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    News Round-Up: Friday, February 14, 2014

    Friday, February 14th, 2014

    Tens of thousands evacuate Indonesia after volcanic eruption; Facebook adds up to 10 gender pronoun choices; snow hits hard on the East Coast; and President Obama announces a $1 billion climate fund proposal. Meanwhile, the day you’ve been LONG waiting for has arrived—House of Cards Season 2 is on Netflix!; an Olympic skier saves some adorable puppies in Sochi; and in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we have a list of 21 awkward greeting cards that will make your sides hurt with laughter.

    Happy Valentine’s Day Rockers!




    D.C. Region Begins Digging Out After Major Snowstorm Finally Moves On, http://rtvote.com/MRS1m3 Grab your snow boots and watch out for the ice! Another snowstorm swept through the region yesterday, blanketing major parts of the East Coast. The wintry onslaught left at least 21 people dead, including a pregnant woman who was struck by a snowplow in New York City. On Wednesday and Thursday, the snowstorm moved up from the South and left 1.2 million utility customers without power. And, as for snow coverage, the Northeast region near Pennsylvania got more than 22 inches and parts of upstate New York got 27!

    Indonesia Volcano Erupts; 76,000 Evacuated, Most of Java’s Airport Shut, http://rtvote.com/1dsISL8
    The Mount Kelud volcano, located in the province of East Java in Indonesia, erupted Thursday night sending 10 miles of ash into the air. Over 76,000 people have now fled their homes and flights across most of Java, Indonesia’s densely populated island, were grounded. Mount Kelud is one of 130 active volcanoes in the world’s fourth most populous country, which sits along the “Ring of Fire” volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

    Vladimir Putin Visits Team USA in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/1nyRPUd
    Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the USA House, which is a meeting place for the athletes and their families. The visit had been kept low key, and visitors at the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters were stunned when he appeared. Mr. Putin has been making his rounds sporadically at national organizing committee spotlights.

    Facebook Opens Up LBGTQ-Friendly Gender Identity And Pronoun Options, http://rtvote.com/1bRXkIm Facebook recently updated gender options for their users.  Aside from the usual “male” and “female” options, users can choose up to 10 different gender definitions to describe themselves out of more than 50 options.  Some of those options include, “cisgender”, “transgender”, and “intersex.” Not only will the gender choice show up on the user’s About page, but it will show up in all other pronouns on the site that refer to that user.

    Obama to propose $1 billion climate fund, http://rtvote.com/1kHD0Se
    In an effort to bring climate change to the forefront, President Obama is preparing to ask Congress to set up a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund” in his proposed budget next month. According to the White House, the fund would go to research on the projected impacts of climate change, help communities prepare for climate change’s effects, and fund “breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.” On Friday, the President will travel to Fresno, California to discuss the impact of drought in the Western U.S. and to announce his climate fund proposal.


    Skier Gus Kenworthy Proves His Heart of Gold By Saving Puppies in Sochi, http://rtvote.com/MPtvlE

    The Coolest Teachers Ever Announce Snow Day With Hilarious Rap,http://rtvote.com/1btlluR

    21 Awkward Valentine’s Day Cards For Your Confusing Modern Relationship, http://rtvote.com/1c3KhHg

    Bethenny Frankel’s Daytime Talk Show Cancelled, Not Renewed for Second Season, http://rtvote.com/1dPCppi

    President Obama’s Twitter Account: No ‘House of Cards’ Spoilers,http://rtvote.com/1gAmTly

    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, August 15, 2013

    Thursday, August 15th, 2013

    The death toll in Egypt rises to 525; surge of violence continues in Iraq; torture revealed in California murder & abduction case; Senator Wendy Davis appears in Vogue; and Wimbledon champion abruptly retires from tennis.Meanwhile, Oprah gives away more cars; Stern reacts to Bachelor star suicide; and Justin Timberlake releases track list for 20/20 Experience part 2.



    Morsi supporters call for protest marchers as crackdown death toll rises in Egypthttp://rtvote.com/1a895O9
    Supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi called for protest marches Thursday, after violent government crackdowns have left over 500 people dead and more than 3,700 people injured, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry. This has been the deadliest day in Egypt since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

    Officials: Car bombs kill 31 in Iraqi capitalhttp://rtvote.com/1a8enZS
    A month’s long surge of violence continues in Iraq as 31 people are killed and dozens injured in a car bomb attack near the Iraqi capital. More than 3,000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months raising fears Iraq could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed.

    Affidavits: Hannah Anderson’s mother, brother ‘tortured and killed’,http://rtvote.com/16NoK09
    It has now been revealed that the California man that kidnapped Hannah Anderson after her cheerleading practice, first tortured and killed her mother and brother. Investigators didn’t reveal details of the torture, but believe James Lee DiMaggio, a friend of Hannah’s father, carried out the killings and abduction.

    Wendy Davis in heels and in Voguehttp://rtvote.com/1a8gtJj
    Vogue’s September issue will feature Wendy Davis, Democratic Senator from Fort Worth, Texas who might be making a bid for governor. The magazine feature offers a revealing look at Davis’ personal journey from struggling as a single mother to graduating from Harvard Law School.

    Bartoli’s Retirement Caught Nearly Everyone by Surprise,
    After winning the title of Wimbledon Champion last month, Marion Bartoli has announced her retirement from tennis after a loss at the Western & Southern open. Citing physical issues, lack of will, and other goals, the French tennis champion said, “I feel it’s time for me to walk away actually.”



    Oprah Winfrey Gives Away a Car on Jimmy Kimmel Livehttp://rtvote.com/141Xlck

    Justin Timberlake Complete Track List for 20/20 Experience: Part 2 of 2,http://rtvote.com/1a852RP

    Bachelor Fan Howard Stern Weighs In on Gia Allemand Suicide: “I Was Sad to Hear About it”, http://rtvote.com/16NhPEe

    Orange Is the New Black: Reports of Laura Prepon’s Exit “Inaccurate”, Says Netflix,http://rtvote.com/16NitS6

    Bruce Willis Commercial Gets Banned in Britain, http://rtvote.com/16NiC8b

    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, May 30, 2013

    Thursday, May 30th, 2013

    Syria has received first missile shipment from Russia; Obama plans to nominate former Bush official to lead FBI; a man is charged for the murder of soldier Lee Rigby; a U.S. soldier accused of murdering 16 on a shooting spree in Afghanistan makes a plea bargain; a letter sent to Mayor Bloomberg tests positive for ricin; Saudi Arabia reports three more dead from SARS-like virus; smoking and unemployment prove to cut lifespan; and France celebrates its first same-sex wedding. Meanwhile, a Disneyland employee is held of $1 million bail for a dry ice blast, and Netflix talks “more ‘Arrested Development’.”

    Maura + Alexis


    Assad says Syria received Russian missile shipment: Lebanese media, http://reut.rs/19ocNRm
    Syria has received the first shipment of an advanced air defense system sent from Russia. Western objections aside, Russia has promised the delivery of the S-300 missile system to the Syrian government. As of June 1 the EU will lift its arms embargo on Syria, which could open up the opportunity for the West to arm Syrian rebels.

    Former Bush Official Said to Be Obama Pick to Lead F.B.I., http://nyti.ms/18yt5Zi
    President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey for the position of director of the FBI to replace Robert S. Mueller III. Comey served as a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush and played a role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration – refusing to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants. By nominating Mr. Comey, a Republican, President Obama makes a strong statement about bi-partisanship.

    Woolwich attack: Michael Adebowale charged with murder of soldier Lee Rigby, http://bit.ly/ZfUucZ
    Michael Adebowale has been officially charged with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby. The 22-year-old was arrested at he scene in Woolwich immediately after killing Rigby. In addition to charging him with murder, police have also charged him with possession of a firearm.

    US soldier accused of Afghan killing spree in deal to avoid execution, http://nbcnews.to/140dDkV
    Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier accused of murdering 16 civilians in Afghanistan during active duty for the U.S. Army, has reached a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. Bales’ lawyer Emma Scanlan has reported that her client will plead guilty to premeditated murder charges and then present himself before a military jury for sentencing. The sentencing phase will begin in August.

    Letter sent to NYC Mayor Bloomberg tests positive for ricin, http://fxn.ws/135DvLa
    Anonymous letters were sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the director of the organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns located in Washington, D.C. containing material laced with ricin. Although he refuses to comment on what specific threats were made in the letters or where the letters were postmarked, Bloomberg asserts that he doesn’t “feel threatened” and will continue to fight for what he believes in – stricter gun control.

    Saudi Arabia Reports 3 More Deaths From New Virus, http://nyti.ms/16suWyQ
    Saudi Arabia has reported three more deaths caused by a newly discovered respiratory virus similar to SARS. The number of deaths globally now sits at 30. The World Health Organization says the virus that was first seen in the Middle East appears to be spreading worldwide.

    Joblessness Shortens Lifespan of Least Educated White Women, Research Says, http://nyti.ms/10Bik45
    A new study has left researchers with an explanation as to why the country’s least educated white women have shorter lifespans. Researchers have found that the two factors most strongly associated with higher death rates are smoking and unemployment. The study will be published Thursday in The Journal of Health an Social Behavior.

    Meet France’s First Married Gay Couple, http://ti.me/15a2i1B
    France celebrated its first gay marriage in Montpellier on Wednesday. With hundreds of people in attendance, it was clear that Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were not the only ones in support of same-sex marriage. Before taking their vows, the two grooms proclaimed, “Our society cannot have any prejudices.”


    Disneyland Explosion: Employee Arrested for Dry Ice Blast, Held on $1 Million Bail, http://eonli.ne/19p7XUf

    Blake Shelton and Usher Duet for Oklahoma Tornado Benefit, http://eonli.ne/15lDdQw

    Netflix Is Now Open to the Idea of More Arrested Development, http://vult.re/12QiDWw

    ‘Machete Kills’ Trailer: Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson & Charlie Sheen Made A Movie Together, http://huff.to/135IH1O

    Movie Trailers’ Time Challenged By Theater Owners; Trailer Length May Be Cut By 30 Seconds, http://huff.to/135BuPl

    Bio: My name is Alexis Macdermott and I will be starting my third year at Duke University this fall. I am currently pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in economics. I am a native of Southwest Florida and am an avid runner and film enthusiast. I look forward to joining the Marketing and Communications team for the summer here at RTV!

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

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

    Citigroup will cut 11,000 jobs; Wall Street remains unfazed by the “fiscal cliff;” clashes in Egypt move to the presidential palace; a typhoon kills 283 in the Philippines; and Texas House Rep. Jack Brooks dies at 89. Meanwhile, Fox News is pushing Karl Rove and Dick Morris off the air; Netflix buys exclusive rights to Disney movies; and Frankie Muniz suffers a mini-stroke.



    Citigroup to Cut 11,000 Jobs, Take $1 Billion Charge, http://bloom.bg/TFhIaf
    Citigroup has announced that it will pay a $1 billion tax charge for the quarter and that it will cut 11,000 jobs from the company. Citigroup’s CEO said this elimination of jobs is a “logical” step for the bank’s “transformation.” Their plan to reorganize will also include branch closings.

    ‘Fiscal cliff’ warnings yet to faze Wall Street, http://wapo.st/SwhwHW
    Despite warnings about the “fiscal cliff,” Wall Street investors have remained unfazed.The stock market has been fairly static since the election with the exception of a decline the day after Election Day, causing Wall Street to see it as business as usual. “Wall Street and Washington are different worlds and speak in different languages,” said one analyst, Chris Krueger. While most Wall Street investors agree that a recession will take place if President Obama and congress do not come to an agreement, they do not think the short-term consequences will be dire.

    Clashes outside Egypt’s presidential palace, http://aje.me/SJU3mx
    Hundreds camped out and one thousand people protested at the Egyptian presidential palace Wednesday. People started camping out after police fired tear gas at the crowd of demonstrators who tried to break through the palace gates. The Health Ministry said 18 people were wounded in the clash. Protestors are angry that President Mohamed Morsi banned all legal opposition to his power. Morsi said he made the decree to minimize opposition from Hosni Mubarak’s allies in the Cabinet. Eight influential Egyptian newspapers have suspended publication also in protest of Morsi.

    Typhoon kills at least 283 in Philippines, http://reut.rs/YN4DhG
    A deadly typhoon whipped through the Philippines Wednesday killing 283 people. Typhoon Bopha caused landslides and flooding in farming and mining towns as well as the southern Mindanao region.“The waters came so suddenly and unexpectedly, and the winds were so fierce, that compounded the loss of lives and livelihood,” said Arthur Uy, the governor of Compostela Valley in Mindanao. Damage to Mindanao is expected to cost $98 million as the typhoon destroyed 70-80% of plantations in the region. The storm became weaker later on Wednesday as it tore through northern resort towns.

    (via Los Angeles Times) Deal brings end to L.A., Long Beach ports strike, http://lat.ms/11RJQbU
    Clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will return to work Wednesday, ending a strike that crippled America’s busiest shipping hub for more than a week. Leaders of the 800-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit agreed to a tentative deal after marathon negotiations that ended late Tuesday. The deal will not become final until it is ratified by the full union membership.

    Longtime SE Texas US Rep. Jack Brooks dead at 89, http://bit.ly/SMdE5q
    Jack Brooks, who was a Democratic House Rep. for Southern Texas for 42 years, died Tuesday of a sudden illness at 89. He was one of the powerful Texas Democrats that were proteges of Sam Rayburn. “I’m just an old man like Rayburn,” Brooks said. “Just a Democrat, no prefix or suffix.” He was in the same November 1963 motorcade that John F. Kennedy was killed in.


    Fox News Pushing Karl Rove, Dick Morris Off The Air, http://huff.to/WHTxFu

    Netflix buys exclusive rights to Disney movies, http://lat.ms/Ue50KT

    Royal pregnancy: Hoax call fools Duchess of Cambridge hospital, http://bbc.in/VBQoIb

    Bob Costas says he made a ‘mistake’ while talking about gun control at halftime of Sunday Night Football game,http://nydn.us/VCNWRU

    Frankie Muniz has mini-stroke: ‘I couldn’t say words,’ http://usat.ly/WIZCkV

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    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


    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.


    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

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