prisoners as opposed to releasing them in 2014 as originally planned.

    Kony 2012 campaign gets support of Obama, others, http://wapo.st/A6LKRb
    The Obama administration has come out in support of an online film aimed at drawing attention to Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord Resistance’s Army, a violent and child-kidnapping militaristic group. The film, released by charity Invisible Children, has gone viral, garnering 48 million views on YouTube and Vimeo. Invisible Children has also created a bill to bring aid and peace to Uganda, and The White House has confirmed its support of the bill. Despite this, Invisible Children has been criticized for oversimplifying the situation in Uganda and for also being factually incorrect.

    (via POLITICO) At SXSW, register to vote QR codes, http://politi.co/x6EIp9
    At this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, Warby Parker, a hip eyeglass company based out of New York, and Rock the Vote are teaming up on “Scan to Vote” QR code t-shirts that will allow users to register to vote directly from whatever smartphone they use to scan the QR code…. The shirts can be found from March 12 to March 14 at Warby Parker’s Citizen Circus at SXSW, an annual conference that focuses on music, technology, and film.

    CULTURAL:

    Facebook Co-Founder Buys The New Republic, http://bit.ly/AvNqyu

    Smacketology: a tournament to determine The Wire’s greatest character, http://es.pn/xghfsJ

    Jessica Biel Finally Shows Off Her Massive Engagement Ring With Justin Timberlake, http://eonli.ne/yxCb9v

    South by Southwest: Five Things to Know About the Texan Film Festival, http://eonli.ne/yVupNU

    ‘Disco Inferno’ singer Jimmy Ellis dies at age 74, http://bit.ly/x55Fxx

    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: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

    Dozens of dead bodies are found in Syria; the Pentagon plans to stay the course in Afghanistan; Arizona parents try to access their children’s text messages; and Republicans and Democrats distance themselves from Rick Santorum’s accusations that Obama is “a snob” for wanting students to go to college. Elsewhere, James Spader will leave “The Office,” and Ryan Seacrest says he was unprepared for Sacha Baron Cohen’s stunt.

    Aaron + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Syrian activists: 64 bodies found near Homs in one of the worst mass killings http://wapo.st/y3bghu
    In the wake of Bashar al-Assad’s alleged electoral victory, dozens of bodies were disposed of outside of war-torn Homs. It seems as if the individuals were trying to leave the war-zone, only to be gunned down by government enforcers. On Monday over 100 other people were killed. The Syrian state media is claiming that Assad won in a landslide victory after a majority of Syrians voted for a new constitution that would allow him to be in power until 2028.

    Pentagon says ‘fundamental strategy’ in Afghanistan is sound http://wapo.st/x7A1UM
    The Pentagon has no plans to change its strategy in Afghanistan as ties between NATO and Afghan security forces have weakened. Afghans witnessed NATO troops burning Korans, setting off a week of protests and violence. Barack Obama’s formal apology has done little to ease tensions between NATO and Afghanistan, and many Americans working in Afghanistan have been pulled from ministries. The Pentagon still intends to end combat missions there by the end of 2014.

    Divided Virginia Senate passes voter ID bill http://bit.ly/zTCHmN
    A bill allegedly written to prevent voter fraud has squeaked through in Virginia. The State Senators were split 20-20 on the issue of requiring photo ID, but the Republican Lt. Governor cast a vote in favor of the bill. Opponents of the bill say there have been virtually no complaints of fraud.

    Rick Santorum takes heat for ‘snob’ comment against President Obama http://wapo.st/zNCCPe
    Rick Santorum recently claimed that Barack Obama’s desire to send more Americans to college is due to snobbery. And these particular comments have not resonated with many politicians. A good deal of Republican Governors at the National Governors Association meeting rebuked Santorum’s statements. Among those were Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Jan Brewer of Arizona, both of whom have endorsed Mitt Romney. However Bobby Jindal and several other non-committed Republican governors have criticized his statements too. Obama clarified what he meant and deconstructed Santorum’s arguments. These rebukes are important for two bell weather primaries that are taking place today.

    State bills seek parental access to children’s text messages http://usat.ly/zVqho7
    Legislators in Arizona are trying to make it easier for parents to spy on their children. Currently, if a parent wants to see their child’s text messages, he or she would need a court order. This bill would change that. Ostensibly it is so parents can protect their children from bullying or other issues. Verizon has come out against this bill, fearing it would be costly to offer an entirely different plan to individuals in the state of Arizona.

    Violence in Afghanistan Causes Ripples on Campaign Trail http://nyti.ms/xKQTvo
    The recent uptick of violence in Afghanistan may prove to be a blemish on what otherwise has been a pristine four years of foreign policy for Barack Obama. Republican candidates are hoping that Obama’s apology and the tumult in Afghanistan will restore the Republicans’ traditional position of strength when it comes to foreign policy. However, the incumbent president and his team hope that these recent deaths will only increase America’s resolve to leave the region.

    CULTURAL:

    2012 Oscars: How to fix a boring Academy Awards show for next year, http://nydn.us/yP1469

    Daily Report: Netflix Transitions to TV Shows, http://nyti.ms/Apm5ML

    Madonna Renames Song “GIRL Gone Wild”; Joe Francis Claims Legal Victory, http://bit.ly/yGLY85

    James Spader leaving NBC’s ‘The Office’, http://bit.ly/wHIIDt

    Ryan Seacrest ‘Didn’t Know’ About Baron Cohen Stunt, http://bit.ly/yDYz0e

    Aaron Ghitelman
    Bio:

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