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    News Round-Up: Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

    President Barack Obama will bring home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, global oil reserves have been tapped in an effort to cut gas prices, and the majority of babies born in the United States are minorities.

    Also, Huntsman will target independents, lawmakers will introduce a bill to legalize marijuana, and the Winklevoss twins end their feud with Facebook.

    Caitlin, Katie, + Perry

    CRITICAL:

    (via POLITICO Breaking News) President Barack Obama on Wednesday night told the nation that he will bring home 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and reverse the full 33,000-troop surge by the end of next summer. The president’s plan is a more rapid drawdown than what top Pentagon officials had favored, reflecting growing fiscal and political pressures at home. Obama believes the accelerated drawdown is possible because of military gains by U.S. and coalition forces since he launched the surge in December 2009. About 68,000 U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan after the withdrawals.

    Karzai Welcomes Withdrawal, but Many Afghans Are Wary, http://nyti.ms/kHJXtg

    Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai praised the 30,000 troop reduction President Obama announced last night, saying it was the “right decision for the interest of both countries.” Some other politicians, however, are worried that the country’s security forces needs more time and training from Americans.

    Va. man charged in 2010 DC-area military shootings,
    http://yhoo.it/ldMvBV

    The man who was arrested near the Pentagon last week, a Marine Corps reservist, has been charged in a series of shootings from 2010.  Bomb materials were found in his backpack when he was detained at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. Officials have since discovered a video that he took of himself firing shots outside the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

    Global Oil Reserves Tapped in Effort to Cut Cost at Pump, http://nyti.ms/jEAxVH

    The United States is partnering with 28 other nations to release 60 million barrels of world oil reserves. Half of the barrels will come from the US, after weeks of secret negotiations. The oil will replace what was lost in production due to the conflict in Libya.

    Census shows whites lose US majority among babies, http://bit.ly/lvJA8X

    According to the latest government data from the 2010 Census, the majority of American babies are minorities. This newest generation is vastly different from the predominately white group of older Americans.

    Jon Huntsman sees independents as key,
    http://politi.co/lfCMLq

    Jon Huntsman plans to obtain the Republican nomination by utilizing the election laws in New Hampshire and South Carolina that allow independent voters to cast ballots in the GOP primary.  John Weaver, Huntsman’s chief strategist, said that “the fact that a candidate can attract independent votes is a good indication that they can be more viable in a general election.”

    Lawmakers to introduce bill to legalize marijuana, http://yhoo.it/jz03Bg

    Congressmen Barney Frank (D) and Ron Paul (R) are going to introduce a bill legalizing marijuana today. The bill, the first ever of its kind, will leave marijuana legislation up to the states. Sixteen states allow medical marijuana, but the plant is still illegal under federal law.

    Winklevoss twins end appeal of Facebook settlement, http://reut.rs/kfRC4s

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg paid Harvard classmates Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss $65 million in a settlement over who thought of the idea for the social networking site. After agreeing to the settlement, the brothers tried to undo it and ask for more money. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled against them, they have decided not to appeal the decision.

    CULTURAL:

    NCAA sends UNC official notice of allegations in football investigation, http://bit.ly/kgy7z6

    Missy Elliott Diagnosed With Incurable Graves Disease, http://bit.ly/kHo93O

    Pottermore Unveiled! J.K. Rowling Launches New Web Site, http://bit.ly/kVCrfk

    Jackass Stars Pay Their Respects at Memorial Service for Ryan Dunn, http://eonli.ne/j03x9M

    Katie Scholick
    Bio: Duke University, Class of 2013 Majoring in Psychology, Certificate in Markets and Management.

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



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

    If you missed it over the holiday weekend, the New York Times had a front page story on the War on Voting: http://nyti.ms/iWiJnb

    In today’s news, the Afghan President has said no to NATO, bankers and hotel maids are back in the headlines, and an Egyptian general admits to ‘virginity checks’ on female protestors.

    Meanwhile, OSU football coach Jim Tressel retires after Sports Illustrated revealed that he let his team trade memorabilia for, tattoos (of all things); all the more reason to text, the WHO admits that cell phones may cause brain cancer; Snooki drives a car and ends up in a neck brace; and the Hangover Part II is really, really lucrative.

    Maegan + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Second Banker in Hotel Sex Bust, http://nyp.st/kCsRWW

    Another banker and hotel maid? The former head of Egypt’s Bank of Alexandria has been arrested for trying to have sexual relations with a maid at The Pierre Hotel in NYC. After she gave him a fake phone number, he graciously let her leave.

    Afghan President Seeks to Limit NATO Airstrikes, http://yhoo.it/iynkPH

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on civilians’ homes. NATO has said that it will comply, and that it checks all plans of airstrikes with Afghan officials beforehand. A NATO spokeswoman also noted that many insurgents use civilians as shields.

    Egyptian General Admits ‘Virginity Checks’ Conducted on Protestors, http://bit.ly/lFoM0q

    According to an Amnesty International report, seventeen female protestors arrested last spring in Egypt “were subjected to beatings, electric shocks, strip searches, and virginity checks.” An anonymous Egyptian general is now confirming this report.

    Republican Legislators Push to Tighten Voting Rules, http://nyti.ms/iWiJnb

    Featured on the front page of this Sunday’s NY Times, the article notes that Republicans are pushing restrictive voter legislation under the radar in a number of states. Because this legislation is being passed in between election seasons, voters may be unaware of the new rules until they are turned away on Election Day.

    Mobile Phones ‘Possibly Carcinogenic’ Say World Health Organization Experts,
    http://bit.ly/lFLMu2

    The Agency for Research on Cancer, backed by the World Health Organization, has admitted that cell phones may cause brain cancer. The agency will send its findings to the World Health Organization and national health agencies for their review and subsequent advice regarding cell phone usage.

    Sports Illustrated Investigation Reveals Eight-Year Pattern of Violations Under Tressel, http://bit.ly/lKTavl

    Ohio State University’s football coach Jim Tressel has resigned after Sports Illustrated published a lengthy investigation of different scandals that knowingly went on under his watch. The scandals violate NCAA rules and include 28 players trading memorabilia for items such as tattoos and marijuana.

    Apple CEO Jobs to Unveil iCloud Service, New iPad Software, http://buswk.co/mC57IO

    At the annual Apple conference on June 6, CEO Steve Jobs will unveil new software for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac computers. He will also reveal iCloud, which will allow users to store content online.

    David Brooks tells new grads “It’s Not About You,” http://nyti.ms/mpt4rl

    CULTURAL:

    Royal Tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s  14,000-Mile First Official Trip, http://bit.ly/jbt5Du

    Singer Sean Kingston Stable after Jet Ski Accident, http://bit.ly/iwJB4k

    Snooki Loses License, Faces Possible Lawsuit after Crash, http://bit.ly/kA0qqQ

    Why did ‘The Hangover Part II’ Make Such an Ungodly Amount of Money?, http://bit.ly/miWDnz

    (via Cynopsis) Actor Jeff Conaway, 60, best known for his role on classic TV series Taxi and for playing the rebellious Kenickie in the mega-hit 1978 movie musical Grease, died last Friday.  Mr. Conaway appeared on the hit TV series Taxi, playing struggling vain actor Bobby Wheeler from 1978 to 1981; he left the show for its last two seasons.  Following Taxi, Mr. Conway appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1989 and Babylon 5 in the 1990s.  For his fans, confirmation of his long fight with addiction to alcohol, cocaine and painkillers became apparent when he appeared in two seasons of VH1′s Celebrity Rehab series as one of Dr. Drew Pinsky’s most heartbreaking and difficult cases.    In 1980, Mr. Conaway married Olivia Newton-John’s sister, Rona and they had a son named Emerson. The couple divorced in 1985.

    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, April 5, 2011

    Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

    As 2012 speculation sparks political insiders to salivate over possible scenarios for the next presidential electoral match up, reality looms. At the center is Wisconsin Rep Paul Ryan, who today released a massive proposal to cut $6 trillion from the country’s budget in what he argues will be a step toward eliminating our national debt and avoiding government shutdown, which could happen on Friday. With all that big news to digest, don’t let this headline fly under the radar: The Federal Trade Commission is considering launching an investigation of Google.

    Meanwhile, the GOP continues to go Hollywood, with E! announcing it will produce a True Hollywood Story episode on Sarah Palin, T-Paw courting young voters with Lady Gaga jokes in public speeches, and um, it turns out The Governator cartoon is not a joke after all.

    CRUCIAL:

    The GOP Path to Prosperityhttp://on.wsj.com/h8d4R7

    Paul Ryan writes on the GOP budget proposal, and breaks down the benefits of his plan, including the creation of a million private-sector jobs, and increasing economic growth. He explains how the cuts would affect everything from Medicare and Medicaid to tax reform.

    Obama Calls Boehner to White House to Talk Budgethttp://yhoo.it/eMfAVQ

    With a continued threat of a government shutdown, President Obama plans to meet with Boehner today to discuss the budget and how to avoid the shutdown.The White House is preparing in the event that a shutdown does occur if a deal is not reached.

    Google Said to Be Possible Target of U.S. FTC Antitrust Probehttp://bloom.bg/fnuP0Z

    Once the Justice Department reveals whether it will allow Google’s travel search site, or whether it would eliminate competition in the industry, The Federal Trade Commission will decide whether to investigate Google for anti-competitive actions. 

    Sarah Palin to Be Subject of Tabloid Documentaryhttp://usat.ly/eVHMVr

    Sarah Palin will be on E! True Hollywood Story this month, a show which features celebrity documentaries.

    Social Media Let Candidates Bypass Traditional Mediahttp://bo.st/fZOrlz

    Candidates in the 2012 race have already shown the prominent role online tools and social media will play in their campaigns. With many time and cost saving benefits, social media will aid in the use of traditional media to bolster candidates outreach.

    Tim Pawlenty Appeals to College Republicans With Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga Referenceshttp://bit.ly/gjNik3

    Pawlenty made a “winning” reference to Charlie Sheen, but wasn’t able to keep the youth connection up with a not so successful joke about Lady Gaga, calling the relationship between Obama and the youth vote a “Bad Romance.”

    David Brooks lauds Paul Ryan’s budget proposal: http://nyti.ms/dLrH6A

    CULTURAL:

    UConn takes the NCAA title: http://nyti.ms/egI65C

    It wasn’t an April Fools joke, the Governator to take cartoon form: http://bit.ly/dPm6sE

    Miley returns to Twitter: http://aol.it/hLZWGt

    Facebook’s Sean Parker gets engaged: http://bit.ly/ezao7S

    Harry Potter’s Bonnie Wright talks filming the epilogue: http://on.mtv.com/hU0xaS

    Will and Jaden Smith sign on to new project with M. Night Shyamalan: http://eonli.ne/hDNp1h

    Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label expands overseas: http://bit.ly/hwcm1R

    Was Julia Child a spy?: http://usat.ly/iazjXY

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

    The Obama administration pushes for a privacy bill to keep your information safe online, the GOP is divided over budget cuts, but Marco Rubio won’t back down, Amy Wilentz writes about Artistide’s not so welcome return to Haiti, Nate Dogg passes away at age 41, O fills out his NCAA bracket and Hollywood alters films to say on China’s good side??

    CRUCIAL:

    Democrats Look at Ted Strickland for DNC Job, http://politi.co/g9FCeN

    Should DNC Chairmain Tim Kaine decide to run for senator many are looking to Ted Strickland, the former Ohio Governor, to replace him as he “has an array of strengths that will be important to the party going into President Obama’s reelection.

    Marco Rubio Starts Building a National Brand, http://politi.co/h6Uwwr

    Marco Rubio breaks out of his quiet freshman shell and takes a solid stance on spending, saying that the short term cuts simply won’t do. Many Republicans support his decision to stand firm.

    Some in GOP Grow Tired of Right Wing, http://politi.co/dOEqRJ

    There is a division in the GOP over how much to cut during budget cut talks with some Republicans pushing for deeper cuts and social policy riders and others working to compromise

    Most Vulnerable U.S. Nuclear Plants, http://bit.ly/dEOZUm

    The Daily Beast assessed the vulnerability of all 65 of the United States nuclear plants based on the most dangerous physical locations, those that have the weakest relative operating conditions, and those that would affect the greatest number of people. The top three most vulnerable plants are in New York, California and Pennsylvania.

    “EXCERPT FROM MORNING TECH:”

    SCOOP: BOEHNER LAUNCHES NEW HOUSE TECH TEAM – Speaker Boehner will announce the creation of the House Technology Operations Team today, which will be led by Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz. The team will work with the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer to create new ways for constituents to communicate with lawmakers via tech tools. Although the new group will be bipartisan, its current members so far are all Republicans: Reps. Dan Lungren, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Sean Duffy, Michael McCaul and Bob Latta – though we ‘re told to expect news of other adds in the coming weeks.

    Administration to Push Privacy Bill, http://on.wsj.com/i88U1r

    The Obama administration plans to ask Congress to pass a bill that protects Americans from having their information collected and shared for a something other than what it was originally intended for.

    Amy Wilentz on why Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide haunts Hatians, http://nyti.ms/gtaUao

    CULTURAL:

    Hollywood tries to get on China’s good side by altering films, the LA Times reports: http://lat.ms/gI5I4n

    Hip-hop star Nate Dogg dead at 41: http://bit.ly/gTEtii

    Could Mattel’s new dolls be the worst role models ever?: http://bit.ly/dMsskd

    Obama’s NCAA bracket picks: http://es.pn/eJzOun

    Bill Clinton on Basketball: http://sbn.to/fFuglN

    Gilbert Gottfried apologizes for Japan jokes: http://bit.ly/fK0Iz0

    Cartoon characters protest Macy’s Parade change: http://bit.ly/hVFtyc

    Kristin Andrews
    Bio: Kristin is Rock the Vote's Communications Intern

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