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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

    Jimmy Fallon rocked The Tonight Show stage; Saudi Arabia appointed its first female editor-in-chief of a national newspaper; and Venezuela expels three U.S. diplomats. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith walk us through the evolution of hip hop dancing; new godmother, Kate Middleton, and Prince George attend a christening; and the U.S.A. wins the first ever gold medal in ice dancing.

    - Gianna + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    First night a hit for ‘Tonight’ host Jimmy Fallon: http://rtvote.com/1e3Kp6b
    Last night, Jimmy Fallon transitioned from his hit show “Late Night” to NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and made a splash with viewers. Mr. Fallon proved once again that he’s a natural host and he excited the audience with his witty humor on topics like Sochi & hip hop. The “Tonight Show” made its first return to New York City in almost 40 years and that was the most exciting part of the evening. In the theme of celebration, Mr. Fallon introduced his parents to viewers and ended the show with a performance by U2.

    School’s Arab Mascot Draws Fire in California Valley That Prizes Dates: http://rtvote.com/1h0ulW4
    This past Friday, Riverside county in California held its National Date Festival, an annual tribute to a local industry that began in the Middle East. Riverside County has held the festival intermittently since 1921 and since the 1940s the county has decided to honor the history of the date and the culture of its Arabian origin. Unfortunately the festival sparked backlash from Coachella Valley High School’s Arab mascot. Although the mascot has been in existence since the 1930s, the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee has deemed the mascot a “gross stereotype” and the high school is currently seeking other mascot options as a result of the Committee’s petition.

    Saudi Arabia’s first female editor of national newspaper appointed:http://rtvote.com/1bhDJqj
    For the first time ever in Saudi history, a female journalist, Somayya Jabarti, was named editor-in-chief of a national newspaper. When reporters asked about her views on this historic appointment, Jabarti said, “There’s a crack that has been made in the glass ceiling. And I’m hoping it will be made into a door”. She continued by saying, “Being the first Saudi woman [editor-in-chief] is going to be double the responsibility … One’s actions will reflect upon my fellow Saudi women.”

    Oklahoma pharmacy won’t provide drug for Missouri execution:http://rtvote.com/1cljrdA
    The Apothecary Shoppe of Tulsa, according to court documents, will not provide drugs for use in the execution of Michael Taylor that is scheduled for this month. Michael Taylor currently sits on death row for the brutal rape, murder, and kidnapping of a southeast Kansas girl. In this court case, Taylor argued that in several recent executions in which the compounded pentobarbital was used, showed it would likely cause him “severe, unnecessary, lingering, and ultimately inhumane pain.” 

    Venezuela raids opposition party office, expels three U.S. diplomats:http://rtvote.com/1c0Ltrw
    Late last evening, Venezuelan Security Forces raided the headquarters of an opposition party accused of being the driving force behind recent violent protests. While raiding the headquarters, the Venezuelan national government also expelled three U.S. diplomats on charges of conspiring with demonstrators. The U.S. State Department has called the charges against the U.S. diplomats, false and baseless.

    CULTURAL

    Kate Middleton Is a Godmother, Attends Friend’s Baby Christening with Prince George, http://rtvote.com/1jO6zRW

    Pete Wentz Expecting Baby With Girlfriend Meagan Camper, http://rtvote.com/1jCbzGj

    Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith Perform “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” on The Tonight Show—Watch Now!: http://rtvote.com/1f9kSi1

    BAFTA Party Sightings: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Oprah Winfrey and More!: http://rtvote.com/1fduWVI

    Winter Olympics 2014: Meryl Davis and Charlie White Win First Ever U.S. Gold in Ice Dance: http://rtvote.com/1kRJo9I

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

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



    News Round-Up: Thursday, January 24, 2014

    Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

    A strange new agency is being formed in Florida; a young Illinois girl murders her younger sister; a supernova provides a spectacle for astronomers both amateur and professional; and polls about the United States’ beliefs on income inequality are released. Meanwhile, the story everyone is talking about: Justin Bieber’s arrest; a new celebrity couple become engaged; and some of the biggest ‘90’s stars are returning to TV for the Super Bowl.

    - Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Good with people? Willing to capture crocodile, if needed? Apply now! http://rtvote.com/KNOPr5
    Advertisements for “crocodile response agents” have been circulating around Florida due to the increasing number of crocodiles being born. To be considered, a person must be “flexible, mature, a good listener, and non-confrontational,” although experience is optional. Crocodiles have been moving back into residential areas along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Florida Keys. The program currently consists of nine agents who make $25 an hour.

    Girl, 14, stabs sister 40 times because she felt unappreciated: http://rtvote.com/1dyGJst
    An 11-year-old Illinois girl is dead after being stabbed nearly 40 times by her older sister. The sister initially called the police using an intruder as a cover story, but later confessed to the crime when questioned. The 14-year-old sister was angry at her sister for not appreciating all that she did for her. She has been arrested and charged with murder.

    Supernova! Exploding star lights up nearby Cigar Galaxy: http://rtvote.com/1iqKrMZ
    A supernova, also known as an exploding star, has just become visible in the night sky. It is located between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and is so bright that it is easily visible for people to see through a telescope (or even a pair of binoculars) in the Northern Hemisphere. The phenomenon is approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth. Although exciting to behold, astronomers may be able to use the supernova to help study dark energy.

    Poll: United we stand on wealth gap: http://rtvote.com/1f9qlna
    A new poll shows that 65% of Americans surveyed believe that the gap between the wealthiest people and the rest has increased. People also believe that the system “unfairly favors the wealthy.” Interestingly enough, nearly the same percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents also believe that inequality is growing, and a majority of those surveyed believes that the government must take action to curb inequality. 

    CULTURAL

    Justin Bieber arrested for DUI and drag racing: http://rtvote.com/1hOxIRb 

    A Full House reunion commercial during the Super Bowl: is an even bigger reunion in the works? http://rtvote.com/1mx973E

    Megan Park and Tyler Hilton are engaged! http://rtvote.com/1f9hxh5

    Ralph Lauren returns to design the 2014 United States Olympic uniforms. See the pictures here: http://rtvote.com/1f9i8i

    He’s back! Bill Cosby returns to NBC to star in a new family comedy: http://rtvote.com/1egECdY

    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: November 8, 2013

    Friday, November 8th, 2013

    October tells a surprisingly positive story of job growth; the strongest tropical cyclone in history hits the Philippines; and Toronto mayor Rob Ford keeps finding himself in trouble. Meanwhile, Johnny Galecki finally spills on the secret relationship he shared with Kaley Cuoco, and Renee Zellweger shoots down anorexic rumors like a boss.

    -Sandy + Maura

     

    CRUCIAL

    U.S. added surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in October, http://rtvote.com/1bieyPr
    Despite the 16-day government shutdown, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose from 7.2% to 7.3% in September, but that was most likely due to the temporarily furloughed federal workers. October’s surprising job growth was an encouraging sign that many companies just shrugged off the shutdown and continued to accelerate their activity.

    Obama says he is sorry for ‘You can keep it’ declaration, http://rtvote.com/HD0GWV
    In a NBC interview Thursday, President Obama apologized that some Americans were forced to lose their current healthcare plan as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, the president assured Americans that they could keep their current plans if they did not change since the passing of the ACA. After receiving heavy criticism for that statement, Obama reminded us that those whose plans would be cancelled will be receiving much better healthcare policies at the same or cheaper rates.

    Super Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps strongest ever, plows across Philippineshttp://rtvote.com/1cIzKTT
    Super Typhoon Haiyan is a Category 5 hurricane that first hit Samar, Philippines, at 4:30 AM Friday. It may be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in recorded history. Officials are trying to determine the extent of the damage Haiyan has done thus far, but what they do know for sure is that Haiyan poses a very real danger. Three people have been reported dead, and seven are injured. Among the most vulnerable are people living in tents on the island of Bohol, where a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit last month. As Haiyan continues on its path, Rock the Vote sends its warmest wishes to those being affected by the storm. Stay safe, everyone.

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in video murder ranthttp://rtvote.com/18diPkJ
    And it just keeps getting worse. A video has been leaked, showing infamous mayor Rob Ford making threats to murder an unknown person. Ford has apologized, but this latest incident comes after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine earlier this week. On Sunday, he acknowledged on his radio show that he has a drinking problem. Nonetheless, he will not step down from office; councilors are increasing their calls for Ford to resign.

    Satellite falling to Earthhttp://rtvote.com/17jsT0T
    Watch where you’re going! A European satellite has run out of fuel, and fragments of the disintegrating, 2000-pound spacecraft will strike Earth’s surface within the next few days. The only problem? Nobody really knows where or when they will hit. The European Space Agency said the parts are likely to hit the ocean or unpopulated areas. In case they’re wrong, I would advise you to keep an eye out for any objects hurdling through the sky this weekend (and get out of the way).

     

    CULTURAL

    Johnny Galecki Talks About Secret Romance With Kaley Cuoco: “She’s Part of My Life,”http://rtvote.com/1fp4sz0

    Renee Zellweger Is Not Anorexic, Goes to the Gym to Keep Her “Sanity,” http://rtvote.com/16N2aHC

    Selena Gomez Says She’s Single and Having the “Best Year” Ever, http://rtvote.com/16N2hTB

    Justin Bieber Filmed Sleeping in Bed by Brazilian Girl, http://rtvote.com/1acCULt

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: October 29, 2013

    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

    Hawaii is up next to legalize gay marriage; an official review on NSA programs is underway; and social media sites criticize tasteless blackface and Trayvon Martin costumes. Meanwhile, the Jonas Brothers break up, and Julianne Hough receives some intense criticism for her offensive Halloween costume.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Hawaii governor expects gay marriage bill to pass ‘within week’,http://rtvote.com/1f1FWUw
    Hawaii’s legislature is expected to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage “within a week or so.” The state’s House of Representatives will pass the bill on Thursday if it passes Senate; both chambers have Democratic majorities. Governor Neil Abercrombie stated that he hopes the bill will pass before January, at the very latest.

    White House: Review will address global NSA concernshttp://rtvote.com/1gXYp8Q
    As more nations become enraged by NSA’s spying programs, the White House has assured the public that the collection of data on allies will not continue. A review of these programs is currently in the works, and a report on the review will be due by the end of the year. Spain is the latest country that has joined in on protests against the U.S.’s surveillance tactics; others include Germany, France, Brazil, and Mexico.

    Trick-or-treating takes a tasteless turnhttp://rtvote.com/1g9uU2E
    Halloween is right around the corner, and so are some of the most offensive costumes in Halloween history. Some of the more tasteless trick-or-treaters are donning Ariel Castro costumes, blackface costumes, and even Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman costumes. There has been a backlash on social media sites (rightfully so) against such getups, and the Utah Jazz and Julianne Hough have received such criticism.

    5 killed in Dallas-area shootings; suspect arrestedhttp://rtvote.com/1f1LVZx
    Police have arrested Charles Everett Brownlow, Jr., 36, for killing five people in a shooting spree in the small town of Terrell, Texas. The murders started at 5 PM Monday, and Brownlow was captured and arrested early Tuesday. The victims have not been officially identified.

    Report: White House knew plans would be canceled under ACA,http://rtvote.com/1gY57eY
    About 50%-75% of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will have their plans cancelled in the next year because their current policies fail to meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Initially, the White House said that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be kept even if they did not meet the requirements of the new healthcare law. The Department of Health and Human Services later narrowed that provision. NBC News reports that the Obama administration has known for three years that people’s insurance would be canceled. The White House has responded that those whose policies are voided will be automatically shifted to plans with better protections. Additionally, they claim that nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their plans, but the failure of some plans to meet the new minimum standards should be expected.
     

    PUNDITS

    George Clooney and John Prendergast discuss what should be done to stop the chaos in Sudan in “Sudan could become a second Syria,” http://rtvote.com/1f1Puij

    Errol Louis talks about Banksy’s insensitive slam against New Yorkers and Americans in “Banksy’s insult shows he’s clueless about New York,” http://rtvote.com/19PKcV9

    CULTURAL

    Julianne Hough Goes Blackface as Orange is the New Black Character for Halloween Costume, http://rtvote.com/1gY8ouS

    Jonas Brothers Break Up: “It was a Unanimous Decision,” http://rtvote.com/1gY8H8U

    Dax Shepard Doesn’t Have a Wedding Ring, Says It Cost Him $142 to Marry Kristen Bell,http://rtvote.com/1gY9t63

    Adam Levine Says Fiancée Behati Prinsloo Made Him Believe in Marriage,http://rtvote.com/1gY9R4i

    sandywu
    Bio:

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



    News Round-Up: Monday, July 29, 2013

    Monday, July 29th, 2013

    Obama set to back student loan deal; Israel-Palestine peace talks to resume; 51 are dead in Iraqi car bombings; and Pope Francis says he will not judge gay priests. Meanwhile, Diane Lane to play Hillary Clinton in new miniseries; and Johnny Depp discusses ending acting career.

    -Ally + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    At least 51 dead in Iraq car bombingshttp://rtvote.com/15ZvrvV

    Monday morning rush hour saw a series of car bombings in central and southern Iraq. The attacks were reportedly led by “insurgents determined to undermine the government.” Since April of this year, similar events have killed over 3,000, reviving fear from the violence of the last decade.

    Thief Gets Away With Estimated $50 Million in Jewelry at a French Riviera Hotel, http://rtvote.com/15Zw5JQ

    An armed thief stirred the Carlton InterContinental Hotel in Cannes on Sunday, following the escape of an imprisoned member of the Pink Panther gang of jewel thieves in Switzerland. The jewels were exhibited in the hotel by the Leviev diamond house.

    Israeli-Palestinian peace talks set to resume Monday, http://rtvote.com/15ZwewB

    The U.S. State Department has announced that peace talks will resume this evening, with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho representing Israel, and Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh for Palestine. In anticipation of the talks, Israel released 104 Palestinian prisoners. These actions suggest hope for fruitful negotiations.

    Pope Francis says he won’t ‘judge’ gay priests, http://rtvote.com/13gRu2z

    Following a visit to Brazil’s World Youth Day, his first foreign trip as Pope, Francis says he will not judge gay priests. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” This view is in stark contrast to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

    White House Muted in Response to New Mass Killing of Egyptian Protesters, http://rtvote.com/19sN24y 

    Sunday marked the second mass killing of Egyptians in three weeks. The Obama administration remains quiet on the event, while Western diplomats work to calm tensions. The event revives the question as to whether Congress should suspend its aid to Egypt.

    Obama backs student loan bill, http://rtvote.com/13gUZpE

    After the Senate passed a bipartisan agreement to reverse the immediate doubling of student loan rates, linking rates to the interest rates, the bill will be brought to vote today in the House. The House is also expected to pass the bill, and President Obama signaled he would follow suit.

    CULTURAL

    Diane Lane to Play Hillary Clinton in NBC Miniseries, http://rtvote.com/13gYiNJ

    Johnny Depp to Quit Acting? “It’s Probably Not Too Far Away,” http://rtvote.com/13gXR5S

    Box office report: ‘The Wolverine’ earns $55 million; Plus ‘Despicable Me 2’ crosses $300 million mark, http://rtvote.com/19sO9Ba

    Lady Gaga Unveils ‘Applause’ Single Name, Artwork, http://rtvote.com/13gXaJR

    Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury Duets To Reportedly See Release This Fall, http://rtvote.com/15ZEcWM

    Ally.f@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

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